Saturday, November 12, 2016

Return of the Rant

Oh hey there. It's been a while. I guess it took a literal armageddon of social upheaval for my thoughts to finally exceed the Instagram capacity of words allowed. After this post, I can probably retire. 

"Fire is erratic and difficult to control. It can flicker precariously, burst into a dangerous conflagration, or settle into a nice steady hearth fire depending on how it's managed."  

Whenever I feel I need to take a step back to look at the bigger "cosmic" picture, I almost always look to Eastern and Western astrology. While some might quickly write it off, I've always found comfort in reflecting on it's anecdotal concepts. Moving beyond the patriarchy of organized religions, for me what fascinates me the most about it are the algorithms and patterns that are produced by nature itself- elements of astronomy, indicators that are free to your own interpretation. Sometimes I think about the thousands of years of human history that has stretched out before us where political astrology was once used as a tool by the ancient elite to basically predict geopolitics. I always feel that no matter how bad shit may seem to be, there has always been darker days. It being the year of the Fire Monkey still (1776 was also a Fire Monkey Year and the birth year of America), combined with Trump's Fire Dog chart apparently shows that his five elements are extremely imbalanced as he possesses more Fire and Earth elements with almost no Water or Metal. His Western chart also reflects similar extreme imbalances that have earned him the title "Candidate of Chaos" which now would be "President Chaos Elect".
Honestly- between his West/East chart I can probably make another post about that some other day, there's plenty of material there. There's a reason why so many of us want to turn off our computers and bury ourselves on a beach in Thailand or just disappear into a warehouse party in Berlin to never return. Because they don't have problems there, right?

But the objective right now is trying to step back from the projected growing hysteria that seems to be developing around the post election fall out. Step 1- is the sky falling down? If not look to step 2- whatever it is that I'm doing, am I directly contributing into the same culture of click bait reactionary behavior that has allowed the media to steamroll our realities throughout this "democratic experiment"? (Sidenote: Is it a coincidence that the two visions of America that were so starkly represented in these two polar opposite candidates gave way to some "improbable" outcome? The chances were literally 50/50. If there was ever a textbook definition of "emotional" or a simple social experiment called: "Hate" VS "Love"- this was literally the convergence of those two concepts on one particular ballot. Trump cashed in big on the currency of "anger" and "mistrust" that plagued the entire election trail. ) 
Step 3) did the sky already fall and if it did, relax and breathe because whatever we thought was the end of the world you're still alive reading this. Oddly, you're not just alive and reading this but I'm also pretty sure you could just as easily open up your Seamless app, calmly order sushi, and receive it 40 minutes later without being shot by a Trump/Clinton/ThirdParty delivery guy. And while I am not discounting acts of violence or clear unrest that is happening or going to continue to happen, or trying to minimize the way people feel about anything- but if we're always looking for confirmation bias in our supposed echo chamber of information I'm not sure if that's not just fighting fire with fire. We just have to make sure that our fear doesn't exponentially outpace what's actually happening outside your front door. Because there's a huge difference.

These ultraconservative right wing nut jobs have always been around. Misogynists, racists, KKK members, all of them- but they don't represent everyone that voted for him. And the problem is, a lot of people in my liberal leaning echo chamber is kind of acting like they all are. Real talk- I'm not sure how many of my white friends are going to show up to Thanksgiving dinner with a bandana on their face ready to throw a molotov cocktail on the family Turkey. But you know maybe I'm not old enough yet to have "seen it all".

This election for every American that exercised their right to vote during the primaries was clearly a Change ballot in it's broadest sense. A change to the system. Unfortunately, instead of Bernie Sander's socialist democrat version of radical change, our reality has quickly morphed into this unrecognizable representation of an ultraconservative, ultra bigoted Republican landscape which unfortunately comes fully loaded with a cretinous "basket of deplorables" and a one way ticket to the past helmed by the orange devil himself. The brutal nature of politics I guess.

According to Exit Polls from the NY Times- Republicans prioritized Immigration, Terrorism, the Economy, and lastly Foreign Policy on their list of concerns. Democrats listed Foreign Policy first, Economy second, Terrorism third, while Immigration came last. It's pretty clear Trump was able to seduce his constituents with his locker room persona and succeeded in vilifying the threat foreigners and immigrants pose to their accessibility to the American Dream which you know, is rightfully theirs. America's historic journey of ethnic whites to everyone that looks white is white fast forward  to the current plight of the persecuted white person? In the meantime, let's build a wall for Mexicans and give visas to all the European supermodels. Above is the income/residence exit poll of those who voted. I find it interesting that when it comes to voter incomes, it was literally almost split down the middle regardless of party affiliation. The 82% of Republicans that were voting from small or rural towns to the layman democrat means that some "hillbilly racist" turned out for his party at the polls, while the rest of the so called "progressives" from suburbs and big cities quite frankly- didn't. This poll doesn't account for third party either, which in a few states, the combined votes of those alternative candidates could have actually mattered. But we're not going there.

People in our (unfortunately) two party system both wanted "Change". Last time Obama was the change we received, and unfortunately with Sanders out of the race (while I believe he would have led a more radical transformation to the system a lot of us were hoping for) even if Hilary were to still NOW become president- would it fix the fact that the other half of the country now voted for Trump in the general election? I for one felt the change she brought was potentially more optical in a geopolitical and domestic sense which overrode her ties with big business not to mention the DNC mess (side note: Clinton has a lot of scorpio in her chart which I can cover at another time, if you're familiar with astrology you'll know that's pretty interesting). I didn't and couldn't, like so many others, want to imagine a world where our leader was incapable of being a decent human being. What the country was truly robbed of was a real candidate ( Sanders) that I sincerely believe could have beat out Trump since they both proposed two drastically different visions of how to take the country back from "political insiders" and "wall street" which I feel was ultimately the backbone of both campaigns and the critical component to combat the voter apathy that this election definitely experienced. We all wanted a change to the system, but what many of us ended up with was a shock to the system. Since we are now floating in uncharted territory- I think we'll be looking forward to plenty of headlines similar to this in the future:

 Trump's Conflicts of Interest Could Pose a Constitutional Problem

His sprawling international business empire poses the potential for conflicts of interest on an unprecedented scale. He owes large amounts of money to foreign banks, including those in Germany and China—a possible point of leverage on a commander in chief. His family-run company does deals with foreign investors and groups with political ties and interests that could run contrary to US national security concerns. With his new Washington, DC, hotel in a federally owned government building, the Trump Organization could have to negotiate with the Trump administration

I know one thing is for sure- we might not have the ability to control these larger unseen forces, whether they are supernatural or man made, but we can definitely control what goes on in our own minds. And that is going to always be our single most powerful weapon when navigating the I'm sure media heavy fuckery in the years to come. Well at least until he's somehow impeached because the Republicans ultimately prefer Mike Pence or something.

Memes. News Feed Bubbles. The Death of the News Cycle and Campaigning in a Viral America.

"Some stories in fact move so quickly on social media that they don’t even make it to the national level yet are seen by millions. This even furthers the divide created by the News Feed Bubble. This election I saw a daily flood of videos featuring racist trump supporters, sexist audio clips, rape accusations, none of which even came close to the news feeds of my relatives from the opposite side of the aisle. Likewise my conservative family and friends digested a daily dose of Hillary emails, Clinton Foundation Scandals, Benghazi, FBI investigations and DNC conspiracies- none of which came before my eyes. The line between rumors, conspiracy, hard facts and news has become increasingly blurred. Information moves too quickly to be vetted, truth has taken a back seat to relevance. It doesn’t really matter if something is true, as long as people are talking about it. Trump knew this and used it well."

Fire Monkey

We started this year in Fire Monkey (Yang) which ends Jan 28, 2017. At the beginning of the Lunar New Year, I had written a summation of past fire monkey years (on IG) 1776 and 1956 specifically. These were other Fire Monkey years that ushered in significant social upheavals all around the world- including America's birth. It's interesting to note that while many of us are able to distance ourselves from the Civil Rights Movement in terms of most everyone reading this blog did not live through it personally, the parallel of dissatisfaction with the "status quo" or what it meant to those who were willing to uproot the system to change it, mirrors current societal discontent. Technology has largely added kerosene to the fire of socio economic disparities that are being felt across the world because of globalization. The resurgence of anti-immigrant racism that exists in 2016 America is something that you are seeing throughout the world with an explosion of populist, xenophobically charged movements propelling an endless barrage of shareable, confirmation bias prone content. Speaking of which, this article recently published by a political strategist/meme account guy offers incredible insight into the world of "viral candidacy".

"Popular uprisings in Poland and Hungary shake Moscow's hold on its eastern European empire. Across the American South, and in the Union of South Africa, black people risk their livelihoods, and their lives, in the struggle to dismantle institutionalised white supremacy and secure first-class citizenship. France and Britain, already battling anti-colonial insurgencies in Algeria and Cyprus, now face the humiliation of Suez. Meanwhile, in Cuba, Fidel Castro and his band of rebels take to the Sierra Maestra to plot the overthrow of a dictator...

1956 was one of the most remarkable years of the twentieth century. All across the globe, ordinary people spoke out, filled the streets and city squares, and took up arms in an attempt to win their freedom." Along with 1776, 1956 was actually the most recently Fire Monkey year.

This book was recommended to me recently. A book written by a famous Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. And although I haven't read it yet, I hope to be able to in the future. These aren't meant to be fortune cookie quotes to remedy our current political ails but you know the concepts of suffering and oppression are not new. And sometimes it takes the help of someone else's perspective to nudge us in the right direction. The last one I find the most applicable to my current mood.

“At such a moment, it is not the physical pain which hurts the most (and this applies to adults as much as to punished children); it is the mental agony caused by the injustice, the unreasonableness of it all.”

“In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

“Man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that so effectively helps one to survive even the worse conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.”

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

In closing I'd like to include some interesting paraphrased, interpretations of our current political climate:

"So much of this situation comes down to Pluto. It always reveals its shadow side of whatever it touches. During Plutonian periods what we can't "think out" we "act out" Either way uncomfortable truths are revealed. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and remains until 2023. Capricorn isn't a bad sign, it's just a sign associated with "Conservative values." And since 2008 we have been seeing a shadow side of conservatism. That boils down to the fear of the future, a nostalgia for an extinct past, an inability to change. What makes it intense now is that it opposes America's Sun (July 4, 1776) in mid Cancer. Pluto has been opposing our Sun since 2013 and in late September was only half a degree away from the exact opposition. Bottomline is this shadow side of conservatism is right up our noses now but it is expected to soft over the next couple of years. Pluto will be in Aquarius for 20 years starting in 2023. I suspect we will see the shadow side of liberalism then. A strong reaction to these current conservative attitudes will arise and the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction."- Forrest Astrology 

"Pluto's Astrological Meanings include emotional intensity, psychological extremism, behavioral dominance or submission, absolutist attitudes or fanatical beliefs, radical change, profound endings and beginnings, and death-experiences followed by phoenix like risings from the ashes. Plutonian disruptions emerge usually after a long period of invisible development. They are provoked by confrontations with irresistible power- either psychological disruption, as eruptions from the personal unconscious, or literally circumstantial challenges, when force majeure in the collective is arrayed against an individual life. 

The Prisoner who has adjusted to years of incarceration with all its regiments rules may be profoundly disturbed by his parole or release back to the relative freedom of outside society, where the rules are unclear and freedom may be felt as nauseating chaos. In these ironic twists, Pluto reveals its love of the strange and perverse. Normalcy is not a Plutonian realm. 

The last special insight I'd like to include here is critical: In some textbooks, Plutonian change through the death-rebirth process is made even more important through the addition of at least the sense of finality. As if Pluto were the ultimate step in life's rich drama, the last stop on the journey of evolution. But, as we saw in the astronomical revision of Pluto's status from last planet to doorway into a new class of objects, that is not true. Plutonian change may feel final during the death phase, where the devastation to one's identity can seem total. Even the rebirth phase is not infallible, and when it does occur may take longer and progress slower than most people would like. In reality, Plutonian transformation is only one more phase in the evolutionary chain. A big one obviously, but hardly a final one.

This idea is relevant to civilization astrology in a direct way that immediately opens to fan across a broad spectrum of realization. Pluto is not the end of the road, but is instead a gateway into new and kaleidoscopic possibilities for consciousness to operate. Welcome to the Kuiper Belt. Rather than our last chance to get something right, Pluto may indeed represent our first chance to shine light into the darkness to illuminate what's been buried in the unconscious both personally and collectively, in the form of simplistic misunderstandings and wrong headed assumptions, whether they are coded in our genes or shaped by our social beliefs. "