Saturday, 24 January 2009

Extraordinary week.

Obama's inauguration. Every astrologer was concerned: dodgy chart for the oath taking, technically the beginning of his presidency and therefore the leitmotif for his period in office. Astrologers were saying, if only he could delay the oath until 12.31 when the moon is no longer Void Of Course (it makes no more aspects before it leaves the sign) which traditionally signifies that "nothing will come of it". This could limit the effectiveness of his presidency or worse; according to this astrologer, a V.O.C. moon inaugural chart means that he is at risk of assassination.
Therefore the most extraordinary part of the event was, for me, the fact that Obama retook the oath the next day. To me this indicates that he has an astrologer on board. It also demonstrates incredible nervousness and caution. His legitimacy for the office has been continually challenged already; his name, his race, even his nationality. Compare this to George W. Bush, who, the first time round, wasn't even properly elected, except by his brother's hanging chad. Didn't bother Bush too much, did it?
Talking with a friend last night who works with a New York office. One of the people in the office who has contacts in the CIA says that Obama is at present getting 200 death threats a day. And that's just the known nutters. The really dangerous ones won't issue a threat.
This morning at my daughter's music group, talking to a black English mum; she is married to a black American man who is high up in the American military. He went to a conference in Washington State. He and several colleagues, business executives who happened to be black, entered a Denny's restaurant. They were refused service. Because they are black. 
Shocked, I googled this and this is not the first incident of racism at Denny's restaurants, a huge chain across the United States. This happened last summer, 2008.
Certainly puts into perspective the revolutionary nature of Barack Obama's election. 


  1. I was at the ceremony in DC and I think Obama took the oath even later than 12:30 - the event began at 12pm, with music, speeches, Biden's taking his oath, more music, then finally Obama. It was one of the most mellow and positive crowds I have ever experienced.

    I think his taking the oath again is less about fear than the desire to get it right.

    Denny's has a long-standing reputation for these sorts of incidents, unfortunately. But it truly feels, at least here in Washington, that it is a brand new day. Everyone is still wearing their Obama buttons, proudly and visibly. Hopefully that will make such incidents as Denny's be a thing of the past.

    Security is also a huge concern, but that was inevitable for any president, but especially one of color.

  2. According to most astrologers the first oath finished at 12.05.
    Astrologers will be arguing over which chart is more accurate for the next 4 years.
    Must have been a wonderful day, wish I could have been there.

  3. It was a wonderful day. I felt the whole world was sort of with us, in spirit, if not on-the-spot.

  4. Re Denny's,

    Racism in some parts of America is so deeply embedded that it's shocking. I was in Florida a few years ago and a black construction worker was doing some work on the gaffe where we were staying. As I was making myself a tea I asked if he'd like a tea or Coffee. He gave me a weird look then said "Ok, Coffee, thanks". When I brought it out we were having a chat about music and he suddenly said "I've been working in white peoples houses for 25 years now and your the first one to ever offer me a drink". It's times like that I'm glad to be a London boy.

  5. That's terrible Rog.
    I mean apart from anything else, people work better when they are kept hydrated.
    My mother, who drinks a cup of tea or coffee every 20 minutes, trained me from an early age, to look after the workmen...tea tea tea.
    Black and white culture in the States is still very separate, they listen to different radio stations even.
    Maybe this will start to change...

  6. Texas girl here. Yes, land of Bush and all that. On racism, I'll just say that I'm very surprised that happened at Denny's again. One would have thought they'd learned their lesson with the gigantic lawsuit that happened over that very thing a few years back. Second, it surprises me that it would happen in Washington state. Down south (at least here), there are definitely still racists around, but it's more a rural phenomenon and more among older people and, it seems to me, a certain group of less educated younger people. People here (including most white people) would be totally up in arms if someone was denied service at a restaurant because of color. As for culture, it's still fairly separate between whites and blacks, but more shared than it was even 10 years ago.

    As for Obama, I think whether one agrees with his politics or not, the election of a black AND white man (it may be more impressive that he's of "mixed" race, since, in the past, that's been the worst taboo) is good for everyone and is healing a lot of wounds and giving a lot of hope. As the white mother of a Colombian black/white daughter, I'm excited that this is coming before my daughter is even old enough to know what racism is. Maybe it will be something she knows mostly just from history books.

  7. Thanks for your comment Golden Firefly (lovely name).
    This is not just a friend of a friend story. This was my friend's husband, last summer.
    Shocking eh?

    Yes it will change things even if he is crap at being president. It's symbolic.


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