Oh My Stars

It’s kind of a cliche, but still true:  the key to a successful relationship is communication. And it’s interesting to notice that Mercury, the planet most associated with communications in astrology, is also the most gender-neutral of the planets. Ancient sources refer to most of the planets as being male, with Venus and sometimes The Moon being more feminine. Mercury on the other hand does not partake of such things. Mercury is too busy zipping around the Sun and delivering messages to be categorized so easily.

Despite being the ruler of logic and communications and good grammar and such, Mercury also has a reputation for being a trickster. People rarely enjoy being subject to trickery, and yet it serves a vital psychological function. The cleverness of The Trickster can sometimes teach us valuable lessons.

I’m going to be talking about Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey here as an illustration. If you aren’t familiar with Cowboy Monkey, watch this video. And if you are familiar with Cowboy Monkey, why on Earth aren’t you watching this video?

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In theory, the monkey is a much more intelligent creature than the dog. Yet if you know about dogs, you know that this particular breed is extremely intelligent, and teaching them to ride around with monkeys on their backs is no big deal. And they were bred to herd animals, so the dog is basically just doing what he was born to do.

Meanwhile what does the monkey do? The only thing the monkey has really learned to do is to wear a costume and sit still on the dog’s back. The dog is actually doing all of the work.

All of this is done for the entertainment of humans and I (even understanding how the trick works) laugh like a 5 month old with keys jingling in front of his face every time I see it.

If you can understand that: we’re good to go.

Now, my point other than the fact that I love Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey? Have you ever been in an argument with someone where they said “you’re not listening?” Of course you were listening. When people say “you’re not listening” in an argument, what they usually really mean is you are not obeying or you are not doing things the way they would do them.

Yes: if everyone spoke to each other in completely logical and precise terms, better communication would be facilitated. But let’s be honest here: humans are far from completely rational and logical, especially when they are in relationships.

And maybe more to the point? Understanding how the trick of Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey really works does not at all take away from the pure delight of watching Cowboy Monkey. Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey embodies many possibilities and viewpoints, and all of them are valid and / or useful in their own way.

Keeping this in mind, and being able to both enjoy Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey for what it looks like and understand how it really works, is the key to a happy life I think. It both embraces the necessity and importance of logic, and yet understands be very different yet sometimes equally valid worthiness of absurdity.

Or, maybe the message here is that entertainment value should not be underestimated in a relationship. I dunno, man… I just love that monkey, and now you know that about me.

Now: if a guy can make a living simply by teaching a capuchin monkey to wear a cowboy costume while riding a border collie that has been trained to herd sheep, you think maybe we can all learn to communicate with our loved ones a little better?

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