Monday, November 13, 2017

If only, if only.....

It was good yesterday to find this piece, by Keith Burris, at The Blade:
Kucinich: I know why Trump was elected.
We don't hear nearly enough from Dennis Kucinich these days. He was my first choice of US politician during my early years here in the USA. There are numerous posts about him, accessible via the Label Cloud in my sidebar.

If only...if only!

Mr Burris wrote:
"Kucinich was Bernie Sanders long before Bernie..."
I know what he meant but they have both been around in politics, fighting the good fight, for a long time. Americans in general remained too blinkered (or too something) to give them the credit, and the support, they deserved - until 2016 in Bernie's case.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour...

“If one were to stand on a street corner at 9 A.M. and watch the spirits of the British dead march by four abreast, the column would be 97 miles long and would take twenty hours, or until five the next morning, to pass. The French dead would take an additional fifty-one hours and the Germans another fifty-nine hours. Considering all the dead on the western front, this parade would last from 9 A.M. Monday to 4 P.M. Saturday and stretch 386 miles, roughly the distance from Paris halfway through Switzerland or from New York to Cleveland.”
~Joseph E. Persico, Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918.
“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”
~ Czesław Miłosz, The Issa Valley.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~ Joseph Campbell.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Big Lies and Big Eyes

Netflix has the Tim Burton movie movie Big Eyes on offer; we watched it last weekend, without any prior knowledge of its theme. It's another of those "based on a true story" movies - a good one too, well acted by leads Amy Adams, as Margaret Keane, and Christoph Waltz as her husband, Walter Keane.
Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical film directed by Tim Burton, written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.... The film is about the life of American artist Margaret Keane—famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes. It follows the story of Margaret and her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret's phenomenally successful and popular paintings in the 1950s and 1960s. It follows the lawsuit (and trial) between Margaret and Walter, after Margaret reveals she is the real artist behind the big eyes paintings.
Not even the kindest art critic would call Margaret Keane's big eyed subjects "great art", some would even refuse to call them art at all; at the time, though, the general public loved these rather sweet whimsical depictions of sad longing, a general public encouraged greatly by Walter Keane's genius-level salesmanship.

From a piece at The Painter's Keys:
Margaret (and Walter) Keane’s “Big Eyes” were called, “the most popular art now being produced in the free world,” by Life Magazine in 1965. New York Times critic John Canaday described them at the time as, “the very definition of tasteless hack work,” and “sentimental kitsch.” Andy Warhol said, “It has to be good. If it were bad, so many people wouldn’t like it.” Margaret Keane is now 88 [in 2017 she's 90] and lives in Napa, California. She paints daily. Walter Keane died in 2000 at the age of 85. He was never witnessed actually painting.
For a quick look at some of the Keane Big Eye paintings, visit Google Image HERE.

What Walter Keane lacked in artistic talent and truthfulness he made up for in cunning and the ability to turn on the old charismatic sales spiel at the drop of a proverbial hat. In the beginning, according to the movie, Walter was a kindly, charming spouse to Margaret. My husband had him tagged, early on, as "a dork", then "a complete asshole". At first, I offered that Margaret's paintings would never have paid (eventually) for their home, her daughter's education etc. without Walter's sales experience. It had to be looked on as a joint business venture, tentatively agreed to by Margaret, partly from necessity and lack of funds; partly because she was infatuated by Walter, his charm and the facade of his being an artist himself. I changed my mind on Walter, agreeing with my husband the minute Walter began strong-arming Margaret, his marital charm turned to abuse and brutish demands on her work. According to this article, from the LA Times, the movie doesn't paint nearly as dark a picture of their marriage as was the case in real life.

 Photograph from Time Magazine 1965: Margaret and Walter Keane.

I see from Wikipedia's page on Margaret Keane, that she was born on 15 September, 1927, she's now 90 years old. As I haven't found her natal chart online already, I hesitate to post one from my own software, it would seem intrusive while this lady is still among us. I'll say just that her Sun and Venus in meticulous, perfection-seeking Virgo would have felt comfortable, at long last, after the truth was revealed about her "big eye" paintings.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

POLARITIES - balance of power

As well as the elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) and the modes (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) there's a third aspect to be considered in a natal chart: polarity. Astrological polarities are variously described as masculine/feminine, active/passive, or Yin/Yang, take your pick!

Starting with Aries (positive/masculine/Yang) the signs change alternately positive/ negative. So:

Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius are all positive/masculine/Yang.

Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces all negative/feminine/Yin.

Extract from Astrodienst (full explanation at website)
"The positive signs describe object-oriented, sociable people who are not afraid to jump into unknown situations. The negative or yin principle is subject-oriented, receptive, yielding, enclosing, withdrawing and inward-moving. The yin individual ‘is characterised by a reflective nature which causes him always to think and consider before acting. His shyness and distrust of things induces hesitation, and so he always has difficulty in adapting to the external world."

From Astrotheme's lists, some years ago, I noted names of some of the best known individuals who have Yin or Yang @ between 99% and 90% in their natal charts, reflecting in a high proportion of their personalities. I felt disappointed that easily perceivable difference between the people on these two lists isn't apparent. We know only their public faces though.

Men and women are listed separately, in case it helped to throw up any glaring differences between Yins and Yangs, but it didn't seem to do so.

Yangs include Anita Roddick, but Nina Ricci is amongst the Yins - both are, or were, very successful business women in similar fields. I'd have expected Anita Roddick to be among the Yins though. Kim Farnell is among the Yins - which seems correct for an astrologer. Paris Hilton is strongly Yang.

Do the Yang guys seem like a more macho, active group than the Yins? Not really. Er -wait a minute - perhaps the Yin males are a wee bit smoother? Bono has the highest Yin of all, almost pure Yin!

I wonder if these considerations might have more importance in relationship compatibility, rather than in straightforward personality assessment. Perhaps a strongly Yang person needs a strongly Yin partner, and vice versa.

Here are the lists. I've included percentages for first and last names in each list, percentages between are...well...between!

Yang - active - masculine

Paris Hilton 94.44%
Brit Ekland
Loretta Lynn
Barbara Walters
Anita Roddick 90.08

Ralph Bellamy 96.92%
Dan Quayle
Danny Elfman
Alfred Molina
Gary Puckett
Sasha Baron Cohen (Da Ali G)
Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee)
Jimmy Durante
Hoagy Carmichael
Stan Laurel
Barry Manilow 90.95%

Yin - passive - feminine

Kim Wilde 98.08%
Cindy Crawford
Maureen O'Sullivan
Kim Farnell
Nina Ricci 90.83%

Bono 99.09%
Keanu Reeves
Kurt Cobain
William Friedkin
Upton Sinclair
Keith Urban
Gary Player
BB King
Adam Sandler
Bob Kennedy 91.23%

Remember the balance; the give-and-take of energy. The symbol of yin and yang is more than the integration of male and female. It’s also the balance of light and dark, soft and hard, active and passive, in and out, giver and receiver. You can’t have one without the other.
― Brownell Landrum, A Chorus of Voices: DUET stories Volume III - Adult Version.

The circle that represents the whole is divided into Yin (black) and Yang (white) halves--two polar complements in harmonious balance. The two smaller circles in the centers (the eyes), shaded in the opposite color, illustrate that within Yin there is Yang, and vice versa. Yin and Yang contain within themselves, at their very centers, the seeds of change. The curve dividing them indicates that this change is dynamic and continuous. Each half invades the other half and establishes itself in the center of its opposite.
SIMMONE KUO, Yin-Yang in Tai-Chi Chuan and Daily Life.

The Pentacle - The ancients envisioned their world in two halves - masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power. Yin and Yang. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced there was chaos.
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code.

 Hat-tip HERE

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Senator Murphy's Important Words

A Senator saying all the right things, following Sunday's mass murder in Sutherland Springs, Texas :
Sen. Chris Murphy (Democrat-Connecticut.)

"The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real. It's a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits. My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach, once again, when I heard of today's shooting in Texas. My heart dropped further when I thought about the growing macabre club of families in Las Vegas and Orlando and Charleston and Newtown, who have to relive their own day of horror every time another mass killing occurs.

"None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.

"As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents.

"My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something."

Monday, November 06, 2017

Music Monday ~ Genres & Signs

Qualities of the many different musical genres can be seen reflected (if one squints a little) in signs of the zodiac. The ideas proposed below do not refer to readers'/listeners' Sun signs, I'm suggesting only that different music styles can be compared with qualities of the 12 zodiac signs. It might, however, be noticed that if particular signs in a natal chart are strongly emphasised, that chart owner might gravitate toward a music style with similar qualities.

Classical ~~ Capricorn & Virgo - tradition, rigid structure, meticulous performance.

Jazz~~~ Aries & Aquarius - energetic, spontaneous, modern, unpredictable.

Easy Listening ~~~ Libra & Pisces - undemanding, pleasant, non-controversial, dreamy.

Country ~~~ Taurus & Cancer - old fashioned, earthy, conservative, homely.

Folk & Bluegrass~~~ Cancer, Capricorn & Aquarius - sensitive, homely, traditional, often socially aware.

Rock~~~ Aries & Scorpio - energetic, can be passionate and/or menacing.

Pop ~~~ Gemini & Aquarius - eclectic mix of themes, all communicating to "the people" - all the people!

Opera & Stage ~~Leo, Sagittarius - dramatic, exaggerated.

Blues & Soul~~~Pisces, Scorpio - deep, powerful and passionate.

Latin ~~~ Scorpio & Sagittarus - passionate, "foreign".

Big Band & Swing ~~~ Aries and Sagittarius - energetic, big, happy sound.

Religious/Sacred/Gospel ~~~ Sagittarius, Pisces & Capricorn - spiritual, devout, traditional.