Can I just say, I am so sick of hearing about Nostradamus. I mean, obviously, the comparison has been there for ages, but last year was harder than most. Everyone was all “Nostradamus said this” and “Nostradamus presaged that." I told anybody with ears about the epidemics of 2020, 1347, and both 5th centuries. Nostradamus mentioned a guy named “Hister,” and people think he predicted freaking World War II!
Plus, he’s constantly doing that fake humility thing that men do. He’ll be like, “Not that I would attribute to myself either the name or the role of a prophet.” Oh, wouldn’t you? You literally called your book The Prophecies, you raging narcissist! People like to throw that word around, but trust me, I knew Narcissus, and the description fits Nostradamus to a tee. Meanwhile, I’ve pitched Called It: My Life as a Prophet to dozens of publishers, and I’m lucky if I get a form rejection that spells Cassandra right. (No one ever remembers the second sigma.) What does a clairvoyant Greek priestess have to do to get a book deal?! Be a mopey French nobleman, apparently.
Last month the New York Post wrote this fawning feature about how Nostradamus predicted that 2021 would be worse than 2020. What a joke. Nostradamus didn’t know specific dates. He didn’t even know he’d get gout! (Maybe he shouldn’t have returned all my letters unopened!) For me, the Post published a terrible photo from a windy protest with the headline "Cassie! Get Help!” First of all, no one’s allowed to call me Cassie except my mom. Second of all, that’s so offensive! Having a bad hair day doesn’t mean I’m not right about gun control and also about absolutely everything else!
Even my doctor doesn’t believe me. I told her I knew she wouldn’t take me seriously, and she said, “I pride myself on an open and trusting relationship with my patients, just describe your issue.” So I told her and, of course, she didn’t. She fed me some line about how she believes this is real “for me” and referred me to a psychiatrist. And do you know what he had the nerve to ask me? If I had ever heard of Nostradamus! The worst part is, no one will listen to me about insurance coverage for mental health care, so I had to pay out of pocket to be gaslit!
Speaking of psychology, apparently, there’s a so-called “Cassandra Complex.” Why is always knowing exactly what will happen a complex, but writing a thousand sad, vague poems not?! What is it, then? A LinkedIn skill?
I’m not kidding when I call his writing vague. Nostradamus will be like: “The young lion will overcome the older one/On the field of combat in a single battle,” and somehow everyone thinks he foretold the death of Henry II. Did he? Or did he describe the plot of The Lion King? I said that once in college, and the professor asked if I was “one of those Disney girls.” Then Narcissus made my same point, except he said Hamlet, and the professor told him to consider a career in academia. I ate a ton of fig and honey froyo about that whole thing, let me tell you.
Most mornings, I wake up thinking that if I just go to one more protest, start a new boycott, or dispatch another foot messenger, people might finally listen. Then someone will tell me I “really should have spoken up” about clean energy even though I spent all day shouting, “No Fracking Way!” into a bull’s horn, and everything feels hopeless again. I’m sure no one ever told Nostradamus to speak up. They just pore over his poetry like he’s the next Homer instead of some emo Dr. Seuss.
Today it was all I could do to get out of bed and strap on my sandals. Hang on, there’s a walkout to support Amazon workers and a sit-in to save the Amazon! Those have to get some attention! I’ll let you know how they go!