THE AGE OF DISSONANCE; Blame the Messenger by Bob Morris
Published The New York Times 4/18/04, available at nytimes.com/archives
This article solicits feedback about the phenomena of Mercury retrograde, which happens several times a year in 3 week periods. Mercury Retrograde defined: Mercury was named after the Roman messenger God and occasionally his orbit gets so slow that he appears to move backward in the sky. As the author tries to decide whether to take any of it seriously, he discovers many levelheaded and celeb fabulous people do. Yes, communication goes awry. Yes, deals fall through. No, don’t buy a new computer. But what you didn’t know was, Mercury retrograde has an underground following. I think it falls in the category of modern day folk wisdom. Everyone who’s experienced it is a believer.
A) An LA psychiatrist’s patients tell her they can’t sign contracts or keep commitments during Merc Rx (which she sees as a thin excuse for irresponsibility). Of course you do. You’re a psychiatrist.
B) Celebs are paying attention to Mercury. Marla Maples is cautious during the period, ”It’s a time to be more conscious of everything that’s happening.” Singer Taylor Dayne is a Mercury watcher who avoids making record deals when Mercury’s Rx. “It’s Murphy’s Law…but 10 times worse,” she said.
C) Make-up artist Lori Klein likens Rx to a really bad case of PMS, you see it as a sort of warning to “…keep to yourself rather than flying into a rage for no reason.”
D) The standard advice was offered: standard computer back-ups, reflecting more, going slowly.
The author himself admits to blurting out foot in mouth remarks at inopportune moments during Mercury Rx periods. This is when a compassionate friend introduced the whole Mercury phenomenon. He’s still not a believer, but floats it as a “trendy alibi” to excuse various errata. Touche.