Posts Tagged 'Rahul Brown'

Visiting the Forest

Awakin.org, home of the ServiceSpace Global Forest Call

On Saturday morning I set an alarm (something I do only rarely), and made the beautiful early-morning drive from Tuolumne Meadows in the Yosemite high country, down Tioga Pass, to the little town of Lee Vining in search of either an internet connection or mobile phone coverage. I had a date. Over my strenuous protest, the ServiceSpace volunteer team known as the Forest Farmers of had scheduled me as the guest on the weekly “Global Forest Call”, an hour-and-a-half of inspirational sharing from the frontlines of generosity.

Those of you who know me will also know that I am an utterly appalling choice for this honor, lacking in both notable accomplishment and the spiritual bonafides most Forest Call participants usually tune-in for. Sure, I can talk a blue-streak; but I even bore myself.

And, in the end, that’s all that was required of me: talk and bore, bore and talk. The session was expertly mediated with questions posed by the always-brilliant Rahul Brown. He asked about the early days of ServiceSpace, my ideas about certain key concepts of service, my staunch atheism, and my feelings about ethics and garbage. When the questions opened-up to the audience, they became more biographical: about my aches and pains, my affection for India, and the like. Talk and bore, bore and talk.

Masochists can find a summary here, written by the irrepressible Audrey Lin, whose optimism and joyful outlook on life certainly color the retelling of the call, as they color so much for all who encounter her.

Experiments with Truth

Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave

“When a thing is true, there is no need to use any arguments to substantiate it,” wrote Vinoba Bhave. Oh really?

Like so many of the wonderful aphorisms spun by Gandhians about the nature of truth (and, principally, by Gandhi-ji himself) this inspiring line from Vinoba-ji is itself true only in the most metaphysical and therefore trivial sense. Truth, it seems, isn’t a requirement for a socially, politically, or spiritually stirring catch-phrase, even when the very subject is truth.

Naturally, we give guys like Gandhi-ji and Vinoba-ji the benefit of the doubt. They were not only among the most brilliant men of the twentieth century, but were impressive in both the purity of their motivations and clarity of their ethics. The moral certitude of the line quoted above would, however, feel quite a bit sketchier were if it were attributed to, say, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or George W. Bush, all of whom might be equally plausible authors.

There are good reasons not to be too hard on Vinoba-ji. Sure, he failed to recognize that almost all the fun lies in the argument and very little of it resides in the ultimate truth of the matter. But fun wasn’t really his big thing. And we must readily acknowledge that it is convenient to be able to offer the occasional pronouncement without having to “show your work”, as though all of life were a high school math exam.

I spew this kind of unsubstantiated crap all the time. Sometimes I get called on it; often, when the things I say have the veneer (if not the deep resonance) of truth, I get away with it. Which brings us back to Vinoba-ji – and to our story.

Continue reading ‘Experiments with Truth’

A Close Shave, a film by Rahul “Frenchy” Brown

Ouch!

I am pleased – OK, not all that pleased – to present A Close Shave, the latest film by celebrated international auteur, Rahul “Frenchy” Brown. This is an exclusive memestream world premiere.

The film, presented in three acts and a powerful epilogue, is a tragic-comedy of sub-epic proportions. It explores a variety of issues surrounding intravenous (and intramuscular) drug use, focusing principally on the devastating mental destruction that is an all-too-frequent side-effect of the high.

Click on the image below to download and view A Close Shave.

A Close Shave, a film by Rahul Frenchy Brown

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A CLOSE SHAVE
A film by Rahul “Frenchy” Brown

    Cast (in order of appearance)

MBJ as Appendicitis Victim, Stoner, and Furball
Rahul “Frenchy” Brown as Voice of God
John “Uncle” Sillyhead as Amused Onlooker
Archana Sankara as Telephone Caller
Yoo-Mi Lee as Nonchalant Family Member
Dr. Rajiv as Attending Physician
Dr. Randeep Wadhawan as Senior Laparoscopic Surgeon
Santos as the Butcher of Rockland Hospital

    Production

Rahul “Frenchy” Brown: Director, Cinematographer, Editor, and pretty much Everything Else

    Post-Production Sympathy

Mona Panchal
Sachi Maniar


No animals other than me were harmed in the making of this film.

Friends Without Borders: Secret Agents (of Peace)

Handshake Between India and Pakistan -- kids' art

I am pleased to report that the 2007 incarnation of the Friends Without Borders travel squad has assembled and is raring to go. This year’s team includes John Siliphant, Yoo-Mi, Rahul Brown, Mona Panchal, Sachi Maniar, and me.

We are currently in Delhi awaiting word from the High Commission of Pakistan that Islamabad has cleared our visa requests. We hope to be soon on our way to Pakistan to deliver tens of thousands of friendship letters from Indian kids, to get letters to bring back to India, and to enroll schools for ongoing school-to-school relationships.

Continue reading ‘Friends Without Borders: Secret Agents (of Peace)’


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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