Ian Van Tuyl – Popstrology

So one of my sister’s awesome birthday presents to me this year was also music-related. Have you noticed how everyone gives me music things? It’s because I talk about it all the time anyway, so it’s pretty easy for them, actually.

Anyway, she gave me a book by Ian Van Tuyl, named Popstrology. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is, and it’s a friggin’ hoot. Right there on the front cover, it says “Use the pop music charts to reveal your personality traits, guide your relationships, and discover your true destiny.” Who could ask for anything more? My search is over! Now I can finally be complete!

Except there’s one other thing you need to know about me for the humour of that last statement to be fully appreciated: you should know that I think astrology and horroscopes are a bunch of horse puckey. Yes, I said PUCKEY. Oh, I’m not a science-only kinda guy. I just think that the idea that a bunch of stars can control my life is like picking any other feature of the landscape and saying that it controls my life too. Whatever. So, understanding that, you can now see how this book is completely awesome!

Covering birth years from 1956 (The First Year Of Elvis) to 1989 (interestingly, The Year Of Paula Abdul – oh how far we fell, folks…), you basically find your year of birth, and then your date, and this amazing oracle tells you all about yourself based on its arbitrary system of selected pop stars who happened to be popular during the year of your birth! How scientific! I mean, I believe it could really be true! Ahahahaha!

So here’s mine, because I know you’re dying to know:

Lessee… 1974 (so now you know how ancient I am) was The Year Without A Dominator. Uh-oh. Not an auspicious beginning. According to this book, it’s the one and only year in the whole system “in which no one pop star dominated the universe of pop.” But as it goes on to placate, “…glorious disorder, quite naturally, was the result.” So what am I to make of this? Born out of the malaise of the mid-70’s, I am a confused and unfocused soul? Cool! The book goes on to say that “one prominent member of the critical establishment [and it carefully neglects to mention who it was] has actually called 1974 the worst year for pop in American history.” Oh, that’s just great. It goes on with a bunch of other crap that’s supposed to make me feel better about something over which I had absolutely no control, but the scars are made! Hahaha! Cool!

So, lessee… my birthday is July 23, so that puts me, according to this book, in the Jul 21 – Aug 3 grouping, and my Birthstar/Birthsong? Oh fuck me gently, it’s John Denver, and Annie’s Song! Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!! That’s fantastic! Not only am I born into what is apparently the suckiest year for pop music, but I’m born under a completely awful and unlistenable bozo and one of his smarmy, shitty songs! Hooray! I’ve gotta be your hero, right? Right?

OK, so let’s go see what it says under my day on page 141…

Birthstar: John Denver

“You are the city slicker who feels more at home with little fuzzy critters.” Wait a minute, what? Is this thing broken? Is it telling me that I’m a sappy, puppy-loving softie (I mean, puppies are cool, but…), or does it mean that I’m into some beastiality thing (I’m not, I swear), or that I prefer animals to people (hey, sometimes that’s true… hm…). Anyway, it says that because John Denver apparently made people think of good things and Happy Face buttons, he was more than just a songwriter, he was a fashion icon! Wahaha! Oh yeah. Sure, and “…a sincere, sensitive, outdoorsy lifestyle ” whose “aesthetic and musical uniqueness placed him… among the pop universe’s unrepeatable greats.” Oh yeah, I’m feelin’ it. I am! And then it says that I should “appreciate the wonders of nature and embrace the embarassingly sincere goofball within (me)… for that is the path (I) will hike to happiness.”

So I’m a granola-eating, bell-bottom-wearing goofball who just needs to accept all of these things, buy a VW van, go hug a tree and write some shitty songs on a mountain somewhere. Great! I love it! That sounds just like me!! Really!! Peace! Far out, man! Grooooovy!!!

Anyway, next there’s a chart that shows into which areas I fall, and mine says: “Fresh, Lasting, Massive, Whitebread and Not Sexy.” Wow. Well, fresh, lasting and massive sound good to me(!), but those last two suck royally. Wahaha!

And there’s more!! There are my Constellations (chosen and named by the book, of course):

1 – Sui Generis – unique, and I tend to date within a type

2 – Lite & White – safe and soothing, and more difficult the longer you know me

3 – Hot Hairdo – a hair trendsetter of my day (ahaha!!), concerned with looks (ahaha!)

4 – Tragic Demise – dying before my time and emotionally distant. Damn.

Yeesh. Thanks a lot for your timing, Mom and Dad, eh? Hahaha.

The book goes on to list celebrities that share my particular (and apparently sucky) period of pop history: “Alyson Hannigan, Hilary Swank and Angelina Jolie.” A bunch of girls. Great! I like girls! Especially hotties!

This book is a hoot. I had a whole lot of fun flipping through it, reading the other entries that have nothing to do with me. I can’t believe someone sat down and took the time to write up all of this stuff. You should go find a copy of it, just for the shits and giggles of it all.

But man, I don’t know about its entry for my section of time in pop music being my true destiny. I mean, I really really hope John Denver is not the best I can do.

Wouldn’t you, if you were me?

Put yer words here:

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