A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: Horrorscopes

Originally published: 27 May 2004

Horoscopes are a divided issue - half the people swear by them, the other half ridicule them and ne'er the twain shall meet.

I am a complete and utter non-believer in them - nobody on this planet could believe less in them than I. As such this article will only be enjoyed by 50 percent of the people who read it.

I simply fail to see how an arrangement of planets and dates can possibly affect a human being in any conceivable way, but my skepticism is based on far more than the mysteries of time, space and interplanetary systems. I've seen the bollocks for myself.

A while ago Tashi did a series of recordings of horoscopes for one of those cellphone dial-in lines, but these weren't just any disposable horoscopes - they were written by one of the most prestigious astrologers and horoscope writers in South Africa.

If you're a dedicated follower of horoscopes, or a firm believer in the practice of astrology, then I have some bad news for you - the absolute crap this guy dished up would convince even the most faithful of horoscope devotees what a load of hogwash it all is, when you observe his work over an extended period of time.

You may remember that big fake John Edwards - the oke who supposedly chats to dead people. He doesn't chat to dead people, I'm afraid - he's merely a master sociological manipulator.

Horoscope writers are similar - they spew out common truths which can be applied to most people and when someone sees something that applies to them they instantly think: "Wow - that's so accurate".

Just as it is for a billion other people.

I understand that you can read horoscopes for the entertainment value - they break up a page nicely and give you a small, digestible chunk of fantasy.

But it gets to me when people start taking them seriously and bringing their horoscopes into their everyday lives ("My horoscope says that...")

Utter drivel.

The eminent astrologer whose daily 'scopes Tashi recorded (and I used to phone in a lot for my horoscope back then, but merely because I wanted to spend some quality time listening to that sexy little voice while doing unimaginably crass and stupid things to myself that cannot be recorded here for family reasons) has got a lot of credibility in South Africa, but I can tell you that a number of times his horoscopes were simply copied from six months earlier.

We saw horoscopes that were completely unoriginal - they were merely lifted from another star sign he'd written months before.

He obviously got lazy or ran out of big words to use.

Which naturally leads me to question all his other horoscope work, which gets published in numerous respectable publications right around the country. The man makes a lot of money from ripping people off.

I decided to have a look at a variety of horoscope predictions for my star sign - Leo - for the same day: Wednesday 26 May 2004. I found exactly what I was looking for - none of them match, none of them say the same thing and all of them are the biggest thumb-sucks I've ever read in my entire life.

Here are some examples:

From: www.daily-horoscopes.com

"This will be a relaxing day when you'll be spending quality time with your family. You'll also be fired up about a creative project or perhaps a new romantic interest. So what if nothing goes as you planned tonight - the BIG director had other ideas."

I had a nightmare day from hell, I did not spend any quality time with anyone, much less my family, I'm in a creative dead-end and I only have one romantic interest in my life, thank you very much.

Oh - and I don't believe in God, so what was that last bit all about? Since when to God and astrology have anything in common?

From: MSN Astrology

"Family obligations on the part of a partner could interfere with things that you wanted to do together, dear Leo. Your desire to be of assistance could also get in the way of other responsibilities that you may have assumed.

"The best way to handle days like today is by making use of careful planning. There is always a way to squeeze it all in. This is likely to be what you just might have to do."

No - I'm afraid there is no possible way to "squeeze it all in" - there are 24 hours in a day of which I spend a maximum of six asleep. No matter how well I plan I simply cannot fit more than what I do into 18 working hours. Even if I didn't sleep I wouldn't fit it all in, so stop talking fucking nonsense.

Note also the "this is likely" phrase - totally non-committal. Just in case you come back and tell them that it was not the best thing to do - they can point out that they made no definite statement on the issue.

From: The Globe and Mail

"According to your solar chart those you live and work with are under a lot of pressure at the moment and will thank you for it if you refrain from making too many demands. You know what it is like when everything seems to be getting on top of you, so either do what you can to assist them or stay out of their way."

Well excuu-uuse me. I mean - screw me if I can't cope, right? I must just get out of the way of others who are having bad hair days. No - don't screw me, buddy - screw you.


And this was my absolute best.....

From: Astrology-online.com

"Difficulties relating to children will be stressful. Someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes. You can make professional decisions today that will affect your position. You can make profitable investments if you purchase an art object for your home."

I actually have to break that down for you:

1. "Difficulties relating to children will be stressful."

As will difficulties relating to adults, surely? Any difficulty relating to others can be stressful, but the same is true for every human being on Earth - not just Leos on May 26.

2. "Someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes."

What? Tell me more. Who? The fucker shall rue the day.

3. "You can make professional decisions today that will affect your position."

Precisely how is that exclusive to Leos? And what if I don't make any professional decisions today? Can not making professional decisions affect my position? And in what way will my position be affected - negatively or positively?

Could you be a little more specific?

4. "You can make profitable investments if you purchase an art object for your home."

How an earth can you make investments if you only purchase one object? You can make one investment - the plural would only be used if you were purchasing more than one art object.

And even then - you really shouldn't be advising every gullible Leo to go out purchasing art. They could just as easily make a fat loss through purchasing a worthless piece of rubbish they thought was a masterpiece.

And what about homeless Leos? What do they do with their fantastic new investment? Hang it on a fence or a dumpster and hope for better days? Someone will nick it within the hour.

It astounds me that anybody could consider than inanimate rocks circling around a solar system light years away could possibly tell them anything about themselves, much less whether to make a bold, risky yet potentially disastrous art purchase.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

Look at me now - all the way from Uitenhage to the bright lights of the big internet.

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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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