I have the most faith in gravity, because it keeps me on my feet and grounded.
Santa Cruz | ICE Agent
Oscar Wilde once averred, “I am not young enough to know everything.” Imagine if he tried living in this modern era of too much information. It’s impossible to keep up.
I think it’s my iPad that finally made me hit the wall. It’s an incredible device—offering more information at one sitting than anyone could have ever imagined in those days of yore where we’d sit with maybe a newspaper, a magazine or even a book.
Years ago, I went to a journalism seminar and the media expert there asked the crowd of reporters and editors whether their business was news or information. More than half said they wanted to give information to their readers—go well beyond the news and really inform the public.
Mercury entered Capricorn the last day of November. With Mercury in Cap our communication becomes bare bones, essentially informational. Those born with (and during transits of) natal Mercury in Cap can sound harsh, unsympathetic, insensitive, unforgiving, strict, stringent, austere and authoritarian. That is not their intention, however strict their communication sounds. Capricorn, Saturn ruled, is concerned with and thus simply goes to the "heart" (core) of all matters. Mercury in Cap speech is purposeful, methodical, resourceful, exacting and rigorous. Don't push them to speak quickly. Allow them time to gather their thoughts. Mercury in Cap has crystal clear judgment, a special authority.
Did you see The Social Network? Jesse Eisenberg plays Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg, on the brink of founding the Facebook phenomenon, as a snarky, sarcastic, and rude narcissist, peering out a the world with cold-eyed disdain. When his girlfriend dumps him, all he can think of is rushing back to the dorm to go online and have his revenge. Nowadays, we call this online bullying. In 2003, it was the birth of a $41 billion empire.
I have no idea whether this portrait of Mark Zuckerberg is in any way true or accurate. But I've always found something a little creepy about the Borg-like stealth of Facebook and the way everyone needs to plug in, hook up, and drop out of real life. Resistance is futile, all right; every time I delete one invitation to join FB out of my inbox, six more pop up in its place.
Plus Letters to the Editor
Fiona Apple once said: “There aren't many poster children for cool angst.” I just say: “Thanks for the angst.” (Trust me—it’s easier to embrace it sometimes than fight it.) So ... it’s that time of year. again. Welcome! Welcome to your opportunity to get the heck out of your own way and everybody else’s for that matter. I’m not sure about you, but this year rushed by at a feverish pace. Death. Deadlines. More deadlines, and, in between, too many stories—quite a few that were uplifting—that filtered into the mix. But we’re far from being done with 2010. Which is why this week’s cover story seems truly appropriate. It revolves around AIDS. This week, our GT writer asks: Has AIDS become the forgotten epidemic? Thirty years after AIDS stormed onto the scene, and after major medical advances to treat HIV, has this disease slipped out of public awareness? In a compelling read, with insights from locals involved with Santa Cruz AIDS Project, as well as longtime Assemblyman John Laird, and others, learn more about where we, as a society, are at with the illness. The story begins on page 16.
Thanksgiving is always a good time to take stock of your luck. At the table, many families take turns relating something to be grateful for. In such a shared setting, we usually talk about nice things in the world that we can all be thankful for: friends and family, roofs over our heads, California weather, Smartwool socks, anyone who makes the political landscape look less bleak or at least funny, the rise of the American microbrew.
This year, I felt thankful for something of a more selfish nature. I was thankful for being alive, because I recently realized the odds were against me. And I suspect that if you did the math, you would feel the same.
December is dedicated to Advent, Catholic Latin word “adventus” meaning “(something’s coming”)—winter solstice, sun turning northward, new light, birth of the holy child, revelation). For four weeks we light candles summoning hope in the dark half of the year. Simultaneously, Wednesday evening, Hanukkah, eight-day candle-lighting Jewish festival of lights, begins. Both religious festivals are about preparation, (re)dedication and the kindling of (our) light (hope, promise) within the darkness (of matter).
Friday the U.S. has a Saturn return, 14 Libra (relationship with others). Saturn returns mean strictness, discipline, solitude, hard work, separation and loss of what is no longer useful. And so, as of this writing Drudge Report reports the new Wiki-leaks. Uh oh. Veils of secrecy drop with classified communication (accepted by all nations) released. This will affect relationships (Libra) with other nations. Transparency, although uncomfortable, is needed for the new culture and civilization to emerge. Saturn is both teacher and Dweller on the Threshold. The Dweller shows us past missteps and the Teacher helps us learn lessons. Everyone, everything (even nations) are always in a developmental (learning) stage.
Plus Letters to the Editor
Many of us in California come from somewhere else. California natives? I can count a couple of handfuls that I’ve met just this year. So, during the holidays, inevitably those of us who’ve arrived in California, either searching for new life, new direction, or just following a dream, may find ourselves invited into the family gatherings of other people. That’s not a bad thing at all, but maybe this year, it won’t be such a bad idea to share some of your own family stories. To me, Thanksgiving always conjures up one scenario: My Polish Uncle John hiding an entire platter of Polish dumplings under his chair during the Thanksgiving meal. I couldn’t blame him—I’d always wanted those homemade fluffy, tempting carbs, drizzled with melted butter all to myself too.
(During a recent visit back to Chicago, my mother made some and I quickly devoured a dozen in one sitting.) I’m thankful for those meals and those dumplings—my gut, maybe not so much. All that to say: Eat up this year—consume every vibrant moment with family and friends. And let them know why you are grateful to have them in your life. Let go. Don’t hold on to it. Give it!
Thanksgiving in the United States should be a celebration of our abundance and gratitude for all that we have, and our relationships, the beautiful land, plenty of food, water and air—especially if we can figure out ways to distribute all of it to everybody. Everybody should get something.
Santa Cruz | Psychotherapist