a starguide for skeptics and cynics


If you haven’t already tunnelled out of your hole, here’s a pickaxe, a headlamp, and some enthusiastic dwarves. Worried that you haven’t had time to build a support structure? You won’t need it. Simply head for the light at the end. You might even find a few diamonds on the way.

A recent release of information should free you for some leisure time, and from the sense that you’re a robot. However, if you get electric shocks when you cut yourself, you’re probably still a robot. Don’t worry, they’re not all Cybermen. Meditate on alternative role models such as Robbie off Perfect Match.

It’s been a small triumph, but you may still congratulate yourself for a job well done. It’s not the time to go all out and treat yourself to that luxury cruise (or weekend in a caravan park, depending on your income bracket), but perhaps a bottle of middle-weight champagne is in order (or an icypole, see above).

The other day I watched some forgivably naff anti-nuclear street theatre. At the end, the ‘mutated kangaroos’ (children) tipped out a bucket of ‘radioactive waste’ (green jelly) and proceeded to play with it. It looked like fun. You have a similar capacity for mock onanistic orgies this week, so carry a Geiger counter.

I’m going to tell you a story an old Turkish man told me. Hoja was walking along the river’s edge when a man called to him from the opposite bank. ‘Hey, how do I get to the other side?’ he yelled. Hoja scratched his head. ‘You are on the other side,’ he replied. Unhelpful but true; that’s your week.

Have you ever waited for a bus for so long that you began to wonder if it existed in the same dimension as you? It was probably the 355 to Bondi. If you’ve counted the number of hours you’ve spent waiting, restart the clock. This week is going to make up for all that lost time.

You’ve lost your phone charger again. If it’s any comfort, the universe is about to plug you into the metaphysical equivalent. If that’s too cold an analogy, think of how the trees feel when hit by a droughtbreaking rain. Oh alright, it’s fallen down the back of the couch.

A chapter of your year is about to close, but that doesn’t mean you’ve finished the book. What you will get, though, is a few weeks of feeling thoroughly self-satisfied. You may recline and know that you are the mutton-chops of the cat and the knees of the entire honey factory.

Alexander Downer came out with a corker this week, claiming the Lowy survey that found 80 per cent of Australians thought the war in Iraq was making everything worse had ‘asked the wrong question.’ See? Paying attention to grammatical detail is one thing, but flouting public opinion is quite another.

Ambitious plans are hard to reveal in their early stages. It’s easy to get protective of your projects when you’re unsure if they will succeed. It’s time to pull off the white sheet and share your blueprints. A little bragging could get some helpful people leaping onto your bandwagon.

Your mind isn’t working as rapidly as your mouth. This will result in embarrassing conversations in which you tell people what you honestly think of them. Avoid your mother-in-law, your boss, and the array of publicists, producers, and developers you normally schmooze with, and hang out with your real mates for a bit.

I’m sorry for calling you mediocre last week, but I was trying to train you to see yourself without the pressures you normally bring to bear. You’re using a magnifying mirror instead of a telescope. Relax that self-analysis and it might give you room to grow in directions you hadn’t thought of.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.