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champagne Usually I hit the Mute button whenever there are adverts on radio, ’cause there often is a lot of annoying crap there – which I find confirmed when occasionally I do hear some ads, like shortly before New Year’s Eve.

The ad I’m refering to here was, on its own, not that bad – no silly singing around or overenthused proclamations of the oh so sensational offers etc. –, but that a brand of champagne, Mumm, that is (German), advertises the year horoscope on its website on the radio, well, even though it’s common to greet the new year with a glass of champagne, that’s a bit… odd. Since I was curious about the nonsense they babble in that horoscope, I opened that site – and it FAILs usability and content in multiple ways, I think:

FAIL #1: The start page

Der Zugang zu dieser Seite ist nur volljährigen Personen erlaubt. Bitte geben Sie Ihr Geburtsdatum ein:

Translation: “Accessing this site is only allowed for persons of age. Please enter your date of birth.”

A ridiculously noneffective age verification – might this even make some visitors expect more than a little alcohol? If at least this was effective and protect children from nonsense such as horoscopes…

FAIL #2: Loud music

For if you have jumped this huge hurdle of your date of birth, a cheap pop-ish jingle including spoken slogan booms at you, and no volume control or mute button on the site. Luckily it’s “only” 15 seconds long – and lucky are those who have a Mute button on the keyboard. But the sentence “Mumm ist, wenn man’s macht” = “Courage is if you do it” does fit somehow…

FAIL #3: The horoscope itself

Which was written by a certain Michael Allgeier, also not unknown (German) in the astro scene. Again with a date-of-birth selection dialog – however, even though labeled “Your personal horoscope 2009”, there is only one text for each span of ten days. And with the ususal newspaper horosope wish-wash with general section and sections about love/relationship, job/money and fitness/wellness all over. :yawn:

And they added a little lexicon which of course is so impudent to take all this stuff serious and describe astrology itself as (my translation):

A thousands of years old empirical science that puts man in a certain relationship system to the star constellations. This symbol system allows the drawing of conclusions about the individual abilities and problem areas of a person. Certain prognostic techniques also allow considerations regarding future developments or events. Also statements about relationships among persons or entire peoples can be done with the help of astrology.

(Needless to say that astrologers (a) disagree on their statements and (b) in the way they reached them – even if (c) they just say the usual shallow stuff. Needless at least among those who don’t blindly follow their astrologers…)

Somehow I got the impression that someone consumed too much of his own product to get the idea to do all this that big and in a serious manner…

See also:

Photo: vierdrie/sxc

Links (and Videos) of the Week (2009/02)

(Videos are not embedded this time.)

Magic start into the new year

Halloween witch Anyone remember my announcement in September to publish summaries from the “Witch Calendar” for 2009 (Moewig-Verlag) by “Anthea” (not depicted here)? Well, this is the first post, so may it provide a good start into the new year to all witches (and those who want to laugh about ’em). (Note that all quotes are my translations.)

One curiosity first: The disclaimer at the beginning of the calendar also contains this sentence:

Especially the suggestions and recommendations in this calendar are non-binding information according to § 676 BGB.

Aha – but how does the cancelation of transfer contracts of stocks apply to witches? Well, maybe I don’t know enough about stock magic to understand that. Let’s head on to magical recommendations that are of a more common nature – and keep to the perfectly fitting quote that starts the sheet for January 1st:

Mix a little foolishness into your serious acts and goals! Sillinesses in the right moment are delightful!

Short memory

Witches – or the stars? – apparently only have a short memory and/or not much variety to offer. On 7 January, it says:

Wednesday is attributed to the planet Mercury which invites us to think and act practically. Both, however, should always be imbued with spiritual truths.

And on 14 January:

Wednesday is attributed to the planet Mercury which invites us to think and proceed practically. As messenger of the gods, Mercury wants us to imbue our daily acts spiritually.

Well, maybe there will be a witch pharmacy remedy later on in the year that cures that. Or does the author hope for such “truths”, self-defined in the spirituality department as usual, such as astrology become more true if repeated often enough and that the readers will remember not to act too practical and ignore such astro-absurdity in the first place?

Or did she just have problems to properly fill the 5 sheets per week? A suspicion that, given the many other platitudes and pure name listings, doesn’t seem to be too far-fetched to me…

Retreat and walks

winter walk On the one hand, you’re to retreat in January just as nature does and rebuild your strength, and meditation, music and arts are said to be “especially beneficial for your soul” – on the other hand treat yourself to “lots of fresh air and movement”. On 14 January, you’re supposed to do that for an Indian god, the sun god Surya – who, judging by his origin (10-15°C in north India, warmer in the south (Wikipedia)), hardly will be used to our winterly cold:

Honor him with a walk, even if the sun doesn’t shine – it’s still there.

Oh? Now I never would have thought that! But is that really enough honor for this god?

The menu for the first half of January

Not too rich, this menu – even if the following is just an excerpt:

  • Lime blossom tea helps on Jan 1 against cough – but what helps agains the “typical” new year hangover? Here the calendar clearly gives away some of its potential.
  • Two bananas per day are an ideal flu protection – and no, don’t stick them in your nose, the chief which explicitly writes “eat”! (Pity.)
  • Millet gruel or other millet meals – but only on Wednesdays since Mercury (see above) is connected to millet. One should ask astrologers which dice they tossed to get these attributions…
  • “Eat apples always between 10 and 16 o’clock” – the body allegedly absorbs the active agents especially well. Damn, that was a few minutes too late yesterday.

And the solution against acne and skin imperfections: slap a mash of yeast and milk on your face!

But how’s that supposed to help if the imperfections aren’t in the face at all? Oh, witchcraft, I forgot.

What are the stars telling?

zodiac The stars often babble of e.g. “matching” gemstones or enumerate capricorn celebrities – often without giving any advice at all. Or tell hints for capricorn-witches or capricorn witches – probably only master astro witches with Eris in the 13th house know when to use the hyphen and when not1 –, because that’s the current constellation in early January. (Sorry, dear self-satisfied star shamans: sign of the zodiac; you got to dodge astronomical knowledge, of course.) But how will that help other readers who’d like helpful hypocrisies, erm, hints for the current day?

Thursday is connected with the planet Jupiter who demands from us to outgrow ourselves and thus become the rulers of ourselves.

Now what dangerous advice is she giving here?!? That is, dangerous to astro advisers, mystic mongers, divinity dealers and bullshit providers who oh so much like to sell the sole messages of salvation (each his own) and see the people be ruled by the stars – or rather their interpretation of them – and all the other stuff. But who among the calendar’s target audience will ever think about this…?

Let’s end with another perfectly fitting quote from the 16-18 January sheet:

When giving advice, we are all wise, but blind toward our own mistakes.

In this spirit: Happy new year!

Photos: alitaylor/sxc, cinezi/sxc

  1. in German, it was sometimes with hyphen and sometimes written as one word []

Links of the Week (2008/51)