Sunday, September 02, 2007

War & Peace, & Brian De Palma's "Redacted"

To live in a world totally without war is a dream most people cherish. I've hoped to experience this for as long as I can remember, probably stemming from my experiences as a very young childhood in wartime England. I may not have appreciated fully what awful risks we faced in the city port where we lived, but in later years I came to understand, and to realise how lucky we had been to survive. Like many others of my generation (John Lennon from another port, Liverpool, is a famous example). We grew up hating the very word "war".

Until half-way through the second world war more women and children in Britain had been killed than soldiers. Over three-quarters of the total housing stock in our city was either destroyed or damaged. Some families were 'bombed out'of their homes two or even three times.

People who lived in the USA during WW2, and since then, have no such experience to use as a yardstick. There are still many in the US who support the current adminstration's determination to continue war in Iraq, and even expand the conflict into Iran, thereby risking a World War 3. I wonder if they would be so keen to support it if they had ever experienced war as a civilian? Even in Europe, those who lived through WW2 as children or adults become fewer in number with each year that passes. Their wisdom is becoming scarce.

Movie director Brian DePalma's latest film "Redacted" aims to bring home to audiences some of the horror of the war in Iraq. DePalma's long career in film has been quite controversial. He has gathered much criticism, and is apparently one of those directors one either loves or hates with a vengance. Until now many of his films have been fairly violent and gory - certainly not pacifist in nature. (Movie list here.)

The word "redacted" isn't one in common use - I had to look up its meaning - Wikipedia tells us "Redaction generally refers to the editing or blacking out of text in a document, or to the result of such an effort. It is intended to allow the selective disclosure of information in a document while keeping other parts of the document secret."

Brian De Palma was born on 11 September (fateful date!) 1940, in Newark, New Jersey. I can find no time of birth, so use a 12 noon chart.

Wow! what a lot of Earth - Virgo and Taurus, with Moon certainly in Capricorn, but degree can't be known without time of birth. Pluto and Venus conjunct in Leo are the only variety in this Earthy natal chart. Not one planet in Air or Water.
His Virgo and Taurus planets are in trine - Uranus with Neptune/Mercury and Jupiter/Saturn with Sun/Mars. Depending on time of birth the Moon might hook up into a Grand Trine in Earth.

He says about his films in general:

"My films deal with a stylized, expressionistic world that has a kind of grotesque beauty about it. I like stylization. I try to get away with as much as possible until people start laughing at it."

"I've never been accepted as that conventional artist"

In this case I have to admit that I'm stumped to find him/his work in his natal chart. Uranus trine Mercury/Neptune possibly accounts for being unconventional. He is probably very at ease with himself (the Earthy trines), and cares little what critics say about him and his work. Perhaps the key to finding "him" will be in the ascendant and house configuration.

I'd guess that his ascendant will not be in an Earth sign - perhaps Aquarius, or Leo. A 5p.m.-ish time of birth would put ascendant just into Aquarius, with Sun/Mercury/Neptune in the 8th house, Taurus planets close to the IC (nadir) angle, opposite midheaven. That's a fit, tailor-made by me !

I wish Mr De Palma the best with his new film. It will certainly not be easy viewing, but could help to bring home the horrors of war to US audiences. More on the new film HERE.

Some current estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq since the start of the conflict are as high as one million. Casualties of any World War 3 would be between 6 and 7 billion.... man's exit from planet Earth.

I trust that Americans who truly believe in 'Peace on Earth' will consider carefully before casting their votes in the primaries and in 2008. There is one candidate whose focus is, and always has been, on peace - Dennis Kucinich. Journalists delight in telling us that he is unelectable. What does this say about us?

"War! When I but think of this word, I feel bewildered, as though they were speaking to me of sorcery, of the Inquisition, of a distant, finished, abominable, monstrous, unnatural thing.

"When they speak to us of cannibals, we smile proudly, as we proclaim our superiority to these savages. Who are the real savages? Those who struggle in order to eat those whom they vanquish, or those who struggle merely to kill?"

—Guy de Maupassant, Sur l'Eau

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