2016 Election Day Stars! (Rachael Nielsen)

Verity La The Stars

polling3The 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.


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.