2013: The year of “Let’s Pretend.”

To be followed by 2014, the year of “Let’s not pretend.” Why?

Not because yin yields to yang, but because volatile Mars, on December 8, moved into Libra, Venus’s sign, where it will, coming right up, and then later for an extended period during its retrograde period, trigger the ongoing (2012-2015) explosive, r-evolutionary Uranus/Pluto square, which, during the periods in question, is still aspected to Jupiter.

In other words, yes, another grand cross in cardinal signs, this time fueled by Mars himself. Pay particular attention to your own volatility and tendency to rash action during the last week of December, 2013, going through the first ten or twelve days of January 2014. And then, again, for the entire months of April through June, 2014. It turns to go retrograde on March 2, and then turns again to go direct on May 20, so the few days around May 20th are bound to produce results.

What kind of results? That’s up to us. Nobody feels comfortable when volatile, impulsive, warlike Mars moves through Libra, sign of grace, diplomacy, and equality. Nobody feels comfortable, having to negotiate their way out of flaming out of control. But that is what we must do. And luckily Saturn is still in Scorpio to help slow any train wrecks down.

Meanwhile, enjoy astrologer and Monsanto investogator Eric Francis, his review of 2013. He really lets ‘er rip here, and I wish I could say he exaggerates. But no. The title is the perfect descriptor for this amazing year that we have managed to scrape through while hanging on by our toenails, upside down. Hopefully, we’re battle-hardened enough to be able to sail through the coming storms with equanimity. HA!

Sign Language for the Insane

December 13, 2013

by Eric Francis


Adding a touch of irony to the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, it turns out that Thamsanqa Jantjie, the supposed sign language interpreter hired to stand three feet from the podium and be broadcast to hundreds of millions of people, was talkin’ jive.

Planet Waves
Pres. Obama speaks during Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela, having his words translated into gibberish by Thamsanqa Jantjie — who said he was having a psychotic episode.

His assorted hand gestures and moreover his stiff posture and deadpan expression were not South African sign language for the deaf — it was all an act. One distinction of South African sign language is that it utilizes facial expressions and shoulder movements, in addition to signs with the hands and arms. It’s not High German in pantomime.

Given that Mandela’s whole life was about inclusion, and that the purpose of a sign language interpreter is to include the deaf in the world of sound and speech, it’s fair to say that this pushed the line into something truly cynical.

One would think that when a country is hosting a long-expected global event honoring the life of one of the most revered men of our lifetimes, knowing they would be host to some 90 heads of state, and knowing the whole affair would be broadcast on global television, they might cover that kind of detail well in advance.

It gets better. Questioned this week by the Associated Press, Jantjie said he was having a psychotic episode. Yes, standing three feet from the president and a diversity of other world leaders, he claimed that his anti-schizophrenia meds were not quite doing the trick. In other words, he took the insanity defense to fraud.

“What happened that day, I see angels come to the stadium,” he said, adding, “I start realizing that the problem is here. And the problem, I don’t know the attack of this problem, how will it comes. Sometimes I react violent on that place. Sometimes I will see things that chase me.”

Planet Waves
In happier days, Obama gives the thumbs up for the health insurance program that got his name. This is a viral image that right wingnut websites love to publish for its irony value.

Wait, he didn’t put that on his employment application? I guess we’ll have to wait till the PDF goes viral, but the chances are he just knew someone who knew someone and got the ‘good enough’ rating. You know, I’m not a sign language interpreter, but I play one on TV.

His stunt reminds me of The Yes Men, who do things like get on the agenda as the keynote speakers at conferences for oil executives, then give presentations on climate change.

The Yes Men, who exist with a purpose, prove how easy it is to pass through the flimsy or nonexistent vetting process no matter how important something is, as long as you’re wearing a business suit that cost at least $10. And, in true Yes Men tradition, as long as they invite you.

“I was in a very difficult position,” Jantjie added, explaining his predicament, standing there with everyone (as in everyone) watching, not being able to do the one thing he was supposed to do. “And remember those people, the president and everyone, they were armed, there was armed police around me. If I start panicking I’ll start being a problem. I have to deal with this in a manner so that I mustn’t embarrass my country.”

Well, so much for that idea. And wait: he thinks that the president is armed? And why panic? He could just say he was seeing angels and go to the First Aid tent.

It gets better. The Associated Press reported, “Jantjie said he was due on the day of the ceremony to get a regular six-month mental health checkup to determine whether the medication he takes was working, whether it needed to be changed or whether he needed to be kept at a mental health facility for treatment” (emphasis mine).

The only difference between South Africa and the United States is that in South Africa, you find out this kind of thing. Here in the U.S., we don’t want to spoil the show.

Planet Waves
Metro-North train derailed after the engineer “zoned out” while coming around a 30 mph curve at 82 mph. Image: CNN video.

I could easily see this translated onto the recent mock government shutdown a couple of months ago. Imagine this in an AP report: “WASHINGTON, DC — In a press conference held several hours after the government re-opened, Speaker of the House John Boehner apologized to the American people and said that it was not really he who shut down the government, it was the demon he’s possessed by.”

“Actually, to tell the truth, I am a demon in human form and I was in possession of the government,” Boehner said. “I’m sorry to have put you all through that. I don’t really belong here. I’m kind of lost. I thought this was one of the hell worlds, but it turned out to be a lot nicer than I imagined. I have to compensate by smoking a carton of cigarettes daily and spending six hours a day in a tanning bed.”

The shutdown was the perfect product of a fake House of Representatives that repeatedly passes fake bills designed to roll back women’s rights to some time around 1913. The House of Representatives is controlled by a mock political entity called the Tea Party, which is supposed to be populist but is supported by billionaires.

Speaking of — the minimum wage is not a wage; it’s essentially slave labor, supported by the fact that half of all fast food workers are on some form of public assistance. The rather wealthy people at the top of McDonald’s and KFC, all of whom take the “free market, free enterprise” point of view, and the stockholders who reap the profits, are subsidized by the government. Of course they don’t want to raise the minimum wage.

Then there was Healthcare.gov. Who needs a real e-commerce site when you can have something that looks just like one? It’s a fake, so who needs to do a beta test? The fact that it cost more than $300 million to create adds to the illusion that it might be real.

Planet Waves
Lara Logan, the faux reporter for 60 Minutes, interviewed a faux witness for her faux story. But she looks great in red. AP photo.

And who needs affordable medical insurance when a healthy, relatively young person still has to pay $500 a month to have coverage?

Then we have the Republicans accusing “Obamacare” of being socialism — when it was really the rightwing Heritage Foundation that thought this scheme up, to enrich corporations. This is being called a government takeover of health care, when really it’s a corporate takeover. But you wouldn’t know that because the Heritage Foundation has been on the front lines of attacking its own idea.

Meanwhile, right before the most dangerous maneuver ever conducted in civilian nuclear power — the removal of spent fuel from Fukushima Unit 4 — CNN broadcast a movie-length infomercial about how wonderful, efficient and perfectly safe nuclear power is. Hardly anyone thought to mention the spent fuel removal project, which basically has the world on the brink of a very quiet nuclear war.

Then there was a Metro North guy acting just like a railroad engineer who obviously had never played with electric trains. Everyone knows when you take a turn too fast, the whole train falls over. (And all passengers of that line know that the track angle leans out of the curve rather than into it.)

Then there was Lara Logan, the pretend news reporter for 60 Minutes, who interviewed Dylan Davies, who didn’t really know what happened that night in Benghazi; he made it all up, but it sounded good. That went along perfectly with the whole made-up story about a protest at a fake “embassy” in Libya (it was a CIA outpost in a fairly typical weapons buyback program, hence everyone on all sides had to do the dance and pretend it was something else).

Along the way, George Zimmerman was found innocent of both first and second degree murder after killing Trayvon Martin after a mock trial with fake prosecutors whose only job was to piss off the jury. In the perception of many, Zimmerman was as pure as the driven snow, lending true meaning to Second Amendment rights — the right to ‘defend’ oneself against black people. Which he seems to have thought also applied to women; he was arrested for pulling a gun on his (ex) girlfriend — though she dropped the charges and he’s free again (until the next time).

Planet Waves
Newspapers from late 2012 focused on the Sandy Hook School massacre. Photo from Salon.com.

The year began with the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. We all put on a sad face and then allowed
Congress and our state legislatures to do nothing about the problem, not even close the gun show loophole — except that twice as many state laws were passed laws opening up the flow of weapons than were passed restricting them.

The solution to gun violence is more guns. Wayne LaPierre offered the brilliant idea of arming teachers. The NRA, which has a quarter-billion dollar budget, called my office this week seeking a donation. They are, after all, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

How come so many of these mass shooters, from Columbine to Sandy Hook, are on mood-altering medications? Seriously — these drugs have a suicide problem. Anybody paying attention? That does not mix well with depressed, angry boys with assault rifles. But hey we can just paper that over with pride in our Constitution.

Astrological note: Mars is about to take a long retrograde in Libra. One thing about Libra is that it’s the sign of appearances. Everything in Libra has to look good, and where you have Libra in your chart is one aspect of life where you will aspire to beauty and a sense of perfect presentation. Even horrid things that happen under the influence of Libra can have elegance and beauty to them.

Mars retrograde is going to get underneath all of those appearances, and peel back the layers one by one. As it makes repeated encounters with the Uranus-Pluto square, and the Sun in the primary chart of the United States, we are likely to have a long sequence of ‘truth revealed’ kind of events that expose what is behind the facade.

There is plenty. It’s about time we had a look.


This entry was posted in 2013, as above so below, astrology, dark doo-doo, Uranus square Pluto, visions of the future, waking up, wild new ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

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