Posts Tagged ‘Year of the Monkey’

Texas 2-Step

March 14, 2016

Seems like the Year of the Goat all over again.  Even though Tai Sui‘s celestial seat is supposed to be located in the west-southwest during the Year of the Monkey, misfortune continues to befall travelers in and around the annual SXSW festival in Austin.  It’s almost as though the previous year’s Tai Sui has refused to cede full power over human fate to his duly-appointed successor.  If so, this could be an ominous portent.

  • Exhibit One —

Louis Meyers, one of the four founders of the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in 1987, died early Friday of a heart attack in Austin, on the day the SXSW festival opened for its 30th year.  He was 60.  Meyers was the SXSW’s music festival director for its first eight years.  He sold his share in the business to partners Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro after the 1994 conference.


  • Exhibit Two —

Ibtihaj Muhammad is ranked seventh in the world in the women’s saber.  She earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic fencing team in January and will become the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab (red, white and blue, of course), the head scarf she wears in accordance with her religious beliefs. [But] on Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Muhammad was asked by a volunteer to remove her hijab for a security photo and later tweeted that she couldn’t “make this stuff up.”

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Muhammad, the daughter of a retired detective and a special education teacher, is intent on using her time in the spotlight to show the U.S. and the rest of the world that Muslim-Americans should be embraced, not shunned. “I’ve never questioned myself as an American and my position here,” Muhammad said. “This is my home. This is who I am. My family has always been here. We’re American by birth, and it’s a part of who I am and this is all that I know.

  • Exhibit Three —

United Flight 1704 left Newark Liberty International Airport en route to Austin at 6 a.m. Monday.  But it returned to the airport twenty minutes later after the crew on the Boeing 739 reported a strong odor in the cabin.  An investigation is underway on what might have caused the smell, which was described only as strong.

Of course, New Jerseyans know strong odors when they smell ’em: after all, the Bayway refinery in Elizabeth has been stinking up the northern stretch of Turnpike for generations.  So the aircraft cabin stench probably wasn’t merely petrochemical in nature.  Instead, this story reminds me of the two-step test for land navigation in the southwestern U.S.:  If you smell shit, you’re in Oklahoma.  When you step in it, you’re in Texas.




Burning Questions

February 6, 2016

Wouldn’t you say that Sakurajima is just about as far to the west-southwest as it’s possible to travel in the Home Islands of Japan?  It sure looks that way to me.


So from a feng-shui perspective, it appears that Tai Sui has stirred in his celestial throne just as the Year of the Monkey is about to “officially” commence.  Should we interpret this as an indication that Shinzo Abe, the Diet and the Bank of Japan are pursuing policies that are in conflict with the mandate of heaven?  Probably just a coincidence…


Just to be safe, though, Koreans should probably steer clear of Mokpo for the next few weeks.  Park Geun-hye and Kim Jong-un are both playing with Fire these days.


Forests of the Night

January 13, 2016

After a week’s reflection on serious matters in Westphalia, it’s now perhaps time to return to a frivolous theme with global implications.  That’s right, it’s time for further feng-shui forecasts concerning hidden geomantic influences that await us during the Year of the Monkey!  When last we visited this topic, I noted that the Monkey is offending the Year in 2016, and listed several commercial enterprises associated with simian imagery which may consequently experience difficulty in the coming year.  Now –while there’s still time to take corrective measures– it is surely appropriate to note the potential dangers that await the Tiger, which is in clash with the Monkey because of its position directly opposite in the Chinese zodiac.

Among the myriad athletic teams (in the United States) which have chosen the Tiger as their emblem, one has already felt the sting of the Monkey’s anger.  I refer to the Clemson University Tigers, who failed in their attempt to win 15 consecutive games and the America college football championship when they were defeated by the University of Alabama ‘Crimson Tide‘ on January 11th.  Many other ‘Tiger’ teams may well suffer a similar fate in the coming year, and the negative influence of the Monkey Year will undoubtedly extend to related feline species such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, panthers, cougars, pumas, and catamounts.  The pain and suffering won’t be confined to the athletic playing field, either: corporations and NGO’s that use a ‘big cat’ name, logo or emblem may also struggle during 2016.  Here are a few big-name players who may wish they hadn’t earned their stripes … or may yet yearn to change their spots:

Singapore merger may be difficult

Singapore merger may be difficult


Rigs, refineries, pipelines --what could go wrong?

Rigs, refineries, pipelines –what could go wrong?


Not so Grrreat

Not so Grrreat


practically anything's possible

practically anything’s possible


FIFA & IAAF sponsorship deals?

FIFA & IAAF sponsorship deals?




Apple OS X: Leopard-> Snow Leopard-> Lion

Apple OS X: Leopard-> Snow Leopard-> Lion


Quaker Oats Co: Aunt Jemima brings the syrup

Quaker Oats Co: Aunt Jemima brings the syrup



Alas, Poor Orrick!

January 7, 2016

Heesh!  The Year of the Monkey hasn’t even begun and already a macaque can’t get no satisfaction.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick [ruled] in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday that Naruto, the Indonesian macaque monkey who took now-famous selfie photographs in 2011, cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos.  Orrick’s [narrowly-framed legal opinion asserted that] “while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.”

Now, of course, if the plaintiff had happened to be an Indonesian corporation named Naruto Image and Likeness Pty Ltd., we’d be talking about a whole new ballgame … Is it not so?

photo credit: Naruto Image and Likeness Pty Ltd.

photo credit: Naruto Image and Likeness Pty Ltd.

Rhymes With Funky

January 6, 2016

My previous post outlined a few feng-shui highlights that may characterize the Year of the Monkey.  Among them was the observation that “the Monkey is offending the year”: each animal of the Chinese zodiac in its turn is affected by the timeless cosmic forces that shape the earthly destinies of all creatures under heaven.  Feng-shui soothsayers like to emphasize that this phenomenon of potential negative energy applies (in varying degrees) to people born in a Monkey year, Monkey month, Monkey day or Monkey hour –and also to corporate entities founded at such times.  In my unsophisticated opinion, the influence extends even further, also encompassing any corporations or groups that use the name or image of a monkey in their corporate title or logo.  Close relatives of the monkey such as chimpanzees, apes, baboons, macaques or bonobos also fall within this general category.

Therefore, here are some of the organizations that should consider feng-shui countermeasures in the coming year:

Survey says ... don't offend Tai Sui!

Survey says … don’t offend Tai Sui!


Return to sender?

Return to sender?


Will investors take a bath?

Will investors take a bath?


Perish the thought at publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Perish the thought at publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Hanna Barbera can do better

Hanna Barbera can do better


Is this Donald Trump's PR co.?

Is this Donald Trump’s PR co.?


Obscurity is no defense against cosmic justice...

Obscurity is no defense against cosmic justice…


Next time, Tigers in clash with the Monkey…


Divine Vengeance

January 3, 2016

I recently awoke from a deep slumber and realized that it’s now the year 2016.  More than that, it appears to be the dawn of a new era  –because I felt no compulsion to conduct a recapitulation of media coverage analyzing Kim Jung-un‘s 2016 New Year message.  The message itself was lackluster, running-dog capitalist lackey reporting was scantier than ever, and wistful sorrow at the passing of Kim Yang-gon clung like a shroud to the entire topic.  Major wire services such as Reuters, Associated Press and Yonhap provided perfunctory reviews of KJU’s New Year’s speech, and Bloomberg deigned to publish 4 brief paragraphs on the story.  Nobody invoked feng-shui to make the observation that with Kim’s yang gone, excess yin in the DPRK may create difficult prospects for the nation during the upcoming Year of the Yang Fire Monkey.

Kim Yang Gon_KJU

Here, at a minimum, is what you need to know to be prepared for the onrushing year, which formally arrives on February 8th:

  • Yang Fire (Heavenly Stem) sits above the Yang Metal Monkey (Earthly Branch) this year.  Fire melts Metal, so it is not an auspicious year.  However, with Fire on top and Metal below, there is reason to hope for optimism, flexibility and progress.
  • Yang Fire symbolizes the power of the Sun, so various aspects of the solar presence may be increasingly prominent this year: photo-voltaic power generation; warming climate; agricultural production; solar flares; astronomic anomalies, and perhaps more.
  • The Metal element of this year’s Earthly Branch will benefit Fire industries, which include energy, entertainment, stock markets, and finance. The Fire element of this year’s Heavenly Stem will benefit Water element industries such as transportation, logistics, shipping, and communications.
  • The heavenly throne of Tai Sui has shifted to the west-southwest.  Be extra careful in places like San Diego, Bordeaux, Bristol, Goteborg, Lisbon, Saarbrucken, Tournai, Mecca, Lhasa, Goa, Palawan, and (above all) Moldova.
  • The Tiger is in direct clash against the Monkey this year.  People born in a Tiger year are in clash against the year during 2016. They are also susceptible to the Three Fire penalty of Tiger, Monkey, Snake.  Corporations using the emblem of the Tiger (or other large cats) will experience difficulty in 2016.  So will the Detroit Tigers.  Perhaps this doesn’t augur well for the Super Bowl LC chances of the Carolina Panthers