Arts & Entertainment
Parting Glances: Peeking At Crystal Balls
By Charles Alexander
Originally printed 1/2/2014 (Issue 2201 - Between The Lines News)
America has had its fair share of celebrity psychics. It's human nature to want to know what the future holds, especially as the old year kicks off its rundown high heels and the new one shimmies into its disposable diaper.
Fifty years ago the psychic-du-jour Jean Dixon predicted the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (She was buddy-buddy with J.F.K.'s 1960 GOP presidential contender Richard Nixon; but her crystal ball clouded up when it came to predicting Nixon's Watergate scandal and Tricky Dick's downfall.)
Long before Dixon, who passed over in 1993, was astrologer Evangeline Adams who predicted the death of England's King Edward Vll in 1911, the stock market crash in 1929, the onset of World War ll in 1939. (She somehow missed predicting my gay birth three years earlier.)
In the mid-1940s there was Edgar Cayce, "The Sleeping Prophet," who gave some 2,500 life readings - with spirit channeled health remedies - to 1,600 clients. He also predicted that portions of California would sink in the Pacific Ocean. (Hopefully, not including San Francisco and the Castro.)
My favorite soothsayer is a 19th century English palm reader named Cheiro. He often read without seeing to whom the hand belonged. He sat in a curtained box once when Oscar Wilde, sight unseen, offered his hand for reading. Cheiro saw a lifetime of fame and fortune ending in shame. (Two years, hard labor in prison.)
In our lifetime, and as the 20th Century was turning into the 21st, a group calling itself the Millennium Committee of New York, LLC, sent out 250 postcards to prominent people - artists, musicians, writers, scientists, politicians - for input as to what there so-called brain trustees thought the next 1000 years might bring.
Comments returned include: film-maker Oliver Stone, "Mind culture - and artificial intelligence will replace word culture." Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "My hope is E Pluribus Unum will become a reality for the people of the United States and the world." Former Texas Governor Ann Richards, "Women will be the majority of heads of state of nations."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "International debts will be canceled and poverty will be diminished." And! Mark your desk calendar. This from the quiet Beatle, George Harrison, "You will all be dead is my prediction."
Among gay entries, these. Artist Paul Cadmus, "Privacy is beleaguered, government interference in the lives of all is magnified." Writer Gore Vidal, "I suspect the next major religion will feature a voluntary suicide gospel, to thin it out, as it were, joyously." Playwright Edward Albee, "Just maybe we can do better next time."
Gold Medalist Swimmer/Diver Greg Louganis, "Cure for HIV and cancer. Better understanding of human diversity." Needing little introduction for screwball predictability, Joan Rivers, "In the new millennium interest rates will be higher and my breasts will be lower."
Oy vey! The gravity of it all. To tell truth, my buns sagged long ago. Have a blessed 2014!
(Seduce a Christian.)