My friend Aspen Suicide of the Suicide Girls (that's her in the photo) put a conversation we had up on the SuicideGirls website. You don't need to be a member to view this article and you will not be able to see any naked pictures on this page. So don't worry!
I like this article a lot because it's not really a normal interview. Aspen and I have become pals over the course of the time I've been writing for Suicide Girls. She's very interested in Yoga and spent several months one year in India on an extended retreat. She's not so interested in Zen, although she has made it to the Hill Street Center a couple times sometimes with her fellow Suicide Girl James (there's some extra incentive for you to show up!). As she says in the piece, our usual routine is to eat burritos and complain, which is always a lot of fun (seriously). Sometimes we watch LOST together and I point out all the really ridiculous faux Buddhist nonsense. I love the show, the same way I loved Kung Fu, which was also full of faux Buddhist nonsense.
Aspen wrote this piece by typing out what we were saying as we talked. So it's not really a transcript of exactly what was said. Like when she asked what I was suffering about and I said "cookies," it was more to get a laugh out of her as she typed up the answer. Although I do suffer an awful lot about cookies, I have to admit. And the comment about "going back to Knoxville" refers to visiting my sister there. In the context of the piece it sounds like I once lived there, but I never did. Anyhow, it's a fun article.
As a quick aside here, someone recently asked me if I felt any qualms about writing for a website with the word "suicide" in its name. The writer felt it might offend people whose lives have been touched by suicides.
As a person whose life has been touched, perhaps irrevocably altered, by the suicide of an acquaintance who I deeply admired, I don't find the name of the website particularly bothersome. You can't possibly avoid offending everyone, so I don't even bother anymore. I know some folks think it's vital that no Buddhist should ever do anything that anyone anywhere in the world could possibly take offense to. But I disagree with that completely. I'm sorry if it might turn people away from what I write. But, then again, if something like that turns you away, you're probably not the type of person who would enjoy what I write anyway.
I do know that the name of the website derives from the old term "suicide blond." A suicide blond is someone who bleaches her hair. It's a joke that "she dyed by her own hand." I've also heard Missy, the co-founder of the site, came to regret its name. But by then it was too late to change it.
Also, Phil Fox Rose quoted me in his Busted Halo column.
If you want to read this blog in Greek go here. I'd say "It's all Greek to me," but that'd be too obvious, so I won't.
Also Gustav Ericcson just started a really wonderful blog about Gudo Nishijima. Go take a look!
My next live gig is at Dawson College in Montreal tomorrow (Mon. April 27, 2009) at Noon. Then I'm at Casa del Popolo, also in Montreal, Tuesday at 7 PM. All details are on the link over to your left, as well as info about upcoming stuff in Detroit and Saskatoon.
Oh! And the hardcore band I play bass for, Zero Defex will play The Comet in Detroit on Friday May 1st with The Amino Acids. Be there!