Thursday, January 13, 2011

Signs of the times

You know what puzzles me? Sane, intelligent people who believe that some essential part of their personality is determined by their zodiac sign. I'm not talking about people who believe the local newspaper's pronouncements, but people who simply feel that saying "I'm a Taurus" indicates something about them other than "I was born between May 13th and June 21st."

Or, I suppose, "I am a mythical bull from Greece." Or, "I am a Ford sedan."

I guess the phrase has a lot of possible meanings, but not one of them relates to the person's behavior, personality, taste, or anything that matters. Oh, and those dates are correct; apparently Twitter is just now learning that the zodiac signs have been off from their constellations for hundreds and hundreds of years, so many people are sharing the news.

I am now a Taurus, not a Gemini, if these dates stick (which they won't). Instead of being:

adaptable and versatile
communicative and witty
intellectual and eloquent
youthful and lively
nervous and tense
superficial and inconsistent
cunning and inquisitive

I should start being:

patient and reliable
warmhearted and loving
persistent and determined
placid and security-loving
jealous and possessive
resentful and inflexible
self-indulgent and greedy

But here's the big secret: I WON'T DO THAT. Nor will I have far to go because I was born on a Thursday. Nor will I be happy, honest, fertile, and virile because I was born in the year of the Pig. And especially nor do I have anything to do with Ephrem the Syrian, who stood against dangerous heresy (Jesus was an incorporeal spirit, not a man? Blasphemy!) in the fourth century and whose feast is observed on my birthday.

You know what my birthday says about me? It says that my parents wanted to have kids at the beginning of the summer (because my dad had summers off), and it says that they were good at planning and at counting to nine.

That's it. The end. No magic from the sky, be it from stars or some fictional God figure.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friendly neighborhood atheist who wishes the President didn't have to end every damn speech with a reminder that most people believe in a big rock candy mountain in the sky where Santa Claus will give you a shiny new rocking horse whenever you want.


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