The Ronald Brak Astrology Institute
The Hubble telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory, the Voyager space probes. These are all names that don’t mean a damn thing to astrologers. I’m here today at the Ronald Brak Astrology institute, interviewing myself about how the stars affect our day to day lives. So Mr Brak, can you tell me just what it is you do here?
Ronald Brak: Please, call me Ronald. I feel as though I’ve known you all my life.
Ronald Brak: Here at the Ronald Brak Astrology institute we have the latest scientific equipment that can be used to observe the heavens. And this equipment is put to good use. You’d be amazed at the number of crushed beer cans you can cram in an eight-inch reflector.
Interviewer: So astrologers use eight-inch reflectors? Do you often use your eight inch?
Ronald Brak: Of course, that’s what Astrology is all about. You grab however many inches you have and then you reflect upon the virtues of some beautiful heavenly bodies and then after making a series of fevered arcane movements with your hands you cast your horoscope all over a piece of paper and charge someone money for it.
Interviewer: And that’s all there is to it?
Ronald Brak: Well there are certain other factors you have to keep in mind, such as the position of Uranus. I happen to know that the position of Uranus has a major effect upon my happiness. If Uranus is in your house then that will have a profound disturbance upon the course of your life.
Interviewer: Well, if Uranus was in your house and you weren’t, that would be profoundly disturbing. But tell me, just how do the stars and planets affect our lives?
Ronald Brak: Well, it’s simple to see how gravity affects the tides.
Interviewer: Yes, but how does the gravity of a planet such as say mars affect us? Wouldn’t any effects be swamped by the vastly greater gravity of the earth? Don’t nearby objects such as cars and buildings have greater gravitational effects upon us than the incredibly distant planet mars? Wasn’t it Carl Sagan, or more likely someone who is going to be incredibly pissed off that I can’t remember his name, who said that the Doctor who delivered you is going to have more gravitational influence on you than the planet Jupiter?
Ronald Brak: Well there are other forces at work besides gravity.
Interviewer: Like what?
Ronald Brak: Well, there are electromagnetic effects and quantum fluctuations, but mostly we rely upon the power of imagination. The most powerful force there is. Basically we make crap up.
Interviewer: So it’s all a con then?
Ronald Brak: Bingo!
Interviewer: Aren’t you afraid that admitting this will ruin your little scam.
Ronald Brak: It’s not a little scam. We rake in millions. And no, I’m not afraid of losing money. I’ve told people right to their faces, like I’m doing now, that it’s all a con and on the way out they still shell out $45 in the gift shop for a printout of their own “personalized” horoscope. On the whole our customers are what we astrologers call, very, very stupid. For example I’ve had a brain surgeon pay me thousands of dollars for a horoscope that I pulled out of my butt. It takes a special kind of stupidity for someone so intelligent to be so dumb. And women are the best! They are our best customers! They might think they’re liberated, but we still have so many of them trapped in chains of superstition!
Interviewer: Well I’ve heard quite enough! I can find my own way out, thank you very much. And I assure you, I won’t be stopping to purchase any horoscopes in the gift shop as I leave.
Ronald Brak: Please, wait for just one minute! Since we both have the same birthday, I’d like to read you your horoscope that I prepared for you before you leave: You are very intelligent and reasonable but like everyone, capable of making mistakes. You are also kind and forgiving, although there are times when your patience is tested. You enjoy physical activities and also more relaxed pursuits. You enjoy being with people except when you prefer to be alone. You have a natural talent for leadership but are wise enough to let people make their own mistakes. You enjoy life for the moment but are always prepared to plan and make sacrifices for the future. You have a special insight into the world around you that other people lack.
Interviewer: Oh my god, that’s me exactly!
Ronald Brak: Ha! Sucker! I read you Hitler’s horoscope instead! Or perhaps it’s Ghandi’s. Who gives a crap? Besides Uranus, that is? Man, everybody falls for that one! Like who doesn’t that describe? I bet you read your horoscope in the newspaper everyday but act like you’re reading the comics. Man, you are too much of a tool to even be called a fool! And that’s $45. Fork it over.