Sunday, September 30, 2012

Astro Shite for October 2012

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
You’ll have an indication of the structure your love life will take after 5 October, when killjoy Saturn finally leaves the building to join Elvis. Quit fluffing around and get realistic about relationships. The fun times return when Venus calls you on 28 October with promises of pleasure involving party balloons and marshmallow whip. Mars fires up your travel sector from 8 October. You’ll seek extreme sports like storm chasing in Nebraska or Persian waxing in Kabul to break the routine.
Aries colour association: red – audacious, focused, spirited

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
The sensual Full Moon in Taurus on 30 October helps you get physical with anyone who will have you. Break the modern day habit of living in your head by reconnecting with your body, barnacles ‘n’ all. You’ll be ready for commitment and security when Saturn begins his once-in-thirty year visit to your seventh house, aligning with the Sun and Mercury. Avoid joining the ranks of the unreliable and keep your promises for a change.
Taurus colour association: green – grounding, whole, earthy

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
The pace of romance accelerates when Mars enters your relationship sector on 8 October. ‘Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ is your motto this month, as you morph into the modern day Casanova and break a few hearts. Saturn wraps up his once-in-thirty year visit to your creativity zone on 5 October. If you haven’t made an effort to develop your creative side, begin it now. Under Saturn’s influence, you’re developing skills to support yourself in the future. This includes zine-making skills, although I doubt that will pay the rent on your love den.
Gemini colour association: yellow – cerebral, inquiring, unreserved

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
There’ll be some serious zine making occurring under Saturn and Mercury’s influence from the first week of October. Saturn loves tangible goals, so aim for a two-year plan to develop your craft and establish yourself as the DIY extraordinaire. You’ll ascertain what your artistic strengths are, and where to direct your energy. Venus and Mercury team up at the end of the month to transform your home into a safe and creative environment, ripe for some old school copy-and-paste ventures.
Cancer colour association: silver – reflective, connecting, traditional

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
The Sun-Saturn merger on 26 October compels you to be realistic about your domestic situation. Your predicament is more Desperate Housewives than Leave it to Beaver. Learn to set limits with housemates. Mars creates fire in your belly after 8 October, resulting in random moments of anal acoustics. How embarrassment! The positive side of this transit is that you get competitive about zine-making and nominate yourself for the Golden Stapler Awards 146, 895 times. You then get your friends to nominate you 283, 945 times. Oooooh, was that harsh? Don’t mind me; I’m just forecasting like an astrological dick.
Leo colour association: gold – bold, opulent, warm

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Venus moves into your sign on 4 October, producing a challenging aspect to Mars. Watch the passive-aggressive streak; peeps already think you’re mental. Your financial empire building should be completed by 5 October when Saturn leaves your money house for your communication sector. Be mindful of unconscious body language. What you don’t say will speak louder than words. Mars literally lights up your home environment on 8 October, when the deep fat fryer catches fire and burns the house down. Damn those deep-fried-crispy-fried-deep-deep-deep-fried-fat-thinga-ma-jigs.
Virgo colour association: white – purifying, emetic, healing

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
The good news is that Saturn leaves your sign on 5 October. Your days of responsibility are over, and you can go back to being the frivolous imbecile you naturally are. A new cycle regarding money begins on 6 October. Cut back on spending and put together a sensible financial plan if you can drag yourself away from Etsy. The New Moon in Libra on 15 October indicates new romantic beginnings of the New Romantic kind. Peeps are drawn to your vintage Flock of Seagulls look. Nice. An adventurous link from Mars to Uranus advises that now is not the time to be vanilla with your lover. No one ever got laid being vanilla, except Vanilla Ice, once or twice during the 90s when Madonna had him by the gonads. Poor bastard.
Libra colour association: pink – charming, polished, agile

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
Say goodbye to the good times, Scorpio. Dead-beat Saturn enters your sign on 5 October, ordering you to grow up, cut your hair, and get a job. This is the start of a two-year cycle of growth, maturity, and tax returns. Saturn visits your sign every thirty years, making late 2012 and all of 2013 significant. Be honest about what isn’t working in your life. Does matching a yellow business tie with that pink puffball shirt and green tennis shorts work as a fashion statement? And is this the right look for your outings to The Hellfire Club? Mars ignites your money sector from 8 October. The Gods beg you to go shopping for respectable bondage garments before the doors to the underworld close on you out of sheer revulsion.
Scorpio colour association: black – concealing, enigmatic, expunging

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
Saturn completes restructuring your hip social network on 5 October, after an occupancy that dates back to November 2009. Rest assured that all dags, Philistines, and Liberal voters follow Saturn into your twelfth house of remoteness where they evaporate. Mars occupies your sign for most of the month. Your trademark recklessness is heightened, so try taking a step back and breathing for a change, before plunging into a course of action.
Sagittarius colour association: purple – imperial, voluminous, masterful

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
Saturn enters your group sector for the first time in 29 years on 5 October. You take up leadership roles for causes that involve the community, charities, or environmental concerns, but you’ll be assertive and say ‘no’ to events that don’t interest you. Your spiritual side becomes important when Mars rejuvenates your twelfth house from 8 October. Turn off the telly and get into the corpse position. This may shock your loved ones into calling the cops, but at least you’re tuning in to your inner world while they’re outlining your body with chalk.
Capricorn colour association: brown – loyal, protective, deterring

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
Saturn triggers your career zone on 5 October. Examine which professional limits are necessary and which are fear-based. Mars revives your social scene from 8 October. Attend to unfinished business concerning a friend. Your leadership skills are renewed under a Mars transit, so organise extreme group activities, like Tough Mudder, to blast friends out of their comfort zone in the most severe way possible.
Aquarius colour association: turquoise – innovative, open, experimental

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
You become passionate about your work when Mars invigorates your career sector from 8 October. Grow some balls and follow a career path that is meaningful to you. Saturn starts a two-year passage through your education zone on 5 October. Mercury joins him on 6 October. Both planets form favourable links to your Sun, indicating a preference for teaching, writing, and research. Venus enters your relationship house on 4 October, generating a messy, romantic, and dramatic phase that would make Lord Byron blush.
Pisces colour association: aquamarine – altruistic, redeeming, pensive

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bizarrism #12 & Kairan #17

In the midst of the zine tsunami that hit my letterbox recently were copies of the ever-informative Kairan #17, and Bizarrism #12, which looked like it was ironed with a steam press board. I don’t want to bang on about Bizarrism too much, as it's reviewed and commended by just about anyone who has read a zine, so my appraisal would be pointless. But what I do want to say is that I love Bizarrism’s primitiveness. In an era where zines don’t really look like zines anymore, it comforts me to know that peeps are still making zines that look like they’re photocopied at work during a weak moment or two.

When I think of zines, I think of Gianni Simone’s output, most notably Kairan, Orga{ni}sm, and Call & Response. It’s a pleasant surprise to receive material from Gianni because he sends stuff randomly without notice. Moreover, his work broadens my (still) relatively narrow DIY horizons.

Kairan #17 is devoted to mail art chains. I’m ignorant of artistic postal chains, although I occasionally catch glimpses of such artwork on someone’s blog or a social networking site. Through Kairan #17, I shake hands with mail art guru Ray Johnson and his postal activities dubbed The New York Correspondence School, an add-and-pass-on postal system that mutated into an international network in the early 1960s. As it is with zine culture, the communal underpinnings are what make Johnson’s actions noteworthy - his talent for connecting faceless correspondents in a worldwide cooperative undertaking long before the birth of the internet.

I clearly remember chain letters as a teenager in the 1980s. They freaked me out. My Catholic, superstitious upbringing got the better of me, so I burnt every chain letter I touched. I am still coming to terms with the idea of postal chains as arty, benign fun, but can at least appreciate how the system keeps the flow of creativity in motion. Kairan #17 documents the increase in add-and-pass-on activity with mail artists such as Mike Dickau and Ryosuke Cohen leading the way. Far from being the sinister, poorly photocopied letters of my ignorant youth, mail art chain has risen to new levels with the inclusion of photography, digital colour printing, and collective collage. However, the Gothic simplicity of Edward Gorey’s illustrated envelopes appeals to me the most:
It’s a good thing Gianni got the chance to produce Kairan #17 with his collaborator, Vittore Baroni, amidst last year’s earthquake and nuclear accident in his homeland of Japan, and through the existential crisis that comes with being flesh, blood, and spirit. I hear the man has only one or two issues of Kairan left in him, ending a run that started in 1997. Surely not, Mr Simone!

Gianni's excellent blog: Gloomy Sundays