Itâ€™s Monday, 20th October. And I mailed off my absentee ballot today. Itâ€™s been a pretty momentous few weeks â€” hell, itâ€™s been a pretty momentous two years. And Iâ€™ve been wrestling with a few ideas for some good posts over the last couple of days. But nothingâ€™s stuck. Mostly, it comes out angry because, well, small-minded, racist innuendos usually get the olâ€™ blood boiling.
I would like to pose the semi-rhetorical question: why are we so attached to this idea of “self-reliance,” of people overcoming adversity to lift themselves out of poverty (trickle-down economics) rather than the radical notion that I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper and ought to help lift them up, out of sheer, unadulterated compassion?
I went to the Cal library today to get some books for a class I’m teaching. Along the way, for the first time, ever I think, I really felt like a professor. (Which is a little weird since I’ve been teaching now for almost two years.) I’m thinking it had something to do with the students. I kept thinking about how much separated me from them, and how that rift is growing, steadily, by the day.
Some woman is suing Prudential Insurance for â€œforcingâ€ her to participate in the â€œreligious practicesâ€ of Buddhism (and Hinduism, though the lawyers canâ€™t seem to keep the two separate). Basically, some idiot in management picked up Nancy Spearsâ€™ Buddha: 9 to 5 and thought it would be a good idea to make all of his employees sit around meditating and chanting the sacred syllable (à¥ if you havenâ€™t been paying attention).
This can’t end well.
I threw together a hastily made UI, the world’s least-complicated database, some quick-and-dirty Photoshoped icons, another nascent blog and even a forum, and voilÃ ! Buddhaworld’s back!
I asked her was the purpose of this student diversity group was, what they hoped to accomplish, why they created it in the first place. â€œJustice,â€ she said. â€œWhat the hell is that supposed to me?â€ I asked. She just shook her head.