Just another Jackass looking for God?
Mercury Retrograde is nearly upon us (May 7th) and it’s in own, dualistic and devilish sign, Gemini. Many years ago, I was in my van, parked just behind Rainbow Grocery with a friend. He asked me what Mercury Retrograde was about and that time, it was in Gemini. I told him that “people are usually more nervous, stressed, anxious and in a hurry when Mercury goes retrograde in Gemini, and that accidents are much more common.” Almost as if on cue, one car tried to go around another waiting for a spot, accelerated and bounced off an oncoming car. I said, “like that.” And my friend’s jaw nearly dropped and said, “I get it.” Feeling a little spooked, I started up the van and we drove off. I’ll be firing off a few MR posts over the next few weeks starting with today.
Last night I saw what might be the most well documented and spectacular descent into addiction that I have ever seen. I’m referring to “The Demise And Rise Of Steve-O.” For those that aren’t familiar with Steve O, he was the cheshire grinning fool that always did the most grotesque, lewd and painful stunts on “Jackass.” His rubbery frame and countenance was tazed, stapled, bit, bruised by hundreds of abusive stunts and pranks. No matter how embarassing or painful, Steve-O always flashed that jokers smile. He was probably the most daring and lovable of the Jackass crew. But while he brought his body to the brink destruction each week, there was an equally dangerous game being played out with his soul. Steve-O was a drug addict and we’re not talking one specific drug, but a pharmacy of feel good, from nitrous to cocaine and ketamine. The amazing thing about all of this is that he videotaped almost all of it. It’s all there in it’s naked and raw tragedy for everyone to witness. We see him start off as a coke snorting clown for a flea market circus in Florida.
Steve-O, born Steve Gilchrist Glover, had always wanted to be a Hollywood stuntman and was one of those kids that never stopped jumping off of things, climbing far higher than he should and turning his bike into a low flying missile. His desire to be a stuntman took him to Ringling Brothers clown school, where he graduated but was not selected to tour with the show. While he was doing lines and taking pratfalls for bargain shoppers, he was sending his own stunts, captured on video to an editor for a Skateboard magazine, That editor turned out to be Jeff Tremaine, who would go onto produce and direct “Jackass” which blended extreme forms of situationist comedy, skateboarding, candid cameresque pranks and college frat grossouts. It was a smash hit and when Tremaine was putting together the Jackass crew, the cocaine clown from Florida was his first choice. Steve-O was about to become a star and one with discretionary income to buy lots of drugs.
If one wanted to witness a positive version of Mercury Retrograde, it would be to watch this video, which is now just airing on MTV. A Gemini himself, Steve-O was OBSESSED with videotaping himself. He caught it all, from dehrydrating liquid ketamine into a snortable powder, to changing nitrous bullets like they were rapid fire artillery. It’s all there. He captures himself hearing voices, conversing with those voices, going into temporary paralysis, goading the police to arrest him for possession of marijuana, getting into guns and gangsta rap, destroying his apartment, ruining relationships, it’s all on videotape. This is Mercury Retrograde in action, re-visiting the past, re-eaxmining the nature of addiction and the motivation behind it. A quick glance at Steve-O’s ephemeris leaves some tell tale clues.
First off, we need to look at the sign that is most closely related to addiction and that is generally regarded as Pisces. Steve-O has two major planets in Pisces in the mix, driving a great deal of his personality and psyche. I don’t have an exact time for his birth but there’s a very good chance that his Sun in Pisces is conjunct his Jupiter in Pisces. Steve-O is driven to find some form of absolute union, merging with higher levels of consciousness, expanding (Jupiter) through sacraments of Pisces, which in our society is a vast cornucopia of addictive substances. While Steve-O was a blatant and self-promoting exhibtionist with a short attention span, he is also a closet mystic, doing everything in his power to get closer to the source and as we find out later in the documentary, that source included his very own mother, who suffered a brain aneurism in 1999 and after four years of declining health, died. With Mercury and Saturn in Cancer, Steve-O became driven to join and re-connect with his mother in the afterlife. I’m not making any journalistic leaps or assumptions, it’s all there.
His Mars, not surprisingly, is in Leo, which is in a tight trine with Neptune in Sag. Here we see Steve-O combining the almost superhuman life force Mars in Leo sextiling Pluto in Leo and trining with the expansively mystical Sag in Neptune. Driven by more than just idealization he was on a mission to achieve some sort of psychic oneness, some of which is an undercurrent of his sub-generation, where there is a deep desire to understand and feel the psychic and mystical components religion, not just merely a willingness to stand on ceremony or tradition, Steve-O and his peers want to experience the essence of God, not just the theorization or speculation. Even in recovery Steve-O views himself as having some unique and divine purpose as a “healed drug abuser.” His natal Sun in Gemini is trine Uranus in Libra. Sun trine Uranus? Makes sense, doesn’t it? It especially makes sense in the light of his relationship withe the Jackass crew, his family of lost boys looking for the next fix of adrenalin to keep them forever young in the recorded memory of video. When the last Jackass movie wrapped, Steve-O was lost. Without his crew and his mother, he slipped further and further into his darkness. Some of the scenes that are captured are shocking. But luckily for Steve-O, Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville performed a 51/50 which allowed him to be legally locked down for 72 hours for observation. They pulled their own version of a Jackass stunt by emailing Steve-O and telling him that they were coming by to do some filming for a show. Steve-O bit the bait and they told him what they were going to to do. He easily submitted and agreed. 72 hours turned into weeks and celebrity shrink, Drew Pinsky stepped in to treat Steve-O and now he’s gone from a slap-happy, drug-abusing prankster, searching for meaning, to a full-fledged recovery story now gaining a new set of fans on “Dancing With The Stars.” Steve-O would be the first to tell you that he’s a work in progress, but he’s shockingly alive to be able to come to these conclusions.
To witness an almost miraculous account of Mercury Retrograde, try to catch another airing of “Steve-O, Demise And Rise” on MTV.