Blogging On A Theme: Astrology.
See also Tamara, Marko, Atomic Nerds, LawDog, and
"A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an 'intellectual' -- find out how he feels about astrology."--"The Notebooks Of Lazarus Long," Time Enough For Love
by Robert A. Heinlein.
When I was in police academy, 14 years ago, my otherwise estimable academy coordinator told our small class of 15 that "60% of career police officers are Libras." This from a woman with a couple of degrees, a Master Peace Officer license, and an entire police academy under her. I looked around the room. Two nods, a grimace or three, and a lot of frozen faces. I hope mine was in the last category-- I'd hate to have that good woman (an excellent instructor, and still teaching and serving as a peace officer) perceive any disrespect from me.
I later found out that one of the grimaces was from a guy who was some other sign, which was the foil of Libra (I can't recall which that would be-- what's the opposite of a balance scale? A goat? An arachnid? A pair of twins? Perhaps a crustacean...). He was afraid that this would mean that he wouldn't get or be able to retain a job as a cop, because of his destined contradictory nature to the needs of the task.
Meanwhile, I, who had cinched one of the two Libra billets in my class, thought that the whole concept was utter bunk. First, I knew a few career cops, including my father, and none that I could recall had birthdays anywhere near mine. Second, I knew 'way too many people who did have birthdays near mine, who no more should become cops than I should become an exotic fan dancer at cocktail bars for tips... read: Not at all.
Finally, it would simply have been too remarkable of a fact for me to have just then heard of it for the very first time at the tender age of 22 years, all lived within a cop's family. Ain't no way.
And, in fact, my venerable coordinator was (on that particular facet of her knowledge) full of steaming crap, bless her pea-pickin' little heart.
Imagine if we ran the criminal justice system with an eye toward following the "science" of astrology:
We would man extra officers during certain cycles of the planetary and stellar alignments. (Contrary to ever-popular and almost understandable belief, there is zero correlation between crime and lunar cycles. I say again: Zero. Don't believe me? Look it up. Yet I know some cops and more than a few emergency workers who believe in a significant increase in emergency calls when the moon is full.)
We would, while performing field interviews, check the astrological sign of the suspect to determine how to deal with him, and whether or not we should call for backup... you know-- like maybe a Virgo, because this guy's an Aquarius, and thus you *know* this interrogation is going nowhere.
"Your honor, I had to skip that step in the use of force continuum, because this guy was a Taurus, and you know how they can get..."
At the jail, they would segregate populations using a classification that looked not at all to the relative security risk of the given inmate, but more toward whether their zodiac assignments were compatible. Skinhead and Black Panther? Well sure... if they were under complimentary star signs.
Judges would consult star charts before applying indeterminate sentencing.
Voir dires would predictably become attempts to learn what sign the potential juror was born under.
Anti-discrimination laws would be passed for people born under opposing signs.
Finally, anti-defamation civil attorneys would begin to make their nut, defending the rights of the downtrodden signs.
- - -
I've always looked askance at astrology. How the hell did it manage to score the "-ology" suffix away from the real science of astronomy? And why were some otherwise apparently intelligent people giving it any credibility?
I remember how, when in 8th grade and I took Earth Science, my moronic science teacher got to the astronomy portion of the course. We were made to memorize the signs of the zodiac, and repeat them with their dates in a test. For credit in science class. This was the same bitch who gave me a B on my working metal detector that I had entered in the science fair, because I had duct-taped the variable trimmer capacitor (cleverly stolen from an old car radio at a junk yard) to the hoe handle that I had built the whole thing upon. This sucker could detect a 10 penny nail under a yard of dirt, and I had soldered the breadboard myself, but she didn't like the look of duct tape.
Her name was Mrs. Bead. And she can't sue me for libel, because it's all true.