I don't care what frakkin' sign Neko Case is born under!

I probably shouldn't get bent out of shape over this, but the intrusion of superstitious nonsense into the culture I have chosen to embrace just makes me so angry sometimes that I just have to exploit my blog pulpit to vent. The offending journalist in this case is Melanie M. Bianchi, the A&E editor for my local alternative weekly. The Mountain Xpress, and the offending item is a preview of a performance scheduled for Wedneday night in Asheville, N.C., by Neko Case, who is one of my favorite musicians these days thanks to her near-perfect 2006 CD, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

What has any of this to do with doubt, dogmas, science and/or faith? Well, just a few lines into the article, which might have been a reasonable precis of what Neko Case is all about, we are told that Ms. Case is a Virgo. Not just any old Virgo, however, but "a proud Virgo who's actually quite gracious."

But it doesn't stop there. Two paragraphs later Ms. Bianchi tells us even more:

But not unlike Aimee Mann, who thawed to genius effect on 2004's The Forgotten Arm, Case, on last year's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, has likewise come in from the cold--and just as stunningly. (Note to astrologers: Both women were born on Sept. 8, a decade apart--Mann in 1960 and Case in 1970. This may be significant.)

No, Melanie, it's not significant. It's not significant at all. At least, not in the way the dictionary defines significant:

1.important; of consequence.

2.having or expressing a meaning; indicative; suggestive: a significant wink.

3.Statistics. of or pertaining to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.

Why am I so incensed? Because it's this kind of innocent-on-the-surface, insidious intrusion of irrational beliefs into my day-to-day life that I find so annoying. How am I supposed to teach my son to use reason and common sense when this sort of thing pops up so often? I mean, it's not as if there's even a scintilla of evidence supporting the idea that you can predict one's character from their birthdate. Neko Case is gracious because (or in spite of, I can't tell which) she was born on Sept. 8? Give me a frakkin' break.

Keeping astrology segregated (or quarantined) from the news sections isn't enough. Unless you're making fun of horoscopes, it really doesn't have a place in popular media. And I don't care what Kerry Mullis thinks about it (Google him and astrology if you want to -- I'm not going to make it any easier by providing a link.)

Incidentally, and as if to prove she's not up to the task of understanding the difference between truth and fiction, Bianchi makes this gaffe:

Case's own process sounds the same: "In the beginning," she says, "I have no f**kin' idea what I'm doing. Then, two thirds of the way into [writing a record], you figure out what you're obsessed with." Which was "mythology and folklore in general," as far as Fox goes.... But her seemingly random inclusion of an interpretive gospel traditional ("John Saw That Number") happened for no heavy reason.

Hmm. A gospel traditional inserted into a series of songs drawn from "mythology and folklore." And that's surprising because....?

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I was with you right up until ...

Keeping astrology segregated (or quarantined) from the news sections isn't enough. Unless you're making fun of horoscopes, it really doesn't have a place in popular media.

Sounds fairly dictatorial to me. On what basis would this decision be made? And who would make it?

I'd be happy if it didn't, and I'd agree that it shouldn't. But if you meant that sentence the way it reads, then you're going a bit far, I think.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 10 Apr 2007 #permalink

It's been a long time, actually -- decades -- since anybody asked me my sign. For what it's worth, I was born under Truman.

ha ha ha! I think you better get used to it. Astrology is going mainstream whether you like it or not! :-)

I love your writing though. And that you like Virgos... :P

Nah - don't get mad, get even! Look up "ungracious singer" or "ungracious virgo" on the internet, find the person's bio, tie it into astrological sign and *voila*, debunk a lunk!

By Pierre Caron (not verified) on 10 Apr 2007 #permalink

I'm an Aquarius. That means the Sun was in the constellation Capricorn when i was born. So if she says she's a Virgo, she's probably a Leo.

I guess the "science" of spelling/self-editing isn't among your strong suits, e.g. "It's no significant" (assume you meant "not") and, worse, the "frakkin'" of the headline. Frakkin? What a strange phonetic rendering of what I guess was meant as "freakin'" And, like my persistent mention of astrology, it rears its ugly head twice -- "give me a frakkin' break," etc. Poor self-awareness and misdirected, impotent rants ... I'm guessing you're a Scorpio.

By Melanie Bianchi (not verified) on 12 Apr 2007 #permalink

Sorry you're not hip to the Battlestar Galactica reference, Melanie. Just so you won't get embarrassed again, "Frak" is the BSG universe's television-safe version of the F-word.

A Battlestar Galactica reference? Wow, that IS embarrassing. For you, I mean.

By Melanie Bianchi (not verified) on 18 Apr 2007 #permalink

A Battlestar Galactica reference? Wow, that IS embarrassing. For you, I mean.

At times like this I want a "rofl" emoticon.

By Jongpil Yun (not verified) on 11 May 2007 #permalink