Monday, May 26, 2008

Chad, chad, retrograde & "Recount"

When I first heard the word 'chad' being used in the USA, it conjured up a long-ago vision from my UK childhood.

Graffiti (as shown left) used to pop up in all kinds of locations with little messages, always referring to shortages civilians faced during, and for a while after, World War 2.... "Wot no bananas?" "Wot no sugar?" The little graffiti character was called, for some reason not clear to me, "Chad".

Ahem....that memory dates me terribly.

In the USA I struggled to get to grips with how on earth "a hanging chad" could be a serious political problem. Recently, due to publicity about HBO's new film "Recount", I have been enlightened.

It's appropriate that "Recount" is first being shown just as Mercury is about to begin a period of retrograde motion. Astrologers tell us that during Mercury retrograde periods some of the safest pastimes, not prone to problems and hitches, are reviewing, re-visiting and reflecting on past endeavours and decisions. "Recount", the TV movie, will be doing all of those things.

I'm drafting this post before having seen the film, I'm looking forward to doing so. It will shine a light on American history of the recent past, of which I have only sketchy knowledge. I remember watching TV reports, in the UK, of the goings on in Florida in 2000. I had scarcely any knowledge of US politics then, I had difficulty remembering which party, Democrat or Republican, equated to British Conservatives and which to the British Labour Party. I'm a bit better informed these days, learning fast.

When the current Mercury retrograde phase ends, will the USA be any nearer to a clear decision on who is the Democratic nominee ? It's doubtful. Let's hope that by November, though, things will have clarified sufficiently that chad will not be a factor in the coming General Election. If this doesn't happen, I might feel tempted to go grafitti-writing with my own version of Chad, and the legend "Wot, no president yet?"

PS: We watched "Recount" yesterday evening. Wow! That was some confusion! In a country often called "Leader of the Free World", how come those who set rules and organise elections couldn't (as we say in England) "organise a piss-up in a brewery"? After watching "Recount" we didn't switch channels but watched the movie shown next - "Evan Almighty". You know, the plot of that movie was almost more believable than the true tale of "Recount".


kaleymorris said...

I always thought that little fella's name was Kilroy.

Starry Night Astrology said...


I've been spending the weekend researching (astrologically) the whole issue of why Florida seems to have so many legal problems in the decision making process for President. Its enough to make anyone's head spin. I mean, I was sitting on the edge of my seat as anyone during the year 2000 election process, and it still is a mystery to me why the judicial branch had a say in electing the president.

Now there are continual legal challenges to the entrance of the results of the Democratic Florida primary with the defendant being the DNC itself!

No wonder the world thinks we are crazy.

R J Adams said...

"Couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery" - ah, how much more frequently my mind conjures up that phrase since I arrived on these hallowed shores.

Twilight said...

kaleymorris -
Hi! Yes. Himself did point this out to me, but I resisted adding the info to my blog because I knew someone would come up with it in comments - and someone did!


Hi Starry Night Astro.

Oh my! That would be a mammoth task, I'd not know where to begin.
Talk about a tangled web! we go again!


RJ - Hi!

LOL! Seems to fit quite often doesn't it?

I try to be fair-minded and remind myself that it's so much easier to organise national elections (or national anything) in a country the size of Britain that it is in this vast nation. Even so, with the kind of technology now available available there's no excuse for the utter chaos of 2000 to repeat itself. But I'm not holding my breath.

anthonynorth said...

I don't remember Chad, but Kilroy was still around when I was a kid.
He got everywhere, didn't he?

Twilight said...


It's odd isn't it, I wasn't aware of "Kilroy" at all? I only discovered the connection recently.
Must be one of those generational things. :-)

Barbara said...

I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that on election day 2000 Mercury was going out of retrograde at just about the same time polls were closing on the East Coast. You might check on that.

Twilight said...

Hello Barbara :-)

Thanks for that - I've done a quick Google search and yes- it appears Mercury Retro did have a hand in that 2000 debacle.
I found this:

As a worst-case example, Mercury was stationing, soon to resume its direct orbit after a three-week retrograde phase on November 7, 2000. The resulting presidential post-election period was unparalleled in US history. Other astrological factors were operating—you can bet your dimpled chads on that—and most Mercury retrograde periods are milder. Still, that election had to be the quintessence of everything that can and does go wrong during a Mercury retrograde period!

Wisewebwoman said...

I think Kilroy only made a statement of his whereabouts, as in he 'was here'.
Chad had more variety in his vocab!
(god we're all getting old!)
'Hanging chad' I found a bit of a challenge, is it that the chad had to be pushed through and fall on the floor for the vote to be valid?
Himself would know if you don't by now.
Ah Mercury, the harm thou dost inflict on us mere fragile mortals...

Twilight said...

Shhhhh -WWW - age is relative (or something!)

Yes, hanging chads were the little confetti like bits left by punching the voter's choice on the ballot card, sometimes they didn't detach completely. Dimpled chads occurred when the pointy tool voters use to indicate their choices just left an indentation in the card without detaching a chad at all.
There was argument as to whether those dimples should be counted.