Asshole Astrology — Week of 23 November 2020

Missed me? It's good to see you.

Here is next week’s horoscope for your sign.

It doesn’t matter when you read it, or which sign you are, as horoscopes are all made up.

What does the universe have in store for you? Let’s find out.

Them: We only publish things about frogs. What do you want to write for us about?

Me: Frogs.

Them: You haven’t written about frogs before!

Me: I’m a qualified journalist.

Them: What makes you think you’re qualified to write about frogs?

Me: Well —

(This isn’t really about frogs)

Aquarius: Leap without a net. Your life will be infinitely more interesting even if you do end up face down dead in a ditch. Don’t complain about the weather. That’s what a coat is for. In Iceland they say there’s no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothing. Sometimes you feel the need to say goodbye to people who are no longer in your life. Or you could just unfollow them on Twitter. Whilst we’re on the subject be suspicious of writers who have Instagram accounts but aren’t on Twitter. Some people are clearly not to be trusted.

Pisces: There’s something you had to do today. I’m pretty sure that reading this wasn’t it. The whole world has gone stupid. Except of course that plenty of people haven’t and are just getting on with their lives. As we say in Yorkshire there’s no use mithering about it. We’re now recruiting for the people that hate people party. You’re my kind of person. The only problem is we can never get enough of us to agree to get together in the same room for us to hold a meeting and plan world domination. Maybe we could Skype sometime instead?

Aries: My humorous horoscope column is basically made from recycled tweets. Not only has no-one noticed but I frequently get told that my horoscopes are hilarious and spookily accurate. I’m not sure what to say to this. Jason Fried said in an essay called Sell Your By-Products: “The lumber industry sells what used to be waste — sawdust, chips, and shredded wood — for a pretty profit.” That’s what he meant by sell your by-products. And that’s what I think you should do in your own life or art. What by-products can you try to sell?

Taurus: I’ve a tendency to repeat myself. How about you? Don’t delete your old tweets. They can be recycled and sent to third world countries in desperate need of trivia, sarcasm and banter. Or shoehorned into the form of, say, a horoscope. Hey, wait a minute. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this before. You could literally write anything here and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. Or you could write excellent life advice and no-one would notice. I know this and you know this. That’s the joke. I’ve a tendency to repeat myself. Wait.

Gemini: Admit it: You don’t really like bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, or U2; you’re just overly familiar with their songs. You love Katy Perry. Here’s your pumpkin spice latte. What do you mean you don’t have anything by The Flippity Jibbits? I saw them live supporting Whatchama Callit. I bet you haven’t even heard of The Guilty Pleasures. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Music is a broad church; there’s plenty of room inside. I’m trolling you. I was force-fed The Beatles, genuinely love The Rolling Stones, and genuinely hate U2. It’s alright now. In fact it’s a gas.

Cancer: Today is the perfect opportunity for you to practice being snarky about things. The old adage ‘don’t feed the trolls’ is usually good advice but sometimes you have to do more than turn the other cheek. I’m far too sweet and innocent to get involved, of course, but I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines. Time is not money. You can spend all your money and earn more later but once you’ve spent all your time that’s it. Don’t waste your life reading books. I use my to-read stack as furniture. As James Gandolfini said: “Just keep working.”

Leo: Invest in yourself. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Next I’ll be telling you to hope and have dreams and stuff. You need to toughen up, Cupcake. The first Annual General Meeting of Special Snowflakes was cancelled due to a blizzard. Taking hipster selfies of your bad self, in a coffee shop with your laptop, is not the best way to get shit done. Chin up, Buttercup. What should you do with your life? That’s up to you but get a move on. The easiest way to commit suicide is to just wait. “If my answers frighten you, Vincent, then you should cease asking scary questions.”

Virgo: Anne Lamott tells a story in ‘Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life’ about how a month before her friend Pammy died she said something that permanently changed her. They’d gone shopping for a dress for Annie who tried one on, that fit perfectly, and asked: “Do you think it makes my hips look too big?” Her friend, terminally ill and wheelchair bound, said: “Annie? I really don’t think you have that kind of time.” What do you keep puting off in your life? What do you keep worrying about? I don’t think you have that kind of time.

Libra: The reason why one must be suspicious of moral instruction in fiction should be obvious: a writer has no particular moral standing. You’re a much better person than I. I’m all about moral failings. Like that old joke: The early bird catches the worm but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines. Bojack Horseman is my spirit animal. How do you manage it oh wise one? How do you manage to be good? I ask for a friend. At least you have a plan. Even if you don’t have a sense of humour. Are you not familiar with how I ask for a friend works? I ask for a friend.

Scorpio: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law except, you know, the other bits about not doing stuff. There’s no such thing as bad language except for americanised spelling. That’s tough talk for a guy who tends to use americanised grammar but americanised isn’t spelt americanized unless it has been. So there! Hopefully the way we Brits spell manoeuvre gives you a flavour of our humour. I’ll never tire of the way we spell tyres. Would you like some aluminium? A truly sarcastic American is thus a paradox that could destroy the world. I mean that in a good way!

Sagittarius: I’m starting to think that Americans are all members of a crazy puritanical cult based on productivity, positivity and prostitution in the name of capitalism. They don’t understand that not everyone wants to work work work. I say Americans I mean humans. I say everyone I mean me. The only place I feel differently about this is when it comes to art. It’s ALWAYS worth it to make art no matter what the cost. Bye bye Miss American Pie. All pie is good pie. You can eat 3.14159 of them. Pecan pie is the best but I’m willing to settle for Humble pie; I usually have to eat quite a lot of that.

Capricorn: Say “Mamma mia.” In Yorkshire that’s how you tell your mother that you’ve arrived. Only an American would think my accent is sexy. I’m also grumpy, sarcastic, and have a potty mouth. So that may have something to do with it. I’m not a jerk in real life — I just play one on the internet. I’m much nicer in real life, I promise. Luckily you don’t have any of these problems. Remember, Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks that you’re an asshole. All writers are assholes; but not all assholes are writers. So it’s better to be one who writes than one who doesn’t. In your case? Deny everything.

James Garside is an independent journalist and writer. Sign up for his newsletter for the inside track on all his creative projects and unusual insights about life, work and travel.