Two racist children sitting on the moon

Racism is on its way out.

That's actually a fairly inflammatory statement, as people in many parts of the world, and even in our own country (the United States as of the time of this writing, in case any of my future actions cause me to flee to a country that doesn't share extradition treaties with the US) can attest to, racism is very much a real problem, and even a threat.

Deflecting the blame for your problems onto something you can't control is one of the brain's go-to strategies for avoiding effort. But as a general statement, for the first time in literally ever, it's on the decline. And that's fucking awesome.

Due to the general tone of the majority of my articles, I need to point out that the above statement was not, in fact, throbbing sarcasm, but a genuine statement of appreciation for what is undeniably a positive trend for the world.

There have been a lot of awesome, truly wonderful things happening in the world lately, but you never get to hear about them, because as a general statement, watching the news is one of the worst damned things you can do for your own well-being and outlook on the world as a whole.

Pretty soon here I want to do an article that details all of the awesome things happening in the world that you should totally take your pants off and salute, but because I'm a horrible pessimist with both an infuriating habit of running long-winded exposition on topics that tend to alienate those around me and access to posting on a moderately well-read comedy site, I'm going to focus on the negative bullshit. Because in all honesty, I'm pretty drunk on boxed wine on a Wednesday night and more than a little peeved that the McDonald's dining room closed at ten and denied my mighty need for an Oreo McFlurry.

So, in keeping with the topic of racism, I want to semi-coherently ramble on about one of the other great problems facing the world today.

That's right: astrology.

What's that? You already read the title of this article and knew I was going to make that bait-and-switch joke at some point? Well…I suppose I could list all of the ways you could creatively wedge household objects into orifices never meant to play host to those objects, or I could have more foresight next time I write my article titles. Or, I could take the third option and drunkenly blame my editor for ruining my shitty joke and swear a blood oath against him and his family (don't worry, Court, I probably won't do this).

But all of that is an aside to the real threat against this nation: astrology.

Astrology Sign: Capricorn the Goat

But Cole, say you, the demon sent from the fourth level of B'Thall'M'Thizzit to inhabit the darkest recesses of my Recycle Bin folder and make disparaging comments and questions whenever I'm in the process of writing an article, isn't astrology just some goofy thing that dimwitted college kids use to hit on each other?

First off, yes…yes, they do that. A lot. Second off, no. No, it is much, much more than that on a deep, personal level that affects you, those around you, and those you love. And I'm not even joking.

This isn't a segue for me to bring up some sort of evil Astrology Cabal that's pulling the strings of the media or some shit. No. As much as I wish, for the purposes of writing this article, that that was a thing, it's something on a much simpler and more disheartening level.

For those of you blissfully unaware, astrology is the belief that the position of the stars and other celestial bodies at the moment of your birth somehow affects you as a person. Things like:

  • What type of personality you have
  • Your hobbies and mannerisms
  • Exactly how rapey you act at keggers
  • Whether you think Time-Cop is amazing or simply astonishing.

You know, the important stuff.

While my many, many snarky and sarcastic comments peppered throughout this article will clearly outline for you my opinion on the veracity of these beliefs, I want to try and avoid turning this article into an outright debate on whether or not astrology is true (or a great big bag of dog farts), and keep it focused on the important bits.

Like how astrology is racist.

Not racist… that's not the right term. Bigoted, I suppose.

And before you disagree, making assumptions about groups of people based on preconceived notions is the definition of bigotry. Seriously, some dude named Webster even went ahead and wrote it out for me and everything.

Now, I understand the base human need to categorize people. Read this article on "The Monkeysphere."

I wasn't kidding. Take time out of your day to read that article because it is one of the single most important things I have ever read in my lifetime, and it has nothing to do with astrology or any harshly-worded comments against those who believe in it, so even if you think this article can go suck, like, all the dicks, then you should still go read that one.

I'll wait.

Anyway, now that you're (hopefully) back, we can talk about why astrology makes you a shitty person.

Judging people you don't know based on things you think you know about them (but don't) is not okay, and in fact led to World War II. I, uh, get that that might be an exaggerated stance on the matter, but you get the idea.

How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of "As an Aquarius…" or "Well obviously I'm a Sagittarius"? Hell, some of you have probably heard someone say that today. Or have said that today yourself. And that's really not okay.

Wanna know why? Sure you do, you're still reading.

I'm not one to pad articles with useless exposition, so I'll get right to the part where I point out something that you already know, but might not be thinking about in this context:

Anything that makes a person not change for the better when they can, and should, is dangerous.

Seriously.

Deflecting the blame for your problems onto something you can't control is one of the brain's go-to strategies for making sure it doesn't have to make the effort to change for the better. For whatever evolutionary reason, brains are goddamned amazing at not changing. I think it's because misery, while miserable (duh), is comfortable. Changing for the better takes effort, and effort sounds hard, you guys.

So we throw up mental blocks.

In the case of this slightly biased article, one of those mental blocks is astrology. Because the brain is looking for any excuse not to change, and the idea that all of your flaws and shortcomings are predetermined by the stars, and going against the grain in that regards would be challenging fate. And how could we do that?

So when you're financially, for lack of a better term, shitty, you just throw up your arms and say, "Yeah, well I'm a Scorpio, what am I gonna do about it?" and ignore the obvious fact that you should learn to be more financially responsible. Anybody can learn to do it, but it's a lot easier to not learn.

You're great with money? Neat. How's the social life, then? No problems there? Never get judgmental? Overly attached? Overly distant? Overly a thousand other things that we both damned well know you suffer from at least a couple of? Because I do. Hell, I've got a list of problems that most psychiatrists would drop their monocles from shock after reading (all psychiatrists are Freud in my brain). But the difference is that I'm working on them. When you resign your problems to being out of your control, then you relinquish your ability to do anything truly meaningful about them.

If you have a problem with trust, and it keeps Van Damm split-kicking all of your relationships, and you read that Capricorns are all about having trust issues, and shit, and you're a Capricorn, then your brain just pounces all the fuck over that idea. Because then it's not your fault. It couldn't be because of any sort of past experiences or other completely serviceable, real reasons. Because then you could put forth effort, and possibly make meaningful advances towards fixing those issues.

And again, that's difficult.

Am I expecting you to take me at face value as some sort of knowledgeable guru on the subject of self-improvement? Hell no. I'm a train wreck. But if you can honestly identify your own shortcomings, and/or have them pointed out to you (which is another thing the brain is great at ignoring), and say to yourself, "Yes, I am judgmental," or, "Yes, I do have anger management issues," or any of the other things I've mentioned (or any of the ones I haven't—there are a lot), and agree that it's a problem you have, and then refuse to do anything about it because the stars lined up a certain way at your birth, then you really have to ask yourself if that's logical, or the healthiest thing for you or those around you.

What's that? Others around you? Yeah, those guys. They have to put up with your shit too.

When you have problems in your life, those problems sometimes affect your friends.

This is not something I should have to point out to you.

"Okay, okay, fine. Maybe I should work on some personal issues, and not be so judgmental about others based on where the stars were at mine or their births [minus a few million years since that's how light travels] and focus on being a better person. I guess. But come on, is it really worth taking the time out to write an entire article, edit it, and then publish it, just to take what is clearly an intoxicated swing at something that's peeving you at the moment?"

Yup.

Because, it's not astrology that's the problem. Not really. I mean, there are people in countries like India who view things like astrology as scientific "fact," and companies are allowed to hire or fire based on these "facts," so I guess to them it's an honest and ever-present problem. But as you probably noticed, it's not really the point of this article. Astrology has just been the most present form of it in my life at the time of writing this.

It's the blatant, plain as day fact that humans would much rather shirk responsibility than accomplish something.

I said a couple of paragraphs ago that the brain is really good at that, and I goddamned well meant it. And maybe you're one of the rare people whose life is going perfectly according to plan, and you have no regrets. If so, then I'm honestly very happy for you. No joke. Just keep up being awesome. But then this article isn't for you, it's for the other 99% of the world, who still have shit to work out, but aren't doing it. Not really, at least.

Astrology was just a convenient jumping off point, because I'm not actually a very talented comedian or writer and I need easy targets to make fun of, but the underlying issue I want to talk about is getting shit done.

Everyone has problems in their life, and they need to categorize them by whether they can be dealt with or not. That's a very important thing to be able to do. If you honestly can't do anything about a problem, then you need to be able put it aside, not worry about it, and plow ahead with the problems that can be taken care of, and only revisit the other ones when they become relevant. I actually talk about that quite a bit in an article I wrote a couple of years ago here. Somewhat poorly, because I missed the big issue about being positive of whether or not something is truly unsolvable (at the moment). Because, obviously, problems in your life that can be solved, usually should be.

And if you have things in your life that are causing you to file many of your problems away in the "unsolvable" folder, when you should be dealing with them, then that's something you need to change.

I'm not here to tell you how. Hell, there are too many situations that I'm not even sure how to help myself with yet to even try and list out solutions for any possible problem someone might be having in their life. But as any recovery program/G.I. Joe will tell you, knowing is half the battle. You have to be aware that there's an issue to tackle. Then get to work on it. Or keep fucking shit up. It's your call, I suppose.

And again, I can't stress this enough, it's not really about astrology. For everyone, it's something different. Or a few different things. There are a hundred million things in life ready to hold you back. But there are at least a few more things in life that really makes it worth slogging through too. Some shit sucks. Some shit is pretty cool. I say get through the bad shit to get to the good shit, because then you get to all the fun that life has to offer. But sometimes there are things holding you back.

What's holding you back? But, most importantly, what doesn't need to be? What's your astrology?

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