STARS!

Election Day, 2016

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The cold is upon us and so is the election. If you’re not out badgering everyone you know as well as the odd stranger to vote Greens you will be branded a Fascist by history forever. The Stars don’t decide such things, that’s karma and the reality of voting for the Australian Christian Lobby. If you’re not concerned about arts funding and the capitalist agenda speeding up the death of the earth you’re probably so close to the grave that the repercussions of voting Liberal won’t affect you. You’re old-fashioned in a way which is very much akin to those conservative, closet racists who mass voted in the plebiscite for England to leave the EU. But the jokes on you — there will be no peaceful rest in the grave. Your hungry grandchildren, starved of a viable future and stable housing will no doubt get serious about the occult and do queer sex magic on your grave so as to rough you up in the next realm and pay homage to your monumental backwardness. So warm yourself on the burning embers of our impending doom and get ready to enjoy snarkiness directed at everything the bourgeois hold ‘sacred’.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): While you’re getting on with your life and mulling over buying the shade of nail polish norms go for when they are trying to be ‘dark’ (but would better suit Barbie than Dracula) your queer pals are wondering if they’ll ever not feel under attack, with a Plebiscite looming that will judge if their human rights are ‘okay’ by the majority of the heterosexual population. Or if they’ll ever stop looking over their shoulder now that 50 people are dead in Orlando. But keep up those honest signs of solidarity by offering them prayers to the same god used to keep them down. It’s not like they’re terrified and need real words of comfort or anything. What they need to overhear is you debating whether the shooting was actually ‘about gays’ or your limp assertions of ‘You are safe. That guy was just mentally unstable’. Don’t worry, they won’t question how much of an ally you really are as long as you keep shaking your head over how awful the world has gotten while drinking a latte in the kind of cafe that rips the heart out of Indie culture so as to use its pretty skin to appeal to cashed up public servants.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): You’re not really offended you weren’t invited to your friend’s baby shower — you don’t like those events anyway; they make you surly and inclined to swear. Besides, it’s a big hint that your long term gal pal has sailed off into a beige fantasy realm that doesn’t welcome non-whites, uncomfortable truths or pagans dressed in black hemp that are inclined to pronounce over the baby, ‘Your parents have given you the gift of seeing with your own eyes the coming doom of humanity and the total destruction of the earth and its resources brought on by the same fascist climate change deniers they worship’.

PISCES (Feb 19 – March 20): At last the season is yours! The frosts are coming and you’ve already been able to get back into your velvets and not sweat while drinking tea. It’s time for lace gloves, heavy satin, corsets, capes, faux fur stoles, black stockings and witchy boots clicking on pavements soaked in wet, orange leaves. The depthless mundanes will complain of the ‘cold’ as if it’s the only word for intense variations of light, for the subtle taste of smoke in the air and crisp winds. But pay little attention to such extroverted ignorance; they’re the vapid types who seek blasting sunshine, find rain ‘miserable’ and think ugh boots and fleecy jumpers from Katmandu are acceptable clothing to wear to a CBD cafe.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): Don’t listen to the spineless critics — the blood pentagram you splashed on your boyfriend’s door was not too much. You had every right to tell him and his rancid friends who said that ‘slutty girls are asking to get preyed upon’ that Artemis would turn him into a deer and have her hounds tear him into pieces. Throwing your full menstrual cup on his bedroom door when he said you were ‘over-reacting’ was a nice touch. Keep it up honey! Because there’s no way you’re going to get to forty and think ‘I was too harsh on sexists when I was twenty eight’.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): So your girlfriend didn’t seem wildly pleased that you decided to get married to your boyfriend of a year and a half whose misogynistic red flags can be seen from outer space. Sticking by your ‘marriage is romantic’ by-line probably wasn’t going to win her over seeing as you’ve both read books titled Wife Work and The End of Marriage, which you conveniently forgot all about once it was time to embrace the dream of a big white dress and all the vast social privileges that come with saying you’ll love a macho man forever. Here’s a tip — she might forgive you if you admit you’re a sell out who’s been seduced by crypto-fascist, heteronormative propaganda and stop saying ‘I am progressive! I support gay marriage. I signed that Facebook petition didn’t I?’

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20): If you don’t already, I suggest you carry a little hard-backed, cloth-bound volume of poetry, perhaps with gold-edged pages. That way when the inevitable oxen intrudes on your space and demands you pay attention to his feigned interest in your personality you can pull out the volume and say ‘I’m dreadfully sorry, but I’m taken – I’m here with Percy Shelley’. If he persists, thinking it’s a quirky diversion invented to garnish his attention, don’t hesitate to say, in tones of rabid resentment ‘I came to be with my love, not talk to the under-read men of this century!’

CANCER (June 21 – July 22): You’re noticing with a creeping nausea that the ‘clean, gutless, beatnik’ look is even taking over the fashion sense of those working in the arts. It’s going to be harder to get a job in the industry now with your unbrushed black hair, second hand tweed jackets with cat hair on them and artfully ripped stockings. Because heaven forbid you actually look like an artist! Art should be neat, offend no one and preferably be contained to government commissioned sculptures in the CBD that speak to nobody and have nothing to say other than ‘I was commissioned to look good and allude to difficult symbolism that isn’t actually there so that this conservative, backwash of a Capital looks like it cares about the arts while actually cutting all its funding’. Maybe it’s time to check out New Zealand or explore your European heritage in Denmark until a progressive backlash ensures.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22): With the New Moon approaching, get ready for love to enter your life! You’re going to meet a lot of archetypical ‘troubled intellectuals’ who are looking for a canonical mistress to go along with their bookshelf of canonical misogyny. Look out for men in black leather jackets and maroon skinny jeans, wearing beaded brown necklaces, leather bracelets and Ray-Ban sunglasses worn even when it’s dim. Any guy who looks like the type to read Henry Miller but not be bothered to pick up Anais Nin should be approached and all his white guy polemics and rants on his deep sense of personal rage validated. When he pulls out a copy of the Tropic of Cancer suppress your laughter and try and focus on how dark and real his grievances with ‘females’ are. It’s time to revel in the love that’s coming your way… and then be cheated on by said troubled Peter Pan because he’s decided he’s ‘polysexual’ now, which means he’s a cad hiding behind a label so as to get into every pussy he can with zero thought for anyone’s emotional wellbeing.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22): Congratulations, your husband spurted in you and it’s the most original act on the planet! You didn’t orgasm once in the months you were ‘trying’ but I’m sure your man is a real gem and he’ll fulfil his perpetual promise to touch your clit next time. I’m sure you deserve those three hundred likes on Facebook upon the announcement of the due date. But while you’re basking in the summer glow of another indie photoshoot of your pregnancy, if you can manage it, spare a thought for your child-free friends. They won’t get a single celebration of their choice not to have kids, not so much as a card in February saying ‘Congratulations, you didn’t marry a dud so as to fit in with the conservative script and gather up vast amounts of undue social privilege. And well done you, another year not pregnant. I’m delighted you’ve realised that just because you’re living with a jerk that doesn’t mean you have to have his jerk child.’

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22): Honey, take this advice from the cosmos — you can’t be the Queen of the Queers while pretending to be a virulent strain of monosexual hetero with your burly live-in boyfriend, no matter how much pussy you eat in the closet. You’d have to stop courting the expectations of your well off parents and give up some of that heterosexual privilege you love so much, to even begin to qualify. Sorry baby bat, but it’s not sexual rebellion to swan about in red lingerie breathing about the virtues of an egalitarian triad, all the while dictating the terms of your secret relationships from the throne of your couple’s privilege. You can’t pull off being a polyamorous princess and queen of your own monosexual monarchy.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): Maybe chill on the bitter epigrams, darling. Your straight housemates want to believe a rewarding, stable, emancipated life with a cisgendered, white man is viable if they can just find the right one at an art opening. They still hope they’ll find a guy who values their narrative as an oppressed minority over his degree in International Relations and his vast knowledge as a straight, able-bodied dude when coming to conclusions about how patriarchy works. Don’t get so steamed when they say things like — ‘I don’t think I really hate anyone enough to send a hate letter’  — retorting — ‘That’s because you haven’t dated that many men!’ They’re younger than you and don’t yet know that the common narrative taken up by female poets about love, breakups and finding another, better lover in the next bar, is only for the young. Soon enough they’ll be crushed by carelessness, feel entirely disposable and be betrayed over and over until they become water logged with bitterness and their future is irrecoverably tinged with mistrust. So let them enjoy their summer loves. God knows they won’t make it through the nuclear winter called ‘reality’.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): Now that you are twenty five and done with your undergraduate degree, you’ve detected a forceful expectation that it’s no longer ‘cute’ to be scrappy and that your goals should now be getting a high paid, vacuous job in the public service, with a distinctly disparate aim to ‘help the community’. You should be moving into an impossibly pricey ecru apartment with a very straight boyfriend and talk only about your job, nail care and planning overseas holidays. It’s fine to be a cliché art school kid when you’re at arts school, but now that’s over it’s time to embrace the same aims your baby boomer parents did. And make the same mistakes, like voting Liberal, because higher medical bills and rising sea levels won’t eventually claim us all.

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Rachael Nielsen picRachael Nielsen has a Bachelor of Writing from the University of Canberra and has studied literature at Oxford University and the ANU. Rachael has interned/volunteered at the M16 Artspace, the National Library and at the ANU Press. Currently she is one of the Content co-Coordinators at Scissors Paper Pen, Assistant Editor for Grapple Publishing, as well as penning nasty little predictions for Verity La as part of her work writing The Stars. When she isn’t pouring her latent bile into The Stars she is at CIT doing library studies. Rachael often writes about feminist issues but is also fixated on short stories. Her work has been published by CurioWoroniLip, Vegan ACT, the ACT Writers Centre, the ANU Women’s Department and Feminartsy. You can follow her ramblings about being an emerging writer and editor on Twitter @rachaelandjane.

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Valentine’s Day 2016

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CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): Want to vomit with hate all over the over-priced roses and love heart shaped advertisements that you’re ganged banged by every time you go outside or use the internet? Well then you need to get yourself along to a V-Day One Billion Rising event where you can yell with a crowd of the joyously enraged who want to end violence against women. Then make yourself a grand dinner, romance yourself with some wine and settle in with a revenge film.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): Your strong temperament demands a display of anti-establishment condemnation. I suggest going to a nice, beige restaurant with your non-binary friend and loudly discussing the five-way you want to have. Including, of course, the way you anticipate the sharp boned, gothic hippie with the dark red dreadlocks holding stare as she eats you out.

PISCES (Feb 19 – March 20): Let me assure you, just because you’ve grown out your leg and armpit hair, the world isn’t now made up of neo-yuppie males who gaze at you like they do at a lettuce from the cold section at Woolworths. I foresee you realising that you’ve found someone made of the same cynical, bent branch as you are when you simultaneously answer the question ‘how do people keep dating?’ with ‘they don’t.’ Never let go of that realist my darling!

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): Don’t suggest a threesome this Feb 14. You will be marked way down for having no originality in you. You aren’t fully satisfying the one woman you are with, so don’t imagine you can cope with two. Besides, your male ego would smart when your lady and the welcome interloper are inevitably drawn to each other and leave you and your shrivelled horcrux alone.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): You just went on a trip to South America as part of a geology expedition paid for by your work. No no, don’t tell your friends about the wonders of Chile; tell them more about your dreamy boyfriend who’s idea of eroticism is a bottle of hand cream.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20): There’s nothing wrong with retreating further into your fantasy of having an old Victorian house where you live alone except for a patchouli-laden trail of lovers who come and go with the seasons. A place where you tend your pumpkin patch and a selection of stray cats who share you predilection for dark vintage oddities and velvet chaise lounges with lumpy stuffing. Fold yourself into your crisp, New England fantasy; the smug hetero couples and the glorified primacy placed on romantic attachments can’t hurt you there.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22): You know all about the structure of the Australian senate but couldn’t work out why your beloved wasn’t flushed with erotic appreciation over your gift. You deserve her huffy rejection and the night spent with Autostraddle and not you. Here’s a clue; it could have been that her sexual aesthetic leans towards the primal and earthy and you gleefully ordered her to clomp around in impossible shoes with see-through heels and a matching shoddy red latex shift-dress because you have the sexual imagination of a crass, white bread-eating dunce who’s foolishly absorbed every generic, soulless trope of mainstream pornography.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22): Don’t let some insecure boy-man who only wears grey and is unsettled by your success tell you that you look like you’ve put on everything in your wardrobe. You’re too punk rock for that peasant. He wouldn’t know a free spirit if it sat down and gave him the time of day.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22): Though I’m all about empowering emerging writers, try not to make yourself out as a feminist advocate all the while putting in print your inability to handle the words ‘secretions’, ‘vagina’ and ‘period’ when used  in publicly performed poetry. No one wants to know what your ‘hubby’ thought of it either. I suggest your next article explains, in more than 500 words, why some women feel they need to rely on the opinions of mediocre white men to feel confident in their own.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22): How about you don’t go on a date with one of those ubiquitous blondes who wear sexually aggressive block-coloured Witchery dresses and flirt with emancipation? Stay home and read V for Vendetta and try to make the connection between liberation from fascism and liberation from a future as the sturdy breadwinner married to a child-wife who expects you to pay for beige heels and glamorous dependancy.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): Don’t believe those sanitised articles that say that spicing things up with candles and doing the washing up for once is going to get her real wet and grateful. Use that brilliant intellect you like to turkey slap others with and get your weak scrotum into gear thinking up something dazzling for your long suffering partner. There’s nothing that says, ‘I really thought about what would get you hot’ quite like glad-wrapping your bedroom for a night of blood play and sanguinista role play. Go for it babe!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): If you aren’t willing to cleave yourself from you recently engaged friend by dislodging your pent-up righteous rage over the disadvantage marriage perpetuates against the LGBTQ community, I have two passive aggressive suggestions for you. One: take a really big gasp when the priest says ‘does anyone have any objections?’ and then look deviously nonchalant. Two: only let rip your diabolical radicalist purge when you get emphatically drunk, marring the ‘special day’ and thus eclipsing with your rhetoric this celebration of heterormativity. Make sure as a parting gift you write your name in the vomit of chips and blood that forced their way out of your mouth while you were in the cubical.

By Rachael Nielsen

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Rachael Nielsen has a Bachelor of Writing from the University of Canberra and has studied literature at Oxford University and the ANU. Rachael has interned/volunteered at the M16 Artspace, the National Library and at the ANU Press. Currently she is one of the Content co-Coordinators at Scissors Paper Pen, Assistant Editor for Grapple Publishing, as well as penning nasty little predictions for Verity La as part of her work writing The Stars. When she isn’t pouring her latent bile into The Stars she is at CIT doing library studies. Rachael often writes about feminist issues but is also fixated on short stories. Her work has been published by CurioWoroniLip, Vegan ACT, the ACT Writers Centre, the ANU Women’s Department and Feminartsy. You can follow her ramblings about being an emerging writer and editor on Twitter @rachaelandjane.

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December 2015

FullSizeRender1If there’s a proper time to celebrate romance it’s in the sultry seasons of spring and summer, when sweat once again lubricates our days and even cicadas are preoccupied with getting it on. In the spirit of fertility I have devastating predictions for you all. No one will be left out (unlike when Valentine’s day rolls around).

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): You don’t need to consult an eight ball to work out that, yes, all your friends were secretly gagging when you announced that you’re buying a house with your boyfriend of six months. Why, you ask? Because a romanticised idea of the 1940’s that inevitably morphs into frying his eggs every morning and enduring a decade of psychological and economic abuse doesn’t constitute their idea of hedonistic life goals.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): Don’t take the advice of that body language book and start bouncing around trying to procure a man’s ‘protective instincts’ in order to get laid. You’ll only ensnare the barely evolved who like to wear snap backs and have little appreciation for the art of cunnalingus. You’re better off on a cruise that’s the spawning place for the zombie apocalypse.

PISCES (Feb 19 – March 20): I know early exposure to porn and Beauty and the Beast would suggest otherwise, but it’s not a romantic gesture that while your guy is cumming in the ass of his soon to be ex he’s trying to stifle calling out your name. Don’t take it as a sign that he wanted you over her: we can both think up a better name for it.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): Don’t fear being an old cat lady: fear being shacked up in Queanbeyan to a resentfully monogamous partner who continues to text her ex about the dildo she once gave her. Do you still use that violet, soft silicone dildo? I hear you ‘vajazzled’ it with rhinestones and silver saint medallions.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Well done, you lost 20 kg and entered the burlesque scene with the intention of ‘expressing yourself artistically’, i.e. reviving every sexist, objectifying aesthetic of its golden era with the hopes of getting the attention of the hot meninists who hate those ‘fat chicks’ on stage with their satirical dance moves about the bullshit of body hair removal.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20): There’s no need to feel incomplete because you don’t have a partner. Go on your way and keep that clear quartz in your pocket all the while manifesting your desires to the universe. Besides, you could be on a date night with your sixth boyfriend in a row that likes you to look ‘natural’ — with a waxed labia, plucked eyebrows, dead straight hair and neutral eye shadow because at his core he’s a dull coward with the heart of a bible-belt sexist.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22): Stop praying for a dog. Nobody wants you to get a baby-replacement pedigree with your boyfriend who doesn’t think misogyny exists because he hasn’t experienced it.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22): It’s about time your housemates knew more about you. I suggest you do come out to them as a Wiccan but don’t tell them about the period blood they ate in those cupcakes you baked. And don’t leave cupcakes on the bench anymore.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22): I wouldn’t take it as proof of his bountiful masculinity that he barely moves his slack, open jaw to slur the words ‘I donno’ when you ask him how an outfit looks. Do not date this kind of character: you’ll be single again in no time as these sorts always blow themselves up with all that repressed emotion and flinging of beer bottles onto the road. But do use his early death as a chance to wear your new Gothic Lolita black lace bonnet and gloves. He didn’t love you anyway; those sorts only appreciate dress shirts and beer.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22): Though I admire you for standing up to him when he told you to shave your pussy because that’s what he likes on females, a swift Doc Marten to the balls and then the forehead would have been best. Feel free to give him an extra shove because he used the word ‘female’ like they’re all one species adapted for his pleasure.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): The greatest thing about technology is its ability to connect us with people and then promptly erase them. Take full and extended delight in blocking that emotionally abusive ex. Three months from now you’ll still loudly cackle to yourself at the sheer bliss of that moment.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): Just because you’re approaching thirty doesn’t mean you have to settle for a man who tries to convince you that his rather modest penis is a seven inch beast; nor do you have to settle for a woman who doesn’t like jazz. Don’t start adding people who refuse to garble more than ‘it feels so good’ when describing sex to your list of possibilities. Remember, the future isn’t grim unless you choose to make it so!

By Rachael Nielsen

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January 2015

FullSizeRender (10)CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): You’ve turned having a lot of dreams but no outcomes into an art. But of course you’ve made no art. You approach everything like the Lemon Detox. Pick up some acrylic paint, point it at something blank, and stick with the brushing motion. Keep doing it and you might find you become what you said you would be.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): This one time I won’t sneer at you reading pop culture romance novels. Your absorption is warranted. With the not impressive tally of two women in the Ministry, regular, nuclear strength distractions are needed.

PISCES (Feb 19 – March 20): You hard-working fish, quit your posh retail job. You’re buying far too many elegantly tailored black and cream suits, and finding them mildly pleasing. You don’t realise how you’ve betrayed your Byron Bay soul. Before you totally convert and live in Gungahlin, quit and take up animal rescue.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): Going on Centrelink wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you can get on it you’ll be making all the Lovecraft clay ghouls you can! Before then, I suggest relying on nutritional yeast and your salt lamp to keep you alive for the next six months.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Learn to play the ukulele. It’s a handy skill to pass on to your children so they have something to do just before they suffocate on a barren planet with white males as the ministers for every minority possible.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20): You’ve become tremendously insightful of late. That would usually be a compliment, but I overheard you saying, ‘People endure their nine-to-five nightmare and then come down to Darling Harbour to distract themselves from the hell in their lives.’ Your friends were right to be shocked. Do try to enjoy yourself as well as have astute observations, darling.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22): If this wasn’t the year you sent your pale, alienated crust of a bourgeois family a bay leaf each and a Wiccan curse for Christmas, then you deserve the horror of de-shelling prawns, you conformist bastard.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22): If you catch your father going through the recycling and separating out the cans, stay optimistic and assume he’s fossicking for resources for an art project—not that he’s swapping cans for money so he can muster the change for the GP co-payment.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22): Feminist vigilantes will surely kill Abbot while he sleeps soon. Come off the ledge and read Ghost World instead, you poor husk.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22): I told you not to have New Year’s on a ferry bound for Tasmania. I know the craggy beaches called to you, but not even solar flares could keep back that many crypto-fascist baby boomers bound for their plebeian holiday homes. I tried. I’m sorry.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): It’s not cute anymore. Well to be precise, you have max two years before your lack of responsibility for your bills is no longer seen as dotty and adorable. Your Dr Martens and bad posture are fine, but your childish money choices are slowly ruining it for the rest of us!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): If taking your washing back to Canberra so you can spend your detergent money on Diet Coke means people are prone to saying ‘You dress like you have problems’, then so be it! Fold it into your allure.

Please note: Verity La claims no responsibility for the veracity of these predictions—except perhaps yours, Taurus: clearly that will happen to us all.

By Rachael Nielsen

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2014

Abbott getting a handTAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Being a young artist you’ve been royally fucked by this government. We wish we could say this in a nicer way.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20): You’re young and beautiful and until now you’ve had a wonderful arts career. Which the Australian Government couldn’t give a shit about.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22): Tony Abbott hates you.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22): All you want to do is sing. So Joe Hockey has you in his sights. Run!

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22): Christopher Pyne dreams bad thoughts about you. He’s such a cunt.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22): You’ve got the best idea for your next project. All you need is some financial support from the Australian Government. Looks like that ain’t gonna happen. Fuckers.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): Best spend the next month making a Joe Hockey pinata. Maybe make a Christopher Pyne one – you’d need less material.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): Don’t give up.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): You’re worth more than every member of the Australian Government.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): Be better than them. Because you are.

PISCES (Feb 19 – March 20): Don’t worry – they’ll be gone before you know it. Then our lives will return and we will do the most beautiful things.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): How good are we! We are the best! We are the champions!

Please note: these predictions are only current for the period 13 May 2014 until Australia can rediscover its soul.  We claim no responsibility for what might happen outside this period.  Quite honestly, we claim no responsibility at all.  For anything.

By Nigel Featherstone