Many years ago, after moving to Seattle, I decided I never wanted to work for anyone again in my life. So I took a job with a gigantic telephone psychic network, a cultural trend that was incredibly popular at the time. Dionne Warwick’s manager, when I talked to her years later, told me that Dionne made more money from her psychic friends gig than her career as a popular recording artist.
So, yeah, it was another job, but it was a job where I set my hours and hung up on anyone I didn’t like talking to (which was rare, as just about every caller I interacted with was fascinating or at the very least open to some kind of alternative intervention in his or her life).
Anyway, about a year into the job I knew I was in the middle of something extraordinary and strange. And so I wrote a book about it, got an agent and a publisher and, well, I just recently got the rights back to my book and so here it is again, for a new phase of electronic transmission – as an ebook.
The stories in Secrets of a Telephone Psychic are true. Although you won’t believe some of them when you read them. As most of you know, under the guise of anonymity human beings will reveal themselves in ways you’d never imagine possible in a personal exchange. Technology has given the Id free reign (and a voice).
And these revelations were the most fascinating (but sometimes unnerving) aspect of working as a telephone oracle, where only the voice and ears and the ticking timer are your tools of the trade. Well, also horoscopes and tarot cards, but oddly divinatory methods didn’t figure as prominently as talking – and listening. Just look at Freud, he established the entire realm of psychotherapy upon his talking cure.
I’m happy to see my book back into the light of day. I know you’ll enjoy it.
The Hunger Games captured our imagination because everyone watching the film was thinking, somewhere in the cellar of his unconscious: “Jesus, that could be me.”
Such is the economic climate of the times. Especially for creative souls — which is to say all of us, because we all create something in order to survive.
Unlike Katniss, artists have been slowly inculcated — over the past twenty years — to fight for eyeballs, the Internet culture’s new currency: ‘Likes’, ‘followers’, clicks.
What would have passed as a simple ‘help wanted’ query ten years ago — listing a job description and how much you’d be paid — is now a promise that if you work for free perhaps a lot of people will see what you are doing and ‘like’ your Facebook page.
Up-and-coming actress Paris Berelc could only compete for a recent audtion after she confirmed to the producers that she had over 1-million followers on Instagram.
And no one’s exempt, not even acrobats. Force of nature Rovela answered a call for talent from Oprah and balked when she was told she’d be paid with ‘exposure.’ “Fuck that,” she declared (sorta), on her blog, to much fanfare and clicking on the Internet. Read more
Yesterday public television in Seattle celebrated their decade-long relationship with the just-deceased self-help writer Wayne Dyer, and to honor the author the station was replaying one of his final talks.
The theme of his presentation alludes me; it was something about Five Steps to Something or Other, the secrets of which were contained in his new book, which was touted tastefully throughout his talk.
I decided to give the show a try, despite the fact that I’ve a strong aversion to listening to other people talk or write about ‘how’ life should be lived or experienced.
Prior to the advent of the Internet, this phenomenon of people giving advice about living was always buzzing in the background of life, but not in the omnipresent way it does now.
The Net has mutated what used to be a semi-contained industry (the self-help, how-to world) into a bacchanalia of yapping gurus and guides — billions of bromides pinging back and forth across blogs, YouTube and social media every hour.
The world, as the Net depicts it, is divided into distinct camps: Those with electronic devices doing nothing. And those doing nothing but writing or talking about doing stuff and then selling that information on an electronic device to people that aren’t doing anything.
• The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
• Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara
• How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
• The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscope’s 12th House
• Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
• How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
• Depression and the Solar Consciousness
• Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
• Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
• Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
• Death is the New Black
• How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
• Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
• Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square
Rémi Gaillard is a guy who lost his job as a shoe salesman and then decided to transform the big question mark in his life (as in “What to do next?”) by spreading that question mark all over the world as a culture jammer, (as in people scratching their heads while watching him and asking “What the fuck?)
Think of Rémi like another Banksy but only much more juvenile, a graduate of the Jackass school of agitprop.
Gaillard is a good example of someone taking a scary life event (unemployment) and flipping it into a cue to start doing exactly what he loved most, namely comedy and furries and disturbing the status quo. (Furries? Well, just Google it).
Gaillard’s motto is “C’est en faisant n’importe quoi qu’on devient n’importe qui.”
Translated: “It’s by doing whatever that one becomes whoever.”
I’m needlepointing that into my bedspread right after this post goes live.
As a man interested in comely men, I will vouch, too, for P.E.T.A’s designation of Rémi being one of the sexiest vegetarians on the planet. I’d like to share a tofu burger with him at his earliest convenience.
His natal chart (February 7, 1975 in Montpellier, France — no birth time) shows a not-surprising water trine between Venus and Uranus. Venus (and Mars) in Pisces folks have a strong affinity with animals. Perhaps this is related to the traditional association of the signs Virgo and Pisces (with little and large animals, respectively.) You can think of this signature as someone who loves (Venus) to create chaos (Uranus) by wearing animal (Pisces) costumes. Feel free to add that description to your collection of key phrases for astrological aspects.
Amplifying his comedic nature is Aquarius and Saturn. It might be that Gaillard’s moon resides in Capricorn, too, depending on time of birth, but he’s definitely an Aquarian. And as I remind folks with a strong Saturn or the sign Aquarius exaggerated in their chart: Some of the funniest people in life are Saturnine (dark, sarcastic, often gallows humor-inspired souls) or Aquarian — just loopy peculiar folks, like extraterrestrial walk-ins.
Three days ago I decided to explore online options for meeting guys. It’s been a couple of years since my last love partner moved away to live in the actual world of World of Warcraft. (The fallout from dating a guy still in his 20s who was a pro-gamer — recruited by Blizzard Entertainment.).
Here’s what I discovered (and experienced) on the sites I invested time in, all of which, since my last foray years ago, have become extremely aggressive and devious.
Mind you these are considered ‘dating’ sites, not ‘hookup’ sites. I’m not adverse to those but since the bedbug craze I no longer hookup. I know! A tragic loss to the horny men of Washington.
OK Cupid: Lots of men with dogs. In fact, there are lots of dogs and guys seemingly wed to their dogs. It got to the point where I amended my profile with:
“If you are so cathected to your dog that sleeping away from the creature for an evening might trigger an anxiety attack, we won’t be a good match.”
The one interesting guy that contacted me on OK Cupid was comely and in his late 40s. So that was encouraging. Tho he began his text message to me with the question: “Are you a bottom?”
This is not a good first question (unless you’re on Scruff or Grindr or hanging out at The Cuff). I suggested we explore other topics first, before anal positions, but then never heard back from him.
Read this entire post here.