Monday, February 13, 2012

Goodbye Fuck You Bob


I heard last night that Fuck You Bob was dead and it made me sad.

The Record Pub website put up this obituary about Bob. The Kent Patch put up an article about his memorial service. And Nick Rock put together this video tribute to him.

Bob's friends are making an effort to put the proper spin on his life as an artist and his contributions to the town as a philosopher and intellectual. I appreciate that. I think it's a good thing. But the tribute-makers seem to want to avoid the one thing that most people remember best about Bob. And that is the fact that Bob Wood walked around Kent, Ohio for decades telling people to fuck off.

I first encountered Bob when I was a freshman at Kent State University. I was sitting in one of the big lecture halls one night to see a movie. It was some sort of indie artsy film. Maybe Eraserhead or something along those lines. I don't remember the movie at all, though. What I remember is Fuck You Bob.

I was there with Mick Hurray, the drummer of Zero Defex. Bob was directly in front of us. And he kept giving us the finger. He never turned around. He never said anything. He just flipped us the bird over and over. And he was doing it in a really weird way. He kept turning his hands at different angles (he was giving it to us with both hands) so as to make certain we got his message.

We thought this was hilarious. So we gave him the finger back. I'm not sure if he saw this, though. Like I said, he never turned around. We weren't angry or offended at all. It was much too weird for that.

Throughout my time as a student at Kent State I saw Fuck You Bob around town. He had a load of bizarre behaviors. For example, I once saw him walking down the middle of a busy street. Every time a car would come by, he'd jump up on the sidewalk and wait for it to pass. Then he'd get back into the road and continue walking.

Several years after this I moved back to Kent after living in Chicago for a while. I was walking down Franklin Avenue from downtown toward the Kent Zendo, where I lived. I saw Fuck You Bob coming my way. I wondered what he was going to do. He didn't say anything as he passed me, didn't even give me the finger. And I found myself being a little offended at this. He said "fuck you" to everyone else in town. He'd even said "fuck you" to me on more than one occasion. Was he snubbing me now? What did I do to him?

But a couple seconds after he passed I heard him say, "Suck my dick." And you know what? I felt good. I'm not even joking. I still remember how nice I felt to have been told by Fuck You Bob to suck his dick. If he hadn't said anything to me that day I'd probably still feel I'd been slighted.

I never encountered Fuck You Bob again after that day. But I remember being in Japan and hearing from friends back home that Bob had gotten better. He was getting his art exhibited around town. He was studying for his Master's degree. And shockingly, he wasn't saying "fuck you" quite as often anymore. Though I was relieved to hear that he still did it sometimes.

Bob had a lot of what most people think of as "mental diseases." A lot of people said he had Tourette's Syndrome. But I never heard of anyone having officially made that diagnosis. Still, he was an odd character.

I always wondered if his habit of telling people to fuck off ever got him in real trouble. Kent State University is not one of those schools that attract the best and the brightest this nation has to offer. Heck, I even went there! One of these days I'll tell you about my first roommate. God that guy was as dumb as a box of putty. If Fuck You Bob was flipping the bird to guys like that, especially when they were drunk, which they always were, he was surely getting the crud beat out of him on a regular basis. I hope he was at least targeting wimps like me who weren't likely to get very mad at him.

The concept of mental disease is an interesting one. We know enough about the proper functioning of the kidneys or the bladder or the spleen to be able to diagnose when they're working incorrectly. But when it comes to the brain, things get a bit murkier.

Take someone like Bob. In many ways it would be easy to dismiss him as crazy. But from what I can tell and from what I've heard he lived pretty much the life he wanted to live. He was by all accounts a very intelligent and even kind person. He probably had no desire at all to fit in with regular society. And he didn't. I admire him for finding a way to live his life on his own terms.

He was also, from what I've heard, kind of a pain in the ass to people who knew him. I don't know the details. But I can guess. I mean, for gosh sakes he was saying "fuck you" to everybody in town all the time. That alone is hard to deal with.

One of the things Zen has helped me with is my own tendency to be a sort of Fuck You Bob type character. My difficulties in dealing with society are not as deep seated as his were. But I too have some serious problems reconciling what I know to be true with the bullshit most people seem to believe. I could have easily gone in a direction that would have ended me up in much the same shape as Bob. The Zen thing helped me be able to laugh at the collective illusions society shares and yet still play the game well enough to get by.

This is why I get so annoyed when some people try to turn Zen into what most religions these days have become, a way to placate people so they're numb enough to function as cogs in the social machine. It's not about that.

To me it's about finding your inner Fuck You Bob and making peace with that. But without killing it off or boxing it up either. That's also important.

I'll miss Fuck You Bob. I wish I could've met him just once and sat down and told him how much it meant to me when he told me to suck his dick. I really wonder what he'd have said. Maybe he'd have told me to fuck off.

132 comments:

john e mumbles said...

Fuck you all!

Mysterion said...

We'll never know the world from Bob's perspective...

or will we?

Mysterion said...

at least he wasn't a 9/11 conspiracy freak - or was he?

Khru said...

FYB sounds like true artist...like "The Bush Man" at Fisherman's wharf in San Francisco who holds a fake bush in front of himself on the sidewalk and jumps out to scare you when you walk by...

Rest in Peace, sweet prince.

anon #108 said...

Sounds like a total fucking arsehole to me. Fuck him.

Anonymous said...

"This is why I get so annoyed when some people try to turn Zen into what most religions these days have become, a way to placate people so they're numb enough to function as cogs in the social machine. It's not about that."

After a couple of years of practice, which I came to later in life, I think it's also not a way to placate people to function as cogs in the Zen machine, either. Like so many women I've known who were taught to please people, I find that shedding that knee-jerk pleasing response and acting in a more truthful way, as in true nature, is choice that shows up right in my face often. I think people pleasers in active Zen centers need to learn to say "no" as much as "yes".

Uncle Willie said...

RIP, Bob, and fuck you, too.

I've never heard of Bob before but I still view this as a greater loss than that of Whitney Houston.

Speaking of music that's much better than Whitney Houston...

http://www.hulu.com/watch/327835/foo-fighters-back-and-forth

A-Bob said...

Anon #108, You might be right. Or maybe FU-Bob was unfortunate enough never to recover from early self administered experiments if you get my drift.. He did live in a college town throughout the 60s.

But there's no doubt the guy had a cool name.

CAPTCHA : repro : I kid you not

Shojin B said...

Crap, Fuck You Bob sounds like Flint, a fellow I met at Food Not Bombs. Flint's line was "All you punk ass bitches can eat shit and die...*ptew*" People like these have some deep wisdom. Without Flint, I don't think I could have clearly seen how I am a punk ass bitch.

roman said...

this fuck you Bob is so similar to now famous Czech photographer Miroslav Tichy, who had a very similar lifestyle and philosophy and was absolutely annoyed when he got famous and people came to his house to ask him for now very special and expensive photographs he dropped around carelessly his house

chech this out> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg9rTIGtENs&feature=related

Jamal said...

Uncle Willie WTF?

Have a little respect brother. There was NOT a better singer than Whitney.

Blake said...

Fuck you, Brad.

Zippy Rinpoche said...

Brad wrote: This is why I get so annoyed when some people try to turn Zen into what most religions these days have become, a way to placate people so they're numb enough to function as cogs in the social machine. It's not about that.

Nothing wrong with playing a cog in the social machine, as long as you're really playing. Doesn't require numbness if you have the right attitude. I think for the majority of religious people, religion doesn't provide numbness. If it did, it wouldn't be so popular.

Religion provides structure. It provides rules, and for many, a sense of identity and positive self-esteem as long as they're following the rules. Like, for example, Mormons wearing garments and not masturbating, or Buddhists not drinking or eating meat.

dan heavy said...

We got one of those dudes in my town as well! Except he is always giving you a mumbled and gravelly, "You fucking cunt."

Anonymous said...

Zippy, When you're right you're right, and you are right.

Uncle Willie said...

Jamal,

"Everyone was really sad last night at the Grammies, just one day after Whitney Houston died, because she was such a special talent and impossible to replace. So to make everyone feel better, Jennifer Hudson sang Whitney’s big hit, "I Will Always Love You".

"That of course is a song that Dolly Parton wrote in 1973, and Hudson sang it every bit as good as she did, so it turns out Whitney is not that special and can be replaced on about 24 hours notice. Whew, what a relief!"

http://www.wwtdd.com/2012/02/whitney-houston-is-easily-replaced/

Moni said...

"I think people pleasers in active Zen centers need to learn to say "no" as much as "yes". "

Not only in the Zen centers,but anywhere else it would help a lot if people would learn to say no, be a bit more skeptical and would not obey rules and hierarchical systems so much.

Jamal said...

"Hudson sang it every bit as good as she did, so it turns out Whitney is not that special and can be replaced on about 24 hours notice."

Well Willie, I see what the problem is. You got a tin ear. One black girl singer seems as good or as bad as the other to you. I gots it.

And thanks for link to that trash.

Moni said...

Hi again. I just remembered one question. I am reading the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and there was something quite interesting about consciousness even while dreaming.

(I am not sure if I use the correct expressions as you might have noticed I am not a native English speaker :) )

I remember that someone wrote about this in the comments couple of weeks ago, but I am not sure who it was.

Is there anyone here who has experienced something like this? I had only ends of dreams or nightmares when before they were ending I was "calming down" myself telling in the dream,that it is only a dream and I will wake up soon.

In this book they also write that people`s dreams and nightmares tell a lot about how the state of their mind is going to be in the bardo period after death. Does anyone know what does this mean? It is quite hard to imagine how the dreams are related to the state of the mind after death.

I know,that it is only one book and also that Tibetan Buddhism is not Zen,but I thought to post this question here in case anyone has read the book or has any comment on this issue.

Uncle Willie said...

That's right, Jamal. They all sound alike and they all look alike to all of us white people. You really have us all figured out. Congratulations.

(That was sarcasm for those who can't see the obvious as clearly as Jamal can.)

"Whitney The Singer" was murdered about 10 years ago by "Whitney The Drug Addict" so people who are mourning the singer now are about a decade too late.

(That part wasn't sarcasm.)

16th President said...

Hell yeah!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34x6m-ahGIo

Jamal said...

Willie, Don't go all angry white man on me. YOU fixated on the word black instead of girl or even singer. All I said was that you is as deaf as a statue of James Buchanan.

Mysterion said...

A turn-out of 200 is great.

When my old barber died a decade ago, 250 turned out. The kewl thing about Richie (now under new management) is that you never got a really good haircut. But Richie wasn't playing with a full deck and the haircut that you got represented his best effort. Also, the longer you sat in the chair and BSed with him, the shorter you hare became.

Mysterion said...

long hare

Anonymous said...

..
...
....
Fuck you Mysterion - Sit down and shut up!

I'm glad I can spare you people half the shit I think. ;)

This fuck you bob sounds pretty Zen, if I may say so. Which I will, because - Fuck you! (Flipping you the bird right now!!) :)

John Baker said...

"Not only in the Zen centers,but anywhere else it would help a lot if people would learn to say no, be a bit more skeptical and would not obey rules and hierarchical systems so much."

Many times, people think of Zen as being simple, direct, iconoclastic, anti-authoritarian and unattached. It supposedly helps produce people who possess a fundamental insight into life; people who are not fooled by appearances or ideas. But the reality is that almost everything about Western Zen's presentation, practice, and rituals is aimed at producing people who give up their good sense with the promise of some sort of imaginary greater gain in the future. Now, bear in mind that this is obviously a general statement and it demands further qualification, but it serves to introduce some of the problems that need and ought to be addressed. This is not a new idea nor is it unique to Chan/Zen. David Hume said in his Of the First principles of Government (1758) that "Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers."

The reason for this surrender, certainly in the case of Western Zen, is structural and self-perpetuating.

Viewfinder Visuals said...

If we were mates and we could sit down and have a chat I would say "Brad, I respect your honesty, candour, and your desire to seek a path, but I have issues with you". My introduction to you was through your first book "Hardcore Zen" and I thought wow, not Alan Watts! If only your subsequent books or this web site had progressed, sadly you seem to be meandering every way but forward, content to continually point out the failings of other teachers or yourself or life itself. That life isn't easy is where most of us start from, pointing towards failings in others or yourself is surely seeing the finger and not the moon?
So, if we were mates and sitting down for a chat I would say "Brad, the journey of....(old cliché)but don't just step, take a leap!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Viewfinder Visuals has just humiliated Brad Warner. I doubt that Brad will be able to compose himself enough to fashion a decent response. LOFL, damn.

Buddy Lee said...

Have you guys seen this?

Anonymous said...

Yeah dude, found this:

http://www.zenyoga.com/invitation/

What the fuck is going on here?

Anonymous said...

FLAFL

Anonymous said...

And this, which is even worse:

http://www.artofzenyoga.com/?page_id=268

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad this motherfucker has it all over you. You'll never make one-tenth of what this asshole makes, the fucking prick:

http://www.zenantidiet.com/?page_id=25

Viewfinder Visuals said...

Anonymous, no way have I, nor did I seek to "Humiliate" Brad. I foolishly made some comments on this blog that you have shown to be unwise if this is the way you interpret them.

As I said, I spoke out of respect and MY hope is, based on MY interpretation, is that he moves on from what I would describe as a "stalemate" position to moving forward and creating rather than commenting.

Anonymous said...

Hey Viewfinder, don't feed the trolls. They're rampant here and they'll use your own good intentions and internet naivety against you.

I'm virtually certain that's what that post by that anonymous was about.

Troll Hunter said...

Viewfinder has a point, perhaps, but is either too new, or not observant enough to have noticed Brad's various false starts, for example, trying to move forward with a description of zen as "art" that went nowhere; one can only hope that the most recent, about zen and belief in god, will fizzle out as well. What he does best is just what he does, not some hybrid breakout bullshit. He's not stale, he's stable, he's the product of dedicated practice. That he waxes and wanes in his humanity, wearing his heart on his sleeve, showing his hand and expressing opinions on whatever the fuck he wants, is a strength, not a weakness.

Mysterion said...

Some people are just "on."

Check this PIX

I'm no art critique but there are a couple of his works that even I would buy.

Mysterion said...

Kent State University is a public institution that was founded in 1910. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 21,178, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 824 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Kent State University's ranking in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities, 194. Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,346 (2011-12); out-of-state tuition and fees are $17,306 (2011-12).

on the other hand...

California State University--Chico is a public institution that was founded in 1887. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,758, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 119 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. California State University--Chico's ranking in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (West), 33*. Its in-state tuition and fees are $6,964 (2011-12); out-of-state tuition and fees are $18,124 (2011-12).

* ranked 33 on a different scale - regional for Chico v. national for Kent.

Mysterion said...

Brad:

Don't beat up on yourself or Kent State.

Admissions (Kent State)
88.7% accepted (ACT required)

Admissions (Chico)
66.8% accepted (ACT required)

The student base is almost identical.

top college matriculation rates HERE

Chico graduates 55.7% HERE

Kent is a just little lower @ 49.1% HERE

When you look at the entire picture, there's not a big difference - except for the weather [B v. C-]and size of the campus.

anonymous anonymous said...

Thanks mysterion.

Thanks for swinging the talk back to Chico State

and you.

I'm starting to think you might be some kind of idiot savant.

Anonymous said...

"I just want to say: Never lose faith in real rock and roll music, you know what I mean? Never lose faith in that," Dave Grohl said. "You might have to look a little harder, but it's always going to be there."

Always Dave? Think again.

Sabio Lantz said...

I was wondering where that post was going. Superbly written. The conclusion reminds me of a poet's wise saying:

"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
--Walt Whitman (poet)
"Song of Myself"

Kelissima said...

As as former KSU student myself in the late 80s, I too remember Fuck You Bob. He sat near me once during a classical concert I attended on campus and I finally had to move because he smelled so strongly of urine.

I'm glad he finally calmed down some and was able to exhibit his work. I had no idea he had any artistic talent but I did see him alot in the Art Building, where I worked and majored in Art History.

Maybe his telling me repeatedly to suck his dick wouldn't have offended me quite so much if he had smelled like he actually washed it once in a while. Maybe I'm just shallow :-(

Either way, peace out to Fuck You Bob...

Fred said...

"It is quite hard to imagine how the dreams are related to the state of the mind after death."

The dreams are right now. When you
wake up, there is no one to die. There is just the universe
manifesting itself.

Anonymous said...

When you wake? You're still in a dream.

Anonymous said...

"There is just the universe
manifesting itself."

Who's saying this?

Mark Foote said...

Brad, sincerely, your best yet in my time reading your write.

John Baker, you are correct that Dogen borrowed most of it from a Chinese manual and rewrote it 42 times or whatever- Bielefeldt's a genius for "Dogen's Meditations Manuals". Have you read "Zen Letters of Yuanwu" by Cleary, or the one on Foyan ("Waking Up in the Present")? Yes, importing a Japanese religion whole cloth is not real, in my opinion.

Someone is taking Brad to task for not striking out in a new direction, someone else is writing about dreams, I would like to submit my own Waking Up and Falling Asleep- just finished revising it, and last night added something I think is critical to Translations of Motion in the Lotus- where the extension of the hips by the obturators comes in (see "Anatomy of Movement" by Calais-Germain, for the hammocking of the hips by the obturators).

Thanks, all, & hey Bob F*@$!K you.

Schmee said...

Looking at FY Bob's artwork, what one can see in the video -is there a link to any more? Did he have a show(s) on campus or elsewhere? it is clear that at a certain point in time in the 1980's he would've figured into the "Outsider Artist" category, and would have possibly done quite well had there been someone around to exploit this. Unless by then he had a college degree. I could've also made a small fortune this way, having been groomed by a gallery in Chicago as an "Outsider artist" until my credibility as an "innocent" was shattered when they discovered I had a bachelor's degree. I was unceremoniously dropped like the proverbial hot potato.

Moni said...

Yes, I kind of understand what you mean with this "you are still in a dream" thing and so.

Although as an ordinary human being I can make a clear distinction of dreaming and being awake, even if I am aware during my dream, that it is only a dream. And even if I know while being awake that many things are only illusions.

My question was more related to that that in that book the author wrote that it kind of differs individually in what state our mind is when we are dreaming as it differs also when we are "awake" based on the practice, meditation, realizations etc. And somehow he wrote that this individual state of the mind reflects also after our death. Kind of understand that it is always the same mind, but then I do not see the point why he had to make the distinction between the state of the mind while dreaming (when sleeping), being awake and after dying.

Moni said...

Thanks for the link Mark, I am reading your post now.

Anonymous said...

...
Fuck you Visual Viewfinder!

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::::|:::[@]:::|:::|::\
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::::|:~:~::~::~:|::::)
::::|:::::::::::::::::::/
:::::\:::::::::::::::::/ ::::::\:::::::::::::::/
:::::::\::::_____::/
::::::::|–//''`\–:::| ::::::::| ((:+=))::|
::::::::|–\_|_//–::|

Anonymous said...

Maybe FUBob was just singing?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"..."

Get a life.

If you can't get a life, at least get an Avatar.

Yes, once upon a time, TV was monochrome.

BTW, did you go to school?

If so, how long did you last?

Just wonderin'

Anonymous said...

anonymous mysterion said, "Get a life."

Not everyone can have a life as fulfilling or rich as yours mysterion. We all wish we had so much time to waste endlessly searching the internet for that perfect silly picture or fascinating YouTube link. It is amazing what you have be able to find on the web. I think it's a gift. You are a product of higher education there's no doubt about that.

boubi said...

Quoting Brad
"I mean that when Moe hits Curly on the head with a sledgehammer, Moe is really only hitting Moe on the head with a sledgehammer. It only appears to be Curly getting hit."

I think that "fuck you Bob" was actually just cursing himself.

I too, when a teen, had this fascination of the weirdos, they seemed to me to have "that view", to be "out of the box", to be "real" while the rest was so "unreal".

Now they just seem to me very out of balance, this doesn't mean that they cannot view the other people unbalance, but they just are on the opposite side of the scale.

I think that buddhism teachs the middle way, kind of Huineng minding his own business.

Jinzang said...

Tsangnyön [author of the Biography of Milarepa] abandoned his monastic costume and engaged in outrageous behaviour, such as offering people shit to eat and throwing urine over them, which surprisingly inspired a devotional response amongst the populace.

Believing that normal behaviour would limit his ability to benefit beings, he covered himself in human ash, adorned himself with human grease and blood; severed fingers and toes from corpses and made them into a garland that he wound into his hair. He extracted intestine from corpses and made them into necklaces, armlets and anklets. Later in life he wore sartorially more upbeat carved, human-bone jewellery that were offered to him by devotees, but at this time, naked apart from these dead body parts, he would come into town, sing, dance, laugh and cry. With his penis erect, he chased women. Sometimes he bound his penis so that only his pubic hair was visible and chased men, shouting, ‘Fuck me!’ He also drank urine, ate faeces, and threw them at people, who, unsurprisingly, were usually terrified by him.

(from The Bigraphies of Rechungpa)

Anonymous said...

Show off.

Jinzang! Wow, I was just this morning thinking about how long it had been since you graced this blog! I figured you must be on retreat or something.

Can you give an answer to Moni @ 1:32 PM up there? Seems a Tibetan Buddhist response is appropriate.

Welcome back (from an old regular who's not signed in)

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"We all wish we had so much time to waste endlessly searching..."

It takes very very little time.

It takes only a cursory understanding of Boolean Algebra. But you knew that.

John Baker said...

Mysterion,

The biggest detractors of what I have to say here have not studied the Buddhist canon sufficiently to know that all of what I write has a scriptural basis. Their source of information is other than the Buddhist canon. Perhaps they are content with reading what a pop Buddhist author, like a Brad Warner or a Stephen Batchelor, has to say about what the Buddha taught. Frankly, these interpretations of Buddhism are usually lacking in depth and off-base.

There are really two views of Buddhism that are going on. There is the view of this derivative pop Buddhism and there there is the view of Buddhism from the actual, real canon (both the Nikayas/Agamas and Mahayana canon). In most cases, the two are not even close.

Anonymous said...

How much time did you waste reading that canon John Baker?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous John Baker said...
Mysterion,
"There are really two [or more] views of Buddhism that are going on..."

A point very well made.

Brad is talking about Dogen (and Shōbōgenzō), not the Pali Tripitaka. Brad is first to admit that he is no 'hardcore' upstream Buddhist scholar. He is heir to DSI and, as such, is charged with keeping the reading of Shōbōgenzō [a PDF] alive. He is doing quite well at his assigned task.

As for Stephen Batchelor???

If anyone is seriously interested in Buddhism, they need to do a little 'upstream' reading on their own - D.T. Suzuki's books come to mind as a starting point.

The Pali Tripitaka and the Sri Lanka Tripitaka are suggested reading - each with a slightly different flavor of corruption in each (neither being 'pure').

Beyond that, find an accredited college or university and take some related classes...

a few resources:
http://www.buddhanet.net/ebooks_s.htm


Hisako Feb 12
to me:
As I was reading Wikipedia info about Waseda, I found the name I often heard from Josen, my mother, and Tomako:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaichi_Aizu

Yaichi Aizu left many unpublished translations of archaic Japanese literature - many now lost. Too bad. He was 'the pro from dover' when it came to 'ancient Japanese' language, writing, and literature.

Anyway, I would never claim to be the smartest man in the room. THAT is up to Newt Gingrich.

Mark Foote said...

John Baker, man, what are you up to! I have read the Pali Suttas, Nikayas one through four (five is a later composition). Where do you think I get this gibberish!

Thanks Mysterion, for the link to the Sri Lanka project, I'll be interested to see how they translate the chapter on "intent concentration on in-breathing and out-breathing" in Sanyutta Nikaya when they get there.

As near as I can tell, and speaking strictly to myself, here's the deal: it's an exercise in writing, for Brad, for Mysterion, for john e mumbles, for Khru, for gniz, for brokenyogi, for anon#108, and apologies to those I've left out (like anonymous, where does Brad get these reality checkers extraordinaire), and if you can keep a sense of humor which I seldom do you get extra points. If we can throw enough stones in it, we have soup. Brad is a writer, who happens to have credentials as a zazen instructor. So to speak. If you say you want a revolution, you'd best be prepared to eat shit, put body parts in your hair, and chase guys down the street; if you discriminate and pontificate, anonymous will have your ass, and you'd best know you are talking to yourself and there's no one else except some stones in an electronic kettle so let's get positive and substantive and rock!
F*#*!@k us, as the Tibetan saint exclaimed.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Well written, Mark Foote! I liked "Waking up and falling asleep," too.

As for Stephen Batchelor... Stephen Batchelor is cool. I'll not countenance a disapproving word thereunto appertaining.

There's more at stake here than what books you've read (and Mr Batchelor has read very many) or what scripture you adopt to justify your creed.

anon #108 said...

An edit button would be useful.

Captcha = enspoker

Brad Warner said...

John Baker,

Your mom is lacking in balance and off base.

With Metta
Brad

Brad Warner said...

Schmee said:

I could've also made a small fortune this way, having been groomed by a gallery in Chicago as an "Outsider artist" until my credibility as an "innocent" was shattered when they discovered I had a bachelor's degree. I was unceremoniously dropped like the proverbial hot potato.

That's pretty funny. I never realized it worked that way.

Mike B said...

Fuckin awesome - thanks. As someone beginning to practice Zen - this totally made even more sense to me. I may not be into punk rock or the like - but agree whole heartedly of the bullshit of society - and I myself have to play along to make do, support my family, etc. Meanwhile - I question the shit out of everything, laugh at the "go along with the majority", and try to keep my integrity all along the way. Fuckin A - and thanks again.

Fred said...

Anonymous said...
"There is just the universe
manifesting itself."

Who's saying this?

There is no who; there is just the
universe manifesting itself.

I suppose anonymous is appropriate
since no one is there anyway.

Like a gurgling brook, the universe is yipping and yapping to
itself.

tattoozen said...

Mike B,

You sound like you're about 14 years old. A little more sitting and a lot more shutting up is what you need to focus on.

Mysterion said...

BTW The Tree of Enlightenment [PDF] is available for download HERE

by Dr Peter Della Santina via the Chico Dharma Study Group & buddhanet.net.

Link:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-enlightenment.pdf

NOTE: It is a BIG file and a slow download unless you have a high-speed cable or DSL modem.

Jinzang said...

Can you give an answer to Moni @ 1:32 PM up there?

How to practice sleeping meditation and dreaming meditation. No real secrets, it's a "just do it"thing, just like sitting meditation.

Stephanie said...

Brad,

I just wanted to write to say thank you for this post, especially this part:

One of the things Zen has helped me with is my own tendency to be a sort of Fuck You Bob type character. My difficulties in dealing with society are not as deep seated as his were. But I too have some serious problems reconciling what I know to be true with the bullshit most people seem to believe. I could have easily gone in a direction that would have ended me up in much the same shape as Bob. The Zen thing helped me be able to laugh at the collective illusions society shares and yet still play the game well enough to get by.

This is why I get so annoyed when some people try to turn Zen into what most religions these days have become, a way to placate people so they're numb enough to function as cogs in the social machine. It's not about that.

To me it's about finding your inner Fuck You Bob and making peace with that. But without killing it off or boxing it up either. That's also important.


This well summarizes where my own thinking has taken me of late. I have this visceral negative reaction to what I think of as the "three kids and a golden retriever syndrome" as it filters into Zen. So many pop Buddhist figures are mouthpieces for the status quo. That's fine for those folks who comfortably fit in to the status quo. But for those of us who don't, there can be this enormous pressure to change to accommodate it. It's irritating when the very thing that brings me to Zen - the lack of faith in prevailing cultural myths about what is important - is expressed from within the Zen community as if it were some universal truth.

Fuck You Bob sounds awesome. I appreciate people like Fuck You Bob and the mirror they hold up to society: "this is what you won't accept." It makes me think of another Bob - the BOB from Twin Peaks. In Twin Peaks and elsewhere, David Lynch explores the splitting and duality we create in refusing to face or acknowledge certain things. To me, this is the heart of the spiritual journey - facing all of these things and making peace with them. Developing fearlessness - the fearlessness to go to hell if you have to because you have made peace with the hellish aspects of yourself, let yourself feel and explore and come to understand them.

I don't understand how anyone can undertake a spiritual path and not face the equivalent of Twin Peaks' 'Red Room,' our doppelgangers and repressed feelings and memories... Where our psyches throw up the things most tuned to inspire fear in our inner world of symbols. Even the traditional story of the Buddha references this in his sitting at the foot of the Bodhi tree and facing down the armies of Mara. And yet... So few in Buddhism talk about this experience or aspect of the path. Which makes me question how deep most people actually go.

This is why I was so inspired by 'Zen Wrapped In Karma' but so quickly shut down when you resumed blogging from a voice of 'Rightism' (as in, "my way is pure and right and correct"). You had the guts to chronicle your own 'Red Room' experience publicly but then went back to that comfortable voice of Moral Authority. It seems most of us drawn to this path have that tendency. We want to get on our pulpits and preach to others. I've been guilty of it and it seems most folks on Buddhist forums jockey for the opportunity to offer someone else instruction.

But to me that is the total expression of ignorance. It's our comfortable illusions of certainty, moral purity, perfection, etc., that arise from ignorance, not our honest expression of confusion, pain, or demonic intercourse. But we treat it like the opposite is true in the funhouse mirror of society. Thank God for people like Fuck You Bob. At this point I think I'd rather have someone like that as my guru than these squeaky clean cardboardmen that have been nominated as Official Buddhist Talking Heads by the New Age cuddle toy factory.

Stephanie

tattoozen said...

Stephanie,

Bow down and suckle the teat of Jundo Cohen.

Do it!

Now.

TREELEAF SANGHA

Anonymous said...

Like a gurgling brook, the universe is yipping and yapping to itself.

This is a spectacular phrase. It's like this, in a word:

READING

tattoozen said...

"Which makes me question how deep most people actually go."

Get over yourself. You're wasting time "questioning" the depth of others' practice. You know that, don't you?

Stephanie said...

tattoozen, I will not apologize for my thoughts and feelings, as wrong or right, time-wasting or not, as they may actually be. To quote Greg Dulli, "God knows I got my reasons, for every motherfucking thing I say." Or, as Fuck You Bob would say... well, you know.

anon #108 said...

"tattoozen" - you are not tattoozen. Stop being a silly billy.

tattoozen said...

Fair play, Stephanie.

By the way, I've stopped kibitzing Treeleaf. Are you still over there? Still in touch with Chet? How's he doing?

I do like the flies in the ointment!

Stephanie said...

I took my leave of Treeleaf, but bear no ill will toward it or Jundo as I once did. I believe folks there are sincere and that the teachings and practice offered there do good for people. It's just not for me. Let's just say there is a mutual lack of inspiration- our interior decorating preferences are different. I sit with a local sangha now and have bonded with them. I am still good friends with Chet. Who is as Chet-like as ever.

Thanks for asking... Now who, exactly, are you? ;)

Mark Foote said...

thanks, anon#108. Hope you like "waking up and falling asleep"- I'm slowly but surely feeling my way along, and although it seems like two, I rely on one thing at a time.

@Stephanie,I like this: "It seems most of us drawn to this path have that tendency. We want to get on our pulpits and preach to others. I've been guilty of it and it seems most folks on Buddhist forums jockey for the opportunity to offer someone else instruction."

There's also the opportunity to teach ourselves.

I think Bob was probably getting SSI for it. I go to visit my sweetheart's sister with my sweetheart sometimes, and in the mental rehab lockdown are a number of individuals whose presence is profound and not a little scarey to me. I know they have a challenge, I know it's an opportunity for me, and the amygdala is working overtime as I do nothing. I have volunteered to play guitar and sing there twice, and I hope to again; a better audience I could never hope to find.

I am now experiencing ease and absorption sometimes in sitting the lotus, my mind finds a place and there I am. I think, this is why people say God is love, or Jesus is the way, it's true that there is the positive in me and I just glossed over place and the impact of place and the feeling of impact before, looking at everything else. Like waking up and not looking at falling asleep. "Bad luck streak in dancing school, down on my knees in pain; I been dancing like a fool, swear to God I'll change"- Warren Zevon

Moni said...

Jinzang,

thanks for the links, I read both articles. The dream meditation is more familiar to me from my own experience than the sleeping meditation.

I am not forcing these things too much though, because I do not have anyone who could supervise my own limitations regarding these things. It might sound very profane, but I do not want to overestimate my own capabilities and starting to have some mental disorders because I started to get involved in something which is too much for me at this point.

But the articles gave the answer for my questions about the book, so thanks a lot for showing them.

Uncle Willie said...

"The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution." Chairman Mao

The new captcha format is not 100% effective because I am, in fact, a robot.

boubi said...

"Fuck you Bob" was neither Tsangnyön nor Ikkyu.

I think that "FYB" was able to see the meaninglessness and centerlessness of the maintream while being unable to balance himself or to come to terms with it.

Which is profoundly different from Tsangnyön, Ikkyu or other dharma crazed people, who from experiencing the basic emptiness of every being/self/phenomenon choose some shocking approach to express it.

Anonymous said...

Who said FYB was like Tsangnyön and Ikkyu? Besides, how do you presume to know what they were like?

Here is a recently living breathing person (R.I.P. FYB)whose story is well known to those at Kent State and you presume to know him as well?

I don't get it. What is your point?

boubi said...

Who said FYB was like Tsangnyön and Ikkyu?

No one, in fact it is written:
"Fuck you Bob" was neither Tsangnyön nor Ikkyu.


Why are you infering things that were not said?

Did you read carefully?

Anonymous said...

Stepping Down?

Anonymous said...

boubi said: in fact it is written:
"Fuck you Bob" was neither Tsangnyön nor Ikkyu.

My question is why on earth are you making this comparison and then rolling out why FYB was not like them?

Pretty random observation!

You are making a comment and then ruminating on your own opinion.

Weird.

Anonymous said...

SFZC introduction to

shikantaza (just sitting)

Anonymous said...

Anon, Your Mom is ruminating on my dick..

Anonymous said...

What dick?

Mysterion said...

Brad:

When is your next visit to SFZC?

Any plans?

Cheers,
Chas

Mysterion said...

BTW, don't compare Ikkyu with anyone other than Ikkyu (e.g. Ikkyu as a youth v. Ikkyu as an old monk). The case does not apply.

CAPCHA = torto

Stoned Philosopher John Mumbles said...

Brother Brad,

Have you ever scratched your balls and then sniffed your hands?

Thanks for your answer and for all you do.

john e mumbles said...

It ain't me, babe.

And for what it's worth, I could care less about the scratch 'n sniff.

But I agree that thanks is in order for all that Brad does. He's magic.

Anonymous said...

You know you care, Mumbles.

Hell, we all care. And I for one want to extend my appreciation to the "stoned philosopher" version of you for asking this question.

Mysterion said...

It just occurred to me that one thing FU Bob might have been lacking was GREED!

Jamal said...

Fuck off with your links to your shit site, FAGsterion.

Jamal said...

"Fuck off with your links to your shit site, FAGsterion."

That was a low blow to write that shit in my name. Wasn't me Mysterion. Hard to believe that nigga's interested in zen. He's a hater.

Jamal said...

The word is not nigga and you know that.

SHITsterion sucks, my nigga.

Jamal said...

Don't be afraid man. There is a way out of that shit. But it takes discipline.

Mysterion said...

Jamal:

Don't listen to the voices.

Take your medication. You need it.

Anonymous said...

Writing for Tricycle?

Punk is dead.

Jamal said...

Wow.. There's some cold motherfuckers around here.

anonymous anonymous said...

Jamal, I think that was mysterion impersonating you. He is a Free Mason and probably KKK also.

Mark Foote said...

Like to thank anonymous for the link to the Issho Fujita workshop.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous anonymous anonymous said...
"Jamal, I think that was mysterion impersonating you. He is a Free Mason and probably KKK also."

LOL

I am neither a Free Mason (sic) nor a KKKer. I'm not even an inexpensive mason. But I can see the John Birch Society from my living room window.

Brad Warner said...

Chas,

I have no specific plans to visit SFZC. But I'll likely spend a good portion of this summer in Tassajara as I have for the past 3 years. Which means I'll probably at least pass thru SFZC City Center.

Why do you ask?

proulx michel said...

Stoned Philosopher John Mumbles said...

Have you ever scratched your balls and then sniffed your hands?

There's a saying in Southern France:

"Quand on s'endort avec le cul qui gratte, on se réveille avec les doigts qui puent..."

(When one goes to sleep with an itching arse, one wakes up with stinky fingers)

Lone Wolf said...

FUCK OFF AND SUCK MY DICK!!! Ha...feels good.

Lone Wolf said...

The Fuck You Bob Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqt2a3hInmY

Anonymous said...

I think we all at some points in our lives have pivotal people and events.

Some times these are of the shocking kind, making us rethink certain assumptions.

For myself Daniel Coffeen made me rethink so much, I know I've posted some links to his stuff before but some one might get something out of them.

podcasts:

Periodic apocalypse: Extermination of the Human Host ??
How Parasitic Capitalism Consumes, Confines and Controls. July 31, 2009. Featuring Daniel Coffeen, PhD. DJ Prefect brings her certified scientism to a discussion of an emergent socioeconomic system that trivializes art, literature, health, and leisure even while obesity and chronic diseases rise and science literacy reaches all time lows. How did we get here and where are we going? Jane, get us off this crazy thing!

http://nthmost.podomatic.com/

**************************

The Seer is Seen
Still
Grande finale
Joyful Seeing and Bergson

http://danielcoffeen.podomatic.com/profile?p=2

john e mumbles said...

Hey zenmonsters, Zen Monster 3 is out, http://zenmonster.com/ with an essay by Brad on building a “zen monster” ie; Genpo.

Mysterion said...

Brad:

Give me a heads up when you are headed out this way and I'll meet you at SFZC again. Tassajara has a no pet (pee& poop) policy so Shiro and I don't go, even though I religiously pick up after him. Picking up his doggie droppings is my religion...

SFZC (a.k.a. West Mission, Zen Center*) enjoys your visits and so do I.

cheers,
Chas

*300 Page St., San Francisco
This is one of Julia Morgan's most gracious small institutional buildings, originally designed as the Emanuel Sisterhood Residence.

Julia Morgan is a very famous architect. She was "architect to the onepercenters."

LOL

Mysterion said...

Blogger proulx michel:

In France, you should get a former Templar Castle* for a Zen Center...

That would be cool...

*Château de La Jarthe was once a refuge for the Order of the Knights Templar, the secretive Christian [read Roman Catholic] military order that once wreaked havoc in the region.

Besides, you could drive out all the demons. Lord knows the catholics have far more than their fair share!

Moni said...

That demon place looks nice.

proulx michel said...

Mysterion said...

Blogger proulx michel:

In France, you should get a former Templar Castle* for a Zen Center...


Two small problems.
1- It's more than 500 km away from here
2- I'm afraid I don't have 5,5 M euro...

Harry said...

I like 'Fuck me Bob', his sexually promiscuous brother.

Regards, H.

Harry said...

Michel, simply get your followers to pay for it. What were you thinkin'!

Regards,

H.

proulx michel said...

Harry said...

Michel, simply get your followers to pay for it. What were you thinkin'!

And go live in an annex of England?!!

Anonymous said...

Diet Soap podcast #103 : The Experience of an Idea

The guest this week is the pop philosopher Daniel Coffeen. Mister Coffeen is a recurring guest to Diet Soap, and this week we discuss his essay The Experience of An Idea

http://dietsoap.podomatic.com/

**********************

Diet Soap Podcast #105: Television on the Wire

The guest this week is the philosopher and rhetor Daniel Coffeen and we discuss one of his favorite television programs: David Simon’s the Wire.

http://dietsoapcast.com/

Harry said...

Michel,

I'd be quite glad to live in just an annex of England... at the moment I seem to be living in the remains of a annex of Holy Mother Rome, Britain, he USof A, and some big ill-defined malevolent Euro Bank.

Besides, I quite like cricket.

Regawds, owld stick.

Hawwy.

john e mumbles said...

Brad @ 4:51 PM said:
Schmee said regarding Schmee's comment on Fuck You Bob and Outsider Art:

"That's pretty funny. I never realized it worked that way."

There's a very good interview with Sam Farber, trustee of the American Folk Art Museum regarding outsider art and commerce in the current issue of THE BELIEVER. See believermag.com

john e mumbles said...

Also see this trailer on another fascinating American "outsider artist" Henry Darger...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSzzirIP0No

"Just because there are questions doesn't mean there are answers."

A-Bob said...

John e,

Henry Darger was an amazing guy. I was able to see some of his work in a traveling exhibition of Outsider Art a few years ago. Some of his pieces were huge. Adolf Wolfi had a number of paintings in the show also. All very cool.

john e mumbles said...

Cool, A-Bob! I bet that was amazing. If you haven't seen that Darger film, I urge you to.

There are stories (possibly bullshit)about Picasso and Braque visiting Woolfi at the asylum, stealing his ideas, etc.

I think there are some recordings of his music floating around, too.

Anonymous said...

2^7

Anonymous said...

deep-seeded*

Fregas said...

One of your best posts yet, and as usual I totally appreciate your anti-establishment slant on things.

But Brad...I have to ask:do you like ANYONE mainstream?

Anonymous said...

Im a newbie as far as twitter is concerned and Buddhism, meditation and all but about 6 weeks ago I also decided to follow Thich Naht Hanh. Anyway and after a few tweets from both him and some others I decided very early on it was a whole load of crock…im shocked that someone like yourself also had the same views. Not that the man himself is full of crock but what is being passed as his views is a whole load o crock! Maybe the students or whoever they are feel obliged to post something…I sometimes feel like I have to speak at meetings in my work but sometimes I say things that are just what people want to hear rather than what needs to be said if that makes sense…sometimes if you have nothing to add of any value don’t add anything…silence is just as, if not more powerful than a whole load o crock…that sunrise thing…I read that post and I was on the train that morning trying to read my book but the sun was blinding me so much I actually moved to another seat just so I could continue with my reading. Everyone loves a beautiful sunrise but normally its when there is sporadic cloud cover and the sun is just coming up and it taints the clouds red, then orange then white and when the sun finally comes over the horizon its time to look away as everyone knows they cannot look the sun direct on.
I also feel its very sad that some people have taken your comments about Hitler and the Charles guy way too far…im not claiming to know much but unfortunately no matter what anyone thinks…hitler was me and im Charles whats his face…one thing I do get is that im part of the whole shebang whether I like that idea or not, all branches on the tree as it were…I know I have a lot to learn, ive only been studying it a few years and I don’t like agreeing with people…in fact its my job to find flaws in peoples thinking but I somehow completely feel the same way you did about Thich Naht Hanh comments that morning…never mind im sure ill find something I can disagree with at some point…but thought i should share my comments as I feel the same way you do. Maybe there are others out there that should do my job as they are quite good at disagreeing just for the sake of saying something when nothing really needs to be said.

Kind regards
Tracey

Leela said...

I used to hang out with Bob at Brady's Coffee Shop when my daughter was little. He was very intelligent. I remember going to an art show to see some of his paintings. One time at Brady's he was on one of his suck my dick tangents and a young college student looked up at him and said..."Bob, if you want me to suck your dick you are going to have to ask nicer." He burst out laughing. Rest Well Bob <3