Archive for the 'Rant' Category

The Truth About Women

Gender Fencers

Women are such hypocrites.

They claim a special talent in understanding the rhythms of nature – as though their “divine feminine” and Earth Motherly roots give them special access to the concepts of seasonality and ripeness. In some ways, they are extremely attuned. Many women, for example, are acutely well-prepared to demand a degree of carte blanche, forbearance, and pre-approved forgiveness every 28 days or so. In other important ways, however, they are willful and pigheaded in their rejection of the most basic notions of gestation and timeliness.

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“What Do You Do?”

work

“What do you do?”

It is the quintessential question of unimaginative adults upon first meetings. It is the mark of a society that has completely quaffed the Kool-Aid of materialism, where one’s human worth is measured by net worth. What could be more important identifying information than the nature of your job? Certainly not your values, talents, passions, or other non-monetizable attributes.

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The Shit of the Saintly is Still Reeking

Garbage on the River Ganga (Ganges)

The Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious festival, has just rounded its halfway point in Parag, near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Occurring roughly every three years, the Mela coincides with certain astrological events, and lasts approximately eight weeks. This year’s festivities, will be attended by an estimated eight million people, including the traditional quorum of spiritual poseurs, religious exhibitionists, and voyeurs. Only the most uncritically relativistic, everything-is-beautiful-in-its-own-way, intellectually blinkered observers could possibly see the Kumbh Mela as anything other than a spiritual freak show, notwithstanding the devout piety of the rank-and-file superstitious who also attend.

The rather poor 2005 film, Kumbh Mela, depicted a small slice of the brainlessness of the event. My evidence for the spiritual vacuity of the Kumbh Mela and its participants, however, is drawn from today’s Times of India headline, “Heaps of Garbage Lie Unattended in Mela Area.”

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Escape from Christendom

Ticket to Ride

I have always tried to escape the U.S. for one-or-another non-Christian country at Christmas time.  I detest the ubiquity of horrible music and bad good-cheer. But what I really loathe, above all, is the exchange of gifts.
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Ignorance Is Not Bliss

We live in a time of fear. In America, we have seen the most brilliant political scheme in the history of social organization — our constitutional democracy — eroded to near meaninglessness through the venal, be-afraid-be-very-afraid tactics of the Bush administration to consolidate its power. In our families, we are witnessing timid new generations of kids grow up in homes where their every activity is restricted by the brainless paranoia of their parents.

Don’t get me wrong: there are dangers in the world, and I do not advocate imprudence even as I recognize that it sometimes leads us into our most memorable, life-affirming adventures. But it is far too easy for governments and parents to play the danger card thoughtlessly. After all, few will ever criticize them for being too cautious.

While those who would make judgments on our behalf take comfort behind shopworn aphorisms like “Better safe than sorry,” they ignore the fact that there is an enormous price to pay for irrational timidity, diffidence, and restraint. Ignorant fear is soul-sucking and joy-inhibiting. When a mood of alarm comes to dominate, citizens lose the both individual liberties and many of the psychological benefits of living in a free society; and children lose the carefree pleasure which should be the very marker of childhood.
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I Suck!

David Brooks

You know you suck when you see the very essay you’ve been meaning to write for months, but have been too damn lazy, in print under someone else’s byline.

You know you really suck when that byline belongs to David Brooks.

I suck big-time!

I generally enjoy finding myself in agreement with smart people of opposite politics. For examle, it still makes me happy when my former law partner Larry Siskind – former boot-licking servant of both Ronald Reagan and King George the First – and I discover common ground. But David Brooks is simply the lowest of the low.

Some people on the left loathe commentators like Ann Coulter or Michael Savage. I couldn’t care less about these hate-spewing standard-bearers of American conservatism. They are cartoon characters; and though I know that they carry some degree of influence over the idiot American masses, I just cannot bring myself to take them seriously. Mr. Brooks, however, dresses his reactionary, brainless venom in a whining, milquetoast pseudo-intellectualism that somehow manages to get under my skin. His columns read like nails on a chalkboard.

If anyone ever finds me in sympathy with that sniveling neocon ninny again – on any subject, no matter how trivial – please put me out of my misery.

Compassion for (Almost) All Living Beings

comppassion for almost all living beings

The Rev. Heng Sure, our friend and Abbot of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, is forever reminding us to show compassion to all living beings. Emphasis on the all.

I’m the first to admit that I don’t always walk on this planet with the softest of footprints and my patterns of consumption (and ingestion) might cause some to reasonably question my fidelity to this precept. Still, I have always endeavored to be aware of my effects on this earth and I fully embrace the ethics (and, if pressed, the most basic metaphysics) behind the principle.

Or at least I did until last night.

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Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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