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|Wednesday, January 4th, 2017|
|Jack In The Box Tacos
So the Wall Street Journal had a salute to Jack In The Box's tacos today and it brought back a flood of memories of bygone days when I didn't give a fucking thought to tomorrow... aka, my mis-spent youth.http://www.wsj.com/articles/americans-eat-554-million-jack-in-the-box-tacos-a-year-and-no-one-knows-why-1483465285
The fact is they are two for ninety-nine-cents. there is no better deal on Earth. A buck and seven or eight cents change and you got dinner and it tastest great. I drank. Pretty heavy. Every penny went to the booze. All day. Every day. All I ate was those tacos and donuts n the moning, usually the cheaper day old donuts. Where I lived nobody liked the jelly-filled ones, so those became my 25-cent breakfast the next day (probably three days later, really).
Most of everything else Jack In The Box sells sucks. They buy tons of advertising on sporting events and push a monthly ceative special. I tried a few of those over the years. There was one, a chicken sndwich with a mushroom sauce on it, I loved those, but ofr the most part they serve lousy food.
Well the years went on, I got sober, then more years went on and I ate better, stopped eating wheat and one day, starving, at a stadium for a sporitng event, there was a Jack In The box and they had the tacos. Guess what... they could not assure me they were gluten free but the woman at the counter then leaned over and whispered "They're gluten-free". A revelation. I ate five of them at $2.49 apiece and still spent less than anyone in that crowd of 38,000.
So tempted to go buy a pair now just for the hell of it.
|Tuesday, December 20th, 2016|
|The Art World Versus Middle Class Values
Almost all art world doctrine boils down to rejecting the values of the middle class. When you hear the term "BOURGEOISE" it basically means the middle class. The people who have to get up and go to work so they can support a family that can thrive without ever really getting to the point where they can break that cycle and avoid getting up and going to work in the morning.The doctrine is not some screed nailed to the wall. It oozes out of everything and everyone. It changes over time as the middle class expands, contracts, wisens up, lets its guard down, et cetera over the years. All those macho Ferrus Gallery sausages were striving every day to be anathema to a middle class that aspired to own a color television set and take their three kids to church on Sunday. And thus the doctrine was born.Art schools themselves are devoted, almost exclusively, to rationalizing a rejection of middle class existence - and yet they do so wholly without dwelling on this source point of contempt.
The art produced in the academies totally rejects anything and everything associated with being middle class.
LABOR - The past twenty years has seen the emphasis to "deskilling". Working at anything is way too middle class.
KITSCH - Everything embodied in middle class sentimentality is fair game as subject matter as long as the artist goes about it in a mean, superior/digusted manner.
CRAFT - Since it takes time (thus labor) and might appeal to people from rdinary backgrounds based on its uniqueness, anything well-crafted is ostracized fromt he contemporary art dialogue.
NARRATIVE - Artists are free to have a personla language of symbols that seem nonsensical, but a narrative that includes the viewer and rewards anyone with the curiosity to explore is pretty much outlawed in the art world today.
PRIDE - Taking pride in a job well done is disallowed - in the academies not overtly through policy but through the socialization of the student body and through the critique process by the steady stream of academics, themselves self-proclaimed escapes from the middle class and yet, as conservative and vacuous as their parents and neighbors back in the burbs. Pride in getting away with something, though, is the bread and butter of the art academy, and the art world.
Rejecting all that the middle class stands for is, simply, a desperate gesture to avoid self-loathing on the part of the entire art world - from the students to the teachers to the commercial gallerists to the institution's many castes to many of the collectors. The occasional overprivileged art school student will inadvertently bring in taboo (middle class) tropes and be applauded for sneering at all that is terrible. The occasional underprivileged (working class) student will earnestly deliver some of these same taboo approaches to visual composition and both the tropes AND the earnestness (the ultimate manifestation of aggrandizing middle class values) will be harshly critiqued, unless the working class student throws in anti-bourgeoise political stances to steer the academic community away from seeing the work as truly threatening.
There is the irony, radical leftism is perfectly acceptable because it carries no threat to the academy, aimed as it is toward all that the middle class stands for. And what floats in the academy pretty much floats in every sector of the art world outside of an increasingly invisible, marginalized bohemian sector.
|Sunday, November 20th, 2016|
Well well well, we see how it is going to go in the coming Trump administration. Today was the blueprint.
After insisting that he never settles lawsuits, the President-Elect settled the Trump University lawsuit for $25 mIllion.
This disturbed the news cycle domination of his meeting with Mitt Romney, the biggest news coming out of the cabinet selection process as it would reveal that Don has the capability of sharing power with someone who criticized the President-Elect during the campaign and who represents the distant sane (sans "Binders Full of Women"
) shore of the Republican establishment. The big news is that the President-Elect is seeking to be normalized, to have his election campaign sins (too numerous to count, but basically dividing up America with the sharpest Ginsu knife in history)
forgiven and to be seen as a sober, thoughtful leader. The Romney meeting, possibly news of an almost-moderate with something resembling a soul joining the mouseketeers or maybe just some tactical theater, is the message sent out to dominate the headlines, to dissipate the critique of Bannon and the cabinet posts, to seep into the consciousness of 300 million people who saw or heard Non-Fake-News™
eleven days after the election was over.
Trump University started to push Romney off the front page (is that print news term THE FRONT PAGE still assignable to digitally-delivered info?
. The cast of the popular Broadway show gave the Vice-President-Elect a piece of its mind. So now the "Romney Olive Branch"
was snapped off like a twig and a lawsuit and a thespian-scolding are pushing-back against Don's still-being-assembled machine.
So Don simply follows the blueprint. He tweets an absurd little rant and the pushback slams against it all. A wall. He built a wall on twitter on day eleven to stop any advances. Because instantly, his tweet, the tone of it, the meaning of it, the impulse behind it, the implications of it, this was all that anyone could rush to their keyboards to write about, to post about, to pontificate about. The talking heads talked (I was out all day, actually, did they? Of course they did
). And social media had funny memes of Abraham Lincoln
saying things like "Worse things have happened in a theater"
bwahahaha, I mean the amped-up inspiration and passion to talk about the President-Elect shaming thespians was everywhere, it dominated human consciousness across America.
The talk about the fraud underneath a $25 Million settlement disappeared before it fully formed. Little talk about the righteous calling out a bigot in a public (if quite expensively ticketed)
Nope... it was all about having the hottest take on the tweet. The tweet that made him look like a fascist to his opponents, a strong man to his suppoerters and a guy who sticks up for his Vice President to anyone still on the frickin' fence.
He has a blueprint. Rock-'em, Sock-'em, Shock-'em
. We will lose count of how many times he follows this blueprint. We will never become jaded because he will find new ways to do this Rock-Sock-Shock schtick that defy taste, gravitas and decency. He will control the news cycle by making us all dance.
So on day eleven, I will not dance. The President-Elect defrauded customers through a scam called Trump University. He is terrified of perjuring himself, a threat to everything he has gained, so he is winding up all these lawsuits. That's the story. What can we learn from today's story is that he engages in fraud and that he does not want to go on the record of how he commits fraud. That is the story of day eleven. We may need to remember this lesson in the coming months and years.
|Sunday, November 13th, 2016|
|Doing Defeats Trumpman
I had to break the news to my wife that Trump might win.
We'd been in that bubble that believed he did not have a chance.
A comfortable place.
We had gone to see two movies that Tuesday afternoon so that we could avoid any bluster he made about the thing being rigged.
Our plan was to get back home in time to watch Hillary give her victory speech. We had a snack in between the films and I saw a TV screen in a bar with visuals announcing that Hillary had won Connecticut and Trump had won Kentucky. It reassured me - no surprises in those two. But after the second film I turned the phone on to summon the Über and the texts from friends were all there. Walking outside on the sidewalk people were standing and looking at their phones and there were gasps, and "Wow
"s and "Whaaaaaat?
"s and even an "Oh no...
" or two... and so I told her there was a chance he might win as I was flagging down the driver.
A few months ago my older brother was ordained a deacon in the Catholic church. We went to the ceremony in the Cathedral. My wife whispered to me "No women up there
" with as much contempt as could be fit into the wind of her throat without rustling the vocal chords - all of which might have caused a shriek of wrath. So that is who she is and I knew she would not take Tuesday night's shocking narrative well as the Prius stopped at the curb and we climbed in the back seat. We couldn't stick our heads in the clouds on this one. She was gone ... ... ...
There has been an anger in our household ever since. In times of tension with us I am the angry one and she is the depressed analytic. Roles have been reversed this time, at least for now, but at least it is a righteous anger and a righteous depression we carry. Need I analyze the hell out of this election result? No. The buffoonery, the trivia, and the minutia are all there on the record for our children to gasp in horror about long after our funerals and the likelihood of being some dark force's Orwellian tool always lurks when it comes to parsing policy.
You see, I am an anti-wonk and don't give a fuck about policy, so the only language I can muster to talk about politics is the unconscious, animal brain archetypes beneath (and occasionally above)
it all. Policy is an illusion; Symbolism is what cuts deep down into the soul, the psyche, the subconscious. And so I can work thru this 62-million votes worth of suckerpunch by exploring what it all symbolizes. I detest everything this man symbolizes, from the elitism to the apathy, past the pomposity and into the sniveling monarchical assumption of intellect. My wife is past her initial anger over the whoring nature of his ego and also really gets into seeing these fetid Jungian archetypes he incarnates. She always reminds folks "Never deny the shadow"
and the sun is certainly fucking blocked at the present moment.
So all we have now is our freedom of speech. Protesting, marching, organizing, resisting... these are all in the family tree of free speech. And so are writing, painting, hiding under one's bed, performing, streaking, dancing, folding one's arms and shrugging, leaving to get a beer, leaving, coming back, sculpting, photographing, rhyming, rapping, crapping, flapping, blogging, flogging and driving aimlessly around the neighborhood with the radio on. It is all ours today as much as it was on November 7. Maybe even more now.
I'm still kind of shell-shocked so even though this is about all the speech I can muster on the subject of this Roccoco spectacle of shit, I am comforted that this republic's foundation of free speech is a shit-ton stronger, and profoundly more formidable, than anything he and his nepotistic goonsquad can send our way. Don't mistake this devil for America. Compose the America you are and the America you want with the speech you inately possess. Our screenplay for the next four years can make a better movie than the Pennsylvania Avenue reality show getting ready to air in January.
|Monday, October 24th, 2016|
|Tom Hayden on Wadsworth Avenue
RIP Tom Hayden, 76.
My grandparents fought the eminent domain of their property in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica in the 1950s to the point that the city "settled" with them by giving them a turn of the century Victorian home a block from the beach between Neilsen and PCH back when that was a sketchy neighborhood. We would spend our Christmasses and Easters and some Summer Sundays there. My grandmother was quite social so the neighbors were always around. It is hard to imagine Santa Monica as a lower-class bohemian backwater but actors past their prime, beatnik-leaning sweater-wearing types and has-been but still-vain Muscle Beach athletes with heavy lifting union jobs made up a big chunk of the locals.
At some point in the mid-1970s, Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda moved into a house down the street from "The Gleasons". It was a big deal. She was a celebrity who had mocked American might in Vietnam (a sore point still radioactive to half of America even still then)
. He was one of the "Chicago Seven/Eight"
slowly guiding the left of left into the establishment through state politics, California State politics to be precise. There is no contemporary pairing to equate with these two. Imagine a young, better-looking Bernie Sanders with more radical credentials hooking up with Angelina Jolie after she had stopped the Iraq war... okay, maybe that... so now imagine them moving to the equivalent of a Fontana trailer park by the beach. That is kind of what Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda did when they moved to Wadsworth Avenue.
So you could probably mark the beginning of the beach neighborhoods becoming prime real estate with this move. Ten years later all the funk was gone. People Magazine
featured them in this new, downsized glory. There was talk of the feds spying on them in the guise of repairmen. My Uncle Teddy lived with my grandparents and spoke of shooing away more than a few "square-looking" types taking an interest in their house. The one-way street is ridiculouly narrow and the porch steps and front doors abut the sidewalks quite closely. There could have been a real goldfish bowl atmosphere there but the neighbors were just too classically laid back Southern Californians to act like they gave much of a shit about something as superficial as Hollywood celebrity or the glow of radical chic.
In April of 1981 my grandfather passed away. We were at the house when my grandmother took me aside and said "I want you to go down and tell Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda that Mister Gleason died."
Looking back, I think this is the only thing she ever singled me out for - there were so many grandkids at family functions that if you weren't stepping on her foot you got overlooked. So it was kind of like being on a mission. All those years I had known they were there, everyone talked about it, now I had a reason to go there. So I knocked on the door and heard barking dogs and the rumbling that comes with their charge. A voice asked "Can I help you?"
and I explained I was from the Gleasons up the street and Tom Hayden opened the door. He was holding back two large dogs by their collars. Big in the way that persuades one to get the fuck out and not come back.
Leaning away from the canines, I told him the news about my grandfather and he was saddened, told a story about his kids leaving some broken toys on the porch up the street and my grandfather fixing them and returning them. He was as handy as they come and Tom Hayden articulated his appreciation of that. I was 14 with acne and coke bottle glasses and he spoke to me neighbor to neighbor, the way a good politician does, but also the way a legitimately good neighbor does. He and Jane came up to the house later for condolences. It was the house where the neighborhood voted, the news crews huddled on the porch one election to get footage of Tom and Jane walking up the steps to vote. They lingered on shots of the stained glass all around the house - my grandfather's retirement project was as much stained glass as a house could handle. They did not have to come up that day though, the wake was crowded with well-wishers and condolence-givers (is that a term?)
. But they had to know that there was a validation in their presence, that in them being good neighbors, the act of being a good neighbor was strenghtened. There was a conservative faction in the family that melted at this simple generosity on their part. We could all learn from this civility known as normal just 35 years ago.
Years later, like 1994/5ish, I was at some art function that involved something charitable and public art related - something where the classes mixed back when that practice was more accepted and the art world and the political elite were not busy making themselves inaccessible from the common strivers which abound - I've been to hundreds of these events, the specifics of most of the 1980s and 90s are a lot less clear than Christmas Day at the blue collar Santa Monica Pier in the 1970s. So there is Tom Hayden standing next to me milling about in a crowd at an art show near the table with the cheese and crackers. He's split from Jane for years now and has won and lost elections to various state positions. I strike up a conversation with him by mentioning Wadsworth and Uncle Teddy and the time I knocked on his door and he says "You've grown!"
Now maybe it was the politician in him, but it was that neighbor to neighbor tone again. Something I would hope every politician could master because they are actually in touch with that sort of outlook on life, no matter how radical their background was or what their policy aspirations were or what class they were coming from or heading to. I had read somewhere that he liked baseball and I brought it up and we talked Dodgers, his team, for ten minutes or so. Affable despite feeling out of place at an art thingy, he seemed to relish a break from wonks to talk sports with what he perceived to be an old neighbor (I never lived in Santa Monica but I never brought that up)
. As he left he asked me to say hello for him to Uncle Teddy. A year or two later I relayed that story and Teddy confirmed my feelings about Tom Hayden, "Never met celebrities more normal than Tom and Jane... you'd completely forget the two of them almost blew up the whole frickin' United States when you would go ask to borrow a cup of sugar... they were such regular, nice people."
Tom Hayden, on behalf of the Gleasons of Wadsworth, Rest In Peace.
Come to think of it, my grandfather was 76 when he passed away.
|Tuesday, August 9th, 2016|
|First Seven Jobs
at my dad's machine shop - this one is listed as ZERO
because it does not count on the list of seven JOBS
because it was family forced labor, it was mandatory, you can quit a job but the only time off from this work was when I managed to get any other type of job. Do I sound bitter? Well read on… The rule in my family, was when you turn ten years old for your birthday you get to go to the shop down in Watts with dad - wow exciting - then you get the news that you have to go every Saturday and most of your holidays and summer days - extreme buzzkill, and the work there is running a lathe, drill press, milling machines, make a part, make another part, no creativity, sort nuts and bolts, no variety, crap like that, hated it. My younger brother loved it, took to it like a duck to water and now he runs the machine shop. I couldn’t stand it. The only good thing about the job was discovering, at about age 13, the hundreds of porno magazines in the employee lockers, that was the only respite - along with knowing that I never wanted to be in a dead-end situation like the poor fuckers trapped in their shit jobs there. Dad paid us a buck a day and I returned the favor by throwing tantrums and spending more time avoiding work and hiding than actually doing any of the drudgery. Got a raise to five bucks a day plus lunch at Tom’s Burgers #4 after a few years. Only day that summer I did not have a pastrami sandwich, french fries and a pineapple shake for lunch was when me and my younger brother spent all the money we saved going to Knott’s Berry Farm. It was like one day off from a prison sentence. I can laugh about it now but at the time it created intense resentment.1. 1980COOK
at McDonalds on Beach Blvd in Buena Park - I lasted like three weeks on the grill there. They just stopped scheduling me. They had over seventy employees and I was number 74 and three weeks later I was number 73, so much for career advancement. While there, one day, I did eat three McRibs with double rib on each bun in a half hour lunch break without paying for them. Fuck you, Ronald.2. 1981-82COOK and MAINTENANCE
at Movieland Wax Museum on Beach Blvd in Buena Park - Two and a half months, almost to the day. There was a restaurant at about the halfway point through Movieland Wax museum. It was cruddy overpriced food. One day the actor who played the preacher on Little House on The Prarie
came thru and bitched us out over the cost. I said “Give me ten bucks and I will give you all the food you can eat with no receipt, I will cook it up for you right now, no ticket.”
He got a paranoid look on his face and shook his head “NO”
real stiff like he was terrified of being caught in some sort of sting operation. A kid got lost and with my high school Spanish I reunited him with his mom and some manager came in and thanked me and it turned out to be like the #2 in charge and the kid was related to the President of Mexico or something. One day I went around with a guy cleaning spit off of the wax statues. Mister Spock got it the worst and of course, this being Orange County, Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son
was a close second. Then someone started yelling at the guy that they needed me in the kitchen and then they yelled at me. I said “I’m a team player here, let me know what you need”
and the dude yelling suddenly stops and says “We need more of THIS attitude around here”
and yells at everyone else. It was holiday help, January 3 almost everyone got laid off and that included the team player.3. 1983COOK
at Carl's Jr. on Rosecrans Ave in La Mirada - I might have lasted five or six weeks. The day before I got fired every time they told me to do something I said “What?”
even though I heard them fine, so it was about time. When they shitcanned me I had just clocked in and didn’t clock out so I got paid for eight hours and four hours of overtime. Seemed like a huge victory at the time. They let you eat anything you wanted so of course this was probably peak acne.4. 1984-1985CASHIER
at K-Mart on Beach Blvd in Buena Park - 18 months, still a record, stupidly quit for no reason, should have stayed as they closed the store a few months later and I would have gotten a nice severance. Most of my K-Mart memories are good ones. Grew a beard and a manager told me I had to shave it and was all “Dude, I’m trying to hide my zits so I can get a girlfriend”
and the moustachioed pindick would not relent so I went to the store manager and she reamed him and then word got back that she was telling single girls who worked there “You should go out with Clock 57”
like my guardian angel (everybody had a number with the word “clock” in front of it, I was Clock 57)
. One of the guys in the photo department would call me over as I went to clock in and show me pics of nudes that had come in. One time this guy had three hookers in a hotel suite. Crazy pics of a mini-orgy with joints, coke on a mirror, champagne, I see the guy’s name on the order. Next day of course he comes thru my line and says he has to pick up photos and says the name and I make the photo department call with a totally straight face but am shitting bullets that he knows I know. Dude was a classic 70s Eagles fan with feathered long hair, moustache, tank top. Manager says to me while we are waiting on the photo guy “Why are you blushing?”
Terrified, I say “I think I’m gonna throw up.”
She says “Go and I’ll cover”
and I get the hell out of there. I could write a book… the day they caught the Night Stalker customers coming into the store started relaying the news - for the rest of the day everyone had the most happy look on their faces “They caught the Night Stalker! Did you hear?!?!”
It was like the good vibes day of the decade. Seems so fun to reminisce about this one now…5. 1986CASHIER/STOCKING
at Radio Shack in the La Mirada Mall - This one lasted like five months. This was right when everybody was getting cable TV and 99 people out of 100 who came in would want to know how to get cable on two televisions in their house. I would explain to them what to buy (a splitter and extra coaxial cable)
and how to do it. I would draw out a map for each person like they were secret plans for a CIA invasion. A few times people offered to pay me to come to their house and do it. First guy offered me $50 and I was like no problem, easy money. Next day a guy offers me $5 and I’m all “I’m not allowed to, sir.”
The first manager was cool and it was a fun job. Then she got transferred and the new guy was a dick. I waited until he absolutely needed me and walked out for good. My fifth grade teacher Sister Gustave used to come in with the coupon for a free battery every month. She would say “See you later, Gleason”
each time she left. All the nuns called me “Gleason”
. Then one day as she is leaving she turns and says “Nice knowing you, Gleason.”
I quit the next day and I never saw her again. In 1987 one day a check arrived with a letter of a class action lawsuit settlement stating that many Radio Shack employees had been getting reamed on their pay, something about overtime and lunch breaks. The check was for almost a thousand dollars. That would be like a hundred thousand dollars today in my world. It all went right to my liver.6. 1986DELIVERY
for Dominos Pizza outside the La Mirada Mall - Maybe three months, maybe four - I got to drive their brand new Nissan trucks to deliver pizza, that was fun, there were streets like Stage Road where I would get it up to near 100 MPH, crazy things teenagers do, right? Got offered a line of coke as a tip once. Turned it down. Every once in a while I would deliver to someone I knew growing up in La Mirada and the reaction was always the same: pained laughter. The manager of the store was a conniving Russian sonofabitch named Mikhail - he had a complicated method to try to steal some of our tips. I figured it out in like five seconds and he would rant that I owed him “respect” each night that I came in with my cash from the day and not have any tip money for him. The other drivers would give almost half their tips to this motherfucker who did nothing for them but smile as he took their money. One time I was hungry as hell going to work and had a friend call in an order for three pizzas to be delivered to a house where we knew the people were on vacation. Someone else delivered them and brought them back and the manager shouted “Crew Pizzas”
and we all pigged out. Started doing that every few days, they never caught on. I would order one meat pizza and two all veggie pizzas and everyone on the crew would want the meat one and I would scarf a whole pizza with like olives or just tomatos on it and then take one cold veggie combo home and they would look at me like I was doing them a favor. I finally quit when the manager changed the way we counted our money at the end of the night to ensure he could get some of our tips. I said “I quit”
and walked out with all the money. Dude was stealing from us so he could not make a scene. I called his bluff and it was a nice haul. Then I came back two weeks later and demanded my check. The guy there would not give it to me and he said, oh you have to come back when Mikhail is here. I told him I would give him twenty bucks for the check and he said no. I asked if it was in an envelope and he said yes. I said “give me the check leave the envelope there and he won’t know that it was you who gave me the check”
. He did it. Then I explained to him how to get free crew pizzas and he actually got a pen and paper out to write down each step.(big gap here is college where i ended up starting an underground newspaper that made bank in ad sales but it is not a “job” when you are working for yoursef, really now…)7. 1992COMPUTER GUY
for some cosmetics company in Downtown L.A. - About a month... Okay this one has some intrigue. I had hooked up with a woman who had a mid-level position at this company. It was on Alameda, like two miles from my pad, it was basic computer crap, stuff I understood that people there had no idea about, simple databases, five steps up from an LED calculator. So she calls me asking if I want this job and I’m like “sure”
and I go in and my three bosses are the wife of the owner and the sister of the owner and the boss’ wife’s sister. And I divide my time between the three of them. Basically each of them are terrified to touch a computer, like digital watches freak them out, and they have gotten me hired to do the computer part of their jobs. I did not get along with any of them though, they wanted complete control over my every move but did not know a thing about computers and resented that I might have “inside information”
that they did not have. It was a weird spiral. Then they started making me go on inventory checks with them to their cosmetic stores in malls around Southern California. One day the HR rep calls me in and the owner is there, and the three bosses are there and the owner explains that he had insisted they all learn the jobs that I was assigned and they had hired me behind his back. I got a huge severance, thousands of dollars and it all came out of each of their paychecks. That helped subsidize some early issues of Coagula Art Journal
plus I drank off that money for months.
Still have not passed that K-Mart record.
|Thursday, July 28th, 2016|
|Astrology of the 2016 Presidential Election
I predict that Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 Presidential Election. Sure I can base this prediction on common sense and what I WANT to happen, but HOPE is the #2 enemy of the objective forecaster (#1 is "worry").
So I wanted to objectively look at the situation thru the astrological birth charts of her and Donald Trump and adding the planetary transits for election day.
I waited to cast the the charts until Hillary was nominated, specifically because of so much tension in her chart up to that point. With the many scandals facing her, the outcome that she would be the nominee was not guaranteed - and her chart reflected all of this.
Meanwhile the ceaseless attacks on the character and competence of Donald Trump made me hold off even looking his natal chart up. But he was handed the nomination through a populist uprising and the complete acquiescence by his party's establishment.
A month prior to her nomination, it was looking like her email evasion might affect Hillary. Mars was retrograde at the time and it was forming a tense square with her natal Saturn/Mars/Pluto stellium. But that has now passed and she pretty much sailed to her coronation, notwithstanding the muffled Bernie Sanders supporters, loyal to their candidate when even he himself had capitulated.
Hillary Clinton is less than a year and a half younger than Donald Trump. They have the three outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) in the same signs (Gemini, Libra, Leo respectively) although at degrees far enough apart that planetary transits to these placements happen at different times for them.
The location of the planets on election day (November 8, 2016) are as follows:
Sun & Mercury in Scorpio, Venus & Saturn in Sagittarius, Mars & Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Libra, Uranus in Aries, Neptune in Pisces; When the polls open on election day, the Moon will be in Aquarius (Sign of "We The People") but by the time the polls close it will be in Pisces (Zodiac sign of foregone belief).
So what does this all mean?
Where the planets are today affect us all based on where the planets were on the day we were born (look, you either buy this or you don't, but it is the basis of astrology, the closest thing to a "how it works" model, perfected by Isaac Newton. Not good enough for you? Well then... kiss off.)
. On election day, these planets will be in a much more tense relationship with Donald Trump's chart than with Hillary Clinton's chart. That alone will sway the outcome.
Hillary Clinton was born a Scorpio, just after sunrise (making her a Scorpio rising)
. Her Moon is in Pisces. What does this mean? Well people who care for Hillary would say this is a resolute personality that cares about service. Those disinclined to like her would see a stubborn bamboozler. Each planet and sign has a range of personality traits that manifest with continued action - the actions we take reinforce the subtle nuances of planetary energy until they are ingrained behavioral traits in each personality.
Donald Trump was born a Gemini under an eclipsed Full Moon in Sagittarius with the very last degree of Leo on the horizon ("Rising")
. Gemini has no problem leaving behind yesterday's loyalties as it might suit their aims. People who are attracted to a Gemini see what they want to see. A Leo Rising gives an aura of natural leadership. People either blindly follow a Leo or they are repulsed by the pretense of an unearned station at the head of the parade. A Moon in Sagittarius makes one an adventurous risk taker. People either admire the bold forays into uncharted territory or they are aghast at the recklessness of such a move.
On election day, the transiting planet that has the most intense affect on both Donald & Hillary's chart is Saturn. This is the perimeter planet, the last visible body in our solar system, the ruler of karma, destiny, and inevitability. On election day, Saturn is moving forward at 15 degrees Sagittarius. It affect each candidate differently.
In Trump's chart this puts the zodiac taskmaster in opposition to the natal locations of Uranus and the Sun in Gemini. When Watergate was happening, Saturn was in Cancer, opposing Richard Nixon's Capricorn Sun. A Saturn opposition to one's Sun is a reality check. It is like the tax collector - inescapable. Saturn opposing one's Sun denies the subject all but what has been earned. There is a ruthless whittling away of every hope one has until all that is left is what one deserves. The bottom line is that Trump is not a disciplined enough candidate to have earned a victory. Had he been a politician all his life, this aspect could be seen as confirmation of what he had earned. But in trying to parlay his enormous fame as a businessman and a celebrity into the winner-take-all stakes of a presidential election, his lack of commitment and preparation will do him in.
Even more intensely than just the opposition to his Sun, Trump was born just as a total lunar eclipse was forming. Saturn moving into an opposition with his Sun means that Saturn is moving towards a conjunction with his Moon. When Saturn closes in on the Moon in one's chart, a low-energy point of reflection is at hand. With Saturn closing in on Trump's Moon, sadness at lost opportunity will join the blow to the ego (Saturn opposing his Sun)
. Additionally, Saturn's opposition to the planet Uranus will weaken Trump's ability to control the public message. Assuming an already unsympathetic media cannot possibly give him more free air time, it can be predicted here that world events in the coming months will play out to lessen the impact of his campaign themes.
Meanwhile, Saturn will be Hillary Clinton's best friend on election night. It was not always so. When she ran against Barack Obama, she declared her candidacy in January of 2007, Saturn was in Leo, the place it was at the day she was born. When Saturn returns to its natal position in your chart, it is not time for bold action, it is not time to take on elaborate new projects. Saturn held back Hillary, her flat-footed, bloated campaign staff were no match for the grassroots charisma of Barack Obama.
But on election night 2016, Saturn will be in harmony with Hillary's powerful Mars/Pluto conjunction. Mars is the planet of action and Pluto is the planet of deep-seated power. Like her Saturn, they are both in Leo in Hillary's chart. In 2007, her action to attain power was being held down. Now Saturn is in Sagittarius, harmonizing with her Leo planets. What her opponents call the ease with which she was "coronated" the nominee looks as astrologically inevitable too.
Wait just a minute... what about absentee ballots? These are cast weeks ahead of time. Yes, they are. I would argue that the slow march of Saturn toward the point of Donald's natal eclipse as well as toward harmony with Hillary's power-hoarding Mars/Pluto conjunction accounts for the trickling in of absentee ballots being cast.
Hillary Clinton will triumph on November 8th in an almost anticlimactic cascade of inevitability considering the chaos of this upended presidential race. Donald Trump will classlessly self-destruct as he sees the writing on the wall, minimizing any possible role he could play on the national stage moving forward.
I predicted Bush over Gore, so there is not some "liberal bias"
here, I'm just looking objectively at planetary locations and the patterns they create. Did it seem like she was going to cakewalk and this forecast was "obvious? Well, I calculated this reading on July 27/28, 2016 when Trump had a 7.3% lead in the polls according to the L.A. Times (see screen shot below)
so the risk is to my reputation (more so than the risk of outing myself as a "seer' might possibly be)
.Chart reading? $100 for 45 minutes LIVE in L.A. or via Skype - MATG64@GMAIL.COM
HILLARY CLINTON NATAL CHART (inner wheel) WITH NOVEMBER 8, 2016 PLANETARY LOCATIONS (outer wheel) screenshotted from astrodienst, the only astrology website that matters (unpaid endorsement).DONALD TRUMP NATAL CHART (inner wheel) WITH NOVEMBER 8, 2016 PLANETARY LOCATIONS (outer wheel) screenshotted from astrodienst, the only astrology website that matters (unpaid endorsement).SCREENSHOT of L.A. Times polling on July 27 showing Trump with a 7.3% lead over Hillary Clinton.
|Sunday, June 19th, 2016|
|Do Artists Go Where They Are Loved?
This artist was miserable. He had never quite gone to the heights career-wise that he felt his art had achieved and that he, therefore, deserved. The art world is the epitome of "Many are called, few are chosen."
A lot of artists give up on the art world, on pursuing exhibitions and many give up on making art. And while each person's misery is unique, the lamentations of being passed over all do start to sound as consistent as church bells.
The artists who do stick it out and stick around the art world are the ones who go where they are loved. The gallery that wants to show you for the most part is the gallery you stick with. If things start rocking and rolling for you and other galleries want you, well, love from above almost always wins. It wins because there is love there, too.
But this artist was miserable because he "held out for a better gallery"
. He was wanted... but he did not go where he was loved. He held out for a better gallery, made great work, played the game but never got chosen (to hear him lament, to hear his sad words spoken)
But he HAD
been chosen. A gallery he felt was beneath him had chosen him. That road not taken, though, doesn't really ever haunt him because his ego insists it was never even a consideration, never a possibility at all. The BEST
was all this artist wanted, was all his ego would let him pursue. Of course, that "good"
gallery he thought he was born to show in, well it is now closed, long gone. Actually the gallery that wanted him has closed too. But the hundred possibilities that a show there would have created are worse than dead, they are never-born.
So when you hear the miserable artists lamenting the absence of a career, you might dare ask them "Why didn't you go where you were loved?"
I say "dare"
because the uncorking of the unthinkable is something that takes courage to initiate.
|Friday, June 17th, 2016|
|Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016|
|Agnes Martin Retrospective at LACMA reviewed...
Agnes Martin show at LACMA better minimal painter than all the dudes. You gotta be in a certain mood for this show, though. You gotta want to get your elitist on, that's it, you check your populism at the door on this one.
But I watched Robert Irwin putt-putt thru the LACMA Galleries this afternoon and noticed he got real close (closer than the marked line on the floor allows but he was with Govan so nobody said shit), and he stared and stared at almsot every one of them as close as he could get and I tried that and appreciated them more without the edges. Wish she had been like the art fair darlings of today making nine hundred foot canvasses where you could lose yourself in the field she lay.
She is really the opposite of digital art, and thus the opposite of all art today. She has no ideology and the inherent politics in the act of artmaking are about liberating the self - viewed now in utter terror in this era of everybody asking "which side are you on?". Think about it... she demands the long stare, the commitment, the suspension of the threat of walking on after seven seconds that every viewer carries with them.
LACMA could sure help the experience by banning strollers, groups of tourists, teenagers, old people looking for the bathroom and millenials with their goddamn selfie sticks. Anyway, there, two thumbs up for the queen of the graphite line and pastel perfection.
Oh and now I will be gauche and remind you that I am in a movie with Agnes Martin (separate scenes completely, but really)
called ART CITY SIMPLICITY
where she steals the show with liberating words for all artists and then I do my glib smack thing. Anyway, go be an elitist at LACMA and then drop seventy bucks at their cafe on bread and two salads, smiling the whole time because you are a graphite-line loving member of the elite, nod to the other elites, drop the mic and uber home.
|Friday, April 8th, 2016|
|My Merle Haggard Story
So I took this girl to Vegas and I really wanted to impress her. This was 1995. We checked into the Frontier Hotel because they were centrally located on the strip and had the best rates. That place is long gone. Not the most lavish, but the best location to see as many different things as there were to see there.
So I ask her what she wants to do. She is terrified of gambling (except she was dating me, what a long shot bet, right?) and sure, wants a nice meal and to see whatever there is to see here. Not a wild party-er, not really a "Vegas Type" but playing along for one trip, and I'm doing my best to make it romantic and fun.
"Do you want to see a show?"
"Oh, no. No."
"There's lots of stuff to see..."
"No, I am not into what Vegas is going to show... if it was Van Morrison or Merle Haggard, someone great, sure, but not a Vegas show."
Okay, okay, let's go for a walk."
So we decided to walk up the strip. After a half mile or so we chanced upon a two-hundred foot marguee in front of one of the casinos, it might have been the Riviera or the Sahara, don't exactly recall, but do recall that every casino had a big marquee with big names out front, the real stars were right here and you could almost touch 'em and most definitely catch them live and in person here.
So on this two-hundred-foot-tall marquee were 60-foot tall letters:
It was a sign. Literally and metaphorically. We both laughed. The next morning I called and made reservations. We dressed up. She was nervous to be "doing it right" I was nervous to make sure she had a good time. We got a good seat and the opening act played. They played and played.
Then they played some more. Then they admitted that they were actually Merle's band and that he was a little under the weather. I was quite bummed, the magic of that laugh we had just had to pay off somehow.
Finally, after 90 minutes of this band dragging themselves thru numbers and taking requests and suggesting maybe it was time to do one of the songs they had played again with each member playing a different instrument, he staggered onto the stage. He was fucked up out of his gourd. They put the guitar around his neck and he growled into a song, oh boy, this was actually sadly laughable. He played a few more songs, raw, sloppy, rough. Then he apologized for "being under the weather" and played a sad, slow song. He was sobering up and that miraculous angelic voice began to rise and fill the auditorium and then it leaked into our souls, all of us, the whole theater just burst into warm tears. I don't even recall what the song was but everyone was crying - and yet everyone was happy to be moved to tears by the melody that voice delivered.
By the time he had made it thru the set he was blaming the casino for giving him booze in his suite and then expecting him to finish early so they did not have to pay the ushers overtime. But he was sobering up and he played on. It was uplifting in the way churches wished each service could be. We left hours after we should have... had the set started on time. But we left feeling alive. There was no need to gamble or seek thrills, to walk back in the warm night air after having heard that voice live made the simple sidewalk feel like an escalator of bliss.
That girl and I had a good run for a few years and we are still friends now and you wonder, does the joy of that voice still ring around in our heads and uplift? Did it drop us onto a higher plane? Was it all just a momentary buzz or did we transform from staggering sloppy blubberers to redneck angels for good? I should hope the latter. You really want to go bat for art and vouch for its power when it leaves entertainment behind and changes the entire world for you in a few touching songs.
|Wednesday, March 9th, 2016|
|ETERNAL SHADOW (The Long Sunset of Walter Hopps)
There is a picture somewhere of the day I met Walter Hopps. It is me and Walter, Michael McCall and Steve Seemayer. It was Seemayer’s camera and I think he handed it to the security guard to shoot the picture. The pic is somewhere in a box, ine day I will dig it up and plaster it all over the internet and try to mooch off the legacy of Hopps and be all “oh yeah me and Walter, blah blah blah,” well instead of being what the British would call “a predictable little cunt”, I will give it to you straight about the Hopps I encountered. And if I find the picture and Seemayer is not in it than he will at least get the photo credit.
I knew it was a big deal to meet Walter Hopps then and I was glad to be wearing a California Angels baseball cap that night because idiot McCall was capless and not representing his loser Dodgers all shaggy then with his outdated mullet haircut in 1994 or 95, it was at the second DADA festival, and when I say DADA it don’t mean the important art movement I mean the Downtown Artists & Developers Association, which put on these huge “Downtown Lives” exhibits back then. The first one was in a giant industrial building on Alameda just south of Seventh by where the old Christmas tree lot was. This one was in that round subterranean outdoor mall on Figueroa and Seventh where the Target is now. In fact, if I walked over there I could show you the store – a spacious store – where this Dada show took place.
So in walks Michael McMullet with this stiff kind of guy, looked like a cross between Hunter S. Thompson and a wax figure of Dan Rather. There is all sorts of activity, it is one of those openings where everyone is saying hello to each other and talking about themselves and ignoring the art on the wall. You know, the group show hell that Hopps is kind of to blame for inventing, really. So all I can ask Hopps about is his health. The dude is only discussed in two terms – vibrant and reverent. But to me he seems to be a somnambulist on autopilot. After asking him a third or fourth time he says “I’m as good as I’m ever gonna get again.” He reminded me of every acid casualty I’d ever met. His drug had been speed, he’d disappear for days. McMullet had that “walked thru the fire” air about him so they were a perfect team – seen it all, done it all, screenprinted teeshirts summing it all up in a slogan.
Years later, actually a surprising number of years later, when I read that he died, front page of the LA Times, that’s a benchmark few get, I saw Llyn Foulkes, he sat down at my table in a restaurant and I asked him if he had heard the news... his expressive face turned into a vulnerable frown and he took off his glasses preparing to cry. When I said it was Walter he gave me a look like who the fuck cares. “Oh fuck Walter, he was the first starfucker, he started the whole celebrity thing in the art world, that the artist has to be a rock star, he wanted that so that he would be looked at like a god...” he went on and on, if you have ever heard Llyn rant, you know how it went from there.
All of this made me want to sponsor McCall’s tribute to Hopps, wearing his suit, passing out his money, acquiring a conceptual collection that was actually tangible. It was funny to see purported art world bigshots stare blankly when Walter’s name was mentioned – ah but the smart ones and the amazing artists, they knew. You can’t teach people shit these days, they have to find out for themselves. There are just too many ordinary people in the art world now and its people like Michael McCall standing as the apocalypse now in their way.
So I wasn’t there and that is my story and Llyn was there and that is his story, or at least my reporting of his story. But the motherfucker got a page one obituary in the LA Times and that means something. There is a legacy there and it is nice that Michael McCall has a proper haircut now and is making sure that people understand that Walter Hopps was there for the birth of the art world as we know it and that he held the baby and cooed at the baby and took the baby in the car while he went to score speed and that the little toddler picked up some of Walter’s admirable traits and a few of his bad habits as well. And that baby grew up to be an adult and we all want to be friends with the art world and acting like uncle Walter often makes the art world befriend us more quickly. And that is what you call a legacy and none of us are going to get an obituary on page one of the LA Times because the LA Times isn’t going to have page ones any more when we die, and life goes on and the art world that Walter tied to raise, that adult will get old and die too, one day. And Walter’s imprint will live on in some other weird way, he changed us all while he spent his days more interested in fixing that craving than in raising that child, that art world, us, we are the art world, in a way, he raised us, left us with a 57-inch-centerline and a love of flashbulbs standing next to Ed Ruscha and all those other swinging dicks of Venice he stroked up and down. All petering out now, but Walter will be the last pecker they all recall, he’ll have a legacy for inventing curating no matter how fickle history gets, he and Stiegletz are the white-walled wonders of history, memorable in perpetuity, thru thick or thin, peter out or peter in.