Erik (eriktrips) wrote,

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beginner's luck

meditating this morning at the zendo was a minor disaster as my legs kept falling asleep and I had to shift every three minutes while mister perfect meditator beside me had his legs all tucked up under himself and ramrod straight back sitting stock still while he breathed noisily so that all around we would know he was concentrating on his breath.

I'm being snarky out of embarrassment for my own constant movement but I did notice that when we were done mister perfect meditator bowed so deeply that he almost bumped his head on the floor while he held his elbows out at a precise 90-degree angle. this is most uncharitable of me but why did he have to sit right next to me?

I was glad when the bell rang. the lecture was as mildly useless as always although the lecturers seem like very nice people and they do have their shit together but what they say very rarely diverges from the standard examine yourself and do good that I've heard since I was very very young. the nice thing of course is that these people don't add oh and if you screw up you're going to hell but still how many times does this message need to be repeated. no one has yet said a word about the affront to western metaphysics that buddhism presents. no one has yet mentioned that the paradox of the one versus the many isn't simply that we should concentrate on the one but rather that both disappear in infinitude.

I did pick up a book that had both Beckett and Nietzsche in the bibliography and I didn't expect to find that in a buddhist bookstore.

in a minute I am going to sit and read it because I cannot go on reading about the outrageous way our leaders are behaving but first I will point out a version of events that I read on AMERICAblog wherein the explanation for the administration's bungling is thus: by mucking up the relief effort the neo-cons hope to make government agencies look ineffective thus bolstering their campaign for government operations to be taken over by corporate entities.

because the corporations have certainly stepped in. one would think that if disaster relief were profitable and favored by the market someone would have been on it by now but I think what this explanation really means is that the neo-cons want to take public money and put it into private concerns with the assumption that private concerns are always more efficient than government entitities because they are trying to maximize profit but what they seem not to take into account is that profit as primary motive cannot be relied upon to produce humanitarian effects. the excesses of greed have shown this again and again. who was it that said rich men have a tough time entering the kingdom of god?

interesting to consider. tens of thousands are being sacrificed for the profit motive as we speak. see how well the market works? besides this demonstration of governmental ineptitude--which is deliberate in this case rather than unavoidable but we'll not dwell on that--the tragedy of the gulf coast is going to turn into a bonanza for real estate and development. first though the less fortunate have to be cleared off the land. that certainly will show the propriety of using market forces to determine humanitarian aid. think the poor are going to get federal money to rebuild? yeah right. think redevelopment will include affordable housing? uh-huh. but if these things were that important they'd make money, because money, in this world, is the sign of grace and rectitude.

we keep thinking we are simply being led by arrogant fascists but something is being tried here that is in fact rather new and that is letting corporate greed stand in for civic responsibility. no price is too dear to pave the way for private enterprise to have free rein: not the thousands dying in new orleans certainly. nor the environment, which is there to be exploited regardless of the consequences, for the belief in the self-regulating forces of the market is pure and unchanging and even though despoiling the environment is profitable we'll have to stop before we kill everything including ourselves because at some point the devastation will cease making money.

no one seems to be troubled that exploitation is still profitable even though we have overseen one of the biggest species die-offs in the earth's history and that it just keeps on.

but I get distracted. what we are seeing right now is simply thinning out the human thicket there at the mouth of the Mississippi so that the land can come under the stewardship rapine of its rightful heirs. the poor, after all, are illegitimate renters of property and cannot be counted on to make the proper economic choices. and if they happen to be the wrong color too, well that just makes our job easier.

I am now offically throwing my hands up in disgust. I would like to know which charity can be trusted actually to take my money--I'm going to part with what I can--and do the most immediately pressing good with it. am leery of the red cross although they were really nice to us when our house burned down and any list that includes Pat Robertson's charity supplementary income certainly is suspect. if anyone has any quick ideas feel free to suggest places. otherwise I will have to do some careful internet research.

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