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Your Idiocy Will Receive Long Overdue Recognition Today.........

Astrology for Dummies! No, wait......Dummies for......

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 29, 2001.

My deep and abiding disrespect for the goober sciences started long ago when I worked in Europe and my employer, whose belief system made Nancy Reagan and her astrological charts and Hillary Clinton's and her séances look like hard-ass physics, had her household examined by an allegedly gypsy palm reader. Long story short, I had, apparently, no life line and was therefore considered, officially, a warlock. I cannot recall much beyond that. I finished the job, though.

I went through the sixties, seventies, and eighties with the normal complement of friends and acquaintances who believed in astrology, numerology, and all the mystic crappola of the years. I have had my chart cast several times. They are all different, they are all divergent from the truth, and none of them came close to predicting my life thus far. Still, I have people who insist that there is nothing wrong with astrology, that there are good and bad practitioners, and that physics is often wrong as well and no more deserving of the title of 'science' than the Nineveh Necromancers of ancient Assyria. Now, there are many things called science that are not and deserve to be removed from that column: Economics, psychology, computers, and UFO studies are not science, but the lucubrations of the seriously disturbed and traumatized. Thus far, I stand with the astrologers.

But, people, get a grip. Without exception, the people who believe in astrology just want to credit powers beyond their reach to relieve them of responsibility, non-accomplishment, or thought. Maybe just an antidote to boredom. And now, this imbecility has been rewarded.

A college has been accredited that gives degrees in astrology. I understand that the school has not been given A1 status, and that the educational community has not blessed the curriculum, but only that the college has set out a program of study and delivers the goods as promised. And, really, it is no more bogus a line of work than a religious school whose curriculum informs the student that Christ is composed of three parts and that eating a product of the Hostess company really is the body of Christ and that St. Augustine was not an insane misogynist. Further, given the steady numbers of morons that believe in astrology and apparently pay to have blather tossed at them, the school is probably a more promising source of economic success for its students than the various ringworm bible schools that lacerate the landscape. Quite possibly, it is safer environment for your daughters and sons and maybe even closer to the heart of Christ, who at least knew and dealt with the bazaar and is closer to it than a fat, white, jewelry-encrusted Stentor screaming about abortion, family values, and his own innocence of a recent morals charge.

Most people, prepared by the hallowed American educational system, are scared to death of math, and when they see formulas and mathematical symbols, they genuflect in unseemly fashion and credit whatever garbage for which the numerals are offered as scientific. Phrenologists of the last century, who measure the shape and bumpage of craniums to ascertain the personality and moral status of the owner, applied many and interesting mathematical efforts in support of their theory. In was bunk, of course, but to this day cosines and parenthetical asides containing letters squared subtracted from numbers cubed throw idiots into orgasmic bliss if the equation is said to support something they want to believe in. This phenomenon, which should be studied by psychologists because it cannot be proved and because psychology is equally specious and because it doesn't have much else going on, is an unassailable observation. I am willing to bet that the addition of math to bunkum got this college accreditation, for no greater idiots exist than in education.

Astrologers did hit upon this angle and now provide basic mathematical formulae to infuse their art with scientific basis. But they have the incredible problem of their basic conception: that time and place of physical birth define a person to greater or lesser degree because of the stars above, which is hogwash. The basis of astrology is that the qualities of a specific constellation derived from the weird and contradictory myths associated with it, are somehow passed to the squalling brat beneath. If you could or would breed Eminem with Beyonce Knowles and Richard Simmons with the guerilla leader of some Amazonian tribe, and you arranged for them to conceive in adjacent hotel rooms and they gave birth in the same hour in the same hospital, we are to believe that the offspring share all sorts of personality traits, dreams, and future.

The essential absurdity of this is recognized by all and astrologers have tried to soften the premise and add on all sorts of caveats and possibilities. But it isn't science any more than five year economic forecasts are science or software customer support is sane. And beware: a BS in Astrology cannot be far behind with all those numbers in the curriculum, thus conflating the two definitions of that acronym.

And for those who still wonder if the European palm reader's analysis is correct.....well, that depends on what you mean by 'is'.......