Friday, November 30, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Gordon Parks, Photographer, Renaissance Man.

[Gordon] "Parks was a man of many pursuits — photographer, novelist, poet, memoirist, filmmaker, composer. But he is most remembered as a photographer. And while some of his images live on because they delight the eye with their beauty, others endure because of the way that they touched the hearts and minds of millions of LIFE’s readers and changed, if only just a little, the course of American history."

Above paragraph comes from
How Gordon Parks' Photographs Implored White America to See Black Humanity
~ John Edwin Mason, 2016.

Gordon Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, son of Sarah and Jackson Parks, a tenant farmer, on Nov. 30, 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas. He was the youngest of fifteen children. He attended a segregated elementary school. The town was too small to afford a separate high school that would facilitate segregation of the secondary school, but blacks were not allowed to play sports or attend school social activities, and they were discouraged from developing any aspirations for higher education. Parks related in a documentary on his life that his teacher told him that his desire to go to college would be a waste of money.

When Parks was eleven years old, three white boys threw him into the Marmaton River, knowing he couldn't swim. He had the presence of mind to duck underwater so they wouldn't see him make it to land. His mother died when he was fourteen. He spent his last night at the family home sleeping beside his mother's coffin, seeking not only solace, but a way to face his own fear of death. Soon after, he was sent to St. Paul, Minnesota, to live with a sister and her husband. He and his uncle argued frequently and Parks was finally turned out onto the street to fend for himself at age 15. Struggling to survive, he worked in brothels, and as a singer, piano player, bus boy, traveling waiter, and semi-pro basketball player. In 1929, he briefly worked in a gentlemen's club, the Minnesota Club. There he not only observed the trappings of success, but was able to read many books from the club library. When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 brought an end to the club, he jumped a train to Chicago, where he managed to land a job in a flophouse.

Parks purchased his first camera at the age of 25 after viewing photographs of migrant workers in a magazine. His early fashion photographs caught the attention of Marva Louis, wife of the boxing champion Joe Louis, who encouraged Parks to move to a larger city. Parks and his wife, Sally, relocated to Chicago in 1940. He began to explore subjects beyond portraits and fashion photographs in Chicago. He became interested in the low-income black neighborhoods of Chicago's South Side. In 1941, Parks won a photography fellowship with the Farm Security Administration for his images of the inner city. He created some of his most enduring photographs during this fellowship, including "American Gothic, Washington, D.C.," picturing a member of the FSA cleaning crew in front of an American flag.

After the FSA disbanded, Parks continued to take photographs for the Office of War Information and the Standard Oil Photography Project. He also became a freelance photographer for Vogue. Parks worked for Vogue for a number of years, developing a distinctive style that emphasized the look of models and garments in motion, rather than in static poses.

In 1948 Parks became a staff photographer for Life magazine, the first African American to hold that position. He remained with the magazine until 1972, became known for his portrayals of ghetto life, black nationalists, and the civil rights movement. A photo-essay about a child from a Brazilian slum was expanded into a television documentary (1962) and a book with poetry (1978), both titled Flavio. Parks also was noted for his intimate portraits of such public figures as Ingrid Bergman, Barbra Streisand, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Muhammad Ali.

I'm wary of getting into hot water via copyright rules, so have not included a string of Gordon Parks' photographs - there are several in large format at this link:
Photos of Harlem in 1943 by the iconic photographer Gordon Parks …

Also, do go to Google Image for numerous examples of the work of Gordon Parks.

I hope I'll be allowed to include just one - I particularly like this, titled
"No Known Restrictions: Anacostia Boys". (1942) (Anacostia, Washington D.C. - a Frederick Douglass housing project).

Parks’s works of fiction include The Learning Tree (1963), a coming-of-age novel about a black adolescent in Kansas in the 1920s. He also wrote forthright autobiographies—A Choice of Weapons (1966), To Smile in Autumn (1979), and Voices in the Mirror (1990). He combined poetry and photography in A Poet and His Camera (1968), Whispers of Intimate Things (1971), In Love (1971), Moments Without Proper Names (1975), and Glimpses Toward Infinity (1996). Other works included Born Black (1971), a collection of essays, the novel Shannon (1981), and Arias in Silence (1994).

In 1968 Parks became the first African American to direct a major motion picture with his film adaptation of The Learning Tree. He also produced the movie and wrote the screenplay and musical score. He next directed Shaft (1971), which centred on a black detective. A major success, it helped give rise to the genre of African American action films known as blaxploitation. A sequel, Shaft’s Big Score, appeared in 1972. Parks later directed the comedy The Super Cops (1974) and the drama Leadbelly (1976) as well as several television films.

Gordon Parks died March 7, 2006, in New York.



I cannot possibly leave Mr Parks without taking a very brief look at his natal chart! It has to be a 12 noon version as no time of birth is known.

Born 30 November 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas.

A very strong showing of Sagittarius! Sun, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter all in the sign of The Archer, representing, among other characteristics a philosophical, open-minded, just, optimistic, and generous nature. Likely to be scholarly, inspirational, enthusiastic and expansive. That's just for starters! We cannot be certain of Moon's position without a time of birth. At noon Moon was in the last degrees of Leo, so if he were born later in the day, Moon would have been in early Virgo. I do like Leo Moon for him though. We also can't know Park's rising sign without time of birth. Even without that knowledge, there are several notable aspects and patterns in this well-integrated natal chart. I particularly like the aspects between planets at 00 degrees : Uranus @ 00 Aquarius, Mars @ 00 Sagittarius, Saturn @ 00 Gemini - there's a helpful sextile, a harmonious trine, and a balancing opposition involved there; planets and signs reflecting social concern, dynamism, and a solid work ethic. Planets' placements are forming several astrological patterns too - a Mystic Rectangle, a Yod, a T-square - among others, too many to interpret in this brief rundown.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Shattering Truths about the USA

A few shatteringly uncomfortable truths for those of us in the USA, before we enter Holiday Mood proper (it's not yet December!) A question at Quora the other day:

What's the most widely held misconception about the United States of America that you know to be false?

Ron Wiseman (A Most Viewed Writer in Politics of the United States) answered, quoting a piece by Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Mr Dabashi's article, in full is a sobering read. Mr Wiseman has given me permission to use his answer here. Quotes from Mr Dabashi's piece are highlighted in the blue paragraphs, below.

The full article by Hamid Dabashi is: What if Donald Trump is What America is all about

What's the most widely held misconception about the United States of America that you know to be false?

Perhaps the belief that Donald Trump doesn’t really represent America's values. Perhaps he really does. Administrations from both parties have committed atrocities going all the way back to our American Revolution.
"Trump and Trumpism are as American as mom and apple pie - and an entire racist and xenophobic history of the US is there to verify it. And if the structurally corrupt Democratic Party under the leadership of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer are supposed to be the alternative to that truth, then the Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, and Yemenis brutalized identically under both Republicans and Democrats may have something to say about the matter."

Another relevant quote

"One quick look at the red-blooded electoral map of the US after the midterm elections shows this, in fact, is certainly not - as liberals love to say - a divided country. It is a solidly and unmistakably racist, sexist, xenophobic and violent country obsessed with domestic gun violence and foreign conquest with a few pockets of wishy-washy liberal resistance here or there.

From Brazil to Saudi Arabia to Israel to the racist, xenophobic, proto-fascist parties in Europe - they all have a solid ally in all the three branches of the US government.

From the earliest stages of the rise of Donald Trump I have argued that contrary to the liberal contingencies of opposition to his brand of blunt and fascistic politics he is "the real deal": American politics stripped to its bare essence, shorn of all its democratic pretensions and neoliberal niceties.

For eight years Barack Obama was the face of the duplicitous politics of shedding public tears for schoolchildren being shot in the US, before retiring to a back room at the White House to send more arms to Israel and Saudi Arabia to slaughter Palestinian and Yemeni children."

America is what we do. What we do is take from the poor to give to the wealthy. What we do is incarcerate the highest percentage of our population than any other country. What we do is throw teargas at women and children who are running from a life of pain and squalor. And what we don’t do, is collectively feel bad enough to fix any of it. That is us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wandering Around the Cyber Cemetery

I enjoyed the cartoon below. It's by John Atkinson at Wrong Hands. - I left a contribution in his tip jar, so that I could feel comfortable using his work here.

In the 16 or so years I've been wandering around cyberland myself, there have been many casualties, and many more are still to come, of this we may be certain. Blogger will, one day, be a casualty too - along with personal blogs in general - we're on virtual 'life support' as it is! I shall plod on my rather lonely pathway for a little longer, until forced into using Windows 10 in place of my trusty Windows 7. That is likely to be until late 2019/early 2020, if Microsoft keeps its promise to support Win.7 until January 2020.

Surveying the grave-stones below brings back a few personal internet memories! AOL was my own initial portal to the internet. What I now remember best about AOL is contributing to a communal continuing story concocted by AOL-ers, in a forum situation. I elected to became a character in their ongoing saga. It was sometimes a silly story, sometimes very silly indeed - or sometimes reflected current events, sometimes it became a wee bit naughty too, as I recall. I was "Dimsie Wilcox", married to an upper-class curmudgeon known as "Old Wilcox". Anyway... survey the illustration below, it might bring back memories for you, too.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Music Monday ~ Tina, Queen Liz & Ian Lang - Oh my!

First, Happy Birthday and Many Happy returns to Tina Turner, now a fellow-79er! She has Sagittarian Sun, with Venus in Sagittarius within degrees of my own natal Venus, her Saturn in Aries matches mine and is also within minutes of my natal Moon. She's of my generation too. Which of her songs to post? I love all her recordings, but some of them do have sad memories attached. Here's one that's new to me - a great rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come", with superb guitar accompaniment and solo by Robert Cray.

And now for something completely different, written by Ian Lang at Quora (used here with his kind, blanket permission) in answer to the question:

What is Queen Elizabeth’s favourite song?

Ian answered:
She was down our local pub the other night (Ye Olde Twilight Zone) and put a pound in the juke box. Her musical tastes weren’t popular with everybody, and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands complained bitterly about Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” blasting out. The Queen just had her footman, Gloria, fish out another pound coin, and thrust it in Maxima’s face, saying “whose head’s on there, girlfriend? Yeah. Suck it up! Now bop out to Britney, sweetcheeks!”

You can get away with that sort of thing when you’re the Queen. Anyway, we don’t think Britney’s magnum opus was her favourite. She played “Bat Out of Hell” three times and did an air guitar and pretended to rev-up a motorbike, so we think that’s the front-runner.

“Like a bat out of hell one will be gone when the morning comes”.

Shame we never thought to video it and put it on YouTube.

That’s my OBE gone west now, then!


Hang on to yer hat!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Josh Kirby & Discworld

Some of us might be unfamiliar with the name Josh Kirby, but many of us - especially fans of the novels of the late Sir Terry Pratchett - will have seen many examples his artwork.

Ronald William "Josh" Kirby
(27 November 1928 – 23 October 2001) was a commercial artist born on the outskirts of Liverpool in the town of Waterloo, Lancashire. With a career spanning 60 years, he is known for being the original artist for Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, as well as some of science fiction's most acclaimed book cover illustrations.
See Wikipedia HERE.

Mr Kirby came by the nickname "Josh" at Liverpool City School of Art where colleagues likened his work to that of the great painter Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Kirby’s most significant milestone, in the 1980s, was teaming up with Sir Terry Pratchett.


With the Discworld series, Josh found the perfect complement for the more fantastically humorous side of his talent, and his larger than life images exploded off the covers, inspiring many fans to dive into the Discworld.

Cover paintings for The Colour of Magic in 1983 and The Light Fantastic in 1986 quickly established Kirby as the illustrator for Discworld — at the time inseparable, like Tenniel for Alice or E.H. Shepard for Winnie-the-Pooh. Sir Terry himself said, “I only invented the Discworld, Josh created it.”

It should be noted, though, that the cognoscenti appreciated Kirby long before fame dug him in the ribs. He exhibited his paintings in London’s Portal Gallery, in ICA in Berlin, and in many provincial British galleries. Visitors to the huge art show at the 1979 World SF Convention in Brighton voted him Best SF Artist (Professional Class), when Discworld was still years away.............

After, in his own words, ‘many false starts’ he produced a pencil rough of the chosen image, to be approved by the publisher’s art editor, or, in the special case of Discworld, discussed over the phone with Sir Terry Pratchett. Although it seems like simple common sense, this artist/author contact and feedback was unusual in the publishing world, where illustrators normally dealt only with art editors. (Is it mere coincidence that authors are so frequently unhappy with their covers? Perish the thought.)

A slow worker, it took Kirby four weeks to complete a single illustration, or eight, counting the preliminary time taken to read the novel, select and visualize suitable images, and draw sketches to work out how they could be best presented.

When asked about influences, he most often named three past artists. The oldest was Hieronymus Bosch, famous for those teeming, surreally fantastic landscapes of heaven and hell. Next was Pieter Bruegel the Elder, with his hauntingly detailed groups of warts-and-all Flemish peasants, and finally muralist Frank Brangwyn, who made bold use of colour in his large scale, monumental compositions.

Josh Kirby Art
is a website dedicated to this artist and the best place to see more of his work.


For any stray passing astrology fan, I'll post a 12 noon natal chart for Josh Kirby, with a link to my archived post containing the natal chart of Sir Terry Pratchett. Notable points, for me are Kirby's Sun and Saturn in Sagittarius (see this quote from above linked extract: "Josh found the perfect complement for the more fantastically humorous side of his talent, and his larger than life images exploded off the covers...") How much more Sagittarius-like could an artist's style be? His Venus in Earthy Capricorn, though, linked to Capricorn's ruler Saturn in Sagittarius acts as a disciplinary factor, ensuring this artist is practical and careful too. (See above extract, again: "A slow worker, it took Kirby four weeks to complete a single illustration, or eight, counting the preliminary time taken to read the novel, select and visualize suitable images, and draw sketches to work out how they could be best presented.") Uranus in Aries, in harmonious trine to his natal Sun reflects his ease in coming up with the unusual and unexpected, sufficient to match Sir Terry's own wild imaginings.

A link between Josh Kirby's and Sir Terry Pratchett's natal charts exists via Kirby's Jupiter in Taurus, close enough to sir Terry's natal Sun/Mercury to be considered conjunct!

Josh Kirby born on 27 November 1928 in Waterloo, Lancashire, UK.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Did you know that today is......

National Absurdity Day?

An absurdity is something that is illogical, senseless, and unreasonable. The word comes from the Latin word "absurdum," which means irrational or out of tune. On National Absurdity Day, people accept the absurdities of life and engage in a few as well.

The day should be celebrated by accepting the world's absurdities and working to bring even more absurdity into it. Spend the day being absurd in your dress, speech, and actions. Have you had some pretty crazy ideas of pranks to pull to really confuse people? Today is the day to do them. You could also read some works by absurdist authors and playwrights, such as Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has some elements of the absurd, and may also be fitting to read. You could also watch an absurdist film such as El Topo, an acid western by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

I'm not going to be reading or watching any of those suggested delights, instead I've sorted out a few absurd cartoons to honour the day.

And, because, in 2018 it wouldn't be right, when speaking of absurdities, to omit mention of....well, you know:

Monday, November 19, 2018

Music Monday ~ The Third Eye

For the past two Music Mondays 'eye' songs were featured, reflecting my husband's cataract surgery on each of those days. All done now. According to the surgeon, and the optician, very successfully. According to my husband, well...the ol' peepers are still feeling scratchy at times, as though he has eyelash(es) in his eye(s). His distance vision is better though, no longer needs spectacles to watch TV or to drive. Reading glasses are still required, and will be part of a new prescription, but he has to wait for 4 weeks before that can happen, to allow full healing time.

There's an old saying that "things come in threes", so a third 'eye' song today: Cotton Eyed Joe performed here by Asleep at the Wheel. We saw this band some years ago at our local theatre. I still remember, with a chuckle, a joke told by the band's vocalist, Ray Benson. He told the audience that, during the band's tour of Texas, they had stopped in a tiny town with an odd name...I think it was Quitaque, Texas. They visited the town's Dairy Queen restaurant for snacks. While ordering, Ray asked the server, "By the way, how do you pronounce the name of this place?" The answer:

There's some good fiddle playing here!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Arty Farty Friday, Saturday & Sundry Painters Born in Mid-November.

Six painters of varying styles were born between 14 and 17 November - but in different centuries and decades. I have already written about all of these, over the years - here are links to my relevant posts, with an example of each of their styles.

Claude Monet 14 November 1840.

 The Ice Floes - Claude Monet.

Manon Cleary 14 November 1942.

 Man in Plastic Bag #5 & #6 by Manon Cleary

Georgia O'Keeffe 15 November 1887.

Wayne Thiebaud 15 November 1920.

Arman 17 November 1928.

 Wheels of Fortune by Arman

Jack Vettriano 17 November 1951.

 Billy Boys by Jack Vettriano

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Vital Titles

Novels, short stories, non-fiction, articles in magazines and newspapers all benefit greatly from thoughtfully chosen titles. The title becomes a "greeter" with power to attract and draw in readers, either by clear indication of what content follows, or by shrewdly thrown poetic mist which can arouse curiosity. Choosing a title is not easy, I dare say that at times it can be more difficult than actually writing the novel or article. Authors over the years have pitted their wits against the ordinary and predictable to come up with something attention-grabbingly different, yet pertinent to content.

Some authors have leaned on work of their predecessors, extracting a nugget of wisdom from finely crafted words, found to be obliquely applicable to their own piece of work. Somerset Maugham favored this method when he chose titles for The Painted Veil and Of Human Bondage, both lifted from old texts. The former from an 1818 sonnet by Percy Byshe Shelley:
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread, - behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.

The latter was borrowed from one of the books of the 'Ethica' by 17th century Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza. Translated = "Of Human Bondage, or The Strength of the Emotions".

Those are both apt titles, once one is familiar with the storylines, but they presupposed a certain amount of literary knowledge on the part of the reader.

Harper Lee's famous title, To Kill a Mocking Bird came from an old proverb telling that "it's a sin to kill a mocking bird". The author used it as metaphor for the novel's storyline. It's clever, but without prior knowledge of the old proverb, or subject matter of the book, a potential reader might feel puzzled when confronted with the title on a library shelf, but it's intriguing enough to invite investigation.

A few more, old and newer, titles interestingly drawn from literature:

Band of Brothers (book and TV mini-series)

From Shakespeare's Henry V

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

No Country for Old Men (novel and film)

From Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon‐falls, the mackerel‐crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

Vanity Fair (novel and magazine title)

From The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Emerging from the wilderness, Evangelist meets Christian and Faithful and congratulates them on overcoming their obstacles. Evangelist says they will soon enter a powerful enemy city where one of them will die. The narrator identifies this city as Vanity, home of a great and ancient festival called Vanity Fair, where tawdry products are traded and Beelzebub is worshipped. (HERE)

Where Eagles Dare (book and film)

From Shakespeare's Richard III

"The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey
where eagles dare not perch".
(Act I, Scene III).

From Here to Eternity (book and film)

From Rudyard Kipling's poem Gentlemen-Rankers

We're poor little lambs who've lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We're little black sheep who've gone astray,
Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,
Damned from here to Eternity,
God ha' mercy on such as we,
Baa! Bah! Bah!

Grapes of Wrath (book and film)

From Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Bit of the Ol' "Bah Humbug!" from Ian Lang

Someone at Quora last week posted this question, possibly hoping for some nice, warm, cuddly answers about carol singers, Christmas lights, parties, kiddies, Santas and suchlike. Ian Lang had different ideas! His answer is below - shared here with his kind (blanket) consent.

"What is your favorite thing about Christmas?"

AUGHHHHH! Bloody Christmas! It’s only just gone bonfire night and we haven’t had Remembrance Sunday yet and do you know what, as I went in to get twenty John Player’s coffin nails, I saw in the bleedin’ Co-Op an hour or so ago? A huge pyramid display of chuffin’ chocolate Santas, that’s what. I tell you, I was a heartbeat away from “accidentally” tripping up and knocking the sodding lot down.

Actually I tell a lie. Three sides of the pyramid were Santa. The other side was bleedin’ Rudolph. What sort of a message are we giving to our children here? Look at this kindly, jolly old elf, kids! Now eat him! With some fava beans and a nice chianti, presumably. Then eat his deer too!

I went in Quality Save last Saturday. For reference, that was November 3rd. November. NOVEMBER. They were doling out Christmas carrier bags. Had been for a fortnight, apparently. My wife trotted in on Friday with a box of mince pies with a Christmassy picture printed on. And the caution best before Nov 15th.
Now look, retail bathtubs. Christmas is in bogpiggin’ December. Right at the arse-end of December, actually. I don’t mind if you want to whip a gullible horde of frenzied consumers into panic mode to buy your vastly inflated tat from the first of December. I take a bit of an objection to early November, and I’m positively spitting fire when you do it in October. One of you started it just after the brats went back to school after summer, and you know who you are. I will willingly sacrifice my left knacker to any God who will ensure that you will go bust by February, you bloody charlatans.

And why does my wife insist on cooking bloody sprouts for Christmas dinner? I don’t like sprouts. She doesn’t like sprouts. The kid won’t even countenance sprouts. Yet still, on Dec 25th, an Imperial Shedload of sprouts causes the table to creak and groan alarmingly and she gets upset if we don’t eat any.

“You’ve got to have sprouts because it’s Christmas”.

What in the name of the Sacred Mango Pigeon kind of reasoning is that?? Johnny Pope and his gang of merry batchelor-boys say we’ve got to have fish on Friday but I don’t see us polishing off a plaice, tackling a trout or sucking down a salmon on a weekly basis. Is it some sort of superstition hanging over from the middle ages?
“Arrr, Jezelda, it be only ten days to the Christ-Mass. Better start boiling a boat load of sprouts for ye village feast, lest God should smite us, or at least the bishop come down and bugger all the menfolk red-raw!”

Sprouts. Turkey. Crackers. Stupid paper hats. Being nice to people for days. Balls to all that. Still, Christmas is miles better than bloody New Year.

“Happy New Year!”

“No I won’t! £&!* off.”

Bathtubs. So what’s my favorite thing about Christmas?


Monday, November 12, 2018

Music Monday ~ Eye Eye!

We're back at the hospital again this morning - from 6.30 AM this time! Husband is having cataract surgery on his left eye today - right eye was "done", successfully, last Monday.

Another eye song, then, for this Music Monday:

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long........

POSTSCRIPT - We saw the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody on Saturday afternoon - enjoyed it! 10/10. Excellent performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Poppies

On Sunday, the 11th day of the 11th month, it will be Remembrance Day in the UK. Many will have been wearing poppy symbols in their lapels during the week remembering those who died in two World Wars. "We shall remember them!"

For this Arty Farty Friday, I've chosen a handful of paintings featuring poppies:

 By Georgia O'Keeffe

 By Fred Stead

By Monet

 By Mary Cassatt

 By Chris Chapman

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Beto O'Rourke - Texas let him down in 2018. How about 2020?

Results of Tuesday's midterm elections in the USA turned out less dramatic than hoped for. A "blue wave" didn't exactly inundate Republican politicians throughout the land, but some of 'em did get their feet wet. Democrats took back the House of Representatives, but the Republican majority in the Senate remains, and has even increased some. Two years of virtual gridlock are in our political future, better than two years of the Trump administration being able to easily push through more potentially disastrous policies.

My biggest disappointment on Tuesday evening was learning that, in Texas, Beto O'Rourke (mentioned in this post) didn't beat Ted Cruz to take his Senate seat. O'Rourke is a young, charismatic and dynamic Democrat with some of the same characteristics as my own hero, Bernie Sanders. I'd love to see him as a candidate in the 2020 presidential election. I've looked at his natal chart with that in mind. Astrotheme has his birth data, but no time of birth is known - a 12 noon chart will have to suffice.

Beto O'Rourke, born in El Paso, Texas on 26 September 1972.

Chart below is for 3 November 2020, date of the election, set for noon.

I'm not going to interpret his natal chart in relation to his personality - though with all those planets in Libra he is bound to exude charm and charisma! What I'm looking for is any correlation between his natal planets & points, and the planetary line-up on election day 2020.

Look first to Capricorn!

His North node of the Moon is conjunct Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn! I wrote a post in 2011 titled "The Rhythm of Life is a powerful Beat" - a snip from that:
"I've found, looking back on my life history, that there has been a distinct rhythm. Important turning points have taken place in time with the cycle of the lunar nodes. The Moon's nodes, points where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic, take around 19 years to complete a full cycle. Significant events have coincided with the Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis returning to its position at my birth, or to its inverse position, and/or with a transiting planet conjoining one of the nodes. Perhaps, in my case, this rhythm is intensified because of my Cancer ascendant, ruled by the Moon; or because Uranus (natal Sun's ruler) is conjunct natal South lunar node. Both my marriages, important career changes, a major operation, and significant love-related first meetings have these connections."

I'm interested to see whether the same kind of rhythmic pattern will apply in Mr O'Rourke's case. I shall look out for any reporting on Beto O'Rourke in coming months and years!