Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Day the Rebel Died

On this day, in 1955, movie star James Dean died at age 24 in a car crash on a California highway.
Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder, nicknamed "Little Bastard," headed to a car race in Salinas, California, with his mechanic Rolf Wuetherich, when they were involved in a head-on collision with a car driven by a 23-year-old college student named Donald Turnaspeed. Dean was taken to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:59 p.m. Wuetherich, who was thrown from the car, survived the accident and Turnaspeed escaped with minor injuries. No charges were ever filed against him..............................(See here).

There's a movie whose title is today's date, in 1955.
Synopsis: When Jimmy's idol, James Dean, dies on September 30, 1955, the small-town Arkansas college undergraduate goes berserk. He and his friends hold a vigil which turns, eventually, into into another tragedy.

The film, aired on television as 24 Hours of the Rebel, delves into the hero-worship aura that surrounded James Dean following his tragic death.

The film was written and directed by James Bridges (February 3, 1936 — June 6, 1993) born in Paris, Arkansas. James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was born in Marion, Indiana.
Astrological note: Writer/director and his subject were born 5 days and 5 years apart. Both had Sun in Aquarius, but Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius was in Aries for James Dean and Taurus for James Bridges - Taurus would be a calming and firming influence I guess. Dean's Mars in showy Leo contrasts sharply with Bridges' Mars in gentle Pisces and conjunct limiting Saturn.

This partial track by singer/songwriter "Poe" somehow eerily relates....

As does this, tongue-in-cheek, featuring your friendly neighbourhood blogger offering advice, one Sun Aquarian to another.


Vanilla Rose said...

You may also be aware of the scene which "recreates" James Dean's death in the 1996 Cronenberg film "Crash".

mike said...

The name of the other driver is Turnupseed, according to Wiki.

"Ironically, Dean had appeared in an episode of Warner Brothers Presents a few weeks prior to his death. The segment concerned the subject of driver safety and Dean's experience on the road. At the end of the segment, instead of saying the catch phrase "The life you save may be your own", Dean ad-libbed the line "The life you might save might be mine". After his fatal car accident, the segment was never aired."

My two older siblings were devastated by Dean's death, like the others within Dean's phenomenal groupie...I was too young and still doing "Howdy Doody", so it was of minimal concern to me other than the conversations and angst demonstrated by the older of the youngsters. Many adults were a touch relieved I suspect, as Dean had changed the mental landscape of their children. White T-shirts and bluejeans replaced the conservative slacks and shirts...it became cool to have a pack of cigarettes folded under one of the T-shirt's short sleeve.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~ Amazingly enough, though I'm a fan of James Spader, and have seen most of his old films, I haven't seen THAT "Crash" film.
I've seen the other "Crash" (from 2004, directed by Paul Haggis) and blogged about it.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I don't remember being aware of James Dean, at all, back then, in England - though I must have heard his name mentioned on the radio. It was decades later when I first saw any of his movies. By that time I couldn't see anything exceptional in his acting, or particularly "cool" in his style, but perhaps that was due to passage of time and styles evolving.

My own choice for that kind of "cool" in a guy has to be Steve McQueen.

I wonder how Dean would have developed, as an actor, and a person, had he lived until now.

anyjazz said...

I didn't know that.

Driving advice! That's funny!

LB said...

With the South Node in Aries right now (and close to my own 8H Aries South Node), I've been remembering how many risks I took with my own life as a young woman, as I pushed against the limits, trying to make sense of it all.

As it was, I spent too much time in the passenger seat of shiny fast cars or on the backs of powerful bikes driven at unsafe speeds by "bad boys" who rebelled by living on the edge, which was where I lived too, though you'd have never known it to look at me.

Back then it was mostly through them I lived out my own inner rebel. My BM Lilith is in Aries as well, very close to my SN. Foolish as it was, and considering the risks I took, I must've had an angel protecting me.

In James Dean's chart, True Lilith is conjunct his Aquarius Sun, while Uranus is conjunct his North Node in Aries. He's also got his Moon in Scorpio, with Pluto (ruler of his Moon) square his NN-Uranus.

James Dean died before I was even born, yet he epitomized a certain archetype that continues to draw people (especially young ones) in.

I wonder what he might've done with his life and how he might've changed had he lived. He could've put his popularity and courage to good use somewhere in the world where it might've made a meaningful difference. Or maybe it did, I don't know. Did his accident change people's driving habits? It seems doubtful, but maybe it did for someone.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Coming from non-driver yours truly it really is, I guess. Knowing what I do about myself, and about my dear Dad's driving (another Sun Aquarius), I surmise that in an ideal world James ought never to have been allowed anywhere near a Porsche 550, or even a motor bike! ;-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ the other day I said you shoulda been a Leo, today I'm thinking you shoulda been an Aquarius - and I shouldn't!

I've nothing in common with James Dean, personality-wise, even though I have some of the same mix of signs emphasised (Aquarius, Aries, Cancer Scorpio, Capricorn - he had 3 Cap. planets I have 1 ). Maybe he'd have calmed down later on, in his 40s or so.

From what we know of people in show biz, if he'd lived he'd might have slipped deeply into drugs or alcohol as so many have done, but those 3 Capricorn planets might well have kept him stable, led him into the business side of the film or entertainment industry - something people of the '60s might never have expected to see. :-)

LB said...

Twilight ~ I think I remember reading somewhere how the Moon offers a clearer picture of the innate traits associated with a particular sign than does the Sun. My Moon, Vertex and Chiron are all in Aquarius, so maybe that's what you're picking up on - in my Draconic chart I have an Aquarius rising:) Having said that, in person most people mistake me for a Scorpio, always have.

I do like being a 2nd house Libra though - there are peaceful ways to rebel and more worthwhile causes than the lower self, an awareness I eventually grew into. I'm definitely *not* recommending the kind of reckless, self-indulgent, sometimes self-destructive behavior I once participated in. Unfortunately a few of the young men I dated never outgrew it and didn't fare very well as adults.

Driving fast or recklessly on public roads or streets (in a car or on a motorcycle or *bicycle) - and/or driving while drinking or under the influence are not good ideas at any age. Neither is smoking. I don't think it makes anyone look cool. At all.

I'm not saying James Dean was drinking and driving. I do know people did it all the time back then and still do. You don't have to be drinking to be reckless.

LB said...

Twilight ~ My husband and I rented the Science Fiction movie, "Gattaca" from the library yesterday. I immediately thought of you and wondered if you'd seen it. We both liked it.

It kind of ties in with today's post in that it deals with themes of rebellion. Rebellion against the expectations of our parents, society and even our own self-limiting beliefs.

Twilight said...

LB ~ This exchange is reminding me of Jonathan Cainer's recent notes on the front page of his website. He has been suggesting to "entry-level" (we'll call it) would-ne astro-fans who have no astrological knowledge at all, that they look on Sun Moon and Ascendant as metaphorical clothing items: Ascendant sign - hat; Sun sign - jacket; Moon sign - under garments.

That's an easy way for newbies to take in that we are not just "a Taurus" "an Aquarius" etc. Even then it's only barely a pencil outline sketch. I'm always keen to see Mercury and Venus positions too - those two + Sun are another important triad IMO.

Anyway...is your Mercury in Scorpio?
Maybe that could be why people get a Scorpio vibe from you sometimes.

Twilight said...

LB ~ "Gattaca" - yes we rented the DVD once, but it's some time ago. Had to refresh my memory of it at Wiki. The eugenics thing, the "borrowing" of identity markings, and the guy in the wheelchair brought it back. Good film, yes.

LB said...

Yes, my Mercury (ruler of my Virgo Ascendant and Gemini MC) is in Scorpio, conjunct my Neptune and Jupiter, rulers of the other angles of my chart.

It could also be my 8th house South Node and BM Lilith, or maybe my natal Mars (widely conjunct my MC) square Pluto (widely conjunct my Ascendant).

Good point about Sun-sign astrology and how helpful it can be to teach beginners about the differences between various astrological points, starting with the basics!

mike (again) said...


Anonymous said...

I have before me "The American Book of Charts" by Lois herself (1980).
She originally made him as a Libra Rise (9:00 pm).
I annotated in red pencil (2:00 am CST from "James Dean, a short life").

Astrodienst has source notes of course, but I go with a Sag rise.
- puts his 1 deg scorpio moon in XI
- squaring his 2 deg leo mars in VIII.


... Tires shriek and the Porsche 550 Spyder slows to a stop a foot from my knees.
I stare at its eternally youthful driver: the go-to-hell hair, high head, jutting chin and those cool baby-blues squinting at me behind tinted aviator glasses ...

- from "The Cristóbal Effect" by Simon McCaffery.

- Sci-Fi, Time Travel and more


I share 2 degrees with his 2am chart, but aside from being aquarians, we don't seen to be a lot alike. (But I don't presume to know his personality)


Twilight said...

mike ~ Hmm - interesting! That's more or less what I would imagine too, had he lived (and not become ensnared by drink/drugs).

Twilight said...

Anon (Kidd) ~ Thanks for that. I couldn't hazard a guess as to his true rising sign. Aries seemed reasonable enough. Sag. could work too.

I have marked that story to read on the morrow - sounds like my cup o' tea!

He was really too young to have fully developed his personality I think. When I was 24 I didn't have a lot of idea what the heck I was doing.