Latest Tarot reading


So, I haven’t posted here in a while, but I did feel like posting this latest Tarot/Oracle deck combination reading I did regarding the question of whether or not New York’s  escaped prisoners,Richard Matt and David Sweat would be captured.  I used the outlook spread from page 196 in Power Tarot, combining Morgan Greer and Madame Endora Fortune Cards and the cards came up like this:

1 Wolf with the 6 of wands
2 -The Knight – w Emperor
3-The Dagger with the Page of Swords reversed
4-Chalice with the 5 of Swords

Here’s a breakdown of the positional meanings for the Outlook Spread:

Card 1 – Outlook for the situation, event, or project.

Card 2 – What/who will help.

Card 3 – What this will lead to.

Card 4 – How you will feel about the outcome.
My take on this assortment is that they are likely to be betrayed or turn on each other, and will likely get caught;however, with the Knight & Emperor involved – they won’t go down without a fight – especially not the older Richard Matt – who’s the domineering one – the Dagger with the page of Swords reversed – in the position of what this leads to confirms some kind of violence before all is said and done – a young person – or possibly David Sweat – may die or be seriously injured. The Chalice with 5 of Swords in the how I will feel about this is relieved, but disappointed – which fits with a capture at a high price scenario – so it may be an innocent youth who’s hurt or killed in the crossfire.  I also expect their capture within the next 6-30 days, based on the minor arcana cards.

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Hypocrisy of the Ray rice/NFL outrage


The media coverage of this sad situation has really started to irritate me. Professional athletes abusing women is nothing new; we knew it when Mike Tyson was married to Robin Givens, and we knew it when OJ Simpson was indicted for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson & Ronald Goldman. I think pundits and the public need to stop behaving like Columbus with a new discovery. It’s not newsworthy because Ray Rice pinched out his girlfriend – it’s newsworthy because he was videotaped doing it.

I also think that both law enforcement and the media need to choose priorities at some point; is it more important to help Janay Palmer Rice or attack her husband & the NFL? If the focus is the latter, how much sympathy are you showing the former? Schadenfreude seems to be driving the media more than sympathy- which is another way Mrs.
Rice has been victimized.

Nude photos and the right to privacy


Peggy Drexler argues for the right to take/pose for nude photos without fear of privacy violation- Drexler op-ed on privacy rights & nude photos . She concludes by stating that the problem isn’t the picture. The problem is the perpetrator .

While that may be technically/morally true to some or even a great degree, would there BE a perpetrator WITHOUT a nude picture in this case? I think not. Having a right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

I very strongly feel that the agents/managers of young celebrities have not made their charges fully aware of certain basic facts of celebrity. Once you’re a celebrity you will seldom be dealt with fairly again for the rest of your life. Rightly or wrongly, celebrities are targeted and anything they say, do, or wear can and will be held against them in an eternal digital echo chamber. Do celebrities have a right to have a publicly listed telephone number? Of course they do. Is it the right move to make? Not likely.

Beautiful women have the right to drink alcohol and even get drunk, without fear of sexual assault. If a woman does get falling down drunk in the company of strange men and one or more of those men sexually assault her-the assailant(s) is/are to blame. However; as unwelcome as the question may be- it must be raised- did she make herself an easy target ? The world is full of predators- you have to make yourself a hard target. Personal safety is everyone’s personal responsibility. If you want your nude pictures to stay private- guess what? It is your responsibility to make sure they do. You can’t make the world responsible once you’ve decided to upload your nude photos into the cloud.

Drexler seems to equate the right to leave one’s home with the right to pose for nude photos. Leaving one’s home is generally a necessity. Posing for nude photos is not.

Make wise decisions and make yourself a hard target.

To those ardent defenders of the right to pose for nude photographs, I say: congratulations! You have given “original guy” and his fellow hackers the negative attention they crave, empowered them by revealing how deeply bothered you are by their actions, and promised them with a steady stream of future victims by insisting that young women should keep on posing for nude photos. Moreover; criminalizing the behavior further will likely increase the value of each illegally obtained photo on the black market. Ms. Caitlin Dewey, Dr. Peggy Drexler, and their sympathizers must be so proud.

Family Connections


Recently, my half brother found me on LinkedIn. We hadn’t  spoken or seen each other in over 20 years. He apologized for not having stayed in touch. In an odd way, I felt like this was a kind of role reversal since about 20 odd years ago, I had written to him to tell him of my existence. It was role reversal because this time it was my turn to be suspicious of the other’s motives and question why he’d sought me out after so much time. I’ve experienced a merry-go-round of emotions. There’s still a lot that neither one of us knows. Where does curiosity verge into actual caring? How close can or should we be?  For the record, I have to say my best friend David has played the role of brother for about 16 years now. My brother and I share our father. We spoke on the phone and it was awkward, but overall pleasant. It is difficult to know how much disclosure one should give or how much is actually wanted.  Our father is white, my mother is Afro-Latina – his mother is white) – I remembered the scene in the documentary Secret Daughter, by June Cross, who is biracial, when she explained how difficult it would have been to acknowledge June to a certain set of friends even in the present day, because her mother, Norma, had built a certain life for herself and her friends wouldn’t have understood or accepted it. June accepted this. I also remembered the scene with Lynn Whitfield (mixed & interracially married) and Halle Berry (who is also biracial) when they appeared in Oprah Winfrey Presents the Wedding, in which Lynn, who played Halle’s mother, was trying to warn her about marrying her white fiance, basically cautioning her to make sure they really love each other, because otherwise, she (Berry’s character) would be thought of as “a stain on his family’s bedsheets” or a mark of embarrassment or shame. I would be lying if I said that I never wondered whether it would have been easier for my brother to accept me if I looked very much like him instead of the beige self that I am.

I can’t know what it felt for him to have a total stranger write to him and say “Hi, I’m your half-brother”.  I honestly don’t know how I’d react had I been on the receiving end, but I’m sure I’d have had some uneasiness/suspicion.

NYC violence- anti- gay & otherwise


JP Masterson was punched in the face on Sunday, March 2, 2014. He sustained a broken nose and fractured eye socket. Moments earlier,he was accosted by a man who asked whether he and Mr. Masterson’s partner, Peter Moore were gay.

Later, Mr. Masterson expressed dismay and puzzlement that no one on the subway platform stopped to help him. He claims to have grown up in New York. As a native New Yorker myself I have to say that I was not in anyway surprised that no one stopped to help them , especially on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the kitty Genovese murder. Self-absorption and bystander apathy is not unusual in the big city. I am surprised anyone raised in NYC wouldn’t realize it’s every man/woman/child for him or herself .

The sad fact is, any man who can’t fight or give/ take a punch isn’t going to command much respect or sympathy from certain quarters, regardless of sexual orientation.

12 Years a Slave


12 years a Slave

 

Although this movie discusses offenses that happened over 170 years ago, there are ways in which it still resonates to this day if you stop to think about it.  Just ask yourself “What drove certain people to create institutionalized slavery?”  It’s not difficult to see the ways in which we still as individuals and as a society have a tendency to judge a book by its cover and people by their outward physical qualities. There is still a tendency to think that those qualities determine or should determine a person’s position in society and to punish a person who questions the position into which he or she has been placed.

 

In short, slavery was about more than just race. Race just made it easier to exploit the African people because they were racially identifiable and ripped away from the African continent and the people, languages, and lands that they knew. Unable to read or write the new language, and rarely encouraged to do so, it made the Africans more vulnerable for exploitation. Slavery was attempted with the Native American population, but since they knew the land, and their social networks were intact, it never took hold as successfully. The film does, in fact, feature an incongruous meeting of a group of Native Americans and African slaves – who seem to do little more than hang out for a few minutes.

12yrsimage1The motive for economic exploitation of cheap labor still exists; employers still like to pay as low as they possibly can in benefits and wages, likewise, there are  many organizations trying to look for creative ways of using interns and volunteers as much as they possibly can. We still look askance at those former prisoners or individuals who have been sentenced to perform community service and make judgments about them.

We still have class warfare and economic exploitation and income inequality. Who gets to determine how much your work is worth? If you work for someone else, chances are, it wasn’t you. The employee usually has to be on his or her best behavior at all times, but the boss, especially, the top level executive, doesn’t necessarily have to be. The employee faces dismissal for misbehavior much more readily than the top level executive.

Regarding the film itself; it’s a lot to take in one sitting, so I recommend viewing it on DVD or via DVR or streaming video. There are at least three powerful scenes that make it clear that U.S. slavery was not the mere inconvenience or mild discomfort some modern day commenters would have others believe; the first is the one in which Patsey, a downtrodden and much abused female slave approaches “Platt” (Solomon Northrup) to beg him to end her suffering by ending her life by holding her head under water since she’s unable to do this herself. The second is when Platt/Solomon is sent on an errand by Mistress Epps (Sarah Paulson) to a nearby plantation. He encounters a few white men who are about to lynch to young African American men. Platt is asked to explain his presence and destination, and sent off with an uncermonious kick to his backside, but not before he can hear the strangling noises of the two young men as they are being hanged to death. Platt is forced to simply walk away – unable to do anything about it and pretend as if it weren’t happening. The third, and perhaps most painful scene is when Platt is forced at gunpoint to whip Patsey for having gone to a nearby plantation to get a bar of soap. Platt eventually gives out – and turns away and his owner – the sadistic Mr. Epps takes up the whip and continues to beat Patsey. We see Platt’s silent tears as his heart is broken by the needless suffering and cruelty, to say nothing of the injustice. Having to directly endure abuse is one thing, but having to pretend it isn’t happening, know you’re unable to stop it, and then to be forced to abuse others is enough to damage anyone’s psyche.

Indeed, it is unclear by film’s end how exactly Mr. Northrup will pick up where he left off 12 years after suffering abominable conditions. Likewise unexplained is how his wife handled his 12 year absence other than remarrying. Did she look for her husband? Ask what had happened to him? Was she told that he’d been in an accident or run off with another woman?

We are told;however, that Mr. Northrup attempted to press charges against those who kidnapped and sold him into slavery, but to no avail.

I was initially reluctant to watch this film, having already seen so many depictions of the horrors of slavery; but I think it’s good that every generation have a blockbuster film or two to remind them of this tragic reality that was not so long ago, and the effects of which still reverberate to this day.

 

 

American Horror Story -Coven – episode 7


This season continues to impress as all of the actresses on the show give their all. Kathy Bates is appropriately loathsome as Delphine LaLaurie – inspired by a real life sadist and slaveowner- but somehow, Ms. Bates is able to make viewers believe that this sick sadist is somehow seeking redemption or adjustment to her current experiences in the modern world.  I was disappointed that Queenie, played by an equally engaging Gabourney Sidibe, decided to betray LaLaurie to Marie Laveau.

Similarly, I was a bit disappointed with Zoe’s decision to kill Spalding once he answered all of her questions. It’s true that he wasn’t trustworthy – but was it really  necessary to kill him? Had she made him talk in Fiona’s presence – she’d have taken care of it, after all… I also don’t know how Zoe knew about Myrtle’s spell on Spalding’s tongue.

Speaking of Fiona, she’s going to have a hard time in the next few episodes, with not only Marie Laveau gunning for her, but her own daughter and the students of Miss Robichaux’s academy as well. Last, but not least, the resurrected Myrtle Snow is likely to want to settle old scores too.

This season is so deliciously campy and byzantine in its plotting and intrigue that I can’t believe I have to wait two weeks for the next episode on 12/4/2013!