Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New Year 2007

Children born in the last part of the year of the Pig tend to be good-natured kids. They also make prosperous grownups. If I were still in the having children stage, I might very well attempt to hatch one or two bambinos in 2007. Seriously, if you are thinking of having a child, this coming year is ideal. Little Piglets know how to put up with all manner of adversity. They can sleep right through your loudest music and weather your marital spats, will eat anything you offer them that tastes good (and then some!) and usually grow up to be both generous and rich. What could be better than an easygoing kid who turns into a rich adult who enjoys your company and takes care of you when you're old? So much for progeny. What about the rest of humanity in this upcoming Pig year?

Well, the Red Fire Pig (oftentimes referred to as the Golden Pig) year has an odd sort of reputation. Although Pig years usually offer us cornucopias of plenty, truckloads of conviviality and earthy pleasures unbound, this particular Pig year will be a bit skewed. Yes. It is definitely about excess and abundance. You will be reading more and more articles and watching videos and seeing movies about "The Biggest Meal" and "The Most Expensive Cars and Houses and Boats" and "The Most Wanton and Beautiful Women" and the "Most Popular Singers and Actors and Idols of All Types and Stripes." It will be a year of the MOST BIGGEST BEST.

This "Most-ness" and "Biggest-ness" and "Best-ness" however is not thoroughly positive. Why? Because an atmosphere of planetary over supply has been created. This notion of surplus is of course bogus and has bestowed a false sense of confidence about the future on many. This imagined excess forebodes a glut which will necessarily tip the scales toward overload. And Readers, in the Red Pig Year, we in the "developed" countries have got OVERLOAD up the kazoo.

Too much of every THING and very little of what counts. Health will be shaky. Fitness will suffer. Spiritual quests will be abandoned in favor of shopping for major purchases or first class traveling to sunny venues where the beautiful beaches have more beautiful beaches and the piña coladas weigh in at 3 liters. You will see. Big Macs will get bigger. Big deals will grow tentacles and become even bigger deals. If you thought it was impossible just wait and see - even the SUV will get bigger and take up more road space and guzzle more gas. If you thought it couldn't get "glutsier" just you wait and see.

Some of us might think that's the good news. We are all going to have more "stuff' in the Pig year. Real estate and luxury items, jewelry and antiques, authentic old masters - everything having to do with wealth and affluence will be favored. But... this abject profusion of material possession means that anyone who is not rich or prosperous or rolling in gold bullion cubes will - by virtue of the scales being tipped too far - fare worse. Down down down they go and where it stops nobody know.

Hence 2007 promises to intensify the division between rich and poor. Not that I can predict whether it will be Africa or Asia or America or Argentina or Australia which goes down the tubes; but I can clearly see that the very very underprivileged people in the over populated and underfed places in these areas of the planet will not get richer. They will not have enough to eat and will not have clean water and will suffer far more than they are suffering at this moment. Whilst those of us who have plenty and already eat too much will be acquiring more goods, using an increasing amount of resources and services and getting fatter and taking longer, more glamorous vacations. We fat cats will be driving larger, more opulent vehicles and sending our children to more exclusive private schools and playing more classy golf and swanky tennis and other "noble" types of games. In this Red Fire Pig year, I am sorry to repeat the old adage but it's true: The rich get richer and the poor get children.

You may retort that this sorry state of affairs has always existed. And you would be right - to a degree. But this year because of the gawping abyss which will result from the gap between rich and poor people and their respective countries, all variety of clashes will arise. It will be a year of arguments leading to disputes and wars. A year of petty nuisances leading to gigantic legal battles. Not a feisty year like the Rooster or a perpetually justice-seeking year like the Dog, but a year of conflicts, hostilities, aggression.

Do not despair. If you are reading this, you have a computer. And you have a place to use it in, which supposes a roof over your head and no bombs falling on same. Hence, the battles and contention of which I speak probably will not directly affect you. You will be more likely to be wallowing in chateaux or sizing up the yacht you plan to acquire or investing in art and antiques on one of your numerous jaunts to exotic lands. You (and your computer) are part of the fortunate prosperity population.

Anything else to recount about this coming Pig year? Oh yes there is. Lots. It's worthy of note that while this sort of Pig year is indeed excellent for getting married and bearing children, it nonetheless promises to occasion many partings of the way. You may mourn a loved one or lament a close friend's moving to a foreign country. Divorce will be on the rise. Yet many older people will remarry and some of them will marry people many years younger than themselves. Also, because of the tone of impending clash, there will necessarily be political agitation, traffic or air space congestion and an overall snowballing of potentially incendiary events. One tiny out-of-place remark this year can lead to a battle royal. People will be arrested or jailed for minor offenses which, in other times, would seem trivial or trite. Families will break up over minor quarrels or differences of opinion. Thriving businesses will suddenly fail because of some apparently stupid accounting blunder.

In this ambiance we are then well-advised to maintain what the Pig is so famous for - Decorum. Manners. Style. Protocol. When there is a surfeit of electricity in the air, we should endeavor to behave in a courteous, reasonable, tolerant and understanding manner. The Pig is far from perfect. But he or she is always known for being ineffably attracted to what is real, genuine and authentic. No costume jewelry for the Pig. No ersatz Beluga caviar or watered down Bordeaux wants to pass his pristine lips. This will not be year for chicanery either. Pigs have a kind of natural benevolence, but they are fussy about fine quality and have no room in their lives for shabby merchandise or shady people.

Fire and Water elements are at odds in this year's Chinese Astrological pattern which is known as the "Female" Red Fire Pig configuration. This means (roughly) that we have to fear any and all disasters that have to do with Fire (volcanoes, forest fires, explosions, bombs, earthquakes and other incendiary events) or water (Floods, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Typhoons etc.). We shouldn't be afraid. But we ought to try to be more cautious about where we store things and how we protect ourselves, our families and belongings with everything from carbon monoxide alarm systems to waterproofing and massive coverage by excellent insurance plans.

To sum up, the Fire Pig Year will bestow twelve months of plenty on those of us who already have enough. And it promises to further impoverish the others. If you are a charitable soul, then be prepared during the Pig year to give away some of your newfound riches. I am not suggesting you send a bland impersonal check for a thousand dollars to a charity organization. They might only use it to do more advertising. Rather I advise you to give a hand to people in trouble, a leg up to someone who has had bad luck or cannot get a job. Lend and even give away money to those who find themselves ill and without insurance. Sometimes just a few extra bills in the pocket of person in dire straits can lift their spirits enough to begin to propel them out of the dumps. Give a bit of extra money to a man who is out of work and he might be able to avoid a family crisis by inviting the wife and kids out for pizza or ice cream or both. If you haven't got any extra money yourself, but you do have some strength to spare, go mow the lawn for the lady who broke her hip or do some grocery shopping for a man who is alone or old or ill. Take care of peoples' kids or offer to wash their car or clean their house. When other folks are in need, they are often too proud to ask for help. Don't just offer. Bypass their resistance. Go and Do for the needier than you.

As the year 2007 has already begun in the western world, we can see it will not be a peaceable one. There are already skirmishes and in-fighting going on everywhere from Spain to Chechnya and Kosovo in London and Paris and Amsterdam - not to mention the disgraceful situation in Iraq. Civil wars will break out. Normally peaceful people will inexplicably freak out and explode in the faces of their neighbors.

But as I said earlier, do not despair. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Instead of mouthing off about what's bothering you, turn your tongue over seven times before speaking and above all, in this potentially super charged year of prosperous conflict - keep your shirt on Dude. The Pig year is the final one in the cycle of twelve Chinese animal signs. Since the last Pig year (1994) we have seen all variety of behaviors come and go. Lately, it seems as though we have all been living in or worrying about some war zone or another. Well, you will be happy to know that with the exit of the Pig year "The Testosterone Era" is over. More and more women are engaging in politics. We must seriously consider voting for those courageous women, encourage them to take the reins and become our leaders. 2008 is a Rat year. A new beginning. Rats are about power and charm and protectiveness and hoarding supplies for the hard times ahead. That's what women are about too. Taking care of their own.

Bar advice.The above is a excerpt from Suzanne White's website about what is her predictions for the coming year. Take note that she is not a psychic but has her personal views based on the astrology of the Chinese zodiac. No one can predict the future for sure.

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