OBVIOUSLY, upon hearing of the death of Jonathan Cainer, the Daily Mail astrologer struck down by an apparent heart attack at the cruelly early age of 58, my sympathies go out to his family and friends.
Cainer, I read, had 12 million followers worldwide and was widely respected as a practitioner ofthe art and craft of astrology. So here’s the thing. . .
Call me old fashioned but what we are talking about here is astrology. No doubt there are many of us who have glanced at his and similar astrology columns, idly wondering what life might have in store for us on a particular day. Why we do so is understandable. To a degree. . .
Since human beings are naturally solipsistic we apparently find the need to believe that someone or something – a Supreme Being, perhaps, or the position of a certain formation of stars in the heavens – has a particular concern or meaning for our own personal needs and requirements.
Fair enough!; but, even though we are mammals and half-a- chromosome beyond being chimpanzees, can we STILL be that stupid?
I know that Pythagoras refuted astrology by simply pointing out that identical twins do not have the same futures. I also know that the zodiac was drawn up long before several of the planets in our solar system had been detected, thereby making impossible any knowledge of one’s immediate or long-term future without such disclosures altering the outcome.
In his Minima Moralia, Theodor W. Adorno identified an interest in stargazing as the consummation of feeble-mindedness. Whereas W H Auden believed that the firmament is in some mysterious way ordered for our benefit. Or, bottom line, that fluctuations in my personal fortunes are of an absorbing interest to a Supreme Being.
When Kelvin sacked his stargazer. . .
One of my many design faults is a propensity to believe or to wish this to be true; although, like many people, I have enough education to see the fallacy in theargument it is, I have to admit, innate.
Jonathan Cainer gained a diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London. The very existence of such a place in the year 2016 is witness to our foolishness and our flawed solipsism. The very tributes which poured in from may of JC’s astrological colleagues expressing sadness and great surprise at his passing is ironic at the least: if their calling had any real substance surprise should not have been any part of it.
When Kelvin MacKenzie was editor of The Sun he fired his astrologer with a note that began, “It will come as no surprise to you to learn that…”
So next time someone to whom such things are important requests your star sign, answer as I do: “I’m Caesarean!”
For 35 years JON ROSEMAN was a top London agent to TV and radio stars such as the late Jill Dando, Carol Vorderman, Nick Ross and Fern Britton and worked with most major rock stars of the 70s and 80s including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, the Eurythmics and Michael Jackson. He now endures the wonderful weather and culinary delights of the small Tuscan town of Grosseto where he pounds his keyboard daily in the hope of making an occasional euro. His autobiography, From Here to Obscurity, was serialised by the Daily Mail; his latest novel Wrong is available on Kindle at Amazon.