Thursday, August 06, 2009


I just got off the phone with Mickey X-Nelson, drummer of Zero Defex (0DFx). He reminded me that today is the 64th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. I'd completely forgotten!

I'm leaving tomorrow to start my next world tour, so I don't have time to pay proper tribute. I'll just leave you with this video clip, that I'm sure everyone who reads this blog has already seen twenty times.

Let's hope no one ever drops another A-Bomb again...


Some Brit said...

Oh joy unbounded!
I never thought it would happen...not to me.

Some Brit said...

See you very soon in Lil Ol England, Brad. You might like to sing along:

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee ?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set ;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.

C'mon, Brad - SING!

Anonymous said...


Chris said...

I'd rather drop an F-bomb than an A-Bomb. that's just me.

Mysterion said...

Here is a reenactment of Hiroshima.

When I went to work for a Japanese Company in 1982 - and first went to Japan - I asked to go to Hiroshima but was politely told to wait a few years and then we would go.

As it turned out, I never went.

My Haiku was once thought to say something about the bomb (it doesn't - at least to me).

Anonymous said...


Mysterion said...

From the US Department of Energy:

"Some 70,000 people probably died as a result of initial blast, heat, and radiation effects. This included about twenty American airmen being held as prisoners in the city. By the end of 1945, because of the lingering effects of radioactive fallout and other after effects, the Hiroshima death toll was probably over 100,000. The five-year death total may have reached or even exceeded 200,000, as cancer and other long-term effects took hold."

The figures are higher...

Nobody can be certain, but estimates are as high as 210,000 deaths in the first six hours.

Of the 1,400 believers in Urakami Roman Catholic Church at the time of the bombing, 850 were killed by the A-bomb. Statues of the Holy Mother and Saint John were charred by the heat rays. Urakami, is a village on the edge of Hiroshima where believers have kept their faith since Christianity was introduced to Japan in 1551.

That's only 1/2 of the story. Aug. 9th marks the effective end of christianity in Japan. It is considered very bad karma to be a christian in Japan.

Lauren said...

When I was working in Saijyo in Ehime-ken some colleagues offered to take me to Hiroshima. I felt very weird there. Remorse for the loss of life, period, and remorse that the US dropped the Bomb. As I was walking through the museum looking at morbid dioramas of people walking with skin slaking off, etc... about six loads of school buses came rushing in. Kids with work sheets were running gleefully from placard to placard. How many died? What was the kiloton equivalent? How many weeks before the fires stopped? Not a care in the world for what had "happened"....just looking for the data, to complete the worksheet, to get the grade. How extremely bizarre it was.

Anonymous said...


Mumon said...

I was asked if I wanted to go there, but frankly, my visit to Tokyo was enough for me.

Like much of Germany, there are not many particularly old buildings to be found in Tokyo, despite the fact that the city dates from hundreds of years ago (though destroyed by fire at least twice, including once from the Great Kanto earthquake).

The fact that you could be in such a historical place, and the fact that 19/20 buildings or more could not have been older than post-war shouted out the obvious. The knowledge that that city was firebombed (with about 100K killed), plus the mute testimony of the current city was enough for me.

Exploiting the mass-energy equivalence to kill people was what made Hiroshima so ghastly of course; such is the concentration of energy in matter.

But in WWII a far greater number of people were killed via the electromagnetic force (responsible for chemical reactions) and gravity, and death was administered via these forces simply out of pure malice and indifference.

Anonymous said...

Truman was just another in a long line of
American sociopaths who still rule us today.

"War will exist until that distant day when
the conscientious objector enjoys the same
reputation and prestige that the warrior
does today."
--John F. Kennedy

"I want to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces
and scatter it to the winds."
--John F. Kennedy

cf. "JFK and the Unspeakable".

BTW, "the Unspeakable" was a term coined by Thomas Merton.

Anonymous said...

Mumon said...
"Like much of Germany, there are not many particularly old buildings to be found in Tokyo..."

Sociopath Robert McNamara was
in large part responsible for both
the effectiveness of the firebombing
of Tokyo and the disastrous Vietnam War.

Really said...

For those of us gripped by Brad/Gudo MMK speculation, there are signs of progress - and of the input of a native English speaker:

Hope springs eternal.

Really said...

...But it's still a mess, with bits of chapter one mixed with bits of chapter two (due, I guess, to copy/paste error) - and still replete with Gudo-skrit. Here's just one example that caught my eye:

"8. Just the hanging world is this world,
Therefore the Real Universe has been shown already.
Just in the hanging world, or in the Universe,
Where is it necessary for us to find the hanging world again?"

"Hanging world" can only(?) be Gudo's reading of "anaalambana... dharma" more usually translated as "a thing without objective support", or "a dharma having no objective condition", the objective, supporting condition being one of the the four conditions (pratyayaa- which Gudo translates as The Real Truth) of the Abhidharmikas.

There again, genius rarely follows convention. And I mean that!

Anonymous said...

yes, no more A-Bombs on anyone EVER.


Anonymous said...

p.s. have a great trip!


Anonymous said...

War is a Racket

Really said...

Just one (promise) more bit of Gudo-skrit from today's blog:

"6. ...a person, who is criticized by others, is prone
to be the objects of others censure."

"7. When a person, who acts, is criticized..."

Where does Gudo get "criticized" from? And what has it got to do with the subject of the verse/chapter (an examination of the nature of movement)? Well, it is one of the senses of "tiraskRtya", and is included as such in the Monier-Williams dictionary. But in the context of the verse, which clearly deals with the possibility of a mover seperate from "movement", the meaning here must be "set aside, removed, seperate from" (also in the dictionary, and discernable from analysis of the roots of the words - as agreed by at least three, and probably all, other translators.

6 above, should read "...for, separate from a mover..."

7 above, should read "If movement, seperate from [one who moves]..." or similar.

Gudo's reading is simply wrong, and leads him here, imo, to compose a couple of meaningless passages.

Harry said...

Dear Mr./Mrs. Really,


How appropriate.

Maybe read the verse again forgetting old Gudo, forgetting your criticism, forgetting 'Buddhism' and its larger than death geniuses: read from the perspective of being criticised, from the perspective of criticising, from the perspective of criticizing oneself or others, from the objective perspective of 'no criticism', and from the perspective of actually doing something real in the present moment where we've really gotta do something (and from any other perspective that springs to mind... let me know).

What separates what from the mover?

Seems like a valid statement regardless of its legit or dubious (or both!) origins.

Thanks for the chuckle, and for the alternative interpretation.



Mysterion said...

FDR took Kyoto and Nara off the targets list. Either Kyoto or Nara would be a nice place to see older (e.g. over 1,000 year old) buildings.

Oldest wooden building in the world is in Nara.

I trundled down to Kyoto on my first weekend in Japan. That was well worth the trip.

Why, it was better then purchasing a splinter from shakspur's chair. Some estimate that not less than 4,000 chairs were drafted for this purpose. It is unlikely that the bard ever owned 4,000 chairs. I seriously doubt that Will Shakspur ever penned a line, let alone a letter or play.

Mysterion said...

The karma of the MMK is to forever be a mess.

It is a questionable document of questionable authorship - a brahmin 'serpent noble' who could make himself invisible and have his way with a harem. RIGHT!


even more

Beyond the three baskets of wisdom, there is only commentary. Indeed, much contained in the three baskets is commentary.

You know the old saying:

"Love one another, the rest is commentary."

And I am not a member of the tribe (of stolen Israel - e.g. Jacob) or any other tribe - well I am R1a.

He came, Esau, he conquered (by theft). This is no more than a good fable to include in a collection of bedtime stories.

Noah Webster said...


"Land of hope and glory" has become vulgar in America.

Ice Puck said...

who would graduate in a hockey arena?

Harry said...

Here's my notes (in brackets) of an interesting passage:

6. The two factors, the one is a person to go and the other is an Action to be done, are combined into one,

The two factors of the Real Action to go, that is, a person to go, and
an Action to be done, are combined into one confirmedly.

(In Action, or Buddhist practice, Zazen, balanced activity, or whatever, there's no 'other self', it's a dynamic whole state).

Generally speaking, a person, who is criticized by others, is prone
to be the objects of othersユ censure.

(This is a common situation arising from the widespread human disposition of considering the world, and aspects of our self even, as 'out there'. Others in the world, or aspects of our self, are seen as 'exterior' what with all our value judgements and cherished opinions and our generally not minding our own fucking vital business).

Therefore the problem of Action to go itself is prone to disappear

(Therefore because Action, or Buddhist practice, realises the dynamic state of wholeness, Action itself is always actually free of criticism, it naturally springs free of any subjective problem).

7. When a person, who acts, is criticized,

A problem of the Real Action to do, does not appear actually to be
the special object discussed at all.

(Our criticism and the criticised are not really the same thing, although we usually mistake the two as inseparable)

If there were no chance for everyone to do anything at all,
it might be very happy,

(If we didn't have to do anything at all it might be a very restful and nice world)

But where is it possible for anyone to have such a happy condition,
even anywhere at all?

(But we know by the pains in our ass that we have to Act, that we have to do Zazen, that we have to make some effort and do stuff even if we will get the inevitable criticism of others).



Really said...

Hi Harry,

I did as you advised, indeed I'd already done as you advised, and read the verse(s) as the work of one man writing something he wants others to read and understand. Sorry Harry, but it meant nothing to me, and still means nothing to me. And I guarantee it'll mean nothing to most who read it. I'm pleased you (appear to) have a clear insight into Gudo's meaning. I too have made some guesses, but remain confused.

I don't give a flying fuck about "Buddhism", but like you, Gudo, and many other "Buddhists" I find the sayings of many past "Buddhists" interesting. It's a hobby. I don't mind folks re-writing it, ignoring it, or burning it. But when we do something, like translating or interpreting a very old book, we should do it well. Then we can throw it away. If we what we do is not done well, we should hope that those who value us are honest with us. I was aware of the irony of the excerpt I chose to critique. How, I wonder, do you think Gudo takes criticism? I usually react badly.

"What separates what from the mover?" I give up. What's the answer?

Looking forward to the book,

Peace, dharma bro ;-)

Harry said...

Hello Really,

Dogen pulled a nice gig with 'What?'.

'What is this that thus comes?'

rendered as:

'What?' is This that thus comes...

and all that. Insufferable old Bastards, were,nt they? But they were on top of it all methinks (and I suspect their command of the english language left much less to be desired than Gudo does).



Harry said...

...Gudo: Therefore the problem of Action to go itself is prone to disappear naturally.

My note earlier: (Therefore because Action, or Buddhist practice, realises the dynamic state of wholeness, Action itself is always actually free of criticism, it naturally springs free of any subjective problem).

...I'd like to add to that note that maybe in Action, in Buddhist practice, we don't so much 'spring free' of criticism in that we 'leave it behind' or 'transcend it' or something, but we realise it as what it is and it realises us in what we are currently actually doing.



Really said...

My last post crossed yours, Harry.
I've just read it, and yes, generally, that's the kind of thing I too would put together out of what Gudo has written. I'd be guessing. I've read similar, expressed much better, elsewhere by Gudo and others. But it's not what Nagarjuna wrote.

Ok...maybe it IS what Nagarjuna meant -

Like I said many posts ago, if Gudo and or Brad want to write a book inspired by or making reference to Nagarjuna/the MMK, then I for one will buy it - perhaps that's what the finished article will be. But the work in progress, which Gudo insists on publishing stage by stage, purports to be a translation, correcting previous translations (Gudo has said). It is not that.

Thank you for publishing your notes.

Anonymous said...

when discipline becomes the task at hand

Some Brit said...

Noah Webster wrote:

"Land of hope and glory" has become vulgar in America."

It was never anything else over ere mate. Even Elgar thought so. (He only wrote the tune you know, not the words).

Harry said...

Hi, Really.

What do you want?


Why aren't you doing it yourself (or, what makes you think other people will do it for you to your own preferred ideal spec)?

This stuff points to such questions I think.

I don't know what Nagarjuna meant, and I don't know if what a dead man meant can really help me out much. There's a lot of dead guys with good ideas. There's not so many living Masters that I can contact for clarification though.

The latest purport is that it's an 'interpretive translation', but, even if it was being sold as the 'Definitive Ultimate Universal Exact Truth of what Old Nagar Was Getting At' I would still read it and take what was useful without being so much of a dick as to swallow it whole...

Real situations are complicated of times.

Moral of story for me: Don't be a dick!

Best Regards,


Tornadoes28 said...

Or any other bomb.

Really said...

Hi H,

What do I want?
Why aren't I doing it Myself?

LOL! Excellent questions!

But sticking, just for a few more moments, with Gudo/MMK and so forth...

There's the original MMK text, with enough translations and commentaries, to keep me busy for this, my one lifetime. MMK-wise, I have what I want. I've just enough sanksrit to clarify meanings to my own satisfaction, as I strive to understand it. I've no desire to publish my own version. And I have no "ideal spec". I look forward to buying Brad and Gudo's version when it comes out. I shall relinquish all views while reading if!!

Meanwhile, I want very little, and I am doing it myself.

Mumon said...


It's in Nara prefecture, in the town of Horyuji, which, as you'd guess, is named after the temple..

Anonymous said...

How could Gotama call himself a Buddhist without reading the MMK? Charlatan or what?

Anonymous said...

Heads existence
Tails non-existence

Mysterion said...

Peace to the Max.

everything else is BULLSHIT

Barry B said...

Really, it's just important that the text moves you or inspires you. It doesn't matter whether the translation is in the least bit accurate. I was inspired. I was inspired to go buy a hebrew to english dictionary tomorrow and begin my translation of the bible. No, I don't actually read hebrew but I plan to give a good interpretation of what I think the bible means. Since all translation is really just interpretation and opinion no one should criticize my effort. If this works out, I'm doing the same thing with the tao te ching and maybe the egyptian book of the dead.

Justin said...

On the other hand, the Garfield translation / interpretation is very good and very coherent. I recommend it.

Harry said...

You suck for looking!




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