Asterisks

Free readings for anyone doing any work wrt Palestinian liberation, including attending protests, and/or for anyone affected by the attacks. You can reply to this or get in touch here. #SaveSheikhJarrah


I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Brokeback Mountain, but it’s in the double digits. I also don't know how many times I’ve showed it to someone for the first time, but it’s possible that that’s in the double digits, too. I do know that in college, I discovered that my queer roommates hadn’t seen it, and I decided that I needed to correct that posthaste. Posthaste wound up taking most of the year; we were seniors, and when we had downtime we were more likely to smoke weed and have Gene Wilder marathons than to, like, feel things. 

I spent months warning them about how devastating Brokeback would be. But when the day came, I freaked out. I spent the whole morning disclaiming. Maybe it wasn’t actually that sad after all! Maybe I oversold it! It’s good and everything, but I’m sure you’ve seen better! 

I did not make it to the party I planned on attending that night because I spent too long with a crying roommate curled under each arm. 

The Two of Pentacles is learning how to sell a show to your friends. It’s striking the balance between warning them that the first season sucks and scaring them off from watching entirely. It’s particularly strange in this moment in TV history. I think that at this point, we’ve pretty much gotten used to a massive volume of content; I haven’t heard anyone say “peak TV” in a while. But when there are so many options, it’s hard to sell something that isn’t perfect. Why would anyone want to start a show that they’ve been told has a shitty first season if they have infinite other options? 

Something I only recently figured out is thematic in tarot is mutual exclusivity. In the Two of Pentacles, you can’t grow everything at one time. If you warn someone about the negative parts of a show, they are going to go in with those on their mind. If you don’t, they will be unprepared. The first might stop them from trying the show, and the second might keep them from continuing. That can be a scary balance if you’re extremely invested in them watching. It’s not just about getting someone to start watching, but if you can deal if they do watch and don’t like it. Why do you want this person to watch this show? What will you feel if they start it and then stop? If they hate it? If they just don’t care about it?

Recommendations are a cultivation of trust, and the Two of Pentacles is about growth. The card is mainly about what you’re choosing to grow, so it can be easy to forget that actually, choosing to grow something is a big thing in and of itself. If we’re sticking with the seeds metaphor, sometimes plants die no matter how much work you put into them. The Two of Pentacles comes with a reminder that no matter what decisions you make, things are dynamic. You can’t predict what someone will feel about a show. But it’s up to you how, and if, you try. 


Second-to-last week, so I’m not going to advertise subscription anymore, but get in touch any time for a tarot reading, tarot tutoring, or if have any questions, and you can tip me at @james0ctober on Venmo and Cash App and at jamiebeckenstein at gmail dot com on PayPal. Be safe, watch TV. <3