With Pardons to Little People Everywhere

So apparently, Pluto has been demoted. We heard about it while watching the evening news last Thursday, and then read about it on the Friday Post.

**Aside: You have no idea what kind of a thrill it is to me to realize that we get to read The Washington Post every morning. I mean, for some people the New York Times is like shitting stawberry ice cream and that’s fine and all, but…. The Washington Post. Please! The paper has its own march by John Phillip Sousa! ITS OWN SONG!!!! How could you ever beat that?!?!?! End aside.***

Honestly, I think it’s far too silly to even think about but Rev. Mom thought I should blog about it. Frankly so did I but I hadn’t really found much of an inspiration until I peeked in at this astrology forum where I used to post very frequently, prompted by a half-laughing Monsieur Meow who –when we heard the news– turned to me and chucklingly asked, “So. What does THAT do to birthcharts?”

Yes, I love astrology. Yes, I realize that if you’re into astronomy, you’re suddenly looking at your boogers with more respect than at the computer screen right now. But whatever.

________

In the aptly named thread, “Goodbye Pluto,” some people freaked out about it. Some people were glad that now Pluto would no longer have a nefarious influence over their lives. Some more attuned souls pointed out that Pluto will continue to be there and be a definite influence, just as other asteroids do.

And as usual, there was always the one or two lost souls asking someone kindly to tell them what Pluto means in their birthchart. Gotta love the clueless people, trying to get themselves a free interpretation. I’m usually tempted to say to those folks, “Wow, you have a very conflicted Uranus. It’s certainly getting it bad from all sides.”

But I guess I’m just not that mean. Yet.

So what does Pluto being gone mean? Well, not to be repetitive, but it really doesn’t mean much. Does our “demoting” Pluto really mean that it’s gone away from the solar system? Of course not.

Does not calling it a planet anymore make it move any farther from us; or perhaps make it any smaller or larger; or does it make it have less gravity so it can just careen freely all over the galaxy?

No, of course not. In the same way that the eight “remaining” planets aren’t any more special or better off by not having some ruffian hanger-on wannabe planet cramping their style if you will.

The fact is that calling something a “planet” is completely artificial in and of itself. And, while that is true, everyone loved Pluto.

Kids love Pluto. I think it’s safe to say that between Pluto (so cold, so tiny, so far away!) and Saturn (oo! Rings!), we have ourselves the two most beloved planets for schoolchildren.

And, strangely enough, those same planets (or erm, dwarf planet and planet, respectively) are the ones that people fear so very much in their birth charts. If you’ve ever met any kind of astrology amateur, you may have heard something about a Saturn return and how much they suck (BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO SUCK!).

But I think that no one could have summed it all up better than one of the astronomers who fought tooth and nail to leave Pluto alone instead of calling it a mini-planet, a dwarf planet, or worse:

“Is a human dwarf not a human?”

Seriously, people. Is a dwarf planet not a planet? And more importantly, does it really matter? After all, it’s not 1969 anymore: space exploration is not really very exciting anymore. Which leads me to believe that this is the scientific community’s version of giving Christopher Knight and Adrienne Curry their own show.

You know it’s stupid.
You know it’s inconsequential.
But you can’t help watching and forming some sort of heated opinion about it.

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This entry was published on August 29, 2006 at 7:22 pm and is filed under Soapboxing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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