you’re still okay in my book, Charlie Brown

the other night I found myself in a conversation that touched on astronomy.

for as much as I like science fiction, I really don’t know much about astronomy. I recognize those subjects don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but all the same I think that’s telling.

anyway, I digress. Jupiter brought it up. Jupiter was very high in the sky early this week, and the sky was clear on Monday night. and there it was, a very bright dot right next to the moon, almost straight up above. I had to lean out of my window to see it. and it was something else!

and so I found myself saying, “I don’t know the first thing about astrology.” but I had misspoken. “or astronomy, I mean. or either.” and this is true.

and then I was saying, “I’d like to know more about both, though.” but this is not true, upon reflection! I had opened my mouth, and this terrible lie had fallen out. so I have to take responsibility for this.

because, what the hell was I talking about? I have a deep skepticism of astrology borne of experience! professional experience. professional astrological experience …

Sarge is whupping on Beetle again

while working as low-man on the editorial totem pole at a Virginia newspaper (again, with the newspaper reminiscing, yes) I would often be tasked with laying out the comics page. this was a job both tedious and awesome. tedious because after doing it for a year or two you can lay out a comics page almost by muscle memory alone; awesome because comics come in bunches, like nearly a week in advance and sometimes earlier still. and so you can read ahead.

and that worked out nice for me. because I like the funnies page.


so are you a Cathy fan? me neither, ack! (edit: Cathy has ended! who knew?)  how about Hagar the Horrible? oh hell yes you like that one. and how do you feel about old reruns of Peanuts? yes. I agree. you’re still okay in my book, Charlie Brown.

anyway, you get the idea — and so on these shifts where it was my responsibility I spent a lot of time reading early Beetle Bailey strips. I used to argue with the night editor about whether that comic is worth the space it takes on the page anymore. he would call Beetle a relic of the 1950s that should have been put out to pasture decades ago. and I would call him a philistine. and never the twain shall meet, I suppose.

the Growlers play some “beach goth”

but that was only half of the page, the comics. the other half went to the crosssword puzzle (do not fuck up and run the wrong solution for the previous day’s puzzle or you will catch hell), the Dear Abby column (RIP, Abby), and the horoscopes.

Dear Abby and the horoscopes — editions of which would come a few weeks in advance and which I would edit for length. yes.

do you follow? I would edit the horoscopes for length! mind that there are easily hundreds of people who took those reports seriously, who clipped them, who let them inform their daily lives, and who really only got the goddamn newspaper for them in the first place, all while I added and subtracted from the text at my own discretion.

this is to say nothing of the advice column which I would just as regularly butcher.

I think this is some terrible shit. there has got to be some kind of rule aganist this somewhere. but in case there is not, I propose a new one: the low-men on the totem poles of America’s newspapers who edit our comics pages should be made to take a course in the basics of astrology.

employers would pay for it. imagine the cottage industry of weekend seminars that would bloom in response to this correction.

there is no time to lose, America. code this requirement into law.

if the assumedly trained astrologist behind those horoscopes really cared about the inalteratable cosmic futures that determined our lives, I wouldn’t have been allowed to lay my simple hands on them. but I was, and they don’t. I have not watched the stars. not closely, at least. I live in the city where there is too much light polution. but that sounds like a very nice vacation, going out to where there is no city, and at night no light, spending my time in the dark, craning backward and looking up.

I could make a week out of that, no problem.


1 comment so far

  1. Stu at :51 on

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