One City

First of all, do hypocrisy and irony get any bigger and bolder than Eliot Spitzer? That is my first question. I mean, come on. I already said this to Will.I.Am but….Cognitive dissonance much? No. Seriously. Come on. WTF. As the 13th century Soto Zen master Dogen used to say to students, “He who becomes amorous with hookers should not be an Attorney General vigorously prosecuting multiple prostitution rings.” (date of fake quote unknown).

I’m trying to figure out if Spitzer beats Mark Foley, the anti-gay molester of teenage congressional pages, on the cognitive dissonance meter. I give Foley a 10, and Spitzer a 9.6. You could make an argument that at least prostitution is consensual by of-age adults, but then we’d have to get into a much more complex discussion of misogyny in our society and the complexities of human commodification, and Cassmaster’s post already did that (although the post does not address Spitzer’s clear hypocrisy on the issue). I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’ve never been even slightly tempted by the whole pay-for-sex game. Sex is either something that’s happening, or is not happening. That’s the nature of cyclical existence. And if it’s not happening, you have two choices: masturbate or meditate. Or both. And I didn’t even need to be Attorney General to figure that one out.

Second, Barack Obama gave by far the best speech on race I’ve ever heard by someone in my lifetime.

Third, the speech wasn’t about race. It was about human perception, unity, division, family, anger, oppression, corporate media distraction tactics, and the real meaning of community. Yet according to the Mainstream Media, it was a really good speech about race. Just like Dr. King was a only a civil rights leader (do you think it’s ironic that politicians who vote for war still get to celebrate his holiday, and don’t have to answer any questions about their total failure to practice nonviolence?) Ah, the need for soundbytes and headlines. To make stories simple. I reject the idea that Americans need things put in soundbytes for us. I reject the idea that Americans are dumb or have short attention spans. I reject that Americans need narratives shortened to one sentence. Hell, we watch 3-hour-long Lord of the Rings movies, why can’t we watch a 37 minute speech? Only the advertisers need the soundbyte versions to prevail. So there’s room on screen for the ads. Ergo, a 37 minute speech that covers – with poetry and nuance – the entire psychological landscape of American identity history, is just about race. More room for the Continental Airlines banner ad on that way.

Maybe to combat this tendency, I will also stop trying to summarize things that cannot be summarized. If anyone asks me what the novel I’m writing is about, I will say, “It’s about IT. It will take you about 7 hours to read. Do you want it?” Of course, you need to get your pitch together to get published, I know, I know. I have a good pitch, too. I’m such a goddamn hypocrite.

Fourth of all, I think I’m addicted to political blogs. At first it seems deeply communal and insightful (holler at me, netroots) but it gets pretty samsaric in a hurry. I am seriously considering another weeklong internet cleanse.

Fifth of all, it’s very hard not to get mildly depressed on Sunday night. Even if you finished all your homework already. As a Buddhist, I am depressed about Tibet, but honestly, not nearly as depressed about Tibet as I am about Darfur. Did you guys see the craptacular hack job editorial that the NY Times published against the Dalai Lama this weekend? Apparently the dude who wrote has worked on the Tibetan cause for a long time, but apparently not long enough to know that a bodhisattva is not a god. Jeez, you learn that after studying Buddhism for about four seconds.

Can’t wait to see everyone Monday Night! That always cheers me up.

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