Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free Tibet: Send The Lama Home

Have I bashed China this week yet? Have I met my quota? I don't want Wen Jiabao to think I've forgotten about him. I've got my eye on you, Wen!

The Dali Lama is close to retiring (I'm contemplating applying for the job) but he's still out there lecturing for peace. And his comments on treating bin Laden like a paper rifle target are interesting.

He said something to the effect that if your actions are serious then they demand a response. bin Laden financed and organized multiple attacks and planned to do more. Is he the same as Mark Chapman or the BTK serial killer? Or is he more like Charles Manson, a coordinator and encourager who never killed anyone? That's arguable not only because of scale but because of motivation and transparency of intent. Should I get into that argument now? No. Let's leave that for another time when I have William T. Vollmann nearby to help work through the moral algebra.

My interest is in the suggestion that ol' Dali Lama is a hypocrite because he didn't denounce bin Laden's killing. Buddhism teaches the benefits of forgiveness. So does Christianity. Let's be serious, if you believed in an eternal afterlife then would the petty affairs on earth really matter? You only need to accept Jesus as your lord and savior and it's a cakewalk from there to the gates of St. Peter. But, just in case this life actually is important, we'd better defend ourselves actively and reactively. Besides, The Lama is not an idiot. He was asked the question at USC a day after bin Laden was killed. Elite colleges are his bread and butter and he's not going to make enemies by saying Americans are no better than Atilla the Hun. That's my job.

Now, the point I haven't seen mentioned is that The Lama is a walking example of the limits of forgiveness. Someone find me a quote where he forgives the Chinese for occupying Tibet. HIS ENTIRE LIFE IS AN EXAMPLE THAT THIS WILL NOT STAND.
Now, he's taking an alternate route, one that I approve of and admire, which is to defy the Chinese gvt. peacefully.*

If this tact makes no sense to you then thank your hate-loving media, government, parents and school system. Since the Dali Lama didn't grow up in America he sees things differently. God forbid there is a better way to do anything!

Now, The Lama wants a free Tibet, but since monks aren't known for their nuclear arsenal he is hoping public opinion alone will inspire the Chinese to leave Tibet. Yeah, take a minute to laugh out loud. I heard that same laughter when I refrained from eating to protest the Persian Gulf war. Another reason The Lama is taking a peaceful approach to his activism is because he recognizes that if opinions do not change from within, if the Chinese do not reach this decision of their own accord, then it won't be long before some other premier invades Tibet and the whole cycle starts again. Furthermore; Lama doesn't want to spend his time hiding in caves and loading AK-47 rifles. He's more sophisticated than that. Look where it got bin Laden!

Which brings me to the parallels between the Chinese occupying Tibet (knows as the Tibetan Liberation in 1951) and US forces occupying Saudi Arabia (known as the liberation of Kuwait in 1991). Only a hippie with too much time on his hands would attempt this connection but it seems to me that an objective person would see Osama bin Laden as a violent Dali Lama fighting to liberate his occupied holy land the same way The Lama is touring the lecture circuit to liberate his monastery. Look at the facts: the letters D, A,l,i,m are in both names. It's an anagram. They may be the same person. Have you ever seen a picture of the two together in one place? I haven't. Nope. Not once.

Ok, I lost my train of thought. Oh yeah, The Lama believes in change. He studies it. That's what Buddhism is all about: studying change. He believes in forgiveness not because he thinks the Chinese are cool cats but because he doesn't want the burden of hate to slow him down. But that doesn't mean the PRC can hang out in Tibet forever. That shit has to end. So he goes on a tour and radiates kindness and all that other crap and gets a few celebrities on his side and eventually China will be distracted long enough that the monks will move back in. That's the plan.

So, claiming that it is justified to act on your own behalf is not the same as saying we should be dancing in the streets when we kill someone. Obviously, The Lama is not consulted in US military affairs. Don't worry. Furthermore; who fucking cares what The Lama thinks about our special ops strategy? What, are you going to sleep better if His Holiness approves of Navy Seal missions? Bullshit. Just accept the fact that we will justify our own actions at all costs even if the evidence suggests we are no different than our worst enemies. Ask a dog if it is time for his dinner; ask an American if America stands for good; ask the Chinese if they are justified to occupy Tibet. You get the same answer and that answer involves the great wheel of reincarnation, which is a large topic that I don't want to get into because I'm packing to go to Labrador where I will learn about the Arctic Wolf.

Check out the climate change news that the Arctic will be free of ice in the summer in ten years. Sorry, Lama, the wolves might forgive us but I don't think I can. It's absolutely pathetic that the imperiled wolves and Polar Bears have to put up with this shit so we can have online encyclopedias. Like we're SO FUCKING IMPORTANT. We've got egos like hot air balloons. Every time I read one of these stories I feel like my favorite pet for thirty years was fed a ball of rusty fish hooks by G. Gordon Liddy BECAUSE HE WAS TOO FUCKING LAZY TO PUT THEM IN THE TRASH. My anger is palpable and I want to punch Bill Gates in the face and feed his balls to a Snow Leopard. "Google this motherfucker!" It drains all humor from me.

* I'd like to close this topic and get The Lama off of airplanes which basically convert wolves and rain forest into frequent flyer miles. But he wouldn't get far by walking from campus to campus.

New Projects?

The price of gas is climbing in an inverse ratio to my ability to get to Labrador. How would I describe that in an equation?

Labrador/Ga$oline=Wolves teeth - bleeding hemorrhoids. SO I add hemorrhoids to both sides and then multiply wolves teeth by gasoline....or was it divide Labrador by wolves teeth? I forget. Can any math freaks help?

It all adds up to the reality that I must ride my single cylinder 1974 Vespa Ciao to Labrador. I don't see any other option. I will convert it to biofuel and distill my own fuel from hemp.

I know I'm going to let people down by selling out like this but it has to be done. I've been trying to get to Labrador for 2 years. My van will probably be sold for scrap. I'm pulling my hair out. This is the year I make a difference.

Really, I've been reading some other blogs, or as one person called them, "Blaaaaahhhhgs." And one in particular Sarcasm Alley
is so similar to mine that I'm annoyed. Am I that predictably contrary and sardonic? I hope I'm a little more entertaining, but the general slant of both our content adds up to absolute diarrhea of the fingers. It's so easy to pick apart foreign policy and cultural trends and politics and "the state of the world". SO EASY. For me, it's like water flowing over a cliff. Very easy. I do some spell checking and add a few quips but mostly these blaaaaahhhhgs just roll out of my fingers in one shot. And as much as I want to be reflective and humble a close examination of my shallow pundit lifestyle isn't very becoming. I don't want to list my failures so far in life but they add up to quite a mountain. And while picking apart current events is a pleasing activity that I'm barely invested in, it isn't much to be proud of. It's just creative criticism. So what? Mark Twain was a damn fine critic but did he change public opinion? Hard to say. From what I can see his entire life was as a social critic. All his investments were failures. He declared bankruptcy. 3 of 4 kids died before him. An oil baron had to bail him out. Yet, we admire him. For clever criticism and wit. Is it enough? I read the Sarcasm Alley blog and am impressed but I don't admire the writer. It takes work to write that much content that will change nothing. And it is empty. I feel it is empty effort. Maybe not wasted, but empty, like an episode of All in the Family. Archie Bunker sitting on his throne tossing out conservative slander. What the hell good did it do? Have I become Archie Bunker's political reflection?

I'd like to be moving again, learning about the tundra, meeting Canadian oat farmers. Etc. I'd like to repair tractors and threshing machines and wash carrots. I might even feed cats in the forest or be a mentor to a high school student. I don't know. Something that adds up to more than this contrarian babble. Other people are doing the same thing and I don't believe in being redundant. I want to write the Santa Cruz fable but the timing never feels right.

A statement the mayor says to Oggy in it keeps ringing in my head, "An unhappy person will always blame the time he lives in for his unhappiness. It's an easy target. Yes, Times are bad and some of us have to risk making them worse."

When I write something I don't expect then I know I've got something original. Oggy does blame the times he lives in but he also doesn't dare make them worse...which is a possibility if anything is going to change. But in the time it takes to ponder every angle it has all changed again and he has to start over. It's an endless cycle. He's observing the world so he can make a decision but the world is filled with frantic crack addicts so it's impossible to keep up with the changes. Eventually, action must be taken without pondering and of course it leads to his ultimate collapse and despair. But he doesn't see how his actions ripple across the landscape and do change things. The reader sees that but Oggy is institutionalized and sedated and mumbling for more mashed peas.

My attitude is drowning in critical/political masturbation. You get good at what you do and this commentary isn't what I want to be good at. Other writers say the same thing. The Army corp of engineers don't sit around debating greenhouse gasses when the river is an inch from flooding. Things have to get done. At some point in the next decade or two every house in America will need a roof top solar water heater. IS that going to happen with me farting around about Royal Weddings? Blah blah blah blahg. Oh, how is anything accomplished in these terrible times?

Anyone want to go to Guatemala and open a scooter repair shop? That's a good project. I'm open to suggestions. Or an arctic wolf sighting expedition.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.