Friday, October 26, 2007

Daily Horoscopes

I was on the subway the other day, as all weekdays, and I happened to look down at a man sitting flipping through the paper and he stopped on the Daily Horoscope page. And I stood there and just thought about it for a second and realized, when you think about it, how completely ludicrous the daily horoscope is. That in our 21st century modern world the daily horoscope is as ubiquitous in daily newspapers as the crossword and the sports page. In a Westernized, developed country where the vast majority of people are not only monotheistic but Christian (in varying degrees of what people think that means), we have daily horoscopes. That people actually read. And ok, I'm sure many of you reading this are read them and maybe even put some stock into what they say. I'll admit that I too have read them, as many people, for amusement and a good laugh. When I went off on this at work, my friend Lauren turned around from her desk and (completely straight faced) says, "You know, the daily horoscopes in papers aren't really accurate, but if you do ones where you put in your specific date and location of birth and where you live, they're actually remarkably accurate." I'm sorry, what? Now, I love Lauren dearly and think she is a completely intelligent and sincere person, so I am in no way trying to knock on her. I just use her as an example for what I think may be more common practice than I would otherwise think.

But I mean, taken as a larger cultural "thing," it's kind of an interesting quirk about our country (world? do they have daily horoscopes in say, Switzerland? Or Thailand?).
Why did they start to begin with? WHY do we still have daily horoscopes in every paper? The ubiquity is astounding. The fact that people actually take them seriously is probably equally so. Sometimes I just don't know. I mean, seriously?? Seriously.

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