Dear Chronogram Reader:
We’re building toward a Full Moon this Sunday, with the Moon in Virgo single-handedly opposing a whole school of fishy planets in Pisces (and that’s not all). If you feel like you’re trying to swim upstream; or like you’re caught in a whirlpool; or maybe like every time you turn around, some seemingly solid part of the world has melted and warped like a Salvador Dali painting, you’re not alone.
For example, just this week I’ve read about an uptick in Canadian citizens being turned away at the US border — including one woman born in Canada to Indian parents, with no flags on her file, turned away while trying to visit a Vermont day spa with two white friends. She’d had no previous difficulty visiting the US. Living as I do in a state sharing a significant border with Canada, and which depends heavily on tourism (especially Canadian tourism), I’m hearing a lot of people express concern about what this might mean for the local economy. I know a few frustrated Canadians scrapping their travel plans to the US.
Or I could point to an important article making the rounds about the truly horrific, racist cartoons and ads Theodor Geisel — the beloved Dr. Seuss — once drew. As in, he drew African-Americans like monkeys (or as being for sale), and depicted all Japanese-Americans as just waiting for their moment to attack the US from within during WWII. I had an extensive, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation on Facebook about what this means for us now in terms of how we regard Seuss’s later work.
What is stronger: the harm he caused with those early cartoons, or how he’s inspired people with such stories as The Sneetches and Oh the Places You’ll Go? How do we reconcile these two facts about him? Does his shadow cancel out his light, or vice versa? Can we hold space for both of those concepts — without demeaning those he’s hurt, by ignoring his hurtful acts; without implying that his uplifting stories ‘weren’t written for you’ if you’re not white; without falling into such extreme polarization that we forget how fallible we ourselves might be? And can we do this and recognize the ways in which even entertaining these thoughts might be a marker of privilege?
Then we have Pres. Trump’s most recent 3 am tweet, in which he accused former Pres. Obama of having his Trump Tower phones wiretapped. Whether it’s true or not, whether it’s related to his contact with Russian officials, I have to ask: WTF? Seriously. I just can’t wrap my brain around this man’s behavior, and it’s hard for me to imagine he’ll be able to serve an entire term like this. Then again: every time I’ve thought things couldn’t get more bizarre this past year, they have.
Eric Francis and others at Planet Waves have written a great deal about how Bizarro-Land USA is a manifestation of the ongoing Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries. It is identity chaos, technological chaos, PR chaos and political chaos all rolled into one big enchilada. We’re all to some degree complicit just as much as we may be confused and outraged by it, euphoric about it or deliberately trying to detach from it.
Whether you agree or disagree with replacing and repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) it will affect you, either directly or indirectly, if you live in the U.S. Whether you think global warming is already past the crisis point or is a hoax, decisions made now about environmental regulation will affect you — no matter where on the planet you live. Whether you believe asylum seekers from certain countries are a security threat, or that outright immigration bans feed extremism and put us at greater risk, the decisions being made now will affect you.
Here’s the thing about these decisions and their long-term effects: while it’s true that one cannot be 100% sure about what those effects will be, it’s still possible to study demonstrated facts. You can study trends; you can check your sources for bias; you can seek out differing perspectives and consider what they’re based in. It takes work. Most people don’t have the time and energy to go through this process for every issue that comes down the pike. But many, many people don’t even consider trying. We live in an entertainment culture, and this shit is not fun. But contrary to prevalent myth, these issues are personal to each and every one of us in some way.