It’s the Scorpio season, dear reader, and whether you give a toss about astronomy or rather not, we are living it until about 22 November, and also will have a new moon tomorrow. Things will go in retrograde at some point, but let’s focus on this Scorpio thing for now.
It is fitting that Scorpio season hits us during the darkest time of the year. Nevermind the Halloweens and Días de los Muertos that people celebrate next month. The fact that the US presidential election always coincides with Scorpio season easily makes this zodiac period the scariest month of the year.
Generally speaking expect all bets to be off the next four weeks. The astrologists tell me to expect a chaotic, confused and hypnotic vibe, which frankly doesn’t sound much different from my life usually, but I’m willing to buy the mystery and transformation that I’m liberally being promised in every single publication that hosts a horoscopes-section (not the US Vogue, though, as Anna Wintour loathes horoscopes).
Sober for October fortunately is nearly over and I kept my promise not to participate. The next hashtag theme-month is yes, Movember with the fun beards for men, but also Nonfiction November. I am contemplating on doing a big Joan Didion re-read next month and finish some other half-started nonfiction.
Before Halloween I felt like revisiting some Gothic classics and really enjoyed this mini-project. I read Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, The Yellow Wallpaper and The Bloody Chamber.
I was most surprised by Frankenstein, which I found to be hilarious (it had been ages since I last read it), and also surprisingly feminist. An example:
“Safie sickened at the prospect of again returning to Asia (from France) and being allowed only to occupy herself with infantile amusements, ill-suited to the temper of her soul, now accustomed to grand ideas and a noble emulations of virtue. The prospect of marrying a Christian and remaining in a country where women were allowed to take a rank in society was enchanting to her.“
By way of comparison, here’s a bit from a study released by the American Express:
“When a woman starts a business, some potential backers may assume that she is running the business out of her home, for fun, or just to supplement her family’s income. Backers may then fail to see the business as growth-oriented and worthy of investment.“
Now, you choose which bit of text is from 1818 and which one from 2019.
Speaking of Halloween, it is a fact already established in the first Sex and the City –movie (please do not watch the second movie in any circumstances) that women have exactly two options to dress for Halloween costume parties. These choices are
a) a witch
b) a sexy “…” (add nurse, French maid, or, indeed, a Handmaid).
Here’s Margaret Atwood discussing the sexy Handmaid Halloween-costumes with Seth Meyers:
Other things I am looking forward to, come the New Moon:
Hannah Gadsby’s show Douglas which she will be performing in Antwerp. Her glorious Nanette is on Netflix and you might want to take a look.
There’s a new exhibition about Marie Antoinette “Metamorphoses of an Image” in Paris at the Conciergerie where she was kept until her head was chopped off, you can read reviews here and here. I am planning to see it and have my cake & eat it too.
(Interestingly, given that the sentence attributed to her “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” is easily one of world’s famous quotes, but there’s no evidence Marie Antoinette ever said it.)
As a parting gift, a favourite quote from Frankenstein, where the scientist is invited to friends’ place in Perth, Scotland, on his travels. Victor Frankenstein decided to skip the soirée because “I was in no mood to laugh and talk with strangers, or enter into their feelings or plans with the good humour expected from a guest.”
Dear reader, let this be your line to take for the social drinking season that beckons. It shall be mine.