Over the weekend, thanks to the miracle that is the Internets, I found out that I was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press in an article about a newly opened Buddha Bar in that fair city. Funny, I thought to myself, I don’t recall having been interviewed by anyone from the Winnipeg Free Press, or ever having traveled to Winnipeg, let alone to any Buddha Bar. But, there I am. Waxing philosophically about the evils of capitalism and everything that’s wrong with a drinking hole named after the founder of my religion.
Despite (or because of?) the absurd linguistic analysis of male and female anatomy, this post’s tongue is firmly in its cheek, and is really supposed to be about the power of language. Enjoy!
I’ve been reading a book lately called Selling Spirituality: the Silent Takeover of Religion by Jeremy Carrette and Richard King. I’m reading it to help collect my thoughts about a piece I’m working on about Buddhism and pop-culture, the commodification of Buddhism, and how Dharma Burgers will ultimately destroy Buddhism and take down the whole world in the process. (That’s about 75% hyperbole, by the way.)
Despite the fact that something have changed and will continue to change, some things haven’t changed a bit. And I know damn well that there are still fights to be fought, battles to be won. Or, to use less militant rhetoric, there are things we need to teach one another, lessons to be learned, hearts to be opened, minds to be changed.
We have a skylight in our bedroom, directly above my head. Last night, around a quarter to eleven, there appeared two helicopters, loud, and blinking lights into the darkened room. This morning, I found out why: the Oakland Police had corralled a good number of people to arrest them in front of the Paramount Theater, about six blocks from our house.
In case you hadn’t heard, in reaction to the shooting of an unarmed twenty-two-year-old father in BART station, local residents went from peaceful protest to violence yesterday.
I was still living in Los Angeles in 1992 when the Rodney King riots engulfed the Southland. I’m having some eerie flashbacks here. Does nothing ever change? Do we never learn from our past?