your punk rock buddhist lesson for the day

It might just be the Fugazi talking, and I don’t really know if these ideas are worth the digital ink I’ve spilled on them, but I think American Buddhist sanghas (of any variety) need to seriously think about how they’re planning on carrying the dharma into the next generation. And truly inclusive, community-based models of practice may be where it’s at.

american music

As you all know, I really like music. A few weeks ago, I got the idea in my head to create a massive but well thought-out playlist devoted to songs about America. Specifically, one song for each state. It occurred to me that I’ve got a lot of music, and a lot of that music references certain parts of this country. And it being election time, a time when folks run all across this country talking about its “core decency” and its “values,” I thought it’d be fun to see what I could come up with.


this has been an especially weird week. i’ve spent a good amount of time coding. which is always something of a brain-melting experience. yesterday, i spent five working one simple script that ultimately failed. so i gave up and went back to my original version which, while not doing all the cool things i want it do, works. and working is better than not working. at any rate, staring at a computer for that long does things to you. and one of them is that it gets you promoted.

you shouldn’t be afraid

There is something much more deliberate about listening to music on vinyl. This is something you do, something you must be mindful of. I can hit the “shuffle” button on iTunes, walk away, do the dishes, hang out with the dog, get a sandwich — and the music becomes background noise. But with a record, you need to be singularly conscious of what you’re doing. You need to take great care when sitting down to listen to the disc. And in the case of In Rainbows, you need even more care because the album is spread over two records with just two to three songs per side. Which means there’s a lot of getting up and flipping discs involved. You’re forced to listen.