Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fellow Worker Sagittarians, Beware!

'People even of supposedly "normal" mind are prepared to accept systems of delusions for the simple reason that it is too difficult to distinguish such systems from the equally inexorable and equally opaque one under which they actually have to live their lives'
T Adorno, ‘The Stars Down to Earth: the Los Angeles Times Astrology Column’, in The Stars down to Earth and Other Essays in the Irrational in Culture, edited with and introduction by S Crook (London, 1994), quoted here

As a Marxist, unsurprisingly I don't take a great deal of notice of horoscopes, though a quick glance at today's 'Metroscope' in Metro did make me wonder a little more than I have done in the past about quite what their function in society exactly is. Take today's entry for me, a 'Sagittarius', which starts reasonably enough:

Not one of your best days at work, as your're finding it hard to concentrate and essentially you just want some time for fun.

Perceptive enough so far, I'm pissing about blogging about horoscopes when I have a list of 100 and 1 other things to be getting on with, which must say something. However the second half (at two sentences, these free newspaper horoscope things are not very long) seems to have a slight hidden ideological agenda to it...and not in a good way:

Understandable, but don't neglect your duties while the boss is around. Your're vulnerable just now.

Eh? I am not currently at 'work work', so there is no chance of 'the boss' catching me blogging when I should be doing something else. But more to the point, in what way are Sagittarians uniquely 'vulnerable just now' among the many people who are not having 'one of their best days at work'? Are Sagittarians at work today supposed to be like fucking grateful to the writer of 'Metroscope' for telling them to do their 'duty' rather than finding some time to avoid the worst aspects of alienated and exploited labour in what ever way possible? One can but conclude either that the 'Metroscope' astrologer, one 'Nikki Harper' (about whom a quick google search reveals 'qualified' at 'the world-renowned Mayo School of Astrology in Truro, Cornwall') inculcated so much capitalist propaganda that she likes telling her working class readers to work harder - or that she has genuinely had some kind of premonition after looking up at the stars and using all the skills she has learnt at the 'the world-renowned Mayo School of How to get Paid for writing Bullshit' that of all the millions of people facing the very real dangers of unemployment and economic insecurity just now that today, of all days, Sagittarian workers are most in danger and she felt compelled to warn us all out of the goodness of her heart... I have a kind of idea about which one of these options is most likely (and the fact that there is not even a pretence of astrological 'evidence' to back up her assertions, like 'the Moon still being in Virgo' or something, only confirms my worst suspicions in this case). However, in case I am completely and utterly wrong about this I am happy to pass on the warning to my fellow Sagittarian workers around the world...I hope you treat it in an appropriate manner.

Incidently in the same 'Metroscope', I 'learn' that Arians are 'desperate for some "me" time', Virgo's 'social life is picking up nicely' while Geminis are 'spending far too much time tilting at windmills and not enough time taking care of things you can influence'. Those born under the star of Leo today 'can look back at where you've been and ahead to where you are going but where you actually are is a little bit harder to spot'. As if that is not profound enough, Leos are told to 'see the bigger picture, yes, but what about the here and now?' Its a good point, and clearly the kind of thing that could not ever be said about those born under any other star sign at any other point in time. Still I suppose I should be grateful I am not an Aquarius, as it looks like they clearly failed to pay enough attention to an earlier 'Metroscope' and accordingly seem to be uniquely bearing the brunt amid the recession:

You have to get your spending under control today, Aquarius. And if you think you already have, that's indicative of an even bigger problem. Money is vanishing at an astonishing rate around you. Nip it in the bud.

Thank my lucky stars I am not an Aquarius...better get back to work now and keep on the good side of my boss. That is guaranteed to protect me in the credit crunch. Phew, thanks a lot, Metroscope.

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At 1:05 pm, Blogger Adam Marks said...

I'm surprised the Metro didn't do the standard local paper joke of calling the astrologer X Petrulengro. It's nice to know my social life will be picking up shortly. Whenever I check my stars it usually says:

"Today will be a day like any other day".

Deadly accurate.


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