Tuesday, November 30, 2010


During the past couple of weeks we've watched a rather strange collection of movies: one at the cinema, the rest on TV, cheapo used DVD or tapes. A list of 'em follows, in no particular order, and with brief comment. I've added a wee astrological hint as to the movies' favours - an idea that came to me as I was typing - hope it makes some sort of sense to any lightly astro-literate passers-by.

SKYLINE~ Directors: The Brothers Strause. We saw this at the cinema. A sci-fi alien invasion movie doing the rounds at present. I knew from reading reviews not to expect much, but I can't resist sci-fi, however bad. No redeeming characteristics unless you count good cgi work upon which most of the movie's budget was clearly spent. Not much was spent on script writing, that's for sure. Dialogue of one-liners (not of the fun variety) - a twelve-year old could have done a better job. The movie's ending, whilst logical, simply piles depression upon depression.
ASTRO-RATING ~ Uranus transit of Pluto/Saturn/Mars.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE ~ (1971) Director: Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's novella. An old "classic" - some would say. A sick piece of film-making by a guy who ought to know better say I, sickened after the first 10 minutes (or less) I almost refused to see the rest, but my husband assured me "it gets better, he gets his come-uppance".
For me it didn't get much better. I hated it all, yet watched it, then out of curiosity did some research next day. I came up with page after page of analysis of the film's hidden "messages" and references, which served only to disgust me more. Malcolm McDowell's brilliant performance was the one redeeming feature of the film, for me; he must be permanently scarred from his efforts - bless 'im.
ASTRO-RATING ~ Scorpio rising with Mars conjunct Pluto on the ascendant.

BARRY LYNDON (1975)~ Another directed by Stanley Kubrick. This one, based on a Thackeray novel, engaged my attention enough to force me to buy part 2. We'd picked up what we thought was the complete film on VHS tape in a junk shop, then found it was only part 1.
The whole is a mannered and darkly humorous tale of a ne'er do-well not unlike a more elegant version of the lead in Clockwork Orange. Set in 18th century Ireland and England. No happy ending here, plenty of come-uppance on all fronts. Rather strange casting of Ryan O'Neal as Barry Lyndon, I thought. It's a stylised period soap opera of sorts. Worth seeing for the settings and costumes, and Thackeray's story-telling. Some of the scenes could easily be mistaken 18th century art pieces.
ASTRO-RATING ~ Saturn conjunct Neptune. Justice prevails in spite of illusions.

IT'S COMPLICATED (2009) Directed by Nancy Meyers. ~ A romantic comedy, shown on HBO recently. Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep and Steve Martin play out a tale of middle-aged divorcees falling for each other all over again. Entertaining, no effort required, no violence and some good performances by seasoned stars, along with a relative newcomer who caught our eye with some good charismatic comedic timing: John Krasinski who played the eldest daughter's fiancé. Good, and right, ending too!
ASTRO-RATING ~ Venus and Mercury both retrograde while transiting and re-transiting Jupiter in Libra. The past sometimes repeats itself, love-wise.

I'LL BE THERE ~ (2003) A British movie written, directed and starring Craig Ferguson, best-known in the US for his Late Late Show. Co-star is young singer Charlotte Church. Another romantic comedy. A newly discovered biological father theme, blended with rocker on the skids theme, and a charismatic grandpa beautifully played by Joss Ackland.
ASTRO-RATING ~ Venus conjunct Moon & Saturn in Cancer. Mothers and fathers sometimes need a push in the right direction.

TEA WITH MUSSOLINI ~ (1999) Semi-autobiographical movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli, telling the story of young Italian boy's upbringing by a circle of English and American women, before and during World War II, set mainly in Florence and San Gimignano - gorgeous scenery, a cast of great actresses: Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Cher, Lily Tomlin, and a newcomer Baird Wallace as the boy, "Luca". Quality film-making! Good stuff!
ASTRO-RATING ~ Moon in Cancer at mid-heaven. All about the women.

ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE (2003) - The only documentary of the group. Made by Rober Kane Pappas, includes appearances by Michael Moore, Senator (then Rep.) Bernie Sanders, Tony Benn (my political hero from the UK), Greg Pallast and others. The film explores the question "Has America entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth? Are Americans being sold a bill of goods by a handful of transnational media corporations and political elites whose interest have little in common with the interests of the American people? The film explores what the media doesn't like to talk about - itself. (Quote from the DVD cover).

Great documentary - should be more widely known than it seems to be. On a scale of 10 - it's a 12.
ASTRO-RATING ~ Mercury in Gemini on the ascendant and conjunct Neptune, planet of illusion. Communication, communication, communication.


Saw a movie Sunday evening on TV - can't recall the channel but it was a Hallmark film. Hallmarks are likely to be over-the-top sugary even for my taste, but as I flicked through the on-screen programme schedule I spotted Sam Elliott's name attached to this one: November Christmas. I'd watch Sam Elliott in anything, absolutely anything at all. So we watched November Christmas. I'll not expand on the storyline in case others will see the movie at some point this season - it's bound to be repeated and repeated until 2011 and beyond.

Hint: Kleenex needed. Sam Elliott puts the heart into the advertised "heartwarming". This one really was my antidote to the poisonous Clockwork Orange.
ASTRO-RATING ~ All the sweetness and hope of the zodiac - name your own.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday ~ John Philip Sousa & Transit of Venus

I'm no fan of military marching music - too much connection with warlike goings-on for my taste, but searching around for a Music Monday "victim" I happened across a reference to The Transit of Venus March by John Philip Sousa. That bears some investigation!

(NOTE: A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, obscuring a small portion of the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun.
Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena and currently occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years.)

Wikipedia tells about The Transit of Venus March :
One year after the 1882 Transit of Venus, Sousa was commissioned to compose a processional for the unveiling of a bronze statue of American physicist Joseph Henry, who had died in 1878. Henry, who had developed the first electric motor, was also the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

As a Freemason, Sousa was fascinated by what the group considered mystical qualities in natural phenomena. According to Sten Odenwald of the NASA IMAGE Science Center, this played a significant role in the selection of the time and date of the performance, April 19, 1883, at 4:00 P.M. Dr. Odenwald points out that Venus and Mars, invisible to the participants, were setting in the west. At the same time, the moon, Uranus, and Virgo were rising in the east, Saturn had crossed the meridian, and Jupiter was directly overhead. According to Masonic lore, Venus was associated with the element copper, and Joseph Henry had used large quantities of copper to build his electric motors.

The Transit of Venus March never caught on during Sousa's lifetime. It went unplayed for more than 100 years after Sousa's copies of the music were destroyed in a flood. As reported in The Washington Post, Library of Congress employee Loras Schissel recently found copies of the old sheet music for Venus "languishing in the library's files". The piece was resurrected recently, in time for the 2004 Transit.

Sousa's best known marches are familiar to most of us: The Liberty Bell, Semper Fidelis,The Stars And Stripes Forever and The Washington Post. I've added a video of a version of The Liberty Bell which has a link to something far removed from the military and war.

Sousa was born on 6 November 1854 in Washington DC. His natal chart is available at Astrodatabank HERE.

His Sun (self) and Venus (art/music) are found in Scorpio, and here perhaps is the source of his gravitation to a chosen music style. Scorpio is the sign ruled traditionally by Mars with its links to war and aggression. Scorpio's modern ruler, Pluto, has darkish connections too. To be fair, though, I should note also that Sousa wrote operas and musical suites as well as military marches.

Sousa's natal Moon lay in Gemini as he was born - which links nicely to his writing skills. He wrote three novels and a full length autobiography as well as many articles on a variety of topics. He was in the vanguard of the reactionary camp in the music piracy wars of his era in which authors of sheet music railed against the upstart recording industry. In a submission to a congressional hearing in 1906, he argued that:
These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy ... in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.
I wonder what Sousa would make of the present musical landscape?

Sousa's music crops up in some rather unexpected places. Remember this?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life as a Crossword Puzzle

Another snippet from Pools of Lodging for the Moon by David K. Reynolds, PhD.(1989). The message behind this one is less clear than that offered by two others I've quoted in the past. If a passing reader can interpret Vacuum Packed differently from my own attempt, please feel free - I'd be interested to read alternative ideas.


Heddy reads old TV Guide magazines. She watches reruns of televison quiz shows, sometimes shouting out the answers even before the questions are asked. She keeps videotapes of commercials for products she can no longer buy.

Sally was buried with an extra pair of her favourite shoes in the coffin.

Jerry types page after page of random-letter gibberish at the VA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Typing clinic. He calls the ten thousand pages of single-spaced nonsense his "manuscript".

Franklyn pushes the floor button of the elevator exactly twice, then he pushes the close-door button exactly three times, then he presses against the bottom of the button panel with the palm of his right hand and waits expectantly for the door to close.

In the crossword puzzle of life the meanings may not be easily found. They are there, nevertheless.

Life can be seen as a crossword puzzle, that's true. We each find ways of filling in the blanks to suit our own situations. Some choose to fill in the blanks with the help of a little astrology, guided by the inner nature reflected through their natal charts.

Sometimes we manage to fill in the blanks wrongly, find that our choices, decisions or opinions didn't fit with other essential factors, then we need to erase our initial idea, re-group and start anew.

Erno Rubik (of cube fame)said "The problems of puzzles are very near the problems of life." In life, however, unless one is convinced that "fate" is in charge of events, there is no pre-determined solution - we must craft our own.

At times, when absolutely nothing seems to fit, we rely our "automatic pilot" which, if not well-tuned, might lead to experiences such as those described in Vacuum-Packed - different ways of filling in those pesky blanks when nothing else seems right.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Paul Delvaux ~ Nudes & Moons & Trains & Skeletons.....

I enjoy surrealism in art, the combination of meticulously detailed realistic subject matter with unreal, highly imaginative or dreamlike situations satisfies both sides of my taste.

Paul Delvaux was one of the 20th century's Belgian surrealists. His work was somewhat overshadowed by that of René Magritte, though it is reported that Delvaux did not consider himself of the same ilk, and was not in tune with any political aims espoused by the the Belgian surrealists. He saw his own style as following the carefully detailed realism of earlier Flemish artists such as Jan Van Eyck.

Delvaux was said to be a quiet and rather reclusive person. The subject matter of most of his paintings tends to be repetitive. Nude or almost nude statuesque females in suspended animation, classical architecture, and, oddly, skeletons and trains. There's an underlying ironic eroticism there, with some allusion to the double standards of Victorian sexual morality.

Looking through his paintings at Google Image I noticed that the Moon appears in many of them (a few examples follow). That, along with his obsession with the female nude figure had me wondering whether there'd be an emphasis on Cancer in his natal chart.







Paul Delvaux was born on 23 September 1897 in Antheit, near Huy, Belgium at, according to Astrodatabank, 10:00PM

Initially I worked with a 12 noon chart, didn't check Astrotheme or Astrodatabank until quite late in the proceedings, then was happy to find that Delvaux had Cancer rising! Cancer connects to all things feminine, and to its ruler...the Moon. The Moon itself lay in Leo as Delvaux was born, and - wouldn't ya know it.....conjunct Venus, planet of the arts! I love it when a plan comes together!

Delvaux's Sun at 00 degree Libra is conjoined with Mercury and Jupiter in the late degrees of Virgo. Libra is ruled by Venus, planet of the arts, Mercury and Jupiter in Virgo link nicely to this artist's meticulous, realistic depiction of both architecture and the human female body.

As for his gravitation to the surreal and/or erotic: Saturn and Uranus (the traditional and the unexpected)are conjoined in Scorpio (sign of eroticism).

No more need be said!

LA CIUDAD DORMIDA (The Sleeping City)






Thursday, November 25, 2010

"....Still I'd like to express my thanks"

With Irving Berlin's song from Annie Get Your Gun, a sincere thank you to readers and commenters for their interest in my blog. And Thanksgiving Greetings to all - celebrating or not. Greetings and thanks never go amiss! I like this particular song for me and my astrology blog: Sun in the morning and the Moon at night are truly astrology's stock in trade - not that I do any trade, but you know what I mean. Personally, too, I have more to be thankful for than just the two great lights:

Lovely husband....check
Part share in his lovely family....check
Talented, interesting blog buddies...check
Enough of everything to keep body & soul together....check.

This version of the song is by Jacobson JCC in Roslyn, which (I think) is in the Long Island region of New York. Sound and vocal is good - gestures, dancing and arm waving gets giggle-worthy in places, but that just adds to its charm!

Taking stock of what I have and what I haven't
What do I find?
The things I got will keep me satisfied
Checking up on what I have and what I haven't
What do I find?
A healthy balance on the credit side

Got no diamond
Got no pearl
Still I think I'm a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night

Got no mansion
Got no yacht
Still I'm happy with what I got
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night

Gives me a lovely day
Gives me the Milky Way

Got no checkbooks
Got no banks
Still I'd like to express my thanks
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night

And with the sun in the morning
And the moon in the evening
I'm all right.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I guess it's not too surprising to find that acting, or show business in some form, can run in families.

In Britain there are/were (off the top of my head) The Redgraves; James Fox and son Laurence, Edward Woodward and son Tim, Richard Beckinsale and daughter Kate....and I'm sure there are more. In the USA the Bridges family: Lloyd, Beau, Jeff spring to mind first, then Kirk Douglas and son Michael, the Carradines, John, David and Keith - and so on.

There's probably an "acting gene", as well as a bit of nepotism creeping in here and there to assist offspring with a smidgin of inherited talent. But is there any astrological link ? Will it be Leo? That seems the most likely, being sign of the "show-off" (tongue in cheek there).

One US show-biz family I hadn't noticed until this week is the Ritters - Tex, his son John and grandson Jason.

John Ritter, along with several named in the earlier paragraph has, sadly, left us already. Star of the TV sitcom Three's Comapny (a US version of the British-made original Man About the House) died, aged 54 in 2003 just 6 days from his 55th birthday. His father, the singing cowboy Tex had died early too, aged 68 and 10 days before his 69th birthday. Father and son both died of heart-related problems.

Jason Ritter, grandson of Tex is currently starring in the TV series The Event. We've watched this from its pilot and have managed to become more confused by the week. It's annoyingly addictive and frustratingly muddling with its habit of flashbacks coming up seemingly every few minutes.

Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to look at the three Ritter birth charts to see whether there's any family likeness at all to be seen there. Of course the female input ought to be taken into consideration in a full investigation, so this is going to tell only half of a story. Still, for a line of males, this could be useful. Maybe.

I have time of birth in one case only - John's; the other two charts are set for 12 noon so Moon degree/sign and rising sign are not going to be accurate.

Probably clearest if done by list. (Note: this is to point out similarities and links only - not to interpret their personalities.)

All 3 Suns in 3rd decan of their signs (not sure if of significance or not).

Tex and son John's Suns are in trine in Earth signs - 29 Capricorn, 24 Virgo.

All 3 men have Moon in a Water sign whatever their times of birth. Tex's Moon would be in Cancer irrespective of birth time, John's and Jason's were both in Pisces.

Tex and John both have Mars in Scorpio at 2 degrees and 9 degrees.

Tex and John have Jupiters in (Fire) trine 22 Aries/20 Sagittarius.

John and Jason have Venus in (Fire) trine at 9 Leo and 9 Aries.

Jason has 3 planets in Virgo (Jupiter/Mars/Saturn) with Saturn conjoining his father's Virgo Sun. His own Aquarius Sun at 28 degrees is close to his grandfather Tex's Saturn at 20 Aquarius.

There's not a lot of show-bizzy sign Leo to the fore except in John's case. He had Venus and Saturn there, and generational Pluto. So my guess about Leo providing a link was wrong. That was a plan that didn't "come together". Still there are some definite familial links.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

JUPITER'S CHILDREN (Sagittarius & Pisces)

First: Some illustrations for Sagittarius-types everywhere ~ Happy Birthday Y'all!

The Centaur by Michael Parkes

Two by Ronald Searle from "Searle's Zodiac"

AND ~ because Sagittarius is an equal opportunities sign:

Mosaic in North Africa showing two female centaurs crowning Venus, "The Discovery of the African Centaurs of Aphrodite".

A Female Centaur and Companion Making Music. (Neopolitan School of Italian art).

Second: Because there's a limit to ways of presenting the "personalities" of zodiac signs, as the Sun enters them year by year I'm not even going to try to find a new slant this time around, as the Sun enters Sagittarius.

What follows is an edited version of what I came up with for Sagittarius (and sister-sign Pisces) 3 years ago. I found it interesting to read again myself, perhaps others will too. Archived posts on Sagittarius can be easily accessed by clicking on "Sagittarius" in the Label Cloud on sidebar (see right).

Sagittarius and Pisces are traditionally both ruled by planet Jupiter. 20th century American astrologer Carl Payne Tobey in his book An Astrology Primer for the Millions (1965) defines similarities and differences between the two.

This author focuses on something to which I hadn't previously given much thought: links between pairs of zodiac signs with a common planetary ruler in traditional astrology.

The Sun is now in one of Jupiter's governorships: Sagittarius. All Sagittarius-types qualify as Jupiter's people, as do Pisces-types - i.e. people with emphasis on these signs via Sun, cluster of planets, Moon or rising sign.

Whereas Gemini and Virgo-types (Mercury's People)are said to be linked very strongly to their nervous systems, Sagittarius and Pisces, Carl Payne Tobey tells us, are connected to
.....something beyond the nervous system, which is in some way connected to it. These signs relate to some of the phenomena, that orthodox science and academicians are afraid to investigate.The psychic powers are related to Pisces while intuition is related to Sagittarius.

Mr Tobey points out that, in modern astrological doctrine, Pisces is ruled by Neptune and Sagittarius by Jupiter. Traditionally, though, both came under rulership of Jupiter, hence some similarities.

Both of these signs have a strong curiosity about the unknown and something akin to a religious interest, although it may not be a church type of interest. The consciousness of both signs goes beyond the usual, everyday affairs of life. Survival and money making isn't enough.

Some similarities between the two signs:
They are less inclined to live by rules and regulations, not inclined to be atheists, less likely to doubt life after death, or existence in form prior to this life, both recognise the vastness of the unknown and less likely to accept what authorities say about it. Both signs like to travel and explore. Yet in other respects, these two signs are the opposite of each other.

Sagittarius is direct and to the point, outspoken with no heed for consequences-
.....plain simple honesty, the sort of thing society requests, but can't take. The Sagittarian is in a constant state of evolution. Seldom do we find one of these people who remains within the church in which he was brought up. Not easily brainwashed, truth is more important to them than loyalty to any church, family or heredity. Interested in all branches of knowledge, anything to do with hidden truth. The average Sagittarian is more jovial than other signs. If you need help he won't walk by. If you are down he will want to cheer you up, and he may then try to indocrinate you with his philosophy, not to indoctrinate you but to cheer you up and give you a better, more optimistic outlook...

Pisces is the opposite of Sagittarius in many respects. In place of intuition it is likely to have psychic powers. It may dream things before they happen. It lives partly in some other, unknown world. It can have mental and emotional problems that Sagittarius is not likely to know about, unless it has some very negative Neptunian afflictions. In place of outspokenness, Pisces is secretive. Instead of wanting to tell the truth, it will tell you what it thinks will have the best effect on you, or the effect that it desires. Nobody ever knows just what the Pisces person thinks because it never tells its true thoughts to anyone .....because it knows that society is too brainwashed to to be able to face the truth. Pisces people are sympathetic and compassionate, like Sagittarian folk they have a good sense of humour, Piscean humour is subtle though."

Whereas Pisces recognises that most moral codes are strictly phoney and born of hypocrisy, it doesn't try to change them, it goes around them and does what it wishes, secretly. Sagittarius on the other hand crusades to change the laws and is too apt to mistake hypocisy for ignorance. It can't really believe that human nature is dishonest because its own nature is not dishonest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ooh Ahhh! A Revolutionary Call From Cantona.

Apart from the tune at the end of the post, I'm giving Music Monday a rest today and focus instead on the natal chart of someone in the news this weekend, a former soccer player for some of the most successful soccer teams in England: French-born Eric Cantona. He appears to be at the center of a revolutionary call to the people of France, and elsewhere, to remove their money from the banks. A YouTube video of him explaining his advice has "gone viral" - whatever that means.

Here it is.

Monsieur Cantona - pronounced to rhyme with "Oooh ah Cantona!!!" the chant used by soccer fans in my old stomping grounds of Manchester and Leeds where he played the "beautiful game" to perfection. His current actions are no surprise. He has always been something of a rebel. From a biography HERE

One of the most flamboyant players ever to play the game, Eric Cantona’s antics off the field often seem to outshine his brilliance on the field. Eric’s career started with the small French side Auxerre, and from there he moved on to first division team Marseille for a fee of £2.3 million.

It was during his stay at Marseille that Eric’s temper began to surface. Having been substituted in a friendly against Torpedo Moscow, Eric ripped off his jersey and threw it to the ground in disgust. Marseille imposed a short ban for his actions. Around the same time, Eric found himself banned form the French National Team for insulting the coach on French TV........ Not long after all this, Eric was loaned to Bordeaux, but he moved on to Montpeiller...........at another club, this time Nimes. ......and while at Nimes Eric found himself called before the French Football Association for throwing a ball at a referee during a match. When the French FA handed him a one month ban for his actions, Eric called them all idiots and the FA raised the ban to 2 months. This didn’t sit well with the spirited Cantona, and he decided in retaliation to retire early from the game that he loved.

Eric was convinced to come out of retirement and move to England...... he joined Leeds,and in his second year with the team helped them win the league title. Ironically, Eric found it hard to remain in the first team with Leeds and soon found himself offloaded to Manchester United where his legendary status continued to grow. He helped lead Man United to championship after championship. It was with ManUnited that he made his biggest mistake – the legendary “Kung Fu” kick.

In a 1995 game against Crystal Palace, Eric ran into the stands and kicked a fan forshouting racial slurs at him. He was dealt a heavy fine and sentenced to serve 120hours of community service plus a 9-month ban from the game. Eventually Ericrejoined Man United and helped them win several more championships, but his retirement in 96-97 surprised everyone. Many people felt he could have played many more years.
Following his retirement from football, Cantona took up acting. He had a role in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, and the 2009 film Looking for Eric. In 2010, he debuts as a stage actor in a French play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni.

He was born in Marseille, France on 24 May 1966. Astrodatabank has his birthtime at 12:30 AM, with their best AA rating - thought to be reliable. I'm glad, because that birth time makes his rising sign rebellious Aquarius. What's more, Aquarius's ruler, Uranus was tightly conjunct Pluto in 1966 - that's a generational phenomenon, not specific to Cantona, but still significant because his rising sign's ruler is involved. His Sun/Mercury/Mars cover the last degrees of Taurus and first few of Gemini. These three conjoined planets reflect rather aggressive tendencies(Mars) aligned with a need to communicate them.

Moon in sentimental Cancer, with Saturn in gentle Pisces in sextile to his Taurus planets, indicate a strong underlying compassionate streak, which could well be the basis of his call to rebel against the banks.

Revolution calls for a fighting spirit, but there has also to be compassion for those most affected by societal wrongs.

His words: Sometimes you get submerged by emotion. I think it's very important to express it - which doesn't necessarily mean hitting someone.
Eric Cantona

How wise, or effective Cantona's call will be in reality isn't clear, but I have to admire his fighting spirit, and his ability to inspire. If there is ever to be any change in the status quo in Europe or the USA, it'll take many more well-known raised voices, such as Cantona's, to drum up response from a largely complacent populace.