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Weekly Alibi Stargazing in Cyberspace

Horoscopes on the WWW

By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 1, 1997:  Occasionally, we all need a little ... well, guidance in life. Some of us turn to friends. Others turn to psychiatrists. Still others look to the stars for direction. Tarot cards, runes, crystal gazing, palm reading: It seems like no stone has been left unturned in mankind's unending quest to glean even the tiniest spark of knowledge about his own future. Now, the unenlightened masses have turned to the electronic frontier and are casting their bones in cyberspace in search of that elusive cosmic cheat sheet. New-wave new agers have found a whole new way to foretell the future by reading the stars in cyberspace. So what do these high-tech horoscopes hold for us mere mortals? Let's take a look.

Chinese Horoscopes ( ww3.mistral.co.uk/dmboots/chinese.htm)--Did you know that Chinese horoscopes were first introduced to the western world not by the Chinese, but by the Vietnamese following the Indo-Chinese war? Well, you do now. There are plenty more tidbits about the history and use of Chinese horoscopes on this clear, concise British home page. The Chinese cosmology (in case you've never read the placemat at a cheap Chinese restaurant) is divided into 12 different years, each represented by a different animal. I, for example, was born in the year of the monkey. According to this site, as a monkey, I am "endowed with great intelligence." Well, no argument here. In addition to getting some trenchant insights into my general character, I can pull up an "Animal Overview," which will tell me how compatible I am with other signs. When it comes to marriage, apparently, I had best be looking for a boar or a dragon. An in-depth analysis of my sign tells me that my favorite food is fruit pie, my drink is lemonade and my lucky number is 10. Other famous monkeys: Joe Cocker, John Huston and Princess Caroline of Monaco. Paging through this site, though, it becomes pretty clear that Chinese horoscopes are pretty broad--that is, you ain't getting no day-to-day advice. Perhaps we need something a little more western.

Dell Daily Horoscope and Stock Market Forecast ( www.bdd.com/horo1/bddhoro1.cgi/horo1)--You can't get much more western than Wall Street, now can you? This is actually part of the home page for Dell Publishing. See, in addition to lots of cheap paperback novels, they also publish Dell Horoscope Magazine, which can be found in the checkout aisle of just about every supermarket. Click on the icon for your sign, and you'll be handed a tiny daily horoscope. According to my Virgo 'scope, "socially, things look brighter today." Jeez, I get more info out of a fortune cookie. I guess you've got to buy the magazine to get any real advice on how to live your life. Of course, the real attraction would seem to be your Stock Market Forecast. According to the rather detailed astrological report, I should be investing in aluminum. The Aluminum Company of America is apparently due for some cosmic dividend. According to the astrologers at Dell, "As ACOA is a Leo company, the gain no doubt reflected the 1997 Jupiter-in-Aquarius transit." Got that? In addition to the horoscopes and stock-market tips, there's also a page called "Cosmic Connections," which thoughtfully lists astrological gatherings and events in your area.

Dean Martin's Sunny Summertime Horoscopes ( www.word.com/gigo/daronfldean/dean1.html)--Of course, if I want some sound advice, I head straight to the experts. Who better to tell you how to live your life, day-in and day-out, than the late, great Dean Martin. Somebody by the name of Daron Murphy is allegedly channeling the spirit of Dino and dispensing astrological advice in the form of boozy homilies. Click on the giant wheel of fortune to call up your proper sign. For Virgo, Dean relates a story about the time at the Sierra Tahoe when pal Frank Sinatra was looped up on painkillers from a recent bowling accident. Frank mistakenly mixed the painkillers and a couple gin and tonics. When he hit a particular high note, the Chairman of the Board passed straight out. Good old Dean stepped in and finished the show. The moral? "Don't be afraid to get a little stirred (but not shaken) by the heights. Someone'll be there to catch you on the way down." Wow, I'd listen to Dean Martin's psychic advice over that lousy Dionne Warwick any day. Of course, Dean's predictions apply only to the summertime. You're on your own until then.

Your Not So Good Horoscope ( members.aol.com/coquijote/horoscop.htm)--Then again, some people take a dour attitude toward this sort of mumbo jumbo no matter who's dishing it out. For those grumpy naysayers, I suggest the "Not So Good Horoscope." Billed as "the last horoscope you will ever consult," NSG offers up cynical, mean-spirited analyses of all 12 western astrological signs. When it comes to being a Virgo, for example, NSG informs me that, "Your shit-picking attitude is sickening your friends and co-workers." The site also advises: "Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps." If you dare, there's a sister site called the Not So Good Sex Horoscope ( members.aol.com/coquijote/horsex.htm). There, I'm informed that I am secretly obsessed with pornography and that my erogenous zone is my buttocks. Ouch. Not so good.

--Devin O'Leary

devin@alibi.com


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