Out the Comet's Ass

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Johnny Won't Read

What books did they force you to read with when you were growing up? I've noticed a resurgence of the Dick and Jane books which were crammed down my own throat. I was actually allowed to skip the 3d Grade Readers because I complained to my teacher when she passed one out to me first day of class. Actually I didn't complain. I didn't have to. I opened it up and read out loud from it with a Wicked Witch of the West voice while pointing up Jane's skirt. My teacher was cool. She walked over to the purse at her desk and pulled out a paperback of Phyllis Diller's latest joke book and told me to go back to my desk and read that.

So, who wrote those things? Who was it? Was she a lady? Was she nice? Did the dog Tag barf it up?

Zerna Addis Sharp
b. Aug. 12, 1889 Hillisburg, Indiana

Sun 21 Leo Moon probably in Pisces North Node 12 Cancer

"Oh, see. Oh, see Zerna. Funny, funny Zerna."

Funny, funny thing. Zerna's chart hooks up with mine big time and in a not so hot way. No wonder why I read slow and can't write good. Anyway, a kid can develop ADD just waiting for something to happen in those stories.

Zerna's Sun was in Leo conjunct Saturn and Mercury and trining Jupiter in Sagittarius. So there you have it. She had insecurities about her own reading abilities which she projected onto every American school child from the 1930's to the 1970's. These aspects would have manifested into good concentration skills and business acumen as Zerna grew up. The Jupiter in Sagittarius brought her luck in publishing. And the illustrators, Eleanor Campbell and Keith Ward, made some cute pictures of suburbia.

Dick, Jane, Baby Sally, Mother, Father, dog Tag, and the God Damned Clown were constructed to bring us all down to her own remedial level reading skills. It was a Communist plot. And it worked. (Personally, I think that Phyllis Diller wrecked my head. Zerna just made me want to pick my nose from boredom). And this stellium of Zerna's was right on top of my own conjunction of Mercury and Uranus and I like it weird and had already been exposed to Dr. Seuss at home...

Rudolf Flesch criticized Zerna in his book "Why Johnny Can't Read." This was in 1955, a generation of kids had grown up not being able to read and were rapidly morphing into beatniks and hippies. T. Pluto was conjunct Zerna's Sun-Saturn-Mercury. It brought changes, but, it didn't bring the needed changes fast enough. I wasn't even born yet but those books were waiting for me when I arrived in First Grade more than a decade later.

Zerna's style was called "sight reading." Flesch preferred phonics. I remember hating phonics too.

This is what I liked and I liked it a lot. "One Fish. Two Fish. Red Fish. Blue Fish. I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. I do not like them Sam I am." Much better. Seuss was a Pisces. He knew how to take it out there.

Seuss (Ted Geissel) wrote The Cat in the Hat in response to a May 24, 1954 article published in Life Magazine about why kids were unable to read. The Cat was published in 1957. I'll have to track down a publishing date but for now we'll say that the Cat in the Hat was a Gemini.

In 2003, Grosset & Dunlap reissued the Dick and Jane books. The originals sell for around $200.00 each, at least the ones that didn't get eaten by the Dog or run over by the School Bus. Hope you stole yours. Zerna is once again in style, American Publishing miracle. Her chart is currently going through a Saturn Return, t.Pluto is conjunct her n.Jupiter and she'll have a Jupiter Return at the end of this year.

Just out of curiosity, I had to check where her Lilith is. Lilith in Cancer right on the Aries Point. Lilith killed kids. Ah, astrology never lies.



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