BRIT HUME, ZEN & YOGA RETREAT, BUDDHISM & SEX LECTURE SERIES, MONSTER ATTACK TEAM and AGAINST THE STREAM
Before we get started, two things I gotta mention:
On Saturday January 16th starting at 10 am we will have our first ever Zen and Yoga retreat at Hill Street Center (237 Hill St., Santa Monica, CA 90405). Full info can be found by clicking on the words "Zen and Yoga retreat" above. We're still working on the actual schedule. I mean the date and starting time are fixed. But the schedule within the actual day might change slightly from what's listed on that page.
And in February I will do a series of lectures about Buddhism and Sex also at Hill Street Center. Again, info can be found by clicking on the words "series of lecture about Buddhism and sex" above. And again, the actual schedule within the days themselves might change a bit, though the dates and starting times are fixed.
Also, on Sunday January 17th at 11 am I will be leading Zazen and speaking at Against The Stream at 4300 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90029. Be there or be a dope!
Also, I did a big ol' article about my work at Tsuburaya Productions for issue 8 of the magazine Monster Attack Team. I believe the on-line version is available now and the print version is soon to come. So get yours! I'm really pretty jazzed about the piece I wrote for them. Not much Buddhism in it. But I also have a whole other life.
OK. Now to the rest of what I have to say...
Did I ever complain here about how I have the world's slowest Internet connection? It's an AT&T deal called 3G Watcher that uses cell phone signals or some damn thing. Man, it's annoying! But I keep it cuz it keeps me from surfing the Internets and wasting time.
Anyhow, this could be why I completely missed my quote in this YAHOO! News article until someone posted it in the comments section of the article before this one.
The reporter talked to me on the phone for about 45 minutes. She kept asking, "What would you say to Tiger Woods if he asked you for advice?" And I'm like, well, I don't know Tiger Woods. I don't really know what's actually going on in his life. I don't like to give people advice even if I know them well.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, says the reporter, but if he asked you specifically for advice what would you say?
And I'm all like, first off I'd tell him that my advice isn't much good since I don't really know you...
And the reporter's like, c'mon, you must have some kind of advice!
And I'm like, well, I guess I'd just tell him what I tell everybody... y'know, do some Zazen, try to see clearly what your actual circumstances are without judging or thinking too much about them. Just see it for what it is. This takes years of practice.
"OK!" says the reporter, "Bye!" -click!-
Read the article yourself to see how I was quoted. Yes, I did say that. But no I did not say that at all...
I'm oversimplifying a little. The article contains a lot of good stuff, some of which I said but which isn't credited to me, probably because the reporter heard pretty much the same thing from every Buddhist she spoke with. The stuff about karma and the lack of any creator God who can prevent the law of cause and effect from smacking you in the ass when you do stupid shit. It's a pretty good piece, all things considered. Although I'm not real sure I understand Robert Thurman's use of the word "sin." Then again, his daughter is smoking hot. So I'll forgive just about anything he says. Anyhow, the reporter did listen to me, but the folks out there in Americaland wanted Buddhist advice. So that's what they got.
Whatever. This whole business is kind of amazing to me. I knew there was a ton of ignorance and misinformation about Buddhism out there in Americaland. But it's still kind of astounding to see just how deep it goes. You see Buddha statues and paintings and Zen-this and Zen-that all over the damn place. Yet folks out there really don't know squat about Buddhism.
I'd never even heard of Brit Hume before this whole business erupted. So I guess that shows my own ignorance. But thanks to him a few people will get interested in finding out more about Buddhism. Their interest will probably last all of seven and a half minutes. But it's better than nothing.
Jon Stewart had some of the best stuff to say about this matter. Here is the latest clip I've seen. Unfortunately this will probably be the end of the matter as far as the Daily Show is concerned.
As for Tiger, I really have no advice for him. Maybe he could advise me on how to pick up girls! If we're talking about a situation in which two people who don't know each other meet and one asks how to fix his marriage and the other asks how to pick up chicks, the guy who asks how to pick up chicks is gonna come out way ahead.
The problem with Buddhism is that it can't possibly fit into a sound byte. Neither can Christianity or any religion. But at least with Christianity in the West there's a significant existing base of knowledge to build upon. With Buddhism there is virtually no understanding at all in so-called "middle America."
What irks me about this is how a guy like Brit Hume, armed with pretty much zero understanding about Buddhism just mouths off on the subject like he knows it all. Think about it. If the entirety of Buddhism had no way at all of dealing with such a common thing as marital infidelity it couldn't possibly have lasted 2500 years and picked up several hundred million adherents. Feh!
My friend Bob Johnson of Sci Fi Japan made a real good point once that I'm sure I've mentioned here. Like me, Bob is a Godzilla geek. He said that every time he reads an article about Godzilla in the mainstream media they can't even get the most basic facts straight. After noticing this he started wondering if the "facts" he was hearing from the same media outlets about the so-called "real news" were any more trustworthy. He concluded they probably were not. I tend to agree.
Ah fooey! This is why I don't have cable TV.