Did Ryan Seacrest Jump the Shark?

Over in London, where competition among newspapers is still fierce, editors have an expression for the dog days of summer, when there is no real news and wacky stories get prime placement. They call it the “silly season.”

Now, with the triumph of tabloid journalism in a media world that only Rupert Murdoch could have created, some would argue that it’s the silly season all the time, and I wouldn’t disagree.

However, this headline takes the cake: Ryan Seacrest Bit By Shark! For more details, here’s the link:

Folks, I think this is a fish tale and that Seacrest, the host of Fox’s American Idol and his own radio show on KIIS-FM, has jumped the shark! For more information on the origin of the expression “jumping the shark,” see this Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

I’m not much of a television watcher so it’s no surprise that I only recently learned that jumping the shark is synonymous with pushing the envelope too far in the plot of a TV series. I’ve been looking for a way to work in the expression somewhere and now I’ve got the perfect opportunity.

The Ryan Seacrest shark bite story seems like a Hollywood publicist’s wet dream. All you have to do is say the word “shark” in the middle of summer and you’re headline news. I know Seacrest is a reliable Capricorn, but this sounds mighty suspicious to me!

Making it even more questionable is the fact that this is “Shark Week,” a much-ballyhooed annual event that generates some of the year’s best ratings at the Discovery Channel. I went looking for a link between Murdoch’s Fox Network, which broadcasts Idol, and the Discovery Channel but I couldn’t find one, so I’ll have to lay that conspiracy theory to rest.

I’ve actually got Seacrest’s chart in my files, though I’m missing a birth time. Why don’t you look at the chart and see if you think he got bit by a shark over the weekend? (Beth Turnage at Astrology Explored, that means you!)

Here’s the link, courtesy of Astrodienst: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?rs=3&btyp=w2gw&&cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&nhor=261

Tiger Settles for Second Best

My prediction that Tiger Woods would achieve a Grand Slam by winning four key golf tournaments in the same year has missed the mark. Tiger came in second place at the Masters, which wrapped up Apr. 14 in Augusta, Ga. The green jacket went to the first-place winner, South African Trevor Immelman.

I haven’t done Immelman’s chart, but he must have a well-aspected Moon, as his wife Carminita is getting lots of publicity on the Net, according to Google Trends (http://google.com/trends/hottrends?sa=X).

Feeling confident after my winning forecast that Kansas would take home the NCAA championship title, I predicted that Tiger would have a record-breaking year, thanks to the transit of Jupiter in Capricorn. Obviously, there’s a transit making aspects with his natal chart that has more mojo than Jupiter (Saturn in Virgo, perhaps). I’ll study the chart more and revisit the issue. Meanwhile, I hope nobody lost money on this prediction!

It’s a Tiger’s Life

This is going to be one of those posts that I put up now and embellish later. I just wanted to reiterate my belief that Tiger Woods has got the world by the tail. Yeah, I know you read that 10 years ago. But it’s worth saying again. With Jupiter and Pluto both in Capricorn, this is Tiger’s year.  Why? Because he’s a Cap. He was born Dec. 30, 1975 in Long Beach, Calif. at 10:50 p.m. Here’s the chart, courtesy of AstroDataBank:


The Masters golf tournament, which got under way today in Augusta, Ga., is just the start for Tiger. This year, he will set new records for titles and money and will profit from his real estate ventures. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he and his wife move to a new home and have another child. Jupiter brings about expansion of all kinds.

Jupiter is on my Capricorn Sun so I’m all about sports these days. Last night, I sat next to the men’s tennis coach at Rice University, Ron Smarr, on a plane from Houston to Ontario, Calif.  After a day of airport hell, it was a pleasure to pick Coach Smarr’s brain about the psychology of winning. 

In the process, I learned that his tennis team includes players from Germany, India, Brazil, and Serbia and that American high schools aren’t producing enough tennis players to fill the ranks of U.S. collegiate men’s and women’s teams. Here’s a picture of the Rice tennis team: http://riceowls.cstv.com/sports/m-tennis/mtt/rice-m-tennis-mtt.html

I’ll talk more about Tiger later, but few people on the planet know more about winning than that Goat.

Long Live Martin Luther King!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

I was just reading an AP story about how history would have been different had Dr. King lived to a ripe old age.

In these politically correct times, what I’m about to write borders on heresy. Had he lived, MLK would have gotten gray hair (nothing wrong with that), might have lost some of the fire in his belly, and his personal affairs would have been relentlessly scrutinized by the media. By sacrificing his life, he changed the course of history.

Of course, the decision to give his life wasn’t made by him. But he understood the risks he faced and courageously continued his crusade for social justice nevertheless. Indeed, there is something Christ-like about Dr. King’s life.

His assassination in Memphis caused unspeakable pain for his family, friends, and millions of horrified Americans on Apr. 4, 1968. But MLK became a martyr, a lasting symbol of the civil rights movement and of peaceful struggle, though he was a victim of violence.

Today, there is a national holiday in Dr. King’s honor and every American schoolchild knows about his famous I Have a Dream speech: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I don’t want to sound naive. I know there are still some places in the U.S. where this is not true, but in my experience (which is white, not black), Dr. King’s dream has largely come true. At the very least, the dream is more of a reality today than it was 40 years ago.

Certainly, golf superstar Tiger Woods wouldn’t be where he is today without MLK’s work. Woods once coined the term “Cablinasian” to describe his ethnicity, which is Caucasian, black, Indian, and Asian. But based on the color of his skin, Woods wouldn’t have made it as a golf professional in Dr. King’s world.

And there’s no way that you would have Senator Barack Obama running for President without the trail blazed by Dr. King.

Civil rights advocates rightly point out that not every African-American can grow up to be Tiger Woods or Barack Obama. And despite my optimism about the progress that’s been made in the past 40 years, the figures for the average guy tell a different story.

According to a new report from the Institute of Policy Studies called “40 Years Later: The Unrealized Dream,”  African Americans were making about 54 cents for every dollar that white Americans were making back in 1968. By 2005, African Americans were only making 57 cents for every dollar that whites were making. You can learn more about the study in this transcript of a radio interview that Amy Goodman of Democracy Now did with Dedrick Muhammad, the co-author of the report.

MLK was born on Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, reportedly at “high noon.” Here’s Dr. King’s chart, courtesy of AstroDataBank.

The most striking feature of the chart to me is the Jupiter in Taurus square the Mercury in Aquarius, which symbolizes eloquent words and the need (a square forces action) to act on his ideas and vision of the future.

Aquarius is the sign of group action, Dr. King’s Mercury in Aquarius mobilized thousands in the 1955-56 boycott of Montgomery (Ala.) buses to end segregation and to support Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. Interestingly, Dr. King’s Mercury was conjunct Parks’ Sun in Aquarius so he helped spread the word about her revolutionary action.

The year after Dr. King’s 1963 March on Washington in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, he was awarded the Nobel peace prize.

Some of the most heart-wrenching words about Dr. King’s assassination were delivered by Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who would be killed just two months after the civil rights leader. He told an audience at a scheduled campaign stop in Indianapolis that he was advised to cancel because of possible violence:

“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.” His speech is credited with preventing rioting in the wake of Dr. King’s death.

If the summer of ’67 was the Summer of Love, surely the summer of ’68 was the Summer of Hate. We don’t want to celebrate the death and the destruction, but we cannot forget it. And we cannot forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for social justice.