Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DEATH TO ALL MONSTERS!

So... what do you wanna know?

I see people are speculating on why I closed the comments section.

There were a lot of reasons. There were definitely good things about it. Some of the regular commenters were friendly, sometimes insightful. I liked reading Jinzang's postings, for example and even some of the trolls were at least entertaining.

It was also the free-est Buddhist themed discussion group on the 'net. A guy I know tried to sign up for one of the other on-line Buddhist groups and got the third degree from the owner before he was even allowed to join, let alone post anything (which would have been censored according to the owner's ideas of what was and wasn't "right speech"). And I was letting anybody post anything they wanted.

But I got sick of handing over a free platform to weenies with axes to grind, usually against me. People can say whatever the hell they want. But I didn't see any reason I had to give them space to do it. So now they have to denounce me on their own damned blogs. Or at least over on Aaron's blog where I don't have to look at it (see below). Plus I started seeing lots of things attributed to me that I hadn't said. They were from the comments section! People get confused sometimes...

I've been motorin' away lately on Nishijima Roshi's translation of Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamikakarika. Lots of folks have asked me about the release date that's been announced on Amazon. I think they have it coming out on November 3rd? Something like that. Well, I'll be amazed if I'm even done with the first round of editing by November 3rd. The publishers have told me it'll be out in Spring.

Lots of things happening in Spring! At least that's the promises I've been hearing. Hardcore Zen is set to come out in German, Polish and Greek editions in Spring. And it's likely I'll be touring in Europe behind those releases. Yay! I'm still waiting to hear word back on where I'll be and when.

My next mainstream book is due out in Autumn of 2010. So far the provisional title is SIN, SEX AND ZEN. New World Library likes the title. So unless I or they come up with something better over the next few months, that title will probably stick. As the title suggests, the book will be about sin and about sex and about Zen. Three topics near and dear to my heart!

I've also started re-working a novel I wrote in the mid-late 90's. At the time it was called DESTROY ALL SPACEMEN. But if I finish it I'm gonna re-title it DEATH TO ALL MONSTERS! (with the exclamation point). It's a novel about an American guy who works in Tokyo for a company that produces Japanese monster films. It turns out one of the movies his company made may or may not contain footage of an actual UFO shot down by the Japanese military near the end of World War II as well as scenes of its living occupant. The film was pulled off of distribution in the 60s and no one's seen a copy since. Our hero, rabid fanboy that he is, just wants to have a peak at the film, which he finds deep in the company vaults. But when he does all hell breaks loose.

The story is a fictionalization of my real life at Tsuburaya Productions. There really is an episode of the giant monster vs. giant superhero TV series Ultra Seven that hasn't been seen since the early 70s. Or at least it wasn't seen between then and circa 1998 when I allowed a copy to be broadcast on the Turner Broadcasting Network in the USA. They showed it at like 4 am one morning as a filler. Management wasn't happy with me about that. The fanboys went nutzo when it came out. So did a lot of very weird "business people" in SE Asia.

The book is also about what life was like in Japan at the time, the people I knew there, the things we did. Nishijima Roshi is even a character. I like the book a lot. But it needs some fixing up before I send it anywhere. I could use someone who's an expert on Japan in WWII if anyone's interested in advising me on a few areas. Particularly the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (so-called "Manchukuo"). Write me at spoozilla@gmail.com.

And speaking of Amazon.com (which we were a while back), could a few of you who actually liked ZEN WRAPPED IN KARMA go over there and put some decent reviews of the thing up? Last I looked the top review was by some weasel who wanted to comment about his uninformed opinions on my marriage. It's interesting that so many people like to natter about the sex stuff in that book. But nobody likes to say anything about the disease and death stuff, which is far more important if you ask me. But who asks me? Nobody! That's who!

OK. Whatever. Come see me in Canada (dates below):

• November 13, 2009 - I will be in Vancouver BC speaking at the local Dharma Punx chapter on November 13th. Details are coming soon. Probably another gig will happen the following day. The gig on the 13th will be a talk and the one on the 14th will likely be several rounds of zazen followed by discussion.

•November 17, 2009 7pm, Victoria, BC Canada, University of Victoria Interfaith Chapel, Lot #6 UVic Ring Road, Tuesday Zen Open House, Zen meditation and Q&A;, contact office@zenwest.ca for more info
They run a beginner’s group each week. 3x15 minute sits with a talk in the second one (just 15 minutes). Afterward there is tea, introductions, and a period of question and response.

• November 19, 2009 7pm, Victoria, BC Canada, University of Victoria Interfaith Chapel, Lot #6 UVic Ring Road, Public talk, contact office@zenwest.ca for more info
This will be my main talk, your standard issue ask the zen guy questions. Books will be for sale. Fun will be had by all.

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