The New York Times was in town this week doing a spot on the “red goat” phenomenon — some kids painted them on these hideous white planters and caused a global fuss, of sorts. The Times sent Peter Applebome, one of their smartest guys on the Metro Desk, out to investigate. Here’s the story. One proof of astrology in my life is how often in March I get some kind of real publicity — as the Sun crosses over my midheaven. When was the last time you saw someone identified as an astrologer in the Times? It’s been a while.
I think Peter did a great job, and I’m particularly grateful for his selecting a quote that truly deserved to be immortalized in U.S. history — meet Tom Hoffay, our alderman (rep on the city council), who said: “I would invite the people who were against the Pike Plan to come out” and say “graffiti is wrong,” Alderman Thomas Hoffay said at the time. “This is mocking the community. It is mocking the people of the city of Kingston.” Later, he likened the goats to gang graffiti, saying, “Bloods, Crips, goats — it’s all the same.”
What Hoffay is doing here is accusing people who opposed him on a city project of painting the goats (and being akin to gangsters), even though there was no connection. I’ve covered that issue in Planet Waves before.
The old mayor was so infuriated by the goats that he had two detective teams working overtime five nights, doing old fashioned Joe Friday gumshoe police work. I was questioned, in the spirit of “all the usual suspects.” The cops were annoyed that I would not come out and say that “graffiti is wrong.” I never said “graffiti is right,” but think of it this way. Would anyone even care, if it wasn’t technically illegal? Now suddenly it’s world news.
Fortunately for the kids who were arrested, the goats are not what you would call a high priority in a city where the prosecutors have their hands full with things like, well, Crips and Bloods and a diversity of other real problems. Anyway this is a fun piece in the Times and it’s my first time having my photo in the newspaper (and my sixth time in the newspaper). Here is another episode, from 1993, back when my only involvement with astrology was reading the Patric Walker horoscope.