All this Meghan stuff, from a Yank’s POV

Yeah, I’m talking about Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex or whatever she is.  Normally I’m not very interested in present-day royalty, (but don’t get me started on the old-timers like the Plantagenets or the Tudors); however, the issues Markle has created around herself now rival the issues surrounding her late mother-in-law — only without the glamor.  People around the world loved the glittering, tragic butterfly that was Diana; I get the impression they do not love the apparently ambitious, imperious Meghan.

It’s gotten to the point where even people like me, who are only vaguely aware of this stuff, are hearing almost weekly about whatever the hell Meghan has done now.  So I thought I’d address it.

My impression is that she’s a dime-a-dozen American TV and B-movie actress who has gotten in over her head in real life.  She probably went into this charade the same way Trump, a TV reality-show actor, went into the presidency: thinking it would be the greatest role of her life and SO easy and she would go down in the history books and blah, blah, blah.

Then reality struck, and it quickly became evident that she didn’t fit in.  She keeps trying to bend her surroundings to suit her, but it isn’t happening and it won’t.  The reality surrounding the modern-day royals is as solid as a stone wall, even if their actual usefulness in the real world is up for question.  I reckon that a little American actress-in-fantasy-land isn’t going to change things one iota.

After Fergie, and now Meghan, (not to mention Wallis), I’m guessing the Brit royals are pining away for the old days of arranged marriages.  At least those usually kept ambitious outsiders in their place.

But there is precedent for this marriage, I suppose: Grace Kelly marrying into royalty in the principality of Monaco, eons ago (I’ll ignore the saga of the hated socialite Wallis Simpson, who managed to topple a king).  However, Grace was a little bit different — albeit only a little bit.  She was an A-list, Academy Award-winning movie actress, and she was also from U.S. “blue-blood” stock.  This may have left her a little more prepared for the role of princess than Meghan is for the role of duchess, although only a little.  Remember that our blue-bloods, and their British equivalents that produced Diana, are mostly private citizens (except for a few political dynasties).  The royals, on the other hand, live in the proverbial goldfish bowl.  It’s a rarefied never-never land of exquisite manners and strictly enforced protocol, where social misdemeanors become capital crimes and every breath one takes is scrutinized by at least ten gossips and five reporters.  In short, it doesn’t even remotely resemble the lives most of us live, blue blood or not, actor or not.

Back to the subject, as I remember, Grace ended her movie career the moment she married; Meghan, on the other hand, seems to view all this as a fantastic new acting job in which she’s every little girl’s fantasy princess, with the perks of great pay and lots of pretty dresses and jewelry, and most people probably have to bow to her on top of it.  No wonder Disney seems to be involved.  What a great movie this will make, right?  Think of all the merchandise to be sold to parents who have little girls who like to dress up as princesses!

On the subject of the title “princess,” I do remember watching a video by a tarot reader (yes, there I go again) on the day of Meghan and Harry’s wedding.  This reader was working herself into a lather about Meghan being called “duchess” rather than “princess.”  “Yeah, they’re calling her duchess; I don’t know what that’s all about — she’s a PRINCESS” blustered the reader.

Well, yes and no.  First of all, “duchess” seems to be pretty much interchangeable with “princess;” it just seems that “princess” is a title usually reserved for those born into the family and/or those bound to be queen consort.  I’m sure “princess” sounds prettier to a lot of people (little girls don’t fantasize about fairy-tale duchesses after all), but in reality, to an outsider like Markle, “duchess” does just as well.  And it’s the most outsiders can hope for.

As far as I know, the closest Meghan will ever get to “princess” is being called “Princess Harry.”  She’ll never be a princess in her own right (her sister-in-law will, though), and she will never, ever be queen consort (again, her sister-in-law will).  Them’s the rules, folks.  Harry’s father is the current Prince of Wales and Harry’s big brother is the heir-apparent, and his big brother’s kids after him.  All the rest of the kiddies, including Harry, his offspring, and his wife (in that order), are extras.  From what I understand, any children from the marriage may have their own title of “prince” or “princess,” but not Mom.  She’ll always be a duchess unless she and Harry divorce, at which point anything could happen with her title.  Judging from what happened to Fergie, she’d probably lose the title (at least for a while) along with any financial support she currently enjoys, (probably forever).  Her position is that fragile.

I’m guessing that Meghan’s supporters in the U.S., including Disney, are all harboring the same misapprehensions about her actual importance within the royal family, and choose to believe she’s a real-life fairy-tale princess.  It’s sad in a way, but then again, it’s hardly a widespread phenomenon.  In fact, I’m guessing that 80% of the population here can’t be bothered about Meghan and her situation; many probably don’t even know who she is.

The fact is that unless a royal drives down our streets and holds up traffic at rush hour, we aren’t really that aware of royalty.  And yes that happened to me once, when Diana’s limousine, with her in it, drove past the building I was living in at around 5:30 p.m.  No traffic was allowed to move in either direction for at least a quarter hour before or after.  Worse, she was by that time nearly divorced, so she wasn’t even really a royal anymore; everyone got stranded in place to allow an ex-royal family member to get to a hall where she was to make a speech to a bunch of giddy North Shore socialites congratulating themselves for raising funds for…something or other.  A few of them were so daffy that they were contemplating convincing Diana to come live in the U.S. in this very wealthy area north of Chicago, which was obviously never going to happen.

It was, to put it simply, a needless pain in the ass.  That said, there is no one in the royal family currently who is like Diana, who everyone knew about simply because she was on every magazine cover in the supermarket check-out line almost continuously for well over a decade.  Most people in the U.S. just shrug at anything called royalty.  And that “don’t know, don’t care” attitude includes Meghan.

Anyway, as for this supposed surrogate-baby situation, which is seemingly the biggest issue surrounding Meghan outside of her awkward behavior, the only certain thing is that the actual story will creep out sooner or later.  To me it’s just a sad example of what happens when someone doesn’t know what they’re getting into, and thinks they can do a Hollywood P.R. bluff to get through whatever they are presented with.  “Let’s play pretend” just doesn’t work in real life, after all, even within the context of a royal family that has little or no real power.

Pretending hasn’t worked for Trump, and it won’t work for Meghan.  But the thing is, Trump is managing to hurt a lot of people.  Meghan?  Only herself, and perhaps tangentially Prince Harry.  (BTW I’m not terribly familiar with Harry, but from the little I’ve heard it seems he has a talent for hurting himself that rivals Meghan’s — and Diana’s.  Interesting match if that’s true.)

All in all, it only matters a little bit; it’s a great distraction in these very grave times we are living in.  But is it earth-shattering?  No.

And that’s my view from this side of the Pond.





Hey Wise Guy

Somebody wrote me privately and blustered that if I thought the work of the group of psychics/tarot readers/astrologers doing Trump forecasts on YouTube was easy, well…I SHOULD TRY IT.

This left me shaking my head, as I never said I thought their work was easy.  So I’m baffled about that observation.  Furthermore, I’m not one of those would-be professional skeptics who tackle the subject of clairvoyance with predictable contempt, adding nothing to the conversation, but probably making themselves feel less insecure by seeing their vapid words posted online.  You see, I actually read tarot cards.  I am not good at it.  Since the Trump tarot readers have been so active on YouTube, though, I’m learning quite a bit.

One thing I’ve learned from these readers is to approach each card with your own vision, as the “tall dark stranger” thing quite often doesn’t work out — that is, the ponderous explanations of each card (or even the all-too-brief ones) you find in books often do not resonate in the context of a reading.  You’re less apt to trash a reading because you couldn’t make sense of it, if you make your own sense of it.

On the other hand, you can go too far in making your own sense of a reading.  There are two readers on YouTube right now who have actually created their own scenarios, based on their own card readings, and are doing further readings based on those instead of what’s actually been reported as news.  This could work out great or it could be a disaster, hard to tell which.  In the case of one of them, a lot of other readers now seem to be picking up on the same threads; in the case of the other, she is not picking up on anyone else’s threads at all when it comes to Trump.  This latter reader reads on Trump but doesn’t come up with anything startling; however, she also does many readings on other public figures’ lives for which she has created her own scenarios, and reads as if those are absolute fact.

How does that work?  (Hint, it often doesn’t.)  As an example, let’s make up a “famous” someone and call him Rob Silly.  Let’s say he’s an actor who is nominated at all the awards shows and is always photographed at parties and rumors about his love life abound, etc.  When he manages to fit some work in, he has played the role of an astronaut in a popular movie, among other roles.  A reader could do a reading on him and see The Moon pop up, and decide that means he wants to live on the moon.  The next reading would then show that he has plans for a summer home on the moon but his long-time girlfriend doesn’t want to move there, so they are about to break up.  And then would come a reading about a mysterious baby they had who may be living on the moon, and…

My point is, as I titled a previous article here, “garbage in, garbage out.”  You’re probably better off going into a reading with no information at all than with a head full of baloney, even if it’s delicious baloney you made up yourself.

My own try at reading on Trump?  I did it once, very recently, and I may have been too affected by the readings I have watched on YouTube.  I did a reading on the public fate of Trump and was sleepless half the night because it was so disturbing.  Not that I like Trump — I definitely don’t — but you don’t want to see that stuff happen to anybody.  And I won’t say what it was.  I will say that the same cards appeared in the same places in the same reading with two different decks.  I did the reading twice because I was that flabbergasted, only to become even more flabbergasted the second time around.

Because of things that have happened in my own life, I’m pretty receptive (but cautiously so) to the work of tarot card readers and psychics, and certain astrologers.  I’m still very, very lukewarm on astrology, though, after finding that many (not all) of its practitioners speak in what sounds like the verbal version of a shell game.

I’ve confirmed what I had suspected through this experience of trying to read Trump: the work of the prognosticator is anything but easy, and the opportunity to humiliate oneself publicly is there at every turn.  For instance, one or two of them (not the two mentioned in previous paragraphs) put two-and-two together recently and predicted all sorts of mayhem occurring in D.C. during Mueller’s Congressional testimony…and nothing happened.  Neither of them has owned up to that yet, but then again, other readers who apparently hadn’t seen their videos started saying similar things — just nothing about these similar things occurring during Mueller’s testimony.  My own reading may have been affected by these readers’, but it had some indications of similar events.

So there’s a chance they weren’t totally wrong, but who knows.

That’s too much confusion and exposure for me, so I’ll leave it to the pros.  But kiddos, never, ever try to tell me that I think their work is simple.  I never said that, and I never will.


Garbage in, Garbage out

I won’t name the YouTube tarot reader who did this, but I have to point out what the problem with her reading was.

Most people will know that over the weekend, Jeffrey Epstein — an associate of Trump’s — was arrested in an airport.  He was charged with pedophilia and interstate trafficking of minors, I believe.  Not sure of the particulars, but I do know that what he was charged with was different than what he was previously convicted of.

Those are the facts as I presently know them.  I knew about this within a few hours of the arrest; the information was readily available.

Then I went to YouTube and found this reader doing a tarot spread in which she brought up the issue of double jeopardy.  Um…no.  We’re dealing with a bunch of smart prosecutors here, folks.  There is no reason to even mention double jeopardy.  I’m sure Epstein’s lawyers will bark up that tree, but it will be futile.  These charges are different than the previous ones.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I never bother with right-wing tarot readers and psychics.  This is because their prognostications are doomed to failure since they are not based on fact.  To that I’ll add ANY reader/psychic who launches into a video not having examined what’s known about the issue.  For instance, there’s one older lady (who is not listed in my article about YouTube psychics) who thinks Tulsi Gabbard is a viable presidential candidate for the Democrats.  Uh…no.  Gabbard is so bad that some suspect she is a Russian plant.

So there you have it: garbage in, garbage out.  My advice to any psychic or reader who sees this is to keep one foot firmly on the ground — that is, read a lot before you cast your intuition in the wrong direction and make a fool of yourself.



Some thoughts about earthquakes

Just a reminder that big earthquakes are natural events, and the more people living in areas prone to earthquakes, the more people will be affected.

I’m saying this because although I have yet to hear any right-wing evangelical preacher claim that the big earthquakes in California happened because of gays and abortion…well, it’s coming.  You know it, and I know it.  Some natural disaster happens, and it’s just a matter of time before someone says something like that.  And that kind of talk is useless, not to mention freaking unChristian.

On the other side of the coin, I just heard someone try to put earthquakes in the same sentence with global warming and make a sermon of that.  Again…don’t go there.  Although weather can cause freeze/thaw cycles that can result in earth movement, this wildly complex issue is still being studied and debated among those who are learned about such things.  From a brief check around the Internet, it seems to me that there isn’t quite the consensus about the exact processes of cause/effect that there is about climate change (or maybe I just don’t understand what I’m reading).  That considered, someone like me has no business drawing such a parallel at this point, and neither have most of my readers.

What we have to remember is that Earth is living and changing.  That plays a little bit into climate change, which is in small part a natural process (see next paragraph before you freak out).  But it plays a much larger part in earthquakes.  Earthquakes just “are,” except for those of the mining and fracking variety that are plaguing Oklahoma right now and have in the past affected northern Illinois — otherwise fairly stable ground albeit littered with tiny fault lines (and where fracking is illegal; much of the earth movement in northern IL in recent decades seems to be mining-related).  THOSE we can do something about.  Earthquakes on natural fault lines?  Not so much.  Yes, controlling and reversing man-made climate change will be a big help in everything about our environment, but will it eliminate big earthquakes?  No.

Climate change we can manage because much of it is man-made.  Naturally-caused earthquakes?  Not so much, except maybe we should stop packing so many people on top of dangerous fault lines.  That is what we can control, completely and absolutely.

Scandals and really bad habits

First I’d like to get the “really bad habits” part out of the way: eating and/or drinking while making a YouTube video.  This is not only happening with ASMRers, where you can usually avoid it by staying away from the ASMR channels that think eating/drinking sounds are relaxing, but also on a fair number of artists’ “how to” videos, tarot card reader videos, and who knows that else.  It seems that everyone is suddenly infected with Marco Rubio syndrome.  (He’s a U.S. politician who is being propped up by russia after destroying his presidential ambitions by nervously gulping from a water bottle while making a rebuttal speech to one of Obama’s State of the Union addresses.  In fact, a lot of Republicans gulp water while testifying before Congress too.  Very weird.)

Of course there are people who enjoy listening to mastication and glug-glug-glugging, but judging from the comments on some videos, there are at least an equal number who think these sounds are disgusting.

Certainly eating in technicolor is considered rude by any standard.  In a sane world, that would mean that most video producers would know better than to risk taking a swig of tea while applying makeup or doing whatever else unrelated thing — but alas,  this unprofessional irritation seems to be growing rather than receding.  I even saw a video by a young ballet dancer the other day in which she exclaimed near the end “Oh! I forgot to eat something!” and then proceeded to feed her face on camera.  Thank goodness she did this on fast-forward with no sound, but it left me wondering if she’s trying to prove she doesn’t an eating problem by very publicly showing that she’s eating.  Certainly eating on camera isn’t the subject of her videos, and like I just said, a lot of people just hate listening to it; plus, it’s boring to watch.  So what’s the point?  Maybe being rude is cool all of a sudden?  Perhaps this kid is edging toward eating 7-course dinners in real time with the sound on when she thinks she can get away with it?  Or is it just, “look Ma, I’m eating!”

Anyway, that doesn’t really bring me to the subject of makeup and fake scandals, but then again, I need to get on to this subject because it’s in the title.  So what the hell.

For those who don’t know, the latest makeup uproar started about a month ago, when Tati Westbrook (of all people) suddenly posted a video called “Goodbye Sister.”  Everyone who read the title immediately knew this was a reference to James Charles.  (For those out of the loop, Charles is a makeup wunderkind who is guilty of the indiscriminate use of the word “sister.”  He’s made millions off of this word.  I find this offensive and I’m not alone; maybe I’ll get into that in another rant.)

So anyway, Tati seemed upset because James, a close friend of hers, touted a competitor’s vitamin brand (as mentioned a previous rant, Tati makes vitamins), in exchange for exclusive concert tickets.  Okay.  I kind of get it and I kind of don’t.  Did Tati have a contract with James?  Even if not, ethically it was wrong of him, but still…making a 45 minute video whining about it?

But that wasn’t all.  After jumping off the vitamin cliff, she landed on a hint that James is a sexual predator.  I didn’t get the connection with vitamins, and sat there wondering if this type of thing was perhaps better handled by the police, or at least by an intervention hosted by James’ closest friends in private.  Still, I liked Tati and gave her the benefit of the doubt, and was supportive of her video.

Then Jeffree Star jumped in.

And kept jumping in.

And kept jumping in.

Although Star jumped in on Tati’s side, Tati seemed blindsided.  But she shouldn’t have been; Star has never seen a scandal that he didn’t try to wiggle into the middle of, because they’re great publicity.  In the real world it apparently put Tati in a delicate spot between two supposed friends. Yes, I put “in the real world” there for a reason.

And how did this all finally work out?  Without going into a lot of detail, I’m guessing that in the background someone threatened to sue someone else.  And I’m guessing it was James Charles doing the threatening; after all, he suffered a tangible loss of income as a result of all of this — therefore the law recognizes it as a actual problem.

The end result was a synched chorus of “never mind” from all three protagonists, and three weeks of drama channels in overdrive (some doing at least 4 videos a day), crashed to an abrupt halt, leaving fans scratching their heads.  Tati’s subscribership started to sink back to its old numbers after she had gained about 3 millions subs from the whole event (update: not really; this was reported on some drama channels but appears not to be true — she’s still hanging in there with about 3 million more subs than she had prior to the event).  Charles’ started to climb back into the stratosphere after he lost 3 million, and Star — who never seems touched by anything he’s involved in, and he’s involved in a lot of drama — stayed pretty much at the same level.

This tells me the whole thing was, to steal a term and use it appropriately, “fake news.”  It didn’t make any sense from the get-go, was never explained properly, ended up getting an innocent kid into legal trouble (not Charles, but one of his alleged intended sexual conquests)…and then all of a sudden the millions of mini-kids who worship makeup artists were supposed to forget about it.  Just like that.

It could be that makeup and makeup gurus are passe’ and we’ve entered an era where manufactured scandals will become the norm to help them to hang on to viewers.  This may be the new “daytime drama” like the television and radio soap operas of old.  In this view, maybe even the threatened lawsuit, which would fit into this scenario, was fake.  And yes, I can believe this.

Honestly, how much glop can you pile on your face?  It had gotten to a point where people were troweling on the makeup and wigs and whatever and looked like they were auditioning for Ringling Bros. (even though the circus no longer exists).

After a certain point it was nothing more than a cult of personality in which one side-show was product: makeup, vitamins, clothes, “sisters,” etc.  All of it was very expensively aimed at pre-teens and young adults, who also happen to respond quite well to manufactured drama about their favorite fictional characters (as do some adults, to be fair — look at what’s in the Oval Office partially as a result of that).

I’m lucky in the makeup department because to that crowd, anyone even close to 30 is a fossil.  I’m double that, and kiddie culture is as alien to me as it was to my parents and grandparents in my day, so normally if I want some makeup information I stick to the few channels that aim their videos at people my age (I used to make an exception for Tati).  Those channels steer sharply away of drama, and it isn’t hard for them because at our age, it gets harder to manipulate the audience that way.  Not impossible, as I noted in the previous paragraph, but just harder.

Anyway, the whole event left me with two conclusions: (1) I don’t really care about makeup, and (2) I really don’t care about makeup gurus.  So in the future, I’m out of this argument.  Any further mentions of makeup in this blog will be personal opinions only.

various YouTube political tarot readers and psychics (review)

(originally posted in March or April of 2018; updated yet again in August 2019)

A whole new genre has popped up on YouTube: tarot readers and psychics who concentrate on discerning what is happening in the Trump/Russia investigation and related matters.  Since we are left guessing as to what is going to happen with our country and our lives, I find a certain strange comfort in these readers.

Overall I’ve found their results to be about as accurate as those of various legitimate political pundits, (usually meaning not Fox News, et al, who can never be right with their predictions because they can’t even admit present reality).  In most cases, I suppose that means a guess with cards is probably as good as a guess without; most of them have the occasional brilliant insight that comes true within 48 hours of the reading while the rest of the reading is yet unproven.  Once in a while they’re just plain wrong.*

Please note that this list is by no means all-inclusive.  Some readers mentioned here never show up in my YouTube recommendations anymore; this could be because YouTube has been cracking down on videos with political content, or maybe one or two of them just burned out (also, YouTube is well-known for burying channels after promoting them for a while).  But new readers are still jumping onboard over a year after I initially wrote this article, and there are no doubt many I haven’t discovered yet who have been there all along.

I’ve also deliberately excluded pro-Trump readers/astrologers/seers.  I exclude these people for the simple reason that they are always wrong unless they stumble on some actual facts by accident; this is because they are not starting from a place of authentic truth based in reality.  I also tend to avoid those who veer too far off into la-la-land (“la-la-land” being reptile people, aliens, Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, conspiracy theories, etc.). Lots of psychics and readers occasionally venture into that territory.  “Occasional” is fine; it’s when they wallow in it that they lose me.

Here is a list of some I’ve been watching, in no particular order:

(1) Tarot: Politics.  Please note my opinion of this person has changed.  I will be leaving the following comments up, but I don’t watch her anymore.

I don’t know if she started this genre, but she’s been around a long time.  She underwent a huge change from being sort of over-wrought and long-winded to doing shorter readings in a more subdued key.  She did fall into the trap of getting overly optimistic about and adoring of Mueller.  (People, he isn’t Superman; he can only do what he can do.  This investigation has gone international, and he is only one part of it.  Granted, he may be the one who brings Trump down, but…)

Even in her more subdued state, she is still given to brief episodes of play-acting (fake tears, singing, imitating voices, etc.), incomplete sentences, playing with her hair, repeating herself over and over and over, and mispronounced words and names.  It can get annoying, but there’s always fast-forward.

She seems to be right most of the time…except when she tries to put a time frame on things.  In fact that seems to be a problem for all of these readers, and for political pundits as well.  This leads to the cause of this new tarot genre: massive uncertainty.  No one knows what the hell is going on or when it will stop.

(2) Ganga Tarot.  She’s very forward with her opinions and enjoyable to watch.  She’s an older lady and one gets the impression she’s been here before, even though none of us have; one good thing about age is that eventually you see that “there is nothing new under the sun” and I think she’s using that particular fact to her advantage.  Not all of her videos are political tarot readings; she often plays music as well.

(3) Dweller Between the Waters.  I like her, partially since she just lives the “magic” life and somewhat rejects the New Age crap that a few other political readers have bought into.  She also throws an occasional F-bomb, which is entertaining.

She does tend to be very dark and very correct most of the time.  I feel that perhaps she isn’t clear on some fine details (she was really not up to speed on what happened with Al Franken, and instead of getting informed about it, she got nasty and defensive), but mostly she’s pretty knowledgeable about the numerous players in this whole dizzy affair.

Once in a while she’ll belabor a point until you’re ready to scream, but there’s always fast-forward for that.  Truth be known, it seems like the vast majority of YouTube tarot readers do that, hammering on the same points over and over in slightly different terms, often going on for several minutes.

P.S.  Lately she seems to be concentrating on making liquidy mouth noises, eating and drinking while speaking on her videos, and she even did an ASMR reading.  Seems someone has told her her readings are ASMR-y.  Mouth noises make me want to hit someone, so I haven’t been able to watch her as much.  It’s a shame.

(4) Truth Warrior Tarot.  Was impressive at first but then started going into long chirpy rambles about “crystal children” and just about every other bit of unhelpful New Age crap that has been invented.  She’s also into “indigo children.”  I view both with a wary eye — pretty soon we’ll have people arguing about whether they’re “crystal” or “indigo” very much in the same way as people are now arguing about which supposed “generation” they are, even though those “generations” have no real boundaries and are, in reality, nothing but marketing tools that have the side effect of increased ageism among the young and old.  Great.  Just what we need: more division.

Update: I started watching her again after taking a long break; she’s cut down quite a bit on the happy/chirpy crap.  However, I now notice that she only shuffles the top 2/3rds of her deck, which frankly bothers me.  If she’s going to do that, she’s better off not shuffling on camera (further update, July 2019: she’s gotten a bit better about shuffling the entire deck very recently); (further update, August 2019: she’s gone back to only shuffling the top 2/3rds of her deck again, and she’s now drawing so many reversals — in any reading, it seems a majority of cards are reversed — that one questions if she should just stop and rearrange her deck).

All that aside, she does have a pretty good accuracy ratio.

(5) SouLight Hypnotherapy.  Very down-to-earth and no-frills.  Long readings; uses a megaton of cards.  Doesn’t shy away from very, very negative, even explosive interpretations.

(6) Readings by the Empress.  Short and to the point.  Very soothing and reassuring, quite unlike SouLight.  I’d recommend watching one of her readings after watching any of SouLight’s; they’re as soothing as chocolate milk and a cookie after getting a bad report card.

(7) Lena Rodriguez.  She’s very popular.  She is also amazingly knowledgeable about Trump/Russia for someone not living in the U.S. (then again, it’s said that the investigation was started by an incident in which a drunken Trump campaign operative boasted about something to an Australian official).  But she lost me when she went all Bernie — I believe he’s part of the problem — and ageist (see Truth Warrior diatribe above).  She’s not bad, but only if you can put up with that crap.  Unfortunately I can’t.

(8) Psychic Violetta.  A psychic who often uses tarot cards to clarify her visions.  She’s a Polish woman who often does videos with her son holding her hand while he asks her questions about Trump/Russia.  Has a unique perspective, having grown up in a then-communist country.  Often hauntingly correct, way in advance of actual events.  Violetta herself is very pleasant.  7/19 update: after disappearing for 3 weeks, Violetta just announced that her son is now off doing other things and she will probably not be doing many videos in the future as a result.  FURTHER UPDATE, a few days later, 7/19: Violetta is back trying to do videos on her own, but others in the psychic community are offering their support and hopefully she’ll be doing collaborations with them in the future.  She had evidently gotten very used to working with her son and seemed extremely uncomfortable working alone.

(9) Linda G the Comanche Psychic.  A psychic who sometimes uses tarot cards to clarify what “those on the other side” are telling her.  She has a tremendous accuracy ratio, and she has a fun personality.  Seems very respected within the growing Trump-Russia psychic/tarot community, and for good reason — as I just said, she’s usually right.

(10) Kirsten Langston.  Tarot reader, astrologer, psychic.  Very hyper, animated and flits from subject to subject in a nanosecond, which can be annoying.  However she seems to be accurate much of the time.  Her videos are very, very lengthy (or at least, she’s so fidgety and loud and fast-talking, cramming so many subjects into such a limited time frame, that they seem that way).  She seems very respected within that growing community I mentioned above.  Also, as I said above, she’s a good substitute for Tarot:Politics if you ever get tired of Rosie’s BS.  9/4/18 update on Langston: she no longer seems to be doing political readings on YouTube, as far as I can tell.  She seems to have moved all her political readings to Patreon, as some readers are starting to do.  7/19 Update: she will now post parts of some political readings to YouTube several weeks after she originally posted them on Patreon or elsewhere.

(11) Black & Orange.  (Added 9/4/18) Tarot reader.  Seems to be a recent addition to the festivities (within the past 2 months).  She is very watchable and easy to listen to; taking a lighthearted approach even if she gets volubly creeped out now and then.  Often she’s hilarious.  And her cat loves to help her.

(12) Revealing Light Tarot.  (Added 9/10/18) Another very recent addition (within the past few weeks?).  Seems to be from outside the U.S.  Very analytical, and approaches her readings from a cerebral level, avoiding hyperbole and wild predictions.

(13) Trudy Lee Amirhosseini; may have been shortened to just “Trudy Lee.”  (Added 9/11/18) Yet another very recent addition (within the past 3 months).  Good, brief readings.  A concise, no-BS reader.

(14) Jenn Lynn Tarot.  (Added 12/13/18) Nice, concise reader from the U.S. Midwest.  7/19 UPDATE: she now has one of the nicest deliveries and voices in this group.  Very moderate in her predictions, so success is more assured, and she seems to have good success.

(15) The Lighthouse.  (Added 12/13/18) Her political readings are interspersed with her far-more-numerous readings on other subjects.  Very relaxing voice.

(16) David Johnson.  (Been watching for a long time but added here 12/13/18).  An American living in Australia.  Never reads cards; just talks to the “man in the moon.”  Can be somewhat sexist at times without realizing it, but that’s not a problem.  His video about Pence was explosive, and he doesn’t shy away from saying what he thinks.

(17) Milou H. Polycarpe – Psychic, Medium.  (Been watching for a long time; added here 12/13/18).  A psychic who does not read cards.  I’ve been watching him for a while but can’t remember anything really startling he’s ever said — he is very, very cautious — but he does offer good interpretations of what’s going on.

(18) Tarot Tarot Tarot(added 1/9/19) Short, concise readings.  Asks one question and doesn’t meander all over the place.  Caught onto the fact that Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency wouldn’t work.  (7/19 update: This was one of the channels that vanished from my YouTube recommendations.  I just checked and it seems the channel is no more.  It’s a shame.)

(19) Victoria Scerbo Astrology.  (Been watching for a while, but added 12/13/18).  A good go-to source if you just want to watch one prognosticator.  She’s an astrologer and a tarot card reader.  She has good audience interaction and makes her ideas clear in a gentle, cautious manner.

(20) Tarot by Janine.  An exception to the rule that readers should be totally up-to-date on what they are reading about.  I love the way she reads — she sometimes tries to view the cards as someone who has no idea who or what is involved in the Trussia scandal.  Very unique; worth a view.  7/19 update: she’s developed a fascination with the authenticity of various photos of Prince Harry’s son.  I feel this is going off a bit too much into conspiracy-theory land.  My take on it is that although there would seem to be a lot of evidence that we haven’t really seen Archie, this type of situation usually turns out to be pretty ordinary in hindsight.  In this case, maybe Archie is dark-skinned and the royal family is hiding him to keep the racists off their backs.  That’s a tragedy if it’s true (hiding him, that is); however, considering everything else going on in the world, it just doesn’t seem worth fussing about right now.  It’s a symptom, not a cause.

(21) Light Between Stars.  This tarot reader has apparently been doing readings about Trussia on YouTube at least 6 months, but I just found her (1/9/19).  She’s very intelligent and articulate, and sometimes over-explains her positions, but she’s clear and interesting to watch.  No annoying habits, either (no excessive “um,” no histrionics, no liquidy mouth noises, no gum chewing, drinking or eating, etc.).  I’ve watched 2 of her videos — one on Mitch McConnell (predicting that he may possibly be deposed as Senate Majority Leader), and the one previous to that (on Trump’s bogus threat to declare a national emergency in order to get his vanity wall built).  I’ll keep watching her and maybe add to this later.  She’s interesting.

(22) Tarot with Whimsy.  Apparently she’s been around a while.  Sometimes tries to see both sides of matters, which is slightly irritating to listen to when you actually know the truth about these people.  She’s a remote viewer who uses tarot cards.  A worthwhile listen.

(23) Tarot’s Apprentice.  Just found him (2/19); very straightforward.  Relaxing voice.  Have yet to find out exactly how accurate he is, but can say he hasn’t made any major mistakes since I’ve been watching him.

(24) House of Lenormand.  Fairly new channel (about 3 months) who uses Lenormand rather than regular Tarot cards.  Concentrates on getting inside of people’s heads as well as making predictions.  As the channel is so new, it’s hard to comment on accuracy. (added 7/7/19)

(25) Seanna Rose.   This Canadian channel appears to be about 4 months old, so it’s hard to comment on accuracy.  She’s a tarot card reader who has a pleasant delivery. (Added 7/7/19)

(26) Melissa Free Range Psychic.  She seems to do lengthy readings and is well-informed (a basic requirement for the readers who appear on this list).  This appears to be another new channel, only a few months old.  (Added 7/7/19)

(27) Intuitiview.  She’s been around for almost a year and I’ve seen the name of the channel pop up on my YouTube recommendations, but I hadn’t watched her before.  She’s a psychic.  I just started watching her; seems like a compelling channel.   (Added 7/10/19)

(28) Soulprint Intuitive.  Recently recommended by Jenn Lynn Tarot.  Seems like an intelligent reader who draws good conclusions. (added 7/10/19)

(29) Mystic Bella.  Another channel recently recommended by Jenn Lynn Tarot; watched for a few minutes tonight.  She has a very pleasant voice and some of her insights with the cards are startling. (added 7/10/19)

(30) Lynn Tarot Readings.  Older lady who does very editorial readings.  Very common-sense use of information (generally).  Does need to be more careful of her terminology, as some people watching may get all upset at the words she uses to describe things (for example, there is no “Jewish government”), and try to cause trouble for her channel as a result.

(31) Robert Cosmar.  Astrologer, astrology purist.  Does not predict the future and continually emphasizes that; however, apparently he believes that whatever is indicated by the planets is set in stone (my question is always, “who set them there and for what reason?”).  In spite of that, he seems to have a big heart to go along with the literalist tendency.

(32) Marie My Table.  (Added 7/31/19)  Very new channel, so I can’t comment on accuracy.  Very humble and conversational.  Uses an interesting deck of cards that I hadn’t ever seen before.

(33) You Asked Tarot. (Added 8/16/19) Just recommended by Tarot’s Apprentice.  Watched a bit of one of her videos; seems very measured and reasonable.  Looking forward to seeing more.

Again, it seems like every week there is at least one more of these readers.  Drop by YouTube and look in.  It’s fun.

I’ve realized recently that for most readers, the accuracy of their readings/visions tends to be directly related to how well they understand what’s currently going on — i.e. how little they buy into media hype and outright propaganda and gaslighting , but instead seek real information.   I recently removed two readers from this list; one because she revealed she was a Trump worshiper (I was wondering why she seemed to be wrong most of the time!), and the other because he is apparently getting the information he bases his readings on from Louise Mensch, who is a “divide and conquer” pied piper to the Resistance.

What I know for sure about Mensch, who runs a tiny online empire pitching usually-baseless “news,” is that she is definitely not Resistance and definitely is trying to divide and conquer those who want Trump gone (in her terms, “good” = Louise is God!; “bad” = anyone who questions her fan-fic).  It’s a sort of cult, in a way; the Cult of Louise.

Anyway, this reader was saying Trump is already as good as gone from office** (I guess he just hasn’t been told yet), members of his immediate family have turned on him and are cooperating with authorities (there is no evidence of this), and MSNBC and CNN are evil (no mention of Fox News or Sinclair).  The last is what tipped me off that this reader is perhaps a follower of Mensch, who tends to feed that sort of baloney into her fans’ brains — you know, “trust me and no one else!”

I now put this reader in the same category as the ones who wallow in aliens, reptile people, and the rest (in other words, garbage in, garbage out), and he’s off this list for good.  But at least if you’re on Twitter and Mensch has blocked you– and she has blocked at least 50,000 people on Twitter, mostly because they caught on to what she is doing — you’ll still know what her latest fiction is if you watch this reader (who I won’t identify), and what to be wary of.

However, since I won’t identify the reader, I’ll make these situations easier to recognize: if a reader continually goes WAY out there, far beyond what is conventionally known as “news” and into the land of fantastical conspiracy theory, there’s probably something like Mensch going on in the background.  Again: garbage in, garbage out.  Also watch out for drama queens, anyone assigning middle-school clique names and “op” names to various groups of people and events, and anyone who insists they are always right (and everyone else is always wrong), and that people/organizations are jealous and out to get them.

On an unrelated note, I’ve seen the “boilerplate” thing happen before (meaning some psychics will issue the same predictions for all their private clients, only changing names and places), and it’s something to look out for if you contact an online psychic.  My advice to those seeking personal readings is to Google your psychic first; don’t rely on their personal website and/or videos.  Expect to find a lot of anti-psychic naysayers on Google; ignore them and zero in on a sum total of what’s said about the psychic/tarot reader by everyone else.  Also, while it’s difficult to do, try to find information about what other psychics/tarot card readers think about them — Linda G. occasionally provides good leads, and Jenn Lynn has started doing that too, as well as Tarot’s Apprentice.

**not just one but several readers are now picking up on the idea that Trump is going to leave office very soon (I’m writing this in summer 2019), so I’ll allow this reader that much.  However, he was actually hinting that Trump has already been dethroned, and just hasn’t happened.  Sorry.


More senseless drama…and let me do my own makeup review just to piss you off thoroughly

Gonna make this first part short and unsweetened: some silly cow made a video attacking Tati Westbrook for saying something less than glowing about an eyeshadow palette, and the silly cow’s silly followers started calling Tati a “bitch” (for not liking an eyeshadow palette?) and “old” (Horrors!) and other such things.  Tati has already addressed this vehemently, calling the silly cow out on some shady things she has done — YAY Tati! — and I have just one thing to add: people, it’s MAKEUP.  Further, life is not a middle-school playground or a high-school drama.  You don’t get to play mean girl without consequences, and this girl who went after Tati made what can only be called a “mean girl video.”  Some of her followers later made mean-girl videos whining that Tati was being mean to the silly cow.  That’s called mobbing; it’s related to bullying.  Got it?  It’s wrong.

Now grow up and get a life.

Okay, that’s over.  Now I think I’ll write a bit about what I really think about various makeup products, since it seems to piss people off so much.  And oh yes…before I start, I have to mention that unlike Tati, I actually am a bitch and I actually am old.  Great; now we’ve gotten that out of the way, so let’s start.

I’ll never be able to start a YouTube beauty channel (and there are plenty owned by older women — HORRORS!) because of the following: I avoid parabens.  I also avoid aluminum compounds whenever possible.  It’s getting somewhat easier to avoid parabens, but aluminum is ubiquitous in the makeup industry.  I’d run out of products to review within a couple of weeks because of this.

Parabens I avoid because the European Union has banned them from cosmetics.  I feel that’s compelling enough.

As for aluminum, I haven’t used aluminum-based antiperspirant in 20 years because of topical aluminum’s well-documented connection to the risk of developing senility…and also because I noted the skin on my underarms looked like chicken skin when I used aluminum-based antiperspirant, and the chicken-skin appearance vanished months after I gave it up, never to return.  Definitely a cause and effect there.

But now I note that aluminum is showing up in cosmetics — even so-called “natural” cosmetics.  I believe I read somewhere that aluminum is the most common metal in the Earth’s crust, so indeed it can be listed on a label as a natural ingredient. I try to veer towards “natural” cosmetics whenever I can, but when manufacturers insist on adding natural-but-not-desirable ingredients to their products, it makes it a questionable choice.

Maybe aluminum was always used in cosmetics, and I’ve only noticed what seems to be an increase in its use recently.  Anyway, there are lots of makeup products I won’t touch simply because aluminum is prominent in the ingredients list.  My current foundation, Physician’s Formula Healthy Foundation, has an aluminum compound in it.  If I remember correctly, this is about halfway down the list of ingredients, so I’m trying to live with it.  But any cosmetic that lists aluminum at or near the top of the ingredients list is something I won’t use.  In fact, Physician’s Formula has several blushes and powders like that.

I like Healthy Foundation because it lasts all day, is subtle, and offers medium coverage instead a mask-like full coverage.  It works well with Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Argan Oil and Coconut Water primer (you’ll almost definitely need to use a mattifying powder if you use this primer), and doesn’t splotch or collect in pores and wrinkles.

I was looking at Burt’s Bees foundation, which is aluminum-free.  But frankly it’s gotten such awful reviews — including from Tati, who appears to hate the entire Burt’s Bees cosmetics line — that I’m hesitant to try it.  Then again, I just may because sometimes things that everyone else hates work out well for me.  Many of the anti-Burt’s Bees foundation reviews centered on the smell of the product.  I figure if I could tolerate the solvent smell of the uber-popular Wet n Wild Photofocus foundation (a foundation that of course I don’t like), I can probably put up with whatever compost smell the Burt’s Bees foundation may have.  If that’s the only problem with it, it’s no big deal.

Speaking of Burt’s Bees, I do love their mascara.  This has gotten mixed reviews online — mostly complaints that it doesn’t help your lashes hold a curl, which is not a problem for me — but nothing but raves from yours truly: it doesn’t smudge, flake, or fade; it stays on until you remove it, and it’s easy to remove.  I only wish they would make a “brown” shade to finish off their color line (“black” and “black brown”).  I’ve also used Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze mascara, which actually comes in a taupe/brown color — which is great.  But I found it was rather hard to remove at the end of the day.  Another great natural mascara is Jane Iredale Purelash — but if you use the Agate Brown color, don’t be shocked at how subtle it is.  It’s really best for “no makeup makeup” looks.

Eyeshadow is a problem for me, since I am elderly (HORRORS), and fairly pale.  Shiny eyeshadows look hideous on older eyes and so does shadow that’s way too light, or, if you have a complexion like mine, anything that’s even halfway dark.

If you’re older and really want shiny eyeshadow, you can get around the problem by using appropriately toned mattes (not too light, nor too dark if you’re pale like me) with one tiny touch of something shiny on the top, in the middle of the eyelid just above the eye, where there are probably fewer wrinkles or folds.  This again brings me to why I keep harping about the prevalence of shiny eyeshadows: they accentuate skin flaws around the eyes.  Mattes tend not to draw extra attention to these things.

An aside: if you’re on the pale side, and especially if you have bleach-blond hair, for chrissakes don’t wear ’70’s white eyeshadow coupled with black eyeliner all around your eyes, and/or black mascara.  Especially don’t finish off the look it with thick foundation (particularly in any sort of orange shade!), and lips lined with a liner 10 shades darker than whatever pearlized pale lipstick you’re wearing.  That biker-chick look doesn’t work at our age.  Yeah, I know you can do whatever the hell you want.  But that means it’s up to you if you want to look like a fright.  BTW, this is not coming from some fashion-lemming millennial, it’s coming from one of your contemporaries.

Back to eyeshadows, another complication for older women is that at least 80% of the shadows out there in the world are in some way shiny.  Finding a nice paraben and aluminum-free matte is very, very hard.

As I said, it’s also hard to find a matte that is a lighter flesh-tone color, without being blank white.  I’ve been using NYX Nude Matte eyeshadow in Lap Dance.  It’s just slightly too light for me, but it’s all I can get.  It works fine, but seems to fade a bit by the end of the day, which is actually a blessing.  For contour shadow I use some of the medium shades from one of e.l.f.’s Mad for Matte palettes (I’m that pale).  This is the only palette I own, btw, as I’m against palettes because they’re wasteful.  You mad, sis?

Powders…another problem.  Many of the mattifying powders on the market today seem to be comprised of almost pure aluminum, so of course I won’t touch them.

Right now I’m using Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder.  No aluminum there, but also, you can’t get the powder out of the compact.  It’s a solid brick and the product simply won’t come off on a brush.  After several days of agonizing over this I took to using an ancient, very sharp metal eyelash comb that someone gave me back in the ’90’s and I never used (because it’s very sharp).  It’s working perfectly at breaking the rock-like WnW product into a usable powder…but I shouldn’t have to do that.  Also, this powder is pigmented and tends to oxidize; by the end of the day you look like you’re wearing a light-toned bronzer.  I may in fact use it as a contour product in the future; it’s just about dark enough for that after a few hours.

Another powder I’ve been using is e.l.f.’s Perfect Finish HD Powder (edit: just found out that unlike e.l.f.’s High Definition Undereye Powder, this product contains lots of aluminum — so I will no longer be using it).  It works great under the eyes, making the area look matte without accentuating any wrinkles or crinkles (oddly enough, matte eyeshadows don’t accentuate skin flaws that much, but matte powder under the eyes can make you look like an old road map).  If you use this powder all over the face, though, you may end up with a ghostly cast.  It’s a transparent white, even though it’s marked as “Clear” on the container.  E.l.f. also sells a much smaller container of what I believe is the same product, touting it as under-eye powder (edit: see what I said earlier in this paragraph; I may, in fact, buy the Undereye Powder again because it doesn’t accent under-eye wrinkles, and it doesn’t contain aluminum).

Once I finish these powders, I’m going back to LBGG Historical Makeup’s 1908 Rose Complexion Powder for the rest of my face.  No talc, no aluminum, no parabens; very matte and velvety finish.  It has an almost imperceptible pink tint to it, but that does not affect your makeup (it may on darker skin tones, though).  Lovely stuff.  I don’t know why I ever stopped using it.  BTW, this is an indy brand you can get on Etsy.

Eyebrow mascaras (I don’t use pencils or anything else; too harsh-looking on me)…another challenge.  Right now I’m using NYX Tinted Brow Mascara.  It’s the best I’ve found.  I started on eyebrow mascaras several years back when e.l.f. had one in my shade.  They don’t sell it anymore; they had it very sporadically for a few years, then they only had black for a long time, and then they disco’d it altogether.  Now they have a new eyebrow mascara with a very, very thin brush that I’m not sure I want to try.

Anyway, when e.l.f. stopped making that product, I went on a wild and desperate search that led me through several terrible ones (Milani — who I think has put that product out of its misery — and some others I can’t recall).  Finally I landed on Physicians Formula Brow Last, but the lightest color of that one was a bit dark — very dangerous at my age and with my complexion — and the applicator was a nightmare.  Next I went to Essence, which was too light and faded by the end of the day.  Like I said, now I’m using NYX and I think I’ll stay with it…as long as they keep making it, anyway.

Eyeliner pencils: First of all, don’t expect to find a pencil that’s not waterproof and will hold a wing shape.  Ain’t gonna happen.  I have found, however, that Essence’s Extreme Lasting “waterproof” (it isn’t) eye pencil does in fact stay all day on the rest of the lid.  On the other hand, the very natural Honeybee Gardens pencil disappears by lunchtime, and for some reason I have two of those pencils.

Lip color note to older women: you’re on your own.  Don’t let anyone tell you your teeth are too dark for red or you’re too pale or your lips are too thin, or any weird theory that older women should only wear coral or pearlized pastels.  You can wear black, red, pastel, pink, purple, blue…whatever the hell you want, as long as you balance it with your eye makeup (i.e., too much of everything tends to look especially bad when you’re up in years).

My favorite lip color is Burt’s Bees Matte Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.  It’s absolutely the most flattering nude red I’ve ever found, and I think just about anyone could wear it.  It stays where you put it, too (unless you eat or drink something), you don’t absolutely have to line your lips when you wear it, it doesn’t have any weird smell or flavor, and it’s comfortable.

Blush: been wanting to try Burt’s Bees and/or Pacifica; somehow never get around to it.  I did for a long time use a blush from e.l.f.; don’t recall exactly which one, but the color name was Tickled Pink.  They also have a blush/primer combo that interests me.  But like I said, somehow I never get around to buying it.  I guess it’s because I’ve seen some very old ladies abuse it to the point where they looked like they had fevers.  Or maybe it’s because it’s just one more thing to do.  Whatever the cause, I keep forgetting about blush.

Contour: I don’t use it, although I may experiment with the oxidizing Wet ‘n Wild powder in the future.  Bobbi Brown has said that the contour fad needs to go away because “it always looks like dirt,” and I agree.  It’s very, very difficult to get it to look natural.  In the days of yore we would simply use a slightly darker foundation in places where we wanted to create shadows.  That actually looks better, as long as you don’t go too much darker than your regular foundation.

Concealer: I don’t use it.  Well, I do…I have a NYX pencil called the Wonder Pencil.  Most of the time I wonder why I own it, but occasionally I’ll use it to erase a stubborn shadow.  But that’s the extent of my concealer use.  I really, really don’t understand the way most YouTubers/Instagrammers use it (in a big triangle under the eyes and extending down the sides of the nose).  We never used it that way in the days of yore because wearing gobs of concealer just makes everything look worse.  Definitely less is more.  Concealer was never meant to take up an entire third of your face.

Highlighter: I don’t use it.  It probably looks great with evening-out makeup, but during the day?  Well, I rarely see anyone wear it, but when they do, it looks like Halloween.

Boring, aren’t I?  But stick with me and you’ll probably eventually save enough on cosmetics to buy a car.  I’m only half kidding.