Virginia Slims & Tim Cook

You’ve come a long way, baby

casey Social Commentary Leave a Comment

How times have changed. We are in the second decade of the 21st century and it is smoking that has become unacceptable, with homosexuality gaining social acceptance.


Recently, while sitting in the doctor’s office waiting on my wife, I thought of Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and his recent announcement that he was gay. And just as quickly my mind floated to the early 70’s advertisement of beautiful black chicks in Ebony magazine with the memorable hook-line – “You’ve come a long way, baby.” To be sure it was not only black women that were targeted in the Virginia Slims advertisements: it is what I remember, being an avid Ebony reader at the time. Favorite mag.

How times have changed. We are in the second decade of the 21st century and it is smoking that has become unacceptable, with homosexuality gaining social acceptance.

The very worst insult I can remember during my childhood years was to be called a “buller-man”. Not only were you regarded as a sissy – a fragile feminine type – but it also implied that you were sexually twisted. You did not want to be thought of as a “buller-man” and prayed fervently not to become one.

On the other hand smoking was masculine: a man smoked. The women who smoked were looked down upon: nice women did not smoke. Only the “jaggabats” – prostitutes or loose women – smoked. This of course was before the Virginia Slims campaign. Changing values, reflected in the Virginia Slims campaign, made women smokers not only acceptable, but ‘fashionable and sophisticated’.

Today, social agitation has forced over half the states in USA to grant same sex marriages, with courts regularly striking down legislative bans on same sex marriages as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court recently refused to grant a hearing to the states that wish to appeal against the ruling of their district courts. Smoking on the other hands is banned in most public places.

How times have changed.

Commentary on that memorable Virginia Slims cigarette campaign here.
Tim Cook official notice of his sexual preference here.

Composite Photo: Virginia Slims Models & Tim Cook

Astro-chart: USA Natal & 2014 Midterm Transits

2014 US Midterm Elections – An Astrological Review

casey Divination Leave a Comment

…the Uranus (disruption) ‘opposition’ to Saturn (status quo) – the defining astrological feature of the 2014 election chart – corresponds with what many see as the need to remove the log-jam in the legislative process.


The results are in: the Democrats have lost the senate and the Republicans now control both houses of the legislature.

For me the defining astrological aspect on November 4, 2014 elections was the transiting Uranus (disruption) ‘opposition’ to Saturn (status quo) in the USA chart. This suggested that the status quo could not prevail: time for change. Pointing also in the direction of change was Uranus (the unexpected) ‘semi-square’ Moon (mass mind). While the change was largely predicted by the polls, the percentage swing was larger than that anticipated. Surprise!

Additionally, transiting Pluto (unconscious fears) ‘semi-squared’ the Moon (the populace). Think Ebola. Think ISIS. And transiting Saturn (fears) became palpable and real when Mercury (mass media) published them. Transiting Saturn in a ‘trine’ aspect to Mercury.

Social change is slow and arduous for the most part and the status quo always has the upper hand because by definition change brings uncertainty. Uncertainty is not something most humans like. But the uncertainty is bearable when we believe that we will get something better.

But what better could the American public want?

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish writes,

“Texas, Mississippi or South Dakota wouldn’t vote differently if the stock market under Obama had increased from 7,949.09 to 17,366.24, a growth of 218% in less than six years (it has), or unemployment fell below 6% (it has), or average gas prices were $3/gallon (it is), or GDP was growing at 3.5% (it is).”

The reader’s argument of course is USA is a divided country, and some will never appreciate the bad hand handed Obama in 2008 and what he has made of it.

This much is apparent, but the chart suggest something more: the American public is ‘looking for better’. The transiting Neptune (inflation) Jupiter (confidence) ‘trine’ suggest as much. On Election Day, transiting Mars (dynamism) joined with this configuration further emphasizing an ill-defined longing (Neptune) for a better life (Jupiter), prompting perhaps a misplaced confidence.

Finally I take it that the Uranus (disruption) ‘opposition’ to Saturn (status quo) – the defining astrological feature of the 2014 election chart – corresponds with what many see as the need to remove the log-jam in the legislative process. Time would tell.

And so we are in for some interesting times as the Republicans try to counter balance the dominant factions within their party: the ideologically pure and the pragmatic.

Astrological Chart: Twin Wheels:USA Birth & 2014 Midterm Transits

Planetary Aspects:
Opposition – 180 degrees apart
Trine – 120 degrees apart
Square – 90 degrees apart
Semi-square – 45 degrees apart

Thunderbolt/The Tower

The Tower and the 2014 US Midterm Elections

casey Divination Leave a Comment

And here is the mystery of Tarot cards: they mirror the concerns that float around disembodied, at the subconscious level. Here on display too is the value of the cards: they act as visual aids, alerting us to our unconscious concerns.


My early Sunday morning (November 2, 2014) tarot reflection turned up Thunderbolt, called The Tower in most tarot packs. It presents a very startling image of lightning striking a tower, with two of its occupants tumbling out of this sanctuary in a free fall towards the ground. A witness, in meditation posture, dominates the scene and remains untroubled.

I could not immediately make sense of it. At first I tried to tie it to something personal: but what in my personal life was due for this sudden and unexpected correction? I could not tell.

It is only later the insight came.

Most of Saturday and again on Sunday I read many articles on the US midterm elections. The polls gave the Republicans the edge and predicted they we’re going to take control the Senate, leaving the Democrats a minority in both chambers. An insight into the card’s meaning came as I completed reading yet another article on the U.S. midterm elections.

It seemed that I had identified, to a much larger extent than I was conscious, with President Obama and his party – the Democrats. Interestingly, I am only an onlooker, not a U.S. citizen with the right to vote. Yet the shellacking anticipated, prompted the following commentary –

“…this inner earthquake is both necessary and tremendously important – if you allow it you will emerge from the wreckage stronger and more available for new experiences. Try to watch the destruction with detachment, almost as if it were happening to somebody else. Say yes to the process by meeting it halfway.

And here is the mystery of Tarot cards: they mirror the concerns that float around disembodied, at the subconscious level. Here on display too is the value of the cards: they act as visual aids, alerting us to our unconscious concerns.

Image and commentary of the tarot pack I currently favour – Osho/Zen Tarot – is filtered through a Zen lens. Other philosophical frameworks are harnessed by other commentators to provide insight into the Thunderbolt/Tower like scenarios which many experience some time in their life.

Illustration: Thunderbolt/Osho Zen Tarot

One Time

casey Music, Video Leave a Comment

This video is quintessentially Trinidadian. This is beautifully characterized by the eccentric who has a unique answer to the mundane question ‘What’s the time?”

We will explore in a later post – some time before our fifty-second [52] Independence Anniversary date of 31 August 2014 – the quintessential characteristics of a Trinidadian.

In the mean time enjoy the efforts of the production duo – Jus Now.

Music Video: One Time | Jus Now

    New York from Hudson River

    Freedom & Eccentricity

    casey Life Leave a Comment

    I think that every person you talk to is eccentric — deeply eccentric — in their own way. You just have to find it. Some people are not willing to show it — which is why New York is so fantastic, because people are über willing to show any eccentricity they possibly can. And that’s one of the points of being here — you’ve left the restrictions of whatever place you’ve been in and you go, “Now I’m really going to show you something!”

    Commentary: The Poetics of New York | Maira Kalman
    Photo: New York from the Hudson | Jermaine Cruickshank via Instagram

    The Web: It’s Origins, Properties & Influence

    casey Science, Video Leave a Comment

    This highly informative video on the nature of the World Wide Web published May 8 2014, celebrates the 25th anniversary of its birth. Here Vsauce, the presenter, ties the birth of the web to Tim Berners-Lee proposal in March 1989 for “a large hypertext database with typed links.” But this got little traction.

    It would take an enthusiastic collaborator in Robert Cailliau, who rewrote the proposal and sought resources within CERN – a major European research facility – to really get this proposal going. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built all the tools necessary for a working World Wide Web and officially launched it on August 6, 1991.

    New users however could only access it after August 23, 1991 and for this reason this is generally considered the Internaut’s day: the day it was open to all users. So Vsauce and other celebrants might be a little early – from an internet user’s viewpoint – in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Word Wide Web. But do take a look and discover among other fascinating revelations, the distinction between the ‘web’ and the ‘internet’.

      Dove In The Cathedral - Digital Art

      Nothing Cyah Shock We!

      casey Social Commentary Leave a Comment

      3canal’s lament of calypso season 2014, that “nothing cyah shock we”, proved to be horribly wrong: the well-coordinated attack on a legal luminary Dana Seetahal moved many from apathy to anger. Her death has served as a wake up call, for many in denial.

      The foremost purpose of the calypso art is to have the populace look themselves in the mirror, so as to gauge where as a society we are headed. And the mirror that 3canal turned on us this season, Carnival 2K14, proved to be grimee, indicative of our inability to truly evaluate our condition.

      We Living GRiMeEE,
      Blood all around,
      Assassinations,
      Heads on the ground…
      Nothing cyah shock we!

      Even though a few of us, including myself, have reached the point where indeed ‘nothing cyah shock we’ – a self-administered inoculation against the sickening levels of violence in our society – I am nonetheless saddened,

      “…that notwithstanding our economic wealth as a small nation, we have not been able to detect and thwart violent criminal intent more often, or advance the better values of the past, or reduce the disaffection of certain individuals and groups to manageable levels, or manage the distribution of our wealth more even-handedly, or enhance our enlightenment about social issues via research-based knowledge and development of our rational faculty.

      We are all victims of this state of affairs, including the perpetrators of violence.”

      What do we do now? Now that this #HappyNation slides further down the slippery slope into the hell-hole that is anarchy.

      Time to run them devils –
      Chase them!
      Time to break the spell
      Time to spark your chalice
      Send them devils back to hell

      Be not afraid.
      We don’t fraid them devils no more.

      Lyrics: Grimeee | 3canal
      Article Extract: What do we do now? | Trinidad Express [May 7 2014]
      Digital Art: Dove In The Cathedral | Casey
      // Art work in memory of Dana Seetahal