Friday, August 31, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~~ Roger Dean & Album Art

Album covers from the days of long-playing records (the 33rpm vinyl jobs) are a lost art form, along with index cards, paper files, accounting ledgers, blotters and the like. Modern man wouldn't count files and ledgers as art forms but for me, in their own sweet way, they are. Things of the past, things one could hold, appreciate, feel. They are fondly remembered.

Which brings me to an artist celebrating his birthday today, 31 August: Roger Dean. I have to admit I was unfamiliar with the artist's name, but do recognise his work, once pointed in the right direction.

Dean's father's army career meant that he and the family spent much of his childhood abroad, in Cyprus, Greece and Hong Kong. His family settled back in England in 1957, when Dean enrolled in the Canterbury School of Art. By 1968 he had graduated from the Royal College of Art, with credentials in design and architecture as well in painting. One of his designs, the sea urchin chair, was featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange.

Roger Dean's work really began to be noticed, though, around 1971 when he embarked on paintings and design work for use on album covers for then famous rock bands. Much of the artwork he produced then has since become iconic in its genre.

Copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner.

A wee bit of astrology ~~~

Roger Dean was born in Ashford, Kent on 21 August 1944. His time of birth isn't available, the chart is set for 12 noon. Unless born before 7:00 AM Moon would have been in early Aquarius; otherwise in late Capricorn.

That's quite a striking chart! A lot of Virgo: Sun/Jupiter, Mercury, Venus all in the sign of the perfectionist, with Mars conjunct creative Neptune in Libra, almost certainly in harmonious trine to natal Moon, which I'm betting was in early Aquarius bearing in mind the artist's attraction to futuristic-cum-fantasy subject matter.
Dean, along with many of his generation, has a Grand Trine in his natal chart linking the creative Neptune/Uranus trine to a personal planet - in his case, natal Moon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Casting for a real-life character in a movie must be difficult enough, but easier than casting a fictional character from a famous and often beloved novel or set of novels. The real-life character provides a definite template to match, factual evidence of personality, voice and appearance. Even then, though, choice of actor for the role doesn't satisfy everyone; a really bad choice could sink a movie. Brilliant choices ? Let's see......Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh; Colin Firth as King George VI; Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote; David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow; George C. Scott as Patton; Sean Penn as Harvey Milk; Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo; Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher....and on, and on.

Casting actors for fictional roles, characters previously well-known to the public through famous novels, has to be a trickier matter. As we read we develop mind's-eye impressions of the novel's characters, led by the novelist's outline descriptions, character-type being revealed from the story-line. But impressions are going to be subjective, depending on the reader's own background, experiences and knowledge.

I'd already been thinking along these lines the other day when I read a post at Nourishing Obscurity - a blog which carries political opinions opposite to my own, but along with a variety of other interesting bits and pieces. The post in question discussed preferences for different actors who have played Ian Fleming's James Bond.

My earlier thoughts had been about casting choices in a couple of movies/mini-series, adaptations of novels, we'd watched recently. Clint Eastwood's portrayal of Robert Kincaid in the movie version of Robert J. Waller's short novel The Bridges of Madison County seemed fine when I saw the movie years ago, and once or twice since. I've read the book, twice, since then though, and now suspect that Eastwood wasn't exactly right for the part. Height, build and age-wise he was near, but his hair should've been longer. However, the "mystical, shaman-like, primitive" quality described in the novel more than once, was completely missing in Eastwood's portrayal - it's just not in him. I can't name an actor any better equipped to play Kincaid though, so I guess, as concluded in the Bond discussion mentioned above, there simply isn't anybody who could fit completely, tick all the boxes. Fiction's like that!
“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.”
Winston Churchill.

Another favourite novel of mine, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute was first adapted as a movie, sinfully skimpily, back in 1956. Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch played leading roles of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Much as I loved Peter Finch, he just wasn't right as Joe....nowhere near! In 1981 a TV mini-series presented an excellent and total portrayal of the novel, with Helen Morse and Bryan Brown in the leading roles. Bryan Brown was exactly as I'd imagined Joe from the novel, and Helen Morse a rather better version of Jean Paget, according to my imagination.

Then there are "hybrid" roles: characters who have actually existed, but in times and places where reliable records are often absent. Around such characters myths and legends have grown up over the decades rendering them almost fictional. I'm thinking here mainly of characters from the Old West: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are good examples. These two have been portrayed numerous times, hardly ever in similar vein. Most recent(1990s) examples of actors playing Doc Holliday were Val Kilmer in Tombstone and Dennis Quaid in Wyatt Earp. I saw both movies when they reached TV screens. I still have difficulty choosing between these two very good but very different versons of Doc Holliday who, for me was always these movies' most interesting - and malleable - character.

An actor of exceptional talent and emotional insight, even when their physical appearance isn't in accord with either the real-life person's or fictional character's (as described by the novelist), should still be able to convince us that he/she truly IS that character. Any examples of that? I doubt that it happens very often in movies or TV these days. We've become so visually-oriented. Possibly in a stage play where close-ups aren't possible such a phenomenon survives. Radio, long ago, was the medium through which a "homely" looking actor could play a handsome debonair rascal, and actresses "of a certain age" could still play sweet young things. I miss radio - well, the BBC's version of radio anyway.

If there's anybody out there - how about sharing some of your own examples of good and/or bad casting?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MISCELLANY... touching on a Sun Virgo astrologer, fashion police, lifeboat heroes, photography.

Continuing a monthly trawl through astrologers with birthdays in zodiac sign where the sun currently resides: Virgo Sun astrologers proved to be rare. I found only Liz Greene and Louis MacNeice. The latter born 12 September 1907 in Belfast, Northern Ireland was a poet and scholar, rather than an astrologer proper, but he did write a book on the subject. My post on him is HERE .

Liz Greene was born on 4 September 1946 at 1:01 PM in Englewood, New Jersey (see chart at Astrodatabank)
American professional astrologer and author, Jungian psychologist and lecturer; one of the most highly respected astrologers of the 20th century. Greene has been awarded the Regulus Award for Theory and Understanding, 1989, recognizing the work with other disciplines and philosophical models. She relocated to England and then to Switzerland. With Howard Sasportas, she founded the Center for Psychological Astrology in London. Her books include "Saturn, A New Look for an Old Devil," "Star Signs for Lovers," and "The Outer Planets and Their Cycles." After Sasportas died of AIDS, she teamed with Charles Harvey as co-head of the Center.

Does she match the pattern I've been trying to establish (i.e. that best astrologers have Air (mental acuity) and Water (emotional intelligence) prominent in their charts)?
She does: 5 planets in Air signs (Libra and Gemini), a Water sign (Scorpio) rising.

Glancing down the long list of tags on my Blogger dashboard I noticed fascism and fashion adjacent....the fashion police ("never wear white after Labor Day, don't wear socks with sandals, don't wear back bra under pale shirt", etc )come to think of it are really distant cousins to outright fascists!

Among some photos we took during the time husband lived with me in the UK, in Bridlington, on the East Yorkshire coast I noticed this:

We found the gravestones of James Watson (43), David Purdon (38) and Robert Pickering (34) in the grounds of the town's Priory Church; they represent a very sad story of men who sacrificed their lives attempting to save the crew of a brig "Delta". In February of 1871 a terrible storm and gale, often referred to as the most notorious and best remembered of all the gales on the Yorkshire coast, caused the destruction of several vessels and deaths of many seamen and lifeboat crews around Bridlington Bay. A report of events is available at Flamborough Lifeboats website. The gravestones in the photograph commemorate three of the crew of the lifeboat Harbinger, David Purdon, one of the three, had also built the boat, three other crewmen of the Harbinger perished too.

The report of that storm reminded me of the raw courage lifeboatmen everywhere have always displayed, often with little recompense. They, along with firefighters are the TRUE heroes of our times, and of times long past.
A man of courage never wants weapons.
~Author Unknown

Painting by J.T. Allerston, see also HERE.

Words of my husband, aka "anyjazz" on photography:
A friend once described the difference between "taking pictures" and being "a photographer": You have to have the eye.

Taking a picture often catches the moment, a photographer catches the mood, the aura, the personality, the action. A picture shows you Grandma Hattie in her best dress. A photograph shows you how she felt that day. A photographer knows how to use the medium to capture more than the image. The elements.

Think about that: The Elements.

Color, balance, texture, design, rhythm and detail all are parts of most photographs, illustrations or paintings. These are basic elements of visual arts. There are probably others. Start with these.

In some photographs there can be seen action, story, drama, emotion, mood. Some others record a moment, predict an outcome, ask a question, decide an argument, set a course.

In some photographs the subject matter alone can be an element of its beauty or worthiness. In another photograph, there may be no identifiable subject at all but other elements, color, action, mood are there. In a sports photo for instance, the subject can be quite secondary to the excitement, the event, the action.

Sometimes it is just a picture of a baby, sometimes it is a picture of the future of mankind. Both pictures are wonderful but one is just an image of a child while the other is a legend.

Physical elements: Color, balance, texture, design, rhythm and detail. Intangible elements: action, story, drama, emotion and mood.

If a photograph combines several of these elements then it is likely an exceptional photograph.

A website carrying daily doses of all manner of wonderful photographs is

Below are some of the husband's own work - shots he particularly likes:

"Some years ago I attended a couple Pawnee Powwow celebrations in Pawnee, Oklahoma. This gentleman posed for a picture. He was a distant relative of mine, loosely connected through marriage. A sort of ex-father-in-law from an ex-marriage of an ex-marriage...or something like that. He was a full blood Pawnee, I understand. His name was: Chauncey Gardipe. He and I actually got along rather well to the best of my memory.
This is a scan of an old print. I shot it with my old workhorse Pentax K1000 and some tri-x film. You can now tell how long ago it must have been. 40 years probably."

"I remember this shot very well. I was at Lac Gustav in Northern Quebec. The wind died for a moment and I got a shot in while the water was smooth as a mirror. The logs are the remainder of an old dock that had been replaced with the one next to it. Knowing what it really was kept me from seeing that it was a beautiful optical illusion."

"Bored but Quiet"

Monday, August 27, 2012

"2016 Obama's America"......& A VP Who Got Into the Game - The Music Game

A new film reaching a wider arc of cinemas this weekend is: 2016: Obama's America I wasn't surprised to find that it's not on the schedule at our local movie theater, but it's being shown in Wichita Falls, Texas, some 50 miles away. Having read a few reviews I've decided it'd be a waste of gas and cash better spent on a (hopefully) upcoming trip further afield.

For anyone curious about the movie I'd recommend a very fair review by a moderate Republican writer, Mike Ghouse at the Smirking Chimp website: 2016 Obama’s America - A disgustingly dishonest film. I'm no fan of the President, as anyone who reads my posts will have gathered. My own feelings do not stem from anywhere near the same place as the opinions of Dinesh D'Souza, this movie's creator, quite the opposite end of the political spectrum, in fact. This film, polished propaganda, the wide release of which was obviously timed to coincide with the Republican convention, appears to be critical of the President for reasons which I see as irrelevant. His record over the past three and a half years alone offers material enough for two movies.


Thoughts of the likes of Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Dick Cheney writing a beautiful melody boggles the average mind. There was a Vice President in the USA who did just that, though: Charles Gates Dawes - today is the anniversary of his birth on 27 August 1865. He died in 1951.

A banker, politician, self-taught pianist and composer, in 1911 he wrote a piece originally known as Melody in A Major. It became a kind of signature tune for him when he later became President Calvin Coolidge's VP. 40 years later lyricist Carl Sigman added words to the melody and VP Dawes' work morphed into the pop song It's All In the Game, the only number one pop single in history written by a Vice President of the United States. Tommy Edwards sang the hit version in 1958, since then many other artists have recorded it.

The melody (arr. Kreisler) performed by
Ivry Gitlis, violin; Shuku Iwasaki, piano.

The smooth-as-silk voice of Nat King Cole with the pop song version:

Charles Gates Dawes was US Vice President between 1925 and 1929, VP Dawes must have been quite a character. According to Wikipedia:
"Dawes' Vice Presidency was one of the most disastrous on record. Soon after his election he sent an insulting letter to President Coolidge informing him that he would not be attending cabinet meetings. This is believed to be the beginning of a feud between the two which brought the Vice Presidency to its nadir for the 20th century.

Having insulted the President, he then proceeded to publicly insult the entire US Senate. The inauguration of the Vice President was held in the Senate Chamber in those days, and the VP would give an inaugural address before everyone headed on to the outside platform where the President would take the oath. Dawes made a fiery, half-hour address denouncing the rules of the Senate, the seniority system and many other things that Senators held dear.

Everyone was so shocked at the speech that President Coolidge's own inaugural address was completely overshadowed, leaving him even angrier at Dawes than ever before."

For his work on The Dawes Plan, a plan to enable Germany to restore and stabilize its economy after World War I, Dawes shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. The plan was deemed unworkable and replaced with The Young Plan, with harsher provisions against Germany. Later in his career Dawes became US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

A rapid rundown of his natal chart for any passing astrology buffs:
Charles Gates Dawes was born 27 August 1865 in Marietta, Ohio. astrodatabank has time of birth as 3:32 PM with a "C" rating (accept with caution)....this birth time gives Capricorn rising, and while not completely reliable is entirely appropriate for a banker and politcian.

The aggressive, critical and outspoken character he obviously was can be seen as connecting to Mars (aggression) conjunct Mercury(communication) in Virgo(critical), squared by Jupiter(excess) in its own sign of Sagittarius(outspoken). His natal Sun in critical Virgo also. Uranus sextiles his natal Sun - here may reside the rebel.

His natal Moon was in passionate Scorpio, and in harmonious trine to Venus (the arts) in Cancer which links to his musical talent.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Speculative fiction writer William Gibson, in his novel Pattern Recognition, wrote :
“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. ... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition”.
Pattern recognition is something astrologers use, too, when attempting to predict the future. Future configurations of the planets, similar to configurations which have occurred years, decades or centuries before, small patterns and huge ones, are basic ingredients of astrological prediction.

We humans have inbuilt patterns: habits, species-wide; one of them is a fascination with the future, yearning to know what it might hold for us.

In 1987 a then sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard, better known now for his Scientology thing, threw down a challenge to other sci-fi authors and some scientists to write letters to the people of 2012, setting out ideas and predictions of how life in that future world might be. 2012 then lay 25 years ahead. Their now 25-year-old thoughts are interesting, some were off mark, some, whose authors more clearly understood pattern recognition, have proved to be reasonably accurate.

The whole article is a good read -
Time Capsule Predictions 1987.

Here are just a few lines from some of the entries:

Assuming we haven't destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, there will be 8-10 billion of us on this planet—and widespread hunger. These troubles can be traced back to President Ronald Reagan who smiled and waved too much.

Oil is running out, but shale-extracted oil is getting cheaper. The real shortage in much of the world is…water.......Most Americans are barely literate, think in images rather than symbols, and think the future is something that will happen to somebody else…just as today…......Bases on the moon, an expedition to Mars…all done. But the big news will be some problematical evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.

The most socially approved-of individuals will constitute a narrowly focused aristocracy, and will be at the mercy of dull functionaries and secretive rebels who actually perform the day-to-day maintenance of society. Social regimentation will then have become so deft that most people will regard any other social milieu as pitiable.

Japan will be the central economic power in the world, owning or controlling a significant part of European and American industries......The American economy will have experienced a gentle yet relentless decline. Our children will not live such comfortable lives as we do. The spread between the rich and the poor will have grown, and crime will have become so prevalent as to threaten the social fabric. The rich and the poor will form 2 armed camps. Most automobiles and heavy machinery will be manufactured in Japanese owned planets located in America. Yet, agriculture and higher education will be our most successful exports..........

All the evidence of what is going on in the world today leads to the conclusion that none of these good things are going to happen, because our country, the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world (and, I have always thought, the best) is bankrupting itself to recruit and train terrorists in Latin America, give arms to terrorists all over the world, develop and employ fleets, armies and weapons systems which have no purpose except to pound any country which disagrees with us into submission. Since, unfortunately for us, the people who disagree with us have terrorists, fleets, armies and weapons systems of their own, the most plausible future scenario is all-out nuclear war.

ORSON SCOTT CARD Americans will see the collapse of Imperial America, the Pax Americana, as having ended with our loss of national will and national selflessness in the 1970s. Worldwide economic collapse will have cost America its dominant world role; but it will not result in Russian hegemony; their economy is too dependent on the world economy to maintain an irresistible military force. A new world order will emerge from famine, disease, and social dislocation: the re-tribalization of Africa, the destruction of the illusion of Islamic unity, the struggle between aristocracy and proletariat in Latin America—without the financial support of the industrialized nations, the old order will be gone. The changes will be as great as those emerging from the fall of Rome, with new power centers emerging wherever stability and security are established. The homogeneity of Israel will probably allow it to survive; Mexico and Japan may change rulers, but they will still be strong. If America is to recover, we must stop pretending to be what we were in 1950, and reorder our values away from pursuit of privilege.

JACK WILLIAMSON If we had a time-phone, now in 1987, we would beg you to forgive us. We have burdened you with impossible debts, wasted and polluted the planet that should have been your rich heritage, left you instead a dreadful legacy of ignorance, want, and war.

What might a batch of today's writers and scientists predict for the year 2037 - 25 years from now? Included in their assessments, for sure, would be climate problems, water shortage, consequent food shortages, limits on use of electric power and oil-based fuels. Technological progress will have slowed due to already mentioned issues. The economy? Who knows?!

Using a little astrology: Pluto planet of transformation will have been transiting Aquarius, sign of the rebel, since 2025. Transformation, Pluto-style occurs only after an often painful purging of all that has outlived its usefulness. Pluto's previous transit of Capricorn would have left behind much that was in need of a good purge! At some point between now and 2037, probably soon after 2025, the population of several countries will be roused to outright rebellion against systems then in place...."the purging effect". By 2037 the worst should be over, with problems still to be faced - but with hope and fresh enthusiasm.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Greece, Zorba....etc.

TCM showed Zorba the Greek recently. The movie was an adaptation of a novel written by Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis, first published in 1946. Amazingly, considering that back in the 1960s the film gathered much acclaim and several awards, neither husband nor I had ever seen it. We watched. Afterwards we both wondered how on earth the movie had managed to gather so much applause. It could have been sub-titled The Anthony Quinn Show - Quinn did, certainly, light up an otherwise rather dark story with his performance as Zorba.

Alan Bates (sorry Sir Alan Bates) as the introverted but kindly Englishman was good too, but cast against type, far as I can gather. Sir Alan had natal Sun, Venus, Saturn in Aquarius, Moon and Uranus in Aries, by the way. From articles in the Daily Mail archives Bates appeared to be, in real life, equally as charismatic and unleashed a guy as was the fictional Zorba!

The two main characters, Zorba and Basil, are complete opposites in nature. The thrust of the movie is that Basil becomes infected with Zorba's enthusiasm, free sprit, and zest for life. Infection didn't travel in the opposite direction though, for Zorba remained as wild and free at the end of the story as he was in the beginning.

The darkness of the Zorba story, for us, stemmed from the scary primitive attitudes of Greek islanders at that time. There was a distinct zombie feel to the scenes where a huge posse of men (the whole male population of the village) pursue, stone and try to murder a widow. Later, a dozen or so women, clad in black from head to foot, ransack the apartment of an elderly French woman who had died just a minute earlier, her body still warm, lying on the bed. It almost made tales of The Wild West seem tame in comparison!

Husband commented: "remind me not to put Greece on our itinerary!"

I wonder how many in Europe and the UK have said the same thing this year for a different reason - Greece's ongoing economic crisis?

Never On a Sunday, a movie from the same era presented a kinder view of Greek culture than Zorba the Greek. Late 20th century and 21st century Greece has been handled with kid gloves in the movies. A lucrative tourist industry had by then emerged. Some films that spring to mind offering a distinct "come-on" to tourists: Shirley Valentine, Mama Mia, My Life in Ruins.

I never visited Greece, wasn't attracted by its particular "vibe" - or at least the vibe tourist advertising attached to the country. I rather regret it now though, and wish the ancient cradle of Western civilization, birthplace of democracy, as safe a passage as possible through current dangerous and stormy waters.

Zorba would have said - did say in the book/film:
When everything goes wrong, what a joy to test your soul and see if it has endurance and courage! An invisible and all-powerful enemy—some call him God, others the Devil, seem to rush upon us to destroy us; but we are not destroyed.

A reminder of the music and dance from Zorba the Greek:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


One doesn't need to harbour politically left-wing tendencies to appreciate the value of being presented with a true clear choice. There is no real political choice in the USA now. The "choice" is between sugar-coated corporatism/militarism or corporatism/militarism au naturel.

Sugar-coated Democrats will not allow such emotionally unintelligent talking points as we heard this week from Rep. Todd Akin with regard to rape victims. I guess that's comforting in the short-term, on a topic that's important but certainly not the whole picture. In the bigger picture the two-headed corporate political reptile we now encounter in the USA will act in unison, in effect if not in words. Lesser-evilism, journalists call it, but few of them do little to combat it.

A true choice, if a two-party system is all the USA can manage as seems to be the case, would be between an amalgam of the two present major parties (the right), and a real left-leaning party offering something very different. A party of that kind isn't visible on even the farthest horizon. Several seminal parties with possibilites do exist, but are blocked at every turn by the US electoral system, The Powers That Be, and not least the media, from doing damage to the status quo.

The American left suffered a kiss of death during the anti-communist purge led by Joe McCarthy in the 1940s/50s. Other democratic nations didn't suffer similar events. The purge terminally weakened the US labour movement - that had to be part of its purpose, of course, as well as removing the militant element of the left-wing.

Before the left could spring fully back to life, triple assassinations in the 1960s, of President J.F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, dealt an intimidating effect on a re-emerging left. After effect of those tragedies remains to this day, i.e. an expectation that left-wing activists risk being shot/killed by (fill in the blank) if they ruffle too many of the wrong sorts of feathers.

The unpalatable reality of the ridiculously unbalanced US class system and rampant corporatism are, today, accepted as the norm. There is no serious effort to address a powerful mass hypnosis effect delivered by corporate-owned mainstream media. Anything unfriendly to the corporations or detrimental to either Democrat or Republican talking points is routinely ignored or smothered beneath a hail of derision. The populace's tendency to cling to whatever talking points their chosen "team" dishes up means that people have become frozen in their stances.

Hope of change seems remote.

Yet it is said that the flapping of a butterfly's wing can create a hurricane across an ocean. Change will come - change is a constant, along with (as my Dad used to say) "death and rent-day". The question is: when?

I believe that change will come but will remain hidden, undetected for a while. Carl Sandburg uses a lovely description, in his wee poem Fog he wrote the line : "on little cat feet". That's how change will come, on little cat feet, silently, lightly.... it could be here waiting, right now, as I type....

Monday, August 20, 2012


NOTE: An eagle-eyed passing reader might notice subtle adjustments in the blog description, and in the "about me" section in the sidebar - as well as the change of header illustration. I haven't lost interest in astrology, but feel that I've covered most of what I set out to cover, on astrology, since August 2006. Posts from my archives or linkage to something there, whenever appropriate to a new issue, will keep the background astro-flavour going, and I'll definitely continue to post on astrology when situation demands or if something alerts me to an interesting new angle I can present. Links to other astrology sites, remain in the sidebar of course, as well as access to my archives either by date or Label Cloud.


I wonder which movie producer is already planning the Julian Assange biopic ? Who'd be in the shortlist of actors to play the guy who is currently holed up in the London embassy of Ecuador, resisting return to Sweden to face some rather mild questions on his sexual demands of a couple of Swedish women? I doubt that Assange is afraid of Swedish questioning techniques, though he could well wish to avoid the risk of Sweden, when done with him, sending him to the USA to answer charges of leaking information via his organisation, Wikileaks - whistleblowing to put it another way.

Link to my post from December 2010 touching on Julian Assange and related astrology.

I can visualise the movie: fictionalised in places - lots of poetic licence, a few sweaty sex scenes, some nice shots of Swedish landscapes, a dramatic stand-off.... It would join others of the same ilk:

Daniel Ellsberg/The Pentagon Papers. In 1971, he was the State Department officer who gave the "Pentagon Papers" (history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam 1945-1967) to the New York Times.

Karen Silkwood/Silkwood – in 1974, she was a blue-collar worker who raised concerns about plutonium plant safety. Unfortunately she died under mysterious circumstances after she started investigating claims of irregularities and wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plant. The 1983 film Silkwood is an account of Silkwood's life and the story.

Other famous whistleblowers, not necessarily subjects of movies listed HERE.

We very recently watched the DVD of a 2011 movie called simply The Whistleblower. I bought it as David Strathairn, whose films I'm collecting, plays a fairly minor but pivotal part. It's the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a former US police investigator from Nebraska. She worked as a U.N. International Police Force monitor. Originally hired by the US company DynCorp in the framework of a U.N.-related contract, she filed a lawsuit in the UK against DynCorp for unfair dismissal due to a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), and on 2 August 2002 the tribunal unanimously found in her favor. DynCorp had a $15 million contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia at the time she reported such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking - of children as well as adults. Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia.

I'll wait patiently for the Assange movie then. There'll be a few more twists in the plot though, before the cameras start to roll - we can count on that!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Is this a glyph I see before me? ~~~
I caught sight of a new poster while surfing around the net, one of a new set created by artist Juan Ortiz for the episodes of Star Trek. This is the poster for the episode titled The Way to Eden:

Is it my imagination or, if turned upside down, wouldn't that be almost the same shape as the astrological glyph for Uranus? If so, any connection to Star Trek would be exactly appropriate, Uranus being the only planet with connection to the future and futuristic technology. I could well be "late to the party" here, never having been a fan of the Star Trek series back in the day - perhaps this Uranus glyph connection has been well-known for decades? Anyone know?

Other posters from the set can be seen HERE, with some comment by the artist. Another poster showing a similar glyph-like symbol is that for The Ultimate Computer episode.

A trio of pearls from astrologer Jayj Jacobs' Codswallop Detector. , which can apply to anyone and anything - not only to astrologers and astrology.

Authoritism: The dual beliefs that if it's in print it is true & that famous people are always right ('authors' are de facto 'famous'). The more famouser the more righter. "If I haven't already read, or heard of them, they are nobody, and know nothing."

Lalalalogy: The belief that more lyrical sounding something is, the truer it is. The prettier the poem, the truer the message. It is assuming that the pleasant prevails, and that "The truth rhymes."

Spuriousism: The assumption that if you can make it seem to work for you once, it does indeed work - and must be used by everyone.

I'm impressed by the quality of some of the murals we see on our travels. Here are a few samples, all from husband's camera. In the first two I managed to insert myself into the shots, which may not enhance them at all, but at least it gives an idea of the murals' scale.

Outskirts of Wichita Falls, Texas.

Muskogee, Oklahoma (as in Merle Haggard's song Okie from Muskogee)

Can't recall in which small town we saw this one

Tucumcari, New Mexico (on Route 66 as was).

Tucumcari, again....

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Columbus, Ohio.

What I suspect will be a must-see movie due for release on 26 October: Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of the award-winning novel by British author David Mitchell. The movie will star Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving among others, and is said to run over 165 minutes.

Cloud Atlas tells six separate stories that span time and place - from an American travelling back home by ship after a sojourn in New Zealand in 1850, to a post-apocalyptic tribesman living in the remnants of what was Hawaii in the distant future. The actors play multiple parts.

From the trailer below it looks fascinating - might have to get me the book in preparation.

My favourite from Husband's vintage photograph collection - it's just a small snapshot around 3 by 4 inches, but special. A commenter on Flickr rightly described it as "a magical capture into a lost world."

Those were the come the BOBS:

I do benefits for all religions - I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.
Bob Hope

It's getting harder and harder to differentiate between schizophrenics and people talking on a cell phone. It still brings me up short to walk by somebody who appears to be talking to themselves.
Bob Newhart

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight.
Bob Marley

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

Bob Dylan