Y’know, if I was newly minted punk rocker I think I’d call myself Linus Appalling.
The new Zero Defex CD is now available from CD Baby. Go order yours today! It comes in a groovy digipak with all the lyrics including my own appallingly bad words for my own song “Hypocrite.” On the CD I sing it in Japanese because I didn’t want to own up to the actual lyrics. But Mickey and Jeffro, who were in charge of the CD package, put the English lyrics on! Nooooooo!!! But now it’s there for the world to see & you can’t see it, world, unless you buy the damned CD. So buy it.
Yesterday I got a phone call from the guy who did this article about the cyclone in Burma. I only got one quote. But he spelled my name right, so that’s a plus. And he didn’t put in a photo of Noah Levine with my name under it (it’s really happened before!!), another plus.
The guy called asking me what I thought of the fact that lots of Buddhists are saying the recent cyclone in Burma was karmic commupence (how do you spell that?) for the military crack-down on Buddhist monks there. I had to laugh. It’s such a ridiculous idea. It sounds just like when Pat Robertson said the Sept. 11th attacks were God’s punishment to all the gays and lesbians in New York (which is what I said that got shortened in the article). Or whatever Pat Robertson said. Just pure bullshit nonsense. Same with blaming the cyclone on karma. Stupid superstitious bull-hockey, I say! And I am the final word on everything!!!!
And even if it was their karma, which is wasn’t, who gives a shit? People are in trouble. Go help them. No more analysis than that is necessary.
The guy wanted to know if this was a widespread type of belief across Asia. It’s hard for me to say much about all of Asia. But, in Japan it’s certainly not common to blame natural disasters on bad karma. I mean, when the Kobe earthquake happened it wasn’t like everybody said, “Yeah, serves ’em right for having named their city after Kobe Bryant when he gave all those women AIDS.” The closest thing I ever heard to this in the years I lived there was when we found some abandoned baby birds in the warehouse where the company I worked for stored the monster costumes. Someone said that the birds’ fate was “Hotoke-sama’s will.” Hotoke-sama is what they call Buddha. But even in this case there was no recourse to saying this was the baby birds’ bad karma from previous lifetimes.
If people do say this, then they don’t know much about Buddhism. That’s all I can say.
Saturday May 10th at 7 PM I’ll do a book signing and talk at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland, Ohio’s Tremont neighborhood.
On May 17th and 18th I’ll lead a 2-day retreat at the Milwaukee Zen Center.
I’ll be one of the teachers at this year’s Great Sky Zen Sesshin August 9-16. Check out their webpage for details.
The annual Dogen Sangha retreat in Shizuoka, Japan will be September 20-23.