Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know · Television

“I’m Ron @#$%ing Swanson!” and the Age of Ophiuchus


I learned back in November of last year from my Facebook chum and blogging compadre Jaime “Something Old, Nothing New” Weinman that NBC was going to institute a three-hour block of sitcoms on Thursday nights beginning this January 20th and this event cannot arrive here soon enough for me…because it means the return of Parks and Recreation to the schedule, something that I have been whining about for quite some time now.  The added bonus is that the On Demand feature of cable company CharredHer has been rerunning the shows from P&R’s second season, giving me not only the opportunity to get up to speed but recording the episodes via DVD recorder so I don’t have to fork over the necessary gitas to purchase the collection.  (Hey…it’s been a hard winter.)

Since sister Kat swapped Showtime for HBO I agreed to record a comedy special featuring Kathleen Madigan for her perusal…and to finish out the disc, I stuck three P&R episodes on there in an effort to get her to watch the series (“Pawnee Zoo,” “Ron and Tammy” and “Hunting Trip”).  Kat, who is a big fan of The Office, refuses to watch P&R because a friend of hers asked her not to encourage a series that, in this individual’s words, “mocks what we majored in at UGA.”  I don’t know if Kat’s succumbed to my devious method of getting her to tune in yet because I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with her in the past week…though oddly enough, I did get a phone call from my year-and-a-half nephew Davis.  (He had apparently grabbed hold of her phone and started arbitrarily punching numbers.)

zodiacThe other news here at Rancho Yesteryear concerns a news item that threatens to destroy civilization as we know it—namely, the bulletin that due to some tinkering with the calendar to accommodate millennia of slight shifts in the Earth’s axis, your astrological sign may have changed.  Honest to my grandma, when I saw this on the morning roundup of The Daily Beast news items my first reaction was…well, perhaps I shouldn’t read from the transcript while there are still children in the room.  But seriously—can they do this?  Isn’t there a supervisor we can speak to about this snafu?

According to the recalculated calendar, I am now a Leo after forty-seven years of embracing Virgo status.  Maureen O’Connor at Gawker sort of made me chuckle by observing “I was born a Virgo, and because that’s the shittiest sign in the zodiac, I have long refused to believe in astrology and forbid my loved ones from believing in it, either. (My anal-retentive need to destroy an entire worldview because I do not like my role in it is, I am told, part of my Virgo nature.)”  Which sort of sums up my feelings on astrology as well; while Virgos are notoriously creative souls they are also fastidious and orderly, and anyone who’s even made my casual acquaintance knows that Oscar Madison is one of my role models.  So because this change in the rules has now made me a Leo, I decided to look up the attributes of that sign via

leoThe Leo type is the most dominant, spontaneously creative and extrovert of all the zodiacal characters. In grandeur of manner, splendor of bearing and magnanimity of personality, they are the monarchs among humans as the lion is king of beasts. They are ambitious, courageous, dominant, strong willed, positive, independent, self-confident there is no such a word as doubt in their vocabularies, and they are self-controlled. Born leaders, either in support of, or in revolt against, the status quo. They are at their most effective when in a position of command, their personal magnetism and innate courtesy of mind bringing out the best of loyalty from subordinates. They are uncomplicated, knowing exactly what they want and using all their energies, creativeness and resolution to get it, as well as being certain that they will get whatever they are after. Their followers know where they are with Leonians. Leonians think and act bigger than others would normally dare; the ambitiousness of their schemes and idealism sometimes daunt their followers, their practical hardheadedness and ability to go straight to the heart of any problem reassures those who depend on them. If Leonians meet with setbacks they thrive on the adversity.

On the whole they are powers for good, for they are strongly idealistic, humane, and beneficent. They have powerful intelligence and are of a broad philosophical, sometimes religious, turn of mind. Those who are devout may become very obstinate in upholding traditional beliefs and will cling tenaciously, but with complete sincerity, to practices and doctrines which liberal thinkers regard as absurdly out-of-date. These will be found as the ‘lions’ of industries, and in the forefront of the cutting edge of technologies.

Their faults can be as large in scale as their virtues, and an excessively negative Leonian can be one of the most unpleasant human beings imaginable, displaying extreme arrogance, autocratic pride, haughtiness, and excessive hastiness of temper. If jealously suspicious of rivals, they will not hesitate to use cunning, lies and trickery to discredit them. Self-centeredness, greed for flattery, boastfulness, and bombast, pomposity, snobbish superiority, and overbearing, and intolerant disdain of underlings; to whom they will nevertheless delegate the carrying out of minor details in their grandiose schemes, and from whom they are not above borrowing immoderately if an occasion necessitates it. Any of these can be characteristic of Leo.

Add to them a passion for luxury, a lust for power, unlimited sexual lust, and emotional indulgence, and a character emerges that no one would want to know either in public life or private. But their pride may go before a fall, as uncontrolled impetuosity is likely to bring them low. Fortunately it is rare that a Leo is so undisciplined as to give way thoroughly to this list of vices, and their tendencies to them are usually balanced by an innate wisdom. Those who are afflicted with them also have the intelligence it takes to consciously and actively overcome them.

The Firesign Theatre

Oh, yeah—that’s me all over.  Because Leo is one of the fire signs, this got me to thinking about the even further ramifications of this Zodiacal shift.  Namely, the four members of the Firesign Theatre: Phil Proctor, Peter Bergman, Phil Austin and David Ossman—the veteran comedy troupe got its name because all four members are all, astrology-wise, fire signs.  Does this really mean that “everything you know is wrong?”

If I get industrious this weekend I’ll try to get something up on the blog but in the event that I don’t we’ll reconvene Monday with my entry in the Hitchcock Blogathon, sponsored by the Classic Movie Blog Association.  Until then, have a pleasant weekend!

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