I was raised in a home that’s all about feng shui and good luck energy. Every year, my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken, provides predictions and readings for this site for every sign under the Chinese zodiac: what those born in the Year of the Monkey should avoid, if those born in the Year of the Dog should be cautious, or not, and specific good luck charms for each sign too. Charms can be things, something you attach to your wallet, a script that you can tuck into your car. Ma has always said too though that charms can be people. That there are certain people in your life who bring you good luck, or who protect you when you might be in for a round of bad luck. They shield you from bad luck. They can minimise the bad luck that befalls you. My ma herself, for example, is my good luck charm. Whenever I need luck the most, if ever I am struggling, something terrible happens to her. She collapses, she’s sent to the hospital. It’s not an intentional, conscious act. It just… happens. Like a divine sacrifice. She lays herself down so that I might walk over her, whether I want to or not. Over the course of my life, this has happened too many times for me to brush off as coincidence. It does not feel accidental to me. And while this may sound crazy to you, it’s become a fact in my world – and a constant anxiety. I do not want to see my mother unwell. I do not want to be the cosmic cause of her troubles. What do I do? What will I do? What will happen to us if I don’t? 

Which brings us to Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck is taking some sh-t right now. You heard yesterday about Hilarie Burton and his rather curt apology. Then people dug up an inappropriate interview he did with a reporter from Montreal and makeup artist Annamaria Tendler tweeted about the time he groped her at a Golden Globes party in 2014 and other people claim they experienced the same. Basically Ben Affleck is having a no good very bad week. And it hasn’t exactly been a great year.

Ben Affleck was born the Year of the Rat. We’ve done this before but let’s revisit the outlook for Rats that ma relayed to me in January. Once again, this was written IN JANUARY.

Rats are one of the four luckiest signs of the Chinese zodiac during this Year of the Rooster with a boost from three lucky stars. The presence of two shady stars however could make you the target of rumours and backstabbing. So you are advised to watch your mouth. Don’t offer comment unless you can back it up. Otherwise you may jeopardise your good fortune. Also, Rats can be prone to distraction, to be indirect, to not take a straight route, to run around in circles. (Ben Affleck was born under the sign of the Rat. Isn’t that SO him?) This will not help you and if you continue like this, money won’t come to you easily. You may be lucky but your lack of focus might make it hard for luck to land on you. Try, this year, to stay present and be purposeful in you decisions.

So Ben, the Rat, was supposed to be lucky this year. But he may have f-cked up his luck with all his accumulated mistakes, his distractions, his lack of focus, and of course his own grossness. At the beginning of this year, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner had yet to file for divorce. The ongoing reports around them at the time were all about whether or not they’d get back together and if there was a possibility of reconciliation. Jennifer Garner ended up filing in the spring. By early summer it was made public that Ben and Lindsay Shookus were together – and maybe had been together for longer than was initially suggested. After that, Ben’s status as Batman came into question. Everything got way sloppy.

Jennifer Garner, meanwhile, also a Rat, but one with much more focus and discipline, has maintained her popularity as an American Sweetheart. Was she his good luck charm when they were together? Was she his shield? Would her good luck have protected him from and minimised against his bad luck? Doesn’t matter. Because she peaced out. Just in time too. She was done with this sh-t months ago. She made it clear to us that she was done with the sh-t months ago. She’s nowhere near the splash. Luck is a precious thing. Sometimes we forget to treasure it. I feel like over the last few months, I’ve forgotten to treasure my ma. She’s coming over for dinner tonight, it’s my dad’s birthday. I will tell her this at the dinner table. And she will ask me for a cheque.