There Is A Scary Truth To Life If Astrology Is Real
That title is clickbaity as fuck! I'm quite proud of it actually. Click that bait! If I added a "10 reasons why" in front of that it could easily be an everyday Buzzfeed article. It won't be though, I couldn't write for Buzzfeed (yes I could, I have no integrity if the price is right). All of their shit boils down to a few images or .gif's and making wide sweeping generalizations with as little text as possible. That stuff is not only easy, it is dumb, and I refuse to even go to that damn site for my entertainment. Except that I do... all the time.
Just kidding, I don't, it is dumb.
Anyway, speaking of wide sweeping generalizations, the topic of today is astrology (I do read Buzzfeed, I do... I want to say I don't because I just wanted to keep some semblance of self-respect, but I do. It is easy to consume). In all this identity talk this week, be it about what identity is, how finding therapy via playing out another identity can help people, or if memories are the base for which our personal identities are defined, today we will discuss why identifying with astrology, or your sign in general, is dangerous and futile.
I've always struggled with American societies trust and fascination with astrology and their horoscopes. I mean, I kind of get it, we like simplistic ideas and it is sort of fun when you think about it a little bit, and the phrase "a little bit" is very important here. When you actually really think about it, boxing every single person in existence into twelve tiny little boxes that describes who they will be, who they can love, who they can be friends with, and how their day will go, not only seems dumb but also comes off as depressing.
Since I was born on January 19th, I fall right on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, though for the sake of generalization, we'll just say I'm a Capricorn. I know this without having to look it up because of how often I've been asked what my sign was by people and then hearing them go "oooh," as if all of a sudden they know so much about me as a person.
"You must be a bit stubborn and very fact driven," They say,
"Yes, that is true, but..."
"Ah-ha! I knew it, you are just like the other billions of people born between the dates of Dec. 22 & Jan. 19 throughout all of history!" They don't really reply, because that statement would take far too much self-awareness of the ridiculousness of this entire sort of conversation.
It is easy enough to point at the description of a Capricorn and see some parallels, but that's the point. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing, if you read about your astrological sign with the belief that there is truth there, you will find it and disregard any non-correlations. One day, I will also talk about confirmation bias since that shit is based around some fascinating weird brain habits.
Let us just take an example from a horoscope, and if we are going to do that, might as well do it from horoscope.com.
Here is my horoscope for Oct. 19th, 2016: "You have two choices today. Either jump into the thick of the mess with both feet or stay out of it altogether. There are definitely two distinct camps setting up their arsenals for battle. Realize that there is also a soft, tender, harmonious aspect that just wants peace. It will be hard to ignore the fact that your usual warring nature is ready to do battle."
Alright, I guess I did kind of come into this today ready to do some battle, as I'm sure there will be a few that read this that believe in astrology pretty strongly and they may not like that I'm calling it all bullshit. Perhaps, this is a politically based sign, since an election is upcoming, but I refuse to even dive into that here outside of saying that it is dumb, I hate the 2016 election. Hate.... It.
So, choose a side or do nothing, but certainly choose a side. That's what this boils down to.
Now, here is the fun part about horoscopes, they allow you to see into the future (we've had the power all along!) and I will now see what tomorrow has in store for me.
Horoscope for Oct. 20th, 2016: "You might need to put on the brakes today, Capricorn. Your present trajectory isn't quite in line with the people and energy around you. Make sure you aren't stepping on other people's toes with your abrasive behavior. This is a day to consider a more disciplined approach. You might need to establish a better structure so you use your energy more efficiently in general."
Oh! Fantastic, thanks for telling me to pick a side today and then letting me know that inevitably I'll have made a bad decision because whatever choice I made put me on a trajectory that isn't quite in line with the people around me. Today sucks because I have to make a decision, tomorrow is going to suck because whatever decision I'm going to make is going to make me an asshole. That's it, no decisions today, I'm just going to fuck around on YouTube. Also, just for the sake of providing proof, here is an image of both horoscopes side by side.
Generalizations in general are a dangerous prospect and creates all kinds of misconceptions based on arbitrary details. It is where we create cliches and drive forward all forms of prejudices and "isms." It is all fun and games until a war between the great 12 star signs occurs and your side is chosen by your birthday. The sides are already chosen and based on average birthrates, September will mess us all up, because it is the month with the highest birthrate. People apparently like getting busy during the holidays, and if they aren't busy getting all up on each other's baby making parts, they are busy getting the proper papers together to dismantle the traditional family dynamic.
To be completely up-front, this entire piece came to mind because it is silly, but mostly because I thought of a super clickbaity title and then a joke regarding myself making a super clickbaity title and I just had to run with it. I'm not even sure if it was a good joke, but it was a joke that made me laugh to myself enough to write it and then get stuck writing an entire 1000+ word post about astrology being dangerous. Sometimes, shower-thoughts lead to the weirdest decisions, especially when you are putting forth effort with being more sporadic and following a passion regardless of how good it may be.
I just have to say that this is all kinds of a success.