Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bad Star: The Story of Opiuchus Rising

If there is something we should learn from the Opiuchus Zodiac hullabaloo, it is 1.) that the viral powers of internet social networking is very, very immense (scary in fact) and 2.) that even at this technologically advanced era, we are still a superstitious people.

It all started from a simple, factual statement from an astronomer on an interview by a newspaper. He said something like, if you look at the stars at the background of the sun, there are actually 13 constellations. That statement apparently acquired a life of its own. After being published by that newspaper, other news agencies picked up. The online community eventually heard about it and then it just exploded. It became viral. And before we know it, everyone was saying that the Zodiac signs has changed, my personality has changed, my future has changed etc...

I really think, sooner or later someone would do a study on the lifecycle of that smallest internet unit of data (call it the "daton") and it's evolution into a massive, self-sustaining behemoth-like cyberorganism. It's like mass hysteria but in the cyberworld (cyberhysteria!).

Anyway, that's what happened to our little "daton" called Opiuchus.
But there is more to it than just growing the viral creature from scratch. It has to have a fuel and nourishment for it to flourish. What topics could take an idea to a full-blown frenzy? Sex, violence, politics, religion.

Pop quiz: What does a virgin, a scorpion and an archer have in common?

Most probably you'll find this very easy.

The truth is we still believe in the supernatural way of things. I won't deny it. I sometimes tell my friends not to pose in the camera in three's because it is unlucky. I sometimes think of a black cat as a bad omen. I take extra care during Friday the thirteenth. I go to Obando and dance all day just to pray that I could write as good as Lourd De veyra. (OK, that last one's not true, but I'm considering it.)

Our society is built on these things. Our entire ancient civilization is erected with monuments showcasing their beliefs in the supernatural. The pyramids, the temples, the ancient relics; all these things were built as testimonial to their "god's" grasp on their life. A system so established as this can't help but seep into the minds and lives of modern humanity.

Which makes a perfect food for our gluttonous friend, the daton. It fed on something deeply and silently latched into the back of our brains. Something that we do with no reason whatsoever except that we think we should do it. It fed on our belief system. And rapidly it multiplied until it has become the mutation we know it is of late.

Did you know that the word "disaster" came from the greek word for "bad star"? Even our language system is built up from superstitions. What best way to describe our predicament. It's a disaster! (There's probably a comet orbiting nearby.)


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