Going to California


I’m now committed.

On Friday my friend Pirooz, director of Shoplifting from American Apparel, signed a lease for an apartment in Los Angeles, California that he and I will move into in June, 2012. On that very same day — perhaps at the exact same moment — I signed a contract with New World Library to publish my next book There Is No God And He Is Your Creator. This could come out as soon as Spring 2013 or might be pushed back to Fall. We’re not sure yet.

In the meanwhile, the audiobook of Hardcore Zen is on sale right now. Just in case you’ve forgotten.

And a new eBook collection called Hardcore Zen Strikes Again will be out any minute now. I think they’re still working out some kinks in formatting. I realized I couldn’t do it myself so the fine folks at Cooperative Press in Cleveland are handling that part. Up till now they’ve only done books about knitting. But Shannon, who runs the company, is a fan of my writing. So this will be their first non-knitting related title.

Hardcore Zen Strikes Again is a collection of essays I wrote for the old Sit Down and Shut Up webpage. Many of the articles I wrote for that page ended up reworked into chapters of Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality. Many did not. Others were so thoroughly reworked you wouldn’t recognize them. It is articles from the latter two categories that I chose for Hardcore Zen Strikes Again. I’ve also included a chapter that was cut out of Hardcore Zen and an article I wrote for a Japanese monster fanzine consisting mainly of things I wrote about my work at Tsuburaya Productions that were also removed from Hardcore Zen. So the book is sort of like the bonus disc for Hardcore Zen. Hence the title. The essays are each accompanied by new introductions and afterwords talking about how my views on things have totally changed now and why the essays are shit.

Not really. But I am not nearly as loud in my writing as I was in 2001. I say pretty much the same stuff, just in a different way.

Those of you without Kindles or iPads or Nooks need not fret. There will be a print version as well. But the print version will be produced in limited quantities. Whether you’ll be able to find it in stores or not is still an open question. Probably you will.

Going to California is a big move for me, and, in some ways a thoroughly stupid one. It’s stupid because I could have saved myself a lot of hassle and just stayed in Los Angeles. But, really, things there at the time had become un-workable and I needed a change. It’s also stupid because I’m now making way less money than I was when I moved away and am going to a place where the rent is more than twice what I’m paying in Akron.

But it’s also a good move because I liked living in California. It’s sunny. It’s warm. It’s L.A., with all the weirdness that means. I’m going to try getting a teaching gig out there or maybe work in the film industry. Pirooz has a company, which is mainly just him right now, called Sangha Films. Years and years before I ever met Pirooz I had the notion that maybe there could be a Buddhist sangha whose livelihood was supported by making movies. Lots of Buddhist sanghas support themselves with commercial endeavors. Some sanghas make tofu, some bake bread, San Francisco Zen Center runs a luxury tourist resort (Tassajara). So why not movies?

I’m hoping to talk Pirooz into moving in this direction with me. But every time I say something about it he just sort of grunts noncommittally. We’ll see. I envision it as sort of a Zen version of Troma Films. Not in terms of the gore and splatter. But in terms of the way Troma is fiercely independent, knows its audience thoroughly, and makes its way in the world by producing movies that will never be big hits but always sell to its loyal core audience. Pirooz wants to make a zombie movie next. I’m trying to convince him to make it a Zen zombie movie. We’ll see…

Every choice a person makes in life affects their future in ways large and small, foreseeable and unforeseeable. Even a smile or a frown can make a huge difference. But some decisions seem more momentous than others. Signing that book contract and committing to a huge move in the same day seem pretty momentous to me. To be honest, I’m scared shitless. Maybe a year from now you’ll find me living in a cardboard box on Venice Beach trying to sell CD-Rs of my audiobook in order to buy burritos. But maybe not.

Sometimes you just gotta make a move.

165 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | |

    There is no Brad and he is a writer.

  2. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | |

    Anonymous said…
    "There is no Brad and he is a writer."

    very good…

    There is no Anonymous, but he.she/they post comments.

    re: Hyper-Hurricanes and the like…

    "wait, and see."

    The proof is in the pudding*.

    Cheers,

    Chas

    *conventional wisdom from the days 'home-making' was taught in high school.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm | |

    Brad has actually used the quote "There is no God and he is your creator" in previous books, and credited it to Sasaki, and so I have no doubt he'll give the man credit. As for these other claims…sorry guys.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm | |

    I am an intellectual property lawyer and I think that Dean Taciuch has a valid claim. I would imagine that Brad's publisher will not allow this book to go through with its working title.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm | |

    mysterion said: "re: Hyper-Hurricanes and the like…
    "wait, and see." The proof is in the pudding*."

    mysterion, I don't hate to say it but that was very weak comeback. You have no proof for your belief based comments. You are a typical belief based person. Worse than a liar, you spread your illogical beliefs.

  6. Jinzang
    Jinzang April 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm | |

    I am an intellectual property lawyer and I think that Dean Taciuch has a valid claim. I would imagine that Brad's publisher will not allow this book to go through with its working title.

    You can't copyright a title.

  7. Jinzang
    Jinzang April 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm | |

    Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape is really good.

    I hope this was said in jest. The man clearly slept through his college philosophy classes.

  8. Jinzang
    Jinzang April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm | |

    In case my comment about Sam Harris's book seems a little sharp, read this Amazon review.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm | |

    In Sasaki Roshi's book Buddha Is the Center of Gravity, put out in the 70s, he says, quote, "There is no God and he is your creator." That would preempt Dean's claim, if indeed you could copyright a few lines that would constitute a title, which as Jinzang pointed out, you can't. In any event, Dean had a great title for what I'm sure is a great song (I haven't listened to it yet), Sasaki Roshi had a great line in a great book, and now Brad's got a killer title for his new book — which I'm sure he is already writing the script adaptation for so that he and his director roomie can produce, the ambitious rascal…

  10. Dean Taciuch
    Dean Taciuch April 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm | |

    Jinzang said, "You can't copyright a title."

    Wrong. I have the rights to that title. Copy written in 1987 as a piece of music. I have a limited duration monopoly of that title specified in Circular 50 under the heading “Collections of Music”.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm | |

    Dean is going to OWN everything Brad has by the time this is all over.

    Welcome to Dean Taciuch's Hardcore Zen™ motherfuckers!

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm | |

    mysterion is anon 5:43

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm | |

    I like Dark Dark meat.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm | |

    Anonymous said…

    "I like Dark Dark meat."

    That crosses a line. There is no place for racism on this blog outside of mysterion's comments. Please apologize so we can move on.

    And, so does your Mom.

  15. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm | |

    Wait, and see…

    It's not a belief. It is a reasonable probability based on global warming trends and a high-resolution global climate model (computer projections).

    Either way – or any other – is fine with me. I placed my bet* back in 1973 when I made the informed decision not to father any offspring (lest they suffer the consequences of gross overpopulation).

    *a bet is based on probability

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm | |

    Dean, did you know that Sasaki's book wherein the quote first appears predates your copyright by a few decades? Great minds think alike, I guess.

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm | |

    "mysterion", what's wrong with dark dark meat?

  18. Jinzang
    Jinzang April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm | |

    The US Copyright Office says, "Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases."

  19. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm | |

    mysterion, you didn't make any informed decision not to father any offspring. That decision was made for you by GOD. Sorry to burst your bubble but you are not the one in control. There Is No God And He Is Your Creator and programmer.

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm | |

    The title of this blog entry is "Going to California." I'm telling Robert Plant. We'll see what he has to say.

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm | |

    Jinzang pasted, "The US Copyright Office says, "Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases."

    Introducing, Anon's Hardcore Zen! A Large Collection of Short (and Sequential) Phrases About Brad Warner and his Take on Zen. It has the same number of pages as Brad's HCZ, and costs a buck less.

  22. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm | |

    And she said, hey ramblin' boy, why don't you settle down
    LA can't be your kind of town
    There ain't no gold and there ain't nobody like me
    I'm the number one fan of the man from Ohi-eee.

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 3:48 am | |
  24. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 3:51 am | |

    Jinzang said…

    Second, my belief in homeopathy, is not mere belief. it is based on my personal experience using homeopathy. It is exactly the same as my belief in meditation. If I had waited the usual important people to tell me meditation works, I would still be waiting.

    after he said

    There is no cause and effect in physics. The laws of physics are acausal.

    Therefore, homeopathy and meditation could not have caused any so-called "effects" that he may have experienced. The laws of physics, according to Jinzang, prove it.

    But that's just my hypothesis.

  25. Jinzang
    Jinzang May 1, 2012 at 5:31 am | |

    Therefore, homeopathy and meditation could not have caused any so-called "effects" that he may have experienced. The laws of physics, according to Jinzang, prove it.

    It would be more accurate to say there aren't any things that could participate in causation. So, there is no homeopathy and no meditation. And we were speaking of the viewpoint of Nagarjuna and the MMK, not of modern physics. But I'm sure you know that and were only joking, and I am just being tediously pedantic.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 6:30 am | |

    Jinzang said…
    …and I am just being tediously pedantic.

    Of course you are. You're almost as bad as Mysterion.

  27. Mysterion
    Mysterion May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am | |

    J:

    I didn't say COMPUTER, I said DESKTOP.

    I predict Apple will cease making Desktops on Q4 2014 (right after Xmas). iPads (for iPeriods), Netbooks, Notebooks, and Laptops will continue for perhaps another decade.

    There are already $129 competitors for Apple's $500 iPad.

    Apple was always really good at making overpriced under-performing memory hogs. They will, no doubt, continue to do so as long as there is a flock to be fleeced.

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 8:32 am | |

    Futurama said it best about homeopathy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swDpWNKB5Co

  29. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | |

    The tragedy of that Futurama clip is that diluting that guy's degree in Homeopathic medicitne with a stream of water only makes it stronger…:3

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | |

    Dean Taciuch said…

    Anon, I came up with the title in the mid 80s. Brad stole it from me without permission or accreditation.

    http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dean+Taciuch

    Dean, See this from Brad's blog. “In any case, I am now completely mortified by what has happened with regard to the title of the book. I am truly sorry for having accidentally copped your title. It wasn't meant to confuse the marketplace. It was just due to my own ignorance that this occurred.”

  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | |

    Jinzang said…
    And we were speaking of the viewpoint of Nagarjuna and the MMK, not of modern physics.

    That is not, at all, an accurate assessment of your previous comment. First you wrote about cause and effect solely from the perspective of your understanding of the laws of physics:

    There is no cause and effect in physics. The laws of physics are acausal. Otherwise, they couldn't be time invariant. And the laws of physics are not deterministic. That's what all the fuss about quantum mechanics is about.

    At the end of the same comment you added a statement that Buddhism in general, and Nagarjuna in particular, essentially agrees with physics:

    From the Buddhist point of view cause and effect is an illusion. Don't you recall the first chapter of the MMK?

    But that does not contradict, nor is there any ambiguity in, the sentence "There is no cause and effect in physics."

  32. Jinzang
    Jinzang May 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | |

    But that does not contradict, nor is there any ambiguity in, the sentence "There is no cause and effect in physics."

    Oh. There isn't cause and effect in Physics because it's based on conservation laws, which are time reversible. Cause and effect laws are not time reversible. You can't interchange cause and effect.

    If you believe that everything is ultimately physics, and most arguments against free will seem to assume that, that blows a pretty big hole in your argument.

  33. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | |

    "We must believe in free will – we have no choice." Isaac Bashevis Singer

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm | |

    the hardcore-zen audiobook, just wondering when it will be sold out.. nice piece of work..!

  35. Mysterion
    Mysterion May 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm | |

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics has a great deal to do with cause and effect.

    understanding of the Bernoulli effect

    You may be wrong or I might be wrong or – the better choice – we might BOTH be wrong.

  36. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm | |

    I think I may have figured out how Brad really pays his bills.
    Brad moved back to Ohio last year. Today, the FBI arrested 5 alleged anarchists who allegedly planned to blow up an alleged bridge in Ohio with the help of a paid FBI informant who allegedly infiltrated or recruited them last October. Now, Brad is planning to move back to California to live with someone named Pirooz Kalayeh. Ever since 9/11, the FBI has been constantly investigating and entrapping people with names like "Pirooz Kalayeh".
    Watch your back, Pirooz. Heed the warning of that great Muslim freedom fighter Admiral Ackbar. "It's a trap."

  37. Mysterion
    Mysterion May 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm | |

    there is something awfully wrong about being right – politically

  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm | |

    Mysterion said…

    "there is something awfully wrong about being right – politically"

    anonymous said…

    "there is something awfully right about being nondualistic – politically"

  39. Loveless
    Loveless May 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm | |

    blah blah blah

  40. Moni
    Moni May 2, 2012 at 2:27 am | |
  41. anon #108
    anon #108 May 2, 2012 at 3:08 am | |

    Cause and effect may be an illusion at the quantum level. But it's surely a fact at the macro level. Why prefer one level, one truth, to another?

  42. anon #108
    anon #108 May 2, 2012 at 3:13 am | |

    ("String theory…." is not an answer.)

  43. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 3:16 am | |

    Cause and effect may be an illusion at the quantum level. But it's surely a fact at the macro level. Why prefer one level, one truth, to another?

    Apparently some people prefer to be "tediously pedantic" and "unjustifiably condescending". It's probably because of that pesky old "ego" again.

  44. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 3:30 am | |

    The biggest problem with preferring one level of "reality" to another is that what is "true" at one level may not be "true" at a different level. What makes quantum physics so startling and difficult to grasp is how much it differs from classical physics which conform with human observations. But that does not mean that everything in classical physics is wrong and obsolete.

  45. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 3:39 am | |

    "While physics aims to discover universal laws, its theories lie in explicit domains of applicability. Loosely speaking, the laws of classical physics accurately describe systems whose important length scales are greater than the atomic scale and whose motions are much slower than the speed of light. Outside of this domain, observations do not match their predictions."…and vice versa.
    Wikipedia (stop making that face)

    Cool diagram.

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 3:50 am | |

    Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alXxsKLVofM

  47. Moni
    Moni May 2, 2012 at 5:28 am | |

    I like the metaphor of the pearl on a razor`S edge in that lecture I linked before. And also when Nishijima Roshi says that even though we can be free in the moment, we should not be so arrogant to think that we are standing above the laws of cause and effect (compared to everyday people who are less than us and for them those laws still exist).

  48. Clamato
    Clamato May 2, 2012 at 6:04 am | |

    As long as you conceptualize yourself as different from "everyday people who are less than us" you have fallen on the razor and cut your pearl self in half.

  49. Huang Po
    Huang Po May 2, 2012 at 6:22 am | |

    The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood.

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