Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Changing Generations and Cynical Smiles

I'll be waiting eagerly for the results of the New Hampshire primaries tonight. Bernie Sanders should have the advantage, Vermont, his state, and New Hampshire being next door neighbours. In this year of the unexpected, though, nothing will surprise me!

It's heartening that so many young people, those under 30, are drawn to Bernie Sanders' campaign. These people are not blinkered by political establishment's controlled spin via TV and newspapers. They form their opinions through peer to peer conversations on social media and reading on the internet in general. The Clinton machine might have overlooked this potential wave of opposition. Astrologically it ought not to have come as a great surprise. Look at these forecasts of "the generations" from E.Alan Meece's always absorbing book "Horoscope for the New Millennium". To save copy-typing I found the section of interest on this point online (link). Here are Mr Meece's relevant generational outlines for those now in their early to late 20s, and for some who are even younger, poised to add to a wave of change in coming years.

"The committed ones," 1988-1995 [now aged 21 to 28] (Generation Y-b) (Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio) This is a group with outstanding potential. It is a very precocious generation, but won't burn itself out in youth. They are steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization, and they may be the great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization. On the other hand, some might consider them too cold, calculating, rigid, worldly or obsessed with their own goals.

"The flame throwers," 1996-2003 [ now aged 13 to 20] (Generation Y-c) (Uranus in Aquarius, Neptune in late Capricorn and Aquarius, Pluto in Sagittarius) This will be a very outgoing, irrepressible, exuberant generation, quick to question authority and convention. They will be brilliant intellectuals, inventors, reformers and propagandists.

"The universal free spirits," 2003-2010[now aged just 6 to 13] (Generation Z-a) (Uranus in Pisces, Neptune in Aquarius, Pluto in Sagittarius/early Capricorn) Their successors will be similar, but more easy-going, sensitive and poetic. They will follow the paths laid down by the previous two generations, but will show greater brilliance in the imaginative arts. As the first of Generation Z, they will teach compassion for Humanity as we all reach the "omega point" of universal human awareness after 2012.
[Long after 2012 as it happens!]

A video to raise a cynical smile or two. A commenter at YouTube remarked that it is some 15 years since the video was produced, but it feels as though it could have been made last week.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Another Vulture Hovering

An article by investigative reporter Greg Palast throws light on something of interest regarding Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio and one Paul Singer:
The big boys are confident that Sen. Marco Rubio has locked up the Republican nomination. But who’s locked up Rubio?

We all know who Marco Rubio is, we've also read of his loopy repetitive style, as reported from Saturday's debate.
What was Marco Rubio thinking Saturday night in Manchester, New Hampshire? Why would he repeat the same canned talking point four times, even after Chris Christie accused him of constantly repeating his canned talking points?
But Paul Singer...?

Paul Elliott Singer (born August 22, 1944) is an American hedge fund manager, investor, philanthropist and political activist. He is the founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, what the New York Times terms an "activist hedge fund", and (via his Paul E. Singer Foundation) a prominent New York based philanthropist.

In 2015, Forbes rated Singer's net worth as $2.1 billion. In 2015, Singer was 327th on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, 1006th among the world's billionaires, 350th of American billionaires, and the 16th highest earning hedge fund manager. His investment style has been described by the Washington Post as either "an activist investor" or a "vulture capitalist".

Singer is active in Republican Party politics and is a staunch supporter of gay rights since his son came out in 1998.

From Greg Palast's piece (do read the whole article for context)

...But The Vulture has a problem: Hillary Clinton. As Secretary of State, Clinton went to court on Argentina’s side and body-blocked every ugly attempt by The Vulture to savage Argentina.

Singer is screeching. A President Hillary would cost Singer billions. (As would a President Sanders, a stalwart foe of vulture financiers.) To counter Hillary, The Vulture hatched a Senator: one Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio has made several ethically dubious attempts to bully the Treasury and State Departments on Singer’s behalf.

That failed, so Singer has decided to put the anti-gay martinet Rubio into the White House. (Singer’s son is married to a man—but hey, to Singer, a feast of billions means more to him than family.)

Yet Singer knows you can’t put a Rubio in the Oval Office by winning the most votes. No way. Changing demographics doom almost any GOP candidacy.

The only way to take the White House is to block the vote of millions of voters of color.

So this guy is trying to buy the presidency via Marco Rubio? I'd like to take a look at Singer's natal chart. It'll have to be a 12 noon chart as time of birth is unknown.

Born 22 August 1944 in New York City

Oh look! His natal Sun is on the same degree of Leo (29) as Donald Trump's ascendant, and conjunct Fixed Star Regulus!

What a tightly bundled chart it is too. That's evidence of determined focus, and we don't have to guess in which direction Singer's attention has been for most of his life.

Four personal planets plus Chiron all in meticulous Virgo, with Moon somewhere in Libra, whatever his time of birth. Virgo can be meticulous in many ways, not all of them virtuous it seems.

I'm going to leave the rest of the astrological to Jude Cowell at Stars over Washington - she wrote about Singer in December 2011.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

"All human life is there"

Here's a link to an oddity, passed on to my husband by a friend of his via the dreaded Facebook. Because there's no English translation available, it's up to each viewer to make of it what they will. The video was skillfully put together, for sure!
After I watched it, first words coming to mind were: "All human life is there". Where did those words spring from? I pondered. They were buried in files at the back of of my memory bank. A now defunct British Sunday newspaper, News of the World used to carry its motto, those words, under its banner header during the 1950s. Originally a broadsheet, later a tabloid, that newspaper was one of Britain's most disreputable, its focus was on scandal, celebrities, sex and sport - it was popular with the masses, and nicknamed "Screws of the World". The newspaper had borrowed its motto from a line in a 19th century short story by Henry James, The Madonna of the Future. Full text of the story can be read at The Literature Network.
Cats and monkeys — monkeys and cats — all human life is there!
The story is about art and artists, their illusions and delusions.

All of which has little to do with the video, apart from the fact that a lot of human life is there too.

Cats and monkeys... ring a bell also. These bells are a pesky nuisance! A little fable - recalled with the help of a blog HERE

...a 16th century fable entitled The Monkey and the Cat. A monkey and a cat are roasting chestnuts in a hearth. The monkey persuades the cat to let the monkey remove the roasted chestnuts from the fire and embers by using the cat’s paw, promising the cat a share for obliging. As the cat scoops them from the fire, one by one, burning its paw more and more, the monkey eats all the chestnuts. They are disturbed by a maid entering and the cat ends up with nothing except burned paws.

The fable has given rise to two expressions:
To do someone else's dangerous or unpleasant task is to pull the chestnuts out of the fire (for that person) or to pull (that person's) chestnuts out of the fire.

A person who is tricked into doing something dangerous or foolish for someone else
is a cat's-paw.

Coincidentally, accidentally, or serendipitously, mention of monkeys reminds me that in Chinese astrology the Year of the Fire Monkey is about to begin.
Monkey year begins on February 8, 2016 on the new Moon in Aquarius at 6:39 am PT. Chinese New Years Eve is the the second new Moon after Winter Solstice.
Those born in Monkey years 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 can read about themselves briefly HERE, and elsewhere on Chinese astrology websites.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ H. R. Giger

H.R. Giger, surrealist, artist, sculptor, architect and designer was known for his dark, somewhat satanic artworks, said to have been inspired by his own nightmares. His work included, famously, his work on the 1979 movie Alien, including design of the title character. Giger died in 2014 of injuries suffered from a fall.

Excerpts from a New York Times obituary by Douglas Martin.

Hans Ruedi Giger was born on
Feb. 5, 1940, in the southeastern Swiss town of Chur. Fascinated with things dark and strange, he regularly visited an Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus in a local museum.

“The places I liked most were the dark ones,” Mr. Giger told the Swiss Public Broadcasting Corporation. “As soon as I could dress myself I wore black.”
His father urged Hans, who called himself a “horrible student,” to follow him into the pharmacy business. Instead he studied industrial design at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich.

After working as an interior designer, he switched to art full time, starting with small ink drawings. He moved on to large airbrushed work on surrealistic themes inspired by Salvador Dalí, who became a friend.

Mr. Giger’s early exhibitions were controversial for their depictions of death and sex. Galleries had to wipe the spit of disgusted neighbors from their windows.

A thread running through Mr. Giger’s work was the uneasy meshing of machines and biology, in a highly idiosyncratic blend of science fiction and surrealism. From books to movies to record albums to magazine illustrations to a back-scratcher inspired by “Alien,” his designs challenged norms. He kept a notepad next to his bed so he could sketch the terrors that rocked his uneasy sleep — nightmarish forms that could as easily have lumbered from prehistory as arrived from Mars.

“Giger’s work disturbs us, spooks us, because of its enormous evolutionary time span,” Timothy Leary, the psychedelic drug guru and a friend of Mr. Giger’s, once said. “It shows us, all too clearly, where we come from and where we are going.”

Mr. Giger’s relationship with the Swiss actress Li Tobler ended with her suicide in 1975. His subsequent marriage, to Mia Bonzanigo, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Carmen Scheifele-Giger.

Giger website is HERE. There are numerous examples of Giger's work at Google Image.

Two videos showing some of Giger's work. The first (5+ minutes long) is narrated and includes remarks from Mr Giger himself. The second is longer: 20+ minutes.


Born on 5 February 1940 in Chur, Switzerland at 4.45 PM
(data from astro.com. 'A' rated)

Regarding his style and choice of subject matter only:

Textbook astrology would advise, when considering an artist (and reputed satanist) such as H.R. Giger, looking for Scorpio and/or Pluto prominence in the natal chart, to reflect this artist's choice of style and subject matter. There's no Scorpio planet in his natal chart, but Pluto is quite close to his ascendant angle (within 7 degrees or so) if his time of birth is near accurate. One box ticked? Pluto trines Jupiter, which could be seen as expanding Pluto's already powerful position and presence in the chart.

Perhaps, also, Giger's art and sculpture style is reflected in the Grand Trine linking Uranus, Neptune and Moon. These are in the practical Earth signs, and much of his artwork involves practical skills as well as artistic and imaginative ones. His futuristically inclined Aquarius Sun and Mercury square Uranus, while planet of the arts, Venus, opposes Neptune, but sextiles Uranus. It's a tangled web, but key players, Neptune (creativity), Uranus (odd, surreal), Venus (art), Aquarius (futuristic) and Moon (inner self) are all part of it, and all clearly represent Giger's choices, with strong input also from his prominently placed Pluto.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Trio con Brio

Goldman Sachs Chief Threatened by 'Dangerous' Criticism from Sanders

All I have to say to Goldman Sachs' Chief is:
"Diddums naughty man freaten big banker....awww!"

I see Chris Matthews is still being...well... Chris Matthews:

This Is Not the Way the Democratic Campaign Should Be Conducted
Chris Matthews had a strange interview with Hillary Clinton today. It was ahistorical and out of bounds.

Any lurking Hillary fans - don't look!

Postscript: From a list of "celebrities" endorsing or supporting presidential candidates on both sides of the political divide, I've culled names of the Bernie supporters, and sadly note that they are all male. WTF!? Sarah Silverman is a possible, though, the list isn't absolutely clear: it says that she "introduced Sanders" at an event.

Yes, I know it'd be nice to have a female president, but not just any female president especially when there's a better, non-corporate, option who happens to be male! Still, celebrities are part of the bourgeoisie - what would I expect? It's good to know that a few of 'em have their heads screwed on the right way.

The following support or have endorsed Bernie: Danny DeVito, Will Ferrell, Dave Matthews, Jeremy Piven, Lil B, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, John C. Reilly, Mark Ruffalo, George Wendt, Neil Young.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A fridge magnet, a poem, a dinner party, and the baffle of ten dollar words...

A simple fridge magnet (which I didn't even realise was a fridge magnet) can lead a person on to some rather odd excursions. While out and about last weekend I bought what I thought was just a little motto/quotation, inscribed upon handmade paper by some arty local person, and encased in a hard plastic cover. The quotation, from a W.H. Auden poem, appealed to me. At home I discovered the black square on the reverse side of the plastic cover is a magnet. So, it sits now on our fridge door. It says:
"...the funniest mortals and the kindest are those who are most aware of the baffle of being..."
I needed to investigate the context of this quotation. Having done so, several scrambles down dictionary rabbit-holes online followed. W.H. Auden enjoyed using what Ernest Hemingway called "ten dollar words" - though at the time he was addressing William Faulkner's style: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.” Wikipedia

The quotation on my newly acquired fridge magnet comes from W.H. Auden's poem "Tonight at Seven-thirty (for M.F.K. Fischer)". Fischer's essay "From A to Z: The Perfect Dinner" in House Beautiful, April 1949 must have been the poem's inspiration. In Auden's introduction to Fischer’s "The Art of Eating" he states: "I do not know anyone in the United States today who writes better prose." He cites several examples, including this:

“I now feel that gastronomical perfection can be reached in these combinations: one person dining alone, usually upon a couch or a hillside; two people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good restaurant; six people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good home. . . A good combination would be one married couple, for warm composure; one less firmly established, to add a note of investigation to the talk; and two strangers of either sex, upon whom the better-acquainted could sharpen their questioning wits . . .” (The Art of Eating, pg. 738)
(See here)

Here is the poem. (Hat-tip to Gastrocentric for the text). I looked up the meaning of any (highlighted) ten dollar words and listed them after the poem. My fridge magnet quotation is also highlighted. There are, by the way, several archived posts featuring W.H. Auden or his poems, this is a link to the earliest, from 2007.

Tonight at Seven-Thirty (For M.F.K. Fischer)

By W.H. Auden, 1963

The life of plants
is one continuous solitary meal,
and ruminants
hardly interrupt theirs to sleep or to mate, but most
predators feel
ravenous most of the time and competitive
always, bolting such morsels as they can contrive
to snatch from the more terrified: pack-hunters do
dine en famille, it is true,
with protocol and placement, but none of them play host
to a stranger whom they help first. Only man
supererogatory beast,
Dame Kind's thoroughbred lunatic, can
do the honors of a feast,

and was doing so
before the last Glaciation when he offered
and, perhaps, Long Pig, will continue till Doomsday
when at God's board
the saints chew pickled Leviathan. In this age farms
are no longer crenellated, only cops port arms,
but the Law of the Hearth is unchanged: a brawler may not
be put to death upon the spot,
but he is asked to quit the sacral dining area
instanter, and a foul-mouth gets the cold
shoulder. The right of a guest
to standing and foster is as old
as the ban on incest.

For authentic
comity the gathering should be small
and unpublic:
at mass banquets where flosculent speeches are made
in some hired hall
we think of ourselves or nothing. Christ's cenacle
seated a baker's dozen, King Arthur's rundle
the same, but today, when one's host may well be his own
chef, servitor and scullion,
when the cost of space can double in a decade,
even that holy Zodiac number is
too large a frequency for us:
in fact, six lenient semble sieges,
none of them perilous,

is now a Perfect
Social Number. But a dinner party,
however select,
is a worldly rite that nicknames or endearments
or family
diminutives would profane: two doters who wish
to tiddle and curmurr between the soup and fish
belong in restaurants, all children should be fed
earlier and be safely in bed.
Well-liking, though, is a must: married maltalents
engaged in some covert contrast can spoil
an evening like the glance
of a single failure in the toil
of his bosom grievance.

Not that a god,
immune to grief, would be an ideal guest:
he would be too odd
to talk to and, despite his imposing presence, a bore,
for the funniest
mortals and the kindest are those who are most aware
of the baffle of being
, don't kid themselves our care
is concolable,[inconsolable?] but believe a laugh is less
heartless than tears, that a hostess
prefers it. Brains evolved after bowels, therefore,
great assets as fine raiment and good looks
can be on festive occasions,
they are not essential like artful cooks
and stalwart digestions.

I see a table
at which the youngest and the oldest present
keep the eyes grateful
for what Nature's bounty and grace of Spirit can create:
for the ear's content
one raconteur, one gnostic with amazing shop,
both in a talkative mood but knowing when to stop,
and one wide-traveled worldling to interject now and then
a sardonic comment, men
and women who enjoy the cloop of corks, appreciate
dapatical fare, yet can see in swallowing
a sign act of reverence,
in speech a work of re-presenting
the true olamic silence.


supererogatory = going beyond the requirements of duty, or greater than that required or needed; superfluous.

Sacral = of, for, or relating to sacred rites or symbols.

flosculent = from floscular = composed of floscules. floscule = a floret; a single blossom of a composite flower. So "flowery speeches"?

cenacle = the room traditionally thought to be location of The Last Supper.

rundle = a wheel or similar rotating object.

semble = a Norman French word meaning "it seems or appears to be" or "it seems".

tiddle and curmurr - tiddle =(obsolete, UK, dialect) to treat with tenderness; to fondle; curmurr = to rumble. Scottish curmurring = rumbling especially in the bowels.

married maltalents - maltalent = Old French term, in Anglo-Norman French "mautalent", translating as "bad temper"... so bad tempered married couples.

cloop = the sound made when a cork is forcibly drawn from a bottle.

dapatical = sumptuous in cheer.

olamic = of or belonging to an age or cycle of the universe; especially in Jewish and Christian theology; everlasting.