Monthly Archives: December 2009

raging against the machine

It’s not about WHAT you say, it’s about the way you say it.

Recently, one Saturday afternoon, my wife and I found ourselves surrounded by anti-globalization demonstrators who were throwing stones and setting cars alight! True, on my mother’s head! Now, we understand what they’re upset about but we’re not too keen on the way they’re voicing it and neither were the hardworking shopkeepers who had their windows smashed!

Can we just take a moment and think this one through?

There are not enough jobs.
The big companies own everything.
We don’t get paid enough.
There’s not enough food for the poor.
There are too many poor.
I don’t have a villa in France and a BMW.
The big 8 (or is it 20 now?) must stop buying up and controlling everything.
We want to eat strawberries in December.

Wait! Back up. What was that last one? Strawberries in December! What’s that got to do with globalization and the price of fish?

Well! I’ll tell you.

If we’re all so keen on having our favourite fruits when we want them, or buy flowers for our girlfriends/mothers/lovers anytime of the year, or that gen-u-ine baseball cap we wear to cover our faces when out torching the 4×4’s; well, someone has to produce them! And, because there are so many of us wanting these anachronistic, non-indigenous items; that same someone has to produce loads of them.

Do you see were I’m going with this yet? (Probably NOT, if your too busy out there ruining the livelyhoods of inocent small-business owners whose stores just happen to be on the route of your latest rage against the machine – or if words of more than two syllables are challenging for you)!

So next time, as your packing your homemade incendiaries in your imported rucksack and tying the shoelaces of your branded sports-shoe made by children in Asia (assuming you can perform these motor-skills by yourself) take a second to reflect on the fact that if we lived with the seasons and with the healthier local produce of our hard-working under-subsidized farmers, there wouldn’t be any globalizing fat cats for us to throw rocks at!

Eat local – buy local – don’t be loco!

晴 雲 法 声 seiun hosei


Wabi Sabi baby

Commercialism for commercialism, Buddhism for Buddhism, I’d rather be in Japan.

Wherever I’ve been to study Buddhism, so far at least, there has always been some kind of commercial venture connected to the supposedly spiritual experience. I’m not criticising you understand, it’s just an observation. Of course it’s normal than when people travel a long way to study with one master or another, they would like to take home some souvenir of the event. It’s very similar to rock concerts; you pay to see the band and then you buy all the anciliary crap being sold outside the venue to take home and never wear or listen to again. That’s just how we are; buoyed up by the warm afterglow of a rocking hard concert and with the last song still ringing in our ears, (in some cases like mine this can go on and on for years and leave the eardrums permanently damaged and ringing) we trot off to the zen boutique, or the Rigpa store to buy our dingly danglies in a vain attemp to perpetuate the feeling. But alas, when we get home, these things are placed lovingly next to Buddha or draped around the neck of Kanon, until eventually, they meld in with all the other “stuff”.

So, if I’m going to do this, and I know I am, I’d rather it be stuff from Japan for its esthetic beauty and its draconian simplicity.

Wabi Sabi baby!

晴 雲 法 声 seiun hosei

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