RUBBER CITY REBELS TONITE IN FRISCO and BENJAMIN BOGIN CAN BITE ME


First a last minute plug. And not for me this time, either. I just found out last night that my pals The Rubber City Rebels will be playing tonight, June 7th, 2007, at Slim’s in San Francisco at an event called Dirkfest. I just saw the Rebels last night at Safari Sam’s in Hollywood (another last minute show) and they were fan-fuggin’-tastic. So go see ‘em while you still can.

The Rubber City Rebels formed in the mid-Seventies in Akron and put out one smokin’ hot LP on Capitol Records around 1980 before going on a hiatus that lasted over 20 years until their second LP (OK, CD) on Smog Veil Records, Pierce My Brain. Here’s a promo video from that:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzajMDiJ2Lk]

Yesterday my publishers sent me a copy of the latest issue of a rag called Buddhadharma in which there is a negative review of my new book by some blockhead named Benjamin Bogin. Who can bite me, by the way. I suppose I should be happy just to get reviewed at all. But it’s common practice for book reviewers to actually read the books they write about rather than just skim the chapter titles and pick quotes from the press release as Mr. Bogin has done. Whatever.

There are a few things about the new book that seem to be bothering a wide range of people who tend to think of themselves as “into Buddhism.” One is the cover. I find opinion neatly divided. People who love those covers with rippling water and lotuses that decorate every Buddhist book these days just hate, hate, hate the cover of Sit Down and Shut Up! Then there are those who don’t care much about Buddhist books who love it. I love it. So everyone who doesn’t can bite me.

The other thing that bugs people is all the “dude talk.” Yeah. OK. Maybe I should cool it. It just amuses me though to write about Buddhism in a Bevis and Butthead voice. And I write more to amuse myself than anything else. So, again, I cordially invite you to bite me, please.

Seriously, though, I think one of the great tragedies is how Buddhism has become the property of stuffy intellectuals who seem intent upon making it as inaccessible as possible to ordinary dumb people like me. The books they write are so full of obtuse language and labyrinthine arguments as to be utterly incomprehensible to people like myself to whom the lyrics of “God Of Thunder” by KISS seem like a profound commentary on spiriuality (I am being completely serious here, by the way. Listen to it sometime.). I’ve tried reading those books. They bore the shit out of me. And what use is that? I see myself as trying to wrest Buddhism out of the hands of fucking brainiacs who really don’t have any serious interest in it and give it back to the people who might really get something out of it. Or if not anything as heroic as that, at least cutting their ties with a big pair of scissors and squirting seltzer water in their faces. Maybe that’s what got Benji’s knickers in a twist. For which he may, if he so desires, do me the courtesy of biting me.

Another other thing that bugs folks is the way I say stuff like “why should I care about some old dead Japanese dude?” It’s being taken by some as me talking down to the audience or trying to anticipate what they might think. Again, biting me may perhaps be in order here. Because this is really more a reflection of what I thought when I first encountered Dogen. I don’t have a whole lot of reverence for so-called “ancient words of wisdom.” Loads of what’s taken for ancient wisdom in this world strikes me as just old bullshit that’s been repeated so many times it seems wise. My initial take on Dogen was that he was just another one of those guys everybody thought was way cool because he’d been dead so long (like that’s some kind of accomplishment). But I gave him a chance and discovered there really was something to it.

At any rate, everybody can bite me. OK? The line forms to your left.

And don’t forget all the places I’m going to be speaking next week in San Francisco (the list is 2 articles below this one). Ample opportunities abound for you to personally bite me if you wish to do so.

Please feel free the leave dozens of comments that totally miss the satirical tongue-in-cheek nature of this piece. And feel free to bite me if you don’t enjoy sarcasm.

Thanks! ; 0 )

122 Responses

  1. Koudelka
    Koudelka June 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm | |

    >>Anonymous
    Also,
    I’d have a lot more respect for your “intellect” if it knew the difference between the conjunction of “it” and “is” and the possessive form of the third-person gender neutral pronoun.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 12:43 pm | |

    koudelka: say what? those is some purty big words yer usin there.

    -PBR drinkin, homo hatin, NASCAR luvin redneck

  3. Koudelka
    Koudelka June 8, 2007 at 12:54 pm | |

    ah dont know wut ah actualy sayd ther enehways! whur’z ma budwizur. ahn ma sistur.

  4. keishin.ni
    keishin.ni June 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm | |

    Is that Buddhist with a ‘Be’ or Dudehist with a ‘Do’?
    Oh, i see, it’s a philosophy AND a practice!

  5. salvador dali parton
    salvador dali parton June 8, 2007 at 1:07 pm | |

    i’m a nascar hatin’ whitecastle pbr lovin’
    homo friendly booty-ist.

  6. John
    John June 8, 2007 at 3:15 pm | |

    anonymous said“…but I bet Brad hasn’t tried to explain Madhyamaka philosophy to them either. Of course, I doubt if Warner even knows what that is since it’s just intellectualism and not meaningful (oh, except to every Mahayana tradition in East Asia…).”

    Ha! It’s funny you would try to use Madhyamaka as an example. Brad just recently finshed helping Nishijima translate Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika into English.

    My admittedly ignorant opinion (I’ve read about Nagarjuna but haven’t actually read his work) is that it isn’t quite accurate to call Madhyamaka intellectualism for one, and second that Dogen employs a simalar method in Shobogenzo, which Brad explains in a resonably straightforward way in SD&SU;.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 4:11 pm | |

    Of course, the point that matters is that Brad is helping “Nishijima translate Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika into English”.

    It isn’t Brad’s understanding of Nagarjuna’s thought. It is Brad’s teacher’s understanding. I somehow doubt Brad is capable of understanding (or caring about) Nagarjuna. It’s just more big words for him.

  8. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth June 8, 2007 at 4:23 pm | |

    I practice Zen, by which I mean I sit on a regular basis.

    I also have a PhD and wrote a dissertation with a narrow (non-Buddhist-related) focus, fancy words, and 4 people as its audience.

    I also like punk and even used to play in bands and still say ‘dude’ on occasion.

    I’m also female, which seems a rarity on this rootin’ tootin’ dude-centric comment board/occasional pissing contest.

    I admit that the illusion that is my ego did still bristle a bit at BW’s comments about intellectuals, cause that assumes that all ‘intellectuals’ are the same and none like to say ‘dude’ or enjoy B movies. I also wish he would give a bit of credit to some other Buddhist writers out there, but that’s just my preference talking. What do I know? I am probably taking him too seriously, which I’m sure he wouldn’t condone, not that it matters what BW condones or doesn’t.

    Anyway, I like the books.

    I’m sure somewhere in here someone will take offense to something I’ve said. To which I say, lighten up, dudes.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 4:42 pm | |

    Are only people who sit and practice Zen real Buddhists?

    What about the Dalai Lama? Brad says that he isn’t a real Buddhist.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 4:59 pm | |

    “At any rate, everybody can bite me. OK? The line forms to your left.”

    Laughing My Fucking Ass Off

    i’ll have to remember that one.

    -bluewolf

    p.s. i love the cover of your new book. twould make a killer tattoo

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 5:01 pm | |

    Brad’s mission: to go where no bodhisattva has gone before.

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 5:06 pm | |

    my bad, to FEARLESSLY go where no bodhisattva has gone before.

  13. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth June 8, 2007 at 5:42 pm | |

    Contrary to what anonymous may think, by saying that I sit, I was not suggesting that zazen The Only Way ™ people should practice, and indeed, it is not the only way I practice. It is *A* way that I practice. I imagine it is not even the only way that BW practices, not that this matters a hill of beans what he, I, or anyone else chooses to do as a practice. I knew someone would get offended and take something I said the wrong way. Never mind. I’m always sorry I ever say anything on here.

    Enjoy trying to convince each other you’re right, dudes.

  14. Jules
    Jules June 8, 2007 at 5:46 pm | |

    It isn’t Brad’s understanding of Nagarjuna’s thought. It is Brad’s teacher’s understanding. I somehow doubt Brad is capable of understanding (or caring about) Nagarjuna. It’s just more big words for him.

    Have you read it? There really aren’t any big words, as far as I remember. It’s more like a bunch of small words, arranged in a very confusing way.

    Nice flamebait, by the way.

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 6:09 pm | |

    sweating the small stuff
    here in life’s locker room
    slogging through blog
    you’d think it was a job
    and somebody had to do it

  16. Jinzang
    Jinzang June 8, 2007 at 6:15 pm | |

    #!/usr/bin/perl
    wait(60001)
    print “Perl sucks!”

    #!/usr/bin/perl
    sleep(60001);
    print “Perl rules!n”;
    print “Your coding sucks!n”;
    print “See you at YAPC!n”;

  17. Jinzang
    Jinzang June 8, 2007 at 6:22 pm | |

    Let’s face it, Warner is anti-intellectual and no, it’s bullshit to think that all Buddhist concepts would be explained in simple language to anyone. A lot of it, sure, but I bet Brad hasn’t tried to explain Madhyamaka philosophy to them either.

    Brad is laughing his ass off that you take what he wrote so seriously. And the test of a real Buddhist is not how well they can expound on the Mulamadhyamikakarikas, but how they react when insulted.

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 7:13 pm | |

    You know, some people like big words. They like the way they feel in their mouth. And they like the way they feel in their mind. It’s not really different than liking the sound of punk rock. It’s not a virtue, just a preference. It’s no big deal.

  19. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 8:21 pm | |

    Being a shit-disturber can be immature (“bite me?”), but Zen is full of this sort of pushing of people’s buttons, isn’t it? What I find interesting in all this is what has come out of BW’s stirring of the pot. All this ego, anger, indignation, and pettiness has bubbled up.
    Cheers to BW for an excellent lesson in Zen!

    PS–Brad, your books are great, but punk/hardcore has been over since the 80′s….so please get over it and move on. Talking about old dead rock bands and what they once meant in the middle of a zen book is simply filler. This seems to be contrary to the spirit of both Harcore and Zen.

    I think I’ll go sit down and shut up now.

  20. Thom
    Thom June 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm | |

    Anonymous (kinda a cipher of a tag, don’t you think? Far better to have a moniker so that we think there’s an ‘other’ self out there to argue with), you said:

    ‘His reviewer’s dissertation is just that, a dissertation. It’s audience is intended to be his PhD committee and others of a similar academic level. It’s goal is to prove his mastery of a topic for the purposes of granting an academic degree.

    Apples and Oranges…’

    It aint. It’s still work put out there into the world, available in the public domain, with the intent of advancing the collective knowledge of humanity (and better ‘em). That’s what a dissertation is for, isn’t it? Warner’s book is put out there to lessen the suffering and better the lot of humanity, isn’t it? My rather irrelevant and poorly put point was that if his reviewer is going to criticise Warner’s work on the grounds that it has a narrow audience, then you could very well say the same of his own (and by implication make a dirty smear about its relevance). Which is unfair and far from generous, considering it’s really a paragraph long review in some magazine with its own limited audience, and I actually happen to like hearing about people’s scholarly work (and it really isn’t Bogin’s fault anyway: the very nature of modern academia necessarily generates ever-ramifying subtopics of ever microscopic areas of knowledge: that’s what’s necessary to piss on your own bit of scholarly turf). Plus reviewers generally only get their gig if they’ve got an alphabet soup after their name, and people wouldn’t respect them much if they didn’t have the alphabet soup.

    Elizabeth, you said:

    ‘I practice Zen, by which I mean I sit on a regular basis.

    I also have a PhD and wrote a dissertation with a narrow (non-Buddhist-related) focus, fancy words, and 4 people as its audience.

    I also like punk and even used to play in bands and still say ‘dude’ on occasion.

    I’m also female, which seems a rarity on this rootin’ tootin’ dude-centric comment board/occasional pissing contest.

    I admit that the illusion that is my ego did still bristle a bit at BW’s comments about intellectuals, cause that assumes that all ‘intellectuals’ are the same and none like to say ‘dude’ or enjoy B movies.’

    I have to say that I agree with you: I practice zen, by which I mean that I try and sit zazen in the prescribed way regularly, and I also hold a postgraduate degree in a non-Buddhist related area (and am a guilty devotee of fancy words). I’ve struggled with zen’s anti-intellectualism (particularly soto zen) for some time, given that I think there’s a lot to be said for a deep inquiry into the nature of things, some of which you can only do with fancy words, and after which only about 4 people will understand what you’ve had to say anyway. Sometimes saying that it’s all empty anyway just doesn’t quite satisfy. And I also think that saying dude and reading some heavy duty pointy ended philosophy aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I take your point about the lack of women in this ‘mine’s longer than yours’ contest as well. Women are under-represented in buddhism and in academia. And in punk rock. Maybe that’s because all of them rapidly devolve into pissing contests and women have better things to do.

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 9:58 pm | |

    plenty of women are here, we just post as ‘anonymous’

  22. Bizarro
    Bizarro June 8, 2007 at 10:30 pm | |

    I appreciate what you write, Brad. Your books (and blog) have helped me to make a lot of positive changes in my life, in ways that many other stuffy books completely failed to do.

    Thank you.

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2007 at 10:56 pm | |

    If the true measure of a Buddhist is how you respond to criticism, then Brad really fails.

    He calls people “butt buddies” or swears at them, displaying his anger and inability to really take any criticism for all to see.

    Brad wonders why no one shows up to his sitting sessions on a regular basis. I don’t wonder at all.

  24. Thom
    Thom June 9, 2007 at 12:02 am | |

    Anonymous = gender neutral?

  25. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth June 9, 2007 at 1:58 am | |

    Well, Virginia Woolf did say “Anonymous was a woman,” but I don’t think she necessarily meant that as a positive observation.

    Actually, there have been a lot of women in the Buddhist groups I’ve sat with, although men have still been in the majority most of the time. That said, I have always appreciated practicing with them. They were cool guys and didn’t seem all competitive and defensive.

    I guess there’s a fine line between being assertive or just being an ass. In terms of this comment board, I don’t really understand all the need for all of the insulting and character assassination, which, I just noticed, appropriately has 2x the ‘ass’ contained in it.

    In terms of intellectual vs. anti-intellectual, I appreciate the idea that Zen does not have to be grasped intellectually and can be understood intuitively without ever reading a book. I don’t think of that as anti-intellectual though, non-intellectual or beyond-intellectual maybe.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 9, 2007 at 2:32 am | |

    Once upon a time, I was a spouting know-it-all intellectual. As a result, I was an obnoxious little beast. The best thing that ever happened to me was being diagnosed two years ago with cognitive difficulties from an illness I have. I can’t think very well and I have trouble retaining what I learn. But I also don’t overthink stuff any more…and that’s a pretty good gig! I also learned that intellectualism ain’t all that and a bag of chips.

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 9, 2007 at 2:43 am | |

    “Brad is laughing his ass off that you take what he wrote so seriously. And the test of a real Buddhist is not how well they can expound on the Mulamadhyamikakarikas, but how they react when insulted.”

    Spoken like a true fanboy :)

    As someone already pointed out, Brad uses unskillful language on a regular basis. Buddha teaches us the following…

    “Do not make light of your faults saying, “They don’t bother me.” Just as a jug fills drop by drop, a fool becomes filled with his folly. “

    This Blog would be of less concern if Brad removed the “I’m a Zen monk” from his bio. Start acting like a monk, use skillful speech, and stop trying to be the bad boy of buddhism. Lets face it, Noah Levine does that role so much better than Brad.

  28. JasonDL
    JasonDL June 9, 2007 at 5:18 am | |

    its funny you mention this as I read the book and then a day later read the review in question. My reaction was the same, “this guy didnt even read it!”

    I realise that sounds like something everyone says when there is a bad review, but it honestly looks like the reviewer didnt actually crack the book at all!

    So I wrote a letter to the magazine (something I never have done before)suggesting that if the reviewr is going to critique the style of a book he might at least want to check the substance of it as well.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the book even more than Hardcore Zen which I enjoyed tremendously. And unlike the reviewers, I paid for my copy.

  29. JasonDL
    JasonDL June 9, 2007 at 5:28 am | |

    p.s. dont feed the trolls.

  30. dan
    dan June 9, 2007 at 6:13 am | |

    “As to the other commenter, I might have more respect for his derision if he could spell the word “Sanskrit” correctly”

    this is exactly what i’m talking about.

    you are a dick……………………………………….head

  31. ursa303
    ursa303 June 9, 2007 at 7:03 am | |

    This iz why your frickin awsome!!! You have a better grasp on buddhism than most people, but because you don’t talk like master Yoda people don’t respect you as a serious buddhist. You don’t give a shit about about the contrisy you generate and that makes you the shiznik. By the way, I would be honered to bite you!!! You are so frickin awsome!!!

  32. FeMonky
    FeMonky June 9, 2007 at 7:29 am | |

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m going to have to re-read the book with the Beavis & Butthead voice in mind… I don’t know if I can read it any other way!
    And I bought the book because of the cover! Gojira & Buddha?! I gotta read that!!!

  33. Bite_Me
    Bite_Me June 9, 2007 at 8:45 am | |

    >>Koudelka said…

    “So in a conflict, how do you tell a liberated man from a slave?”

    Only the mind of a slave will conceive conflict. If one perceives conflict, the wisest thing one can do is to realize one is a slave.

    Conflict is a state of suffering. Suffering is due to attachment. Attachment is due to not knowing. This is the state of slavery.

    The slave who wishes to be liberated will take some time to reexamine the whole conflict situation, including their role in it. They will choose do this with their own mind, under their own authority. Usually this happens after a long time of wining and losing conflicts, after a long time of enjoying conflict. Eventually the slave realizes the need to find trusted beings, liberated or at least more-free, from whom reliable instructions for re-examining conflict can be heard.

    Seems like Brad & his writing does this for many and that’s really a great thing in this world.

    This has been the actual experience of this slave, speaking from this mind, none other, expressing, not seeking conflict, open to any assistance that may further loosen these chains I can’t see.

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 9, 2007 at 9:26 am | |

    whole lotta duddhists on this blog
    what is the sound of one finger typing?

  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 9, 2007 at 9:27 am | |

    “This iz why your frickin awsome!!! You have a better grasp on buddhism than most people,”

    LOL. That would be who, the ‘most people’ on the planet who never read a copy of the Dhammapada?

  36. Joey
    Joey June 9, 2007 at 9:50 am | |

    I just finished you book, Hardcore Zen. I just wanted to say thank you for writing it. I just posted my “review” per-say on my blog. Again great job and amazing, clear writing.

  37. yudo
    yudo June 9, 2007 at 10:20 am | |

    Here is what a 65 years old lady from Southern Italy, with absolutely no knowledge at all of punk rock, wrote to me after I had her read Hardcore Zen:

    Aspetto con gioia gli estratti di Brad: mi ha aiutato molto a capire e ad accettare senza fare tante storie gli eventi della vita. Grazie anche a te.

    (I’m waiting with joy the extracts from Brad’s book: he has helped me a lot to understand and accept without so much fuss the events of my life. Thanks to you too.)

  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 9, 2007 at 11:56 am | |

    Brad’s writing is mixed but he’s the ‘real deal’ and damned insightful. He’s also young, Caucasian, clearly heterosexual and not from the intelligentsia, although he’s clearly a smart, from the solid middle-class dude. And he’s opinionated and rude (in a cute way, if you ask me). No surprise he’s pushing lots and lots of buttons in the Buddhist blog-o-sphere. Here are my two cents as to why (don’t spend them all in one day)

    Some people really freak out at Brad’s bad-boy speech, you can see the seething anger or irritation behind their criticism of his words. Maybe in the past they laughed at stories of crazy wisdom or other bad-boy zen masters (the Korean tradition is full of them). Maybe they ‘understand’ Buddhism but they don’t get Zen. They just like pretty, soothing, and complicated talk from people like themselves. They’re like “Hey Zen Master Brad-O, I can’t believe some bumfuck from fly-over country got some ‘transmission’ in Japan from a nobody zazen-obsessed zen master before I did and dares tell me about it in his own way.” Clearly real gringo zen masters need to have a small liberal-arts school education, have been sweet sensitive contemplative types and have written thoughtful, if deluded poetry before embarking on to Asia to get enlightenment (with at least an MA in Asian languages and cultures). Now there’s a respectable zen teacher! Too bad Hui-Neng himself never passed the civil service exam and he probably didn’t smell too good after a long day pounding rice.

    Maybe it’s soothing to hear pretty zen talk. I know I like it. It’s also good to pull out for the folks or to hang on my meditation room wall. But then we have trouble with Un Mun’s shit stick buddha or Ko Bong’s freedom style. Just because Brad don’t talk pretty don’t mean that he’s really bad. And he’s not anti-intellectual in my reading, he’s anti-mental masturbation. The question is, what do you like? What fills your belly?

    Zen is Buddhism, but not all Buddhism is Zen (as with any other school). Most Zen schools criticize those who try to understand Buddhism without practice or depend too heavily on the sutras as if they were the Christian Bible; it’s like really, really understanding the menu but never eating your dinner. The point is, are you full? If you are, then you can understand the menu without reading it obsessively. And if you’ve eaten, why read the menu again? unless you’re curious or to see the ingredients in that yummy pudding.

    There’s some real difference here between Buddhist schools–some are very complicated with multiple levels of sutra study, lots of ‘stages’ and secret initiations, lots of levels of teachers and kinds of enlightenment and students who are into obsessive ‘modelling’ and ‘evolutionary’ approaches. No surprise they might not like Zen style, there’s that poem: “Buddha taught the sutras to save all minds. If you don’t keep any of these minds, what need do you have of sutras?” Other styles are very simple and direct but take a different approach to the set of questions that make up Buddhism (like really doing things slowly all the time). Again, it depends on what you need.

    I think another group of commenters want Buddhism to be like a philosophy church without that troublesome God, but they get to decide who breaks precepts and who doesn’t, and how to punish people who don’t speak like they do, who gets to be part of their ‘pretty club’ and who doesn’t, who is a real teacher and who isn’t etc. They want their smartness (hey, I’m a -real- intellectual and understand how these cool Buddhist sutras are just like Western physics) to count somehow in their lives for more than it does (speaking from personal experience here). I want my PhD to count for something, right? It doesn’t help them put their pants on or take a shower, after all (ouch, that’s me I’m writing about!)

    I liked Brad’s comments on the Shobogenzo and his insistence that you have to do it for yourself. You do the sitting, you’ll know for yourself whether the coffee is hot or cold. You commit some unclear action, you suffer the consequences. You don’t, you won’t. But there are great causes and effects. Spring comes, snow melts.

    As for me, I’m ‘anonymous’, not heterosexual, well-educated with poor taste in music (not even punk) and appreciate Brad’s refreshing, bad-boy pun-filled tone. He’s also got something to teach if you hear it.

  39. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth June 9, 2007 at 12:16 pm | |

    Rock on, anon, whoever you are. Amen, sista (or bro, whichever). You totally characterized this comment board and some (needlessly) divisive issues in Buddhism generally. You hit the nail right on the head.

  40. Jared
    Jared June 9, 2007 at 1:50 pm | |

    Talk talk talk talk….

    A shamefully low number of these posts address WHY we should give a shit about how Brad feels over a book review. Or anything! I like Brad, he seems like a nice guy. But who cares?? I can’t remember who posted it or what they were talking about, but I think a ton of people reading this blog would do well to take the javelin out of their eye before they comment on someone else’s splinter. Brad gets mad just like you and me, regardless of whether or not this was one of those times. Give the dude a break and sit your ass back on the zafu!

    P.S. Buddha-Chicks are hawt ;-D

  41. Jinzang
    Jinzang June 9, 2007 at 4:13 pm | |

    People like myself to whom the lyrics of “God Of Thunder” by KISS seem like a profound commentary on spiriuality (I am being completely serious here, by the way. Listen to it sometime.).

    You’ve got something about you
    You’ve got something I need
    Daughter of Aphrodite
    Hear my words and take heed
    I was born on Olympus
    To my father a son
    I was raised by the demons
    Trained to reign as the one

    God of thunder and rock and roll
    The spell you’re under
    Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul

    I’m the lord of the wastelands
    A modern day man of steel
    I gather darkness to please me
    And I command you to kneel

    Whaaaat?? (Scratches head.) Maybe your next book will explain the Zen of Kiss lyrics.

  42. Jinzang
    Jinzang June 9, 2007 at 4:24 pm | |

    I like Brad, he seems like a nice guy. But who cares??

    People just like to argue. Even Zennies, who should know better.

  43. Koudelka
    Koudelka June 9, 2007 at 6:53 pm | |

    >>bite me

    Wow, sounds pretty dramatic, man.

  44. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 10, 2007 at 12:53 am | |

    “God of thunder and rock and roll
    The spell you’re under
    Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul”

    ‘virgin soul’ is a reference to buddha mind.
    ‘The spell you’re under’ is delusion, attachment, craving etc.

    Master Bankei wrote…

    Keep your mind as it was
    When you came into the world
    And instantly this very self
    Is a living “thus-come” one

  45. Koudelka
    Koudelka June 10, 2007 at 1:02 am | |

    you people are retarded, i quit.

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 10, 2007 at 1:52 am | |

    be sure and shut the door on your way out :)

  47. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 10, 2007 at 2:22 am | |

    and this makes this, comment number 97….

    -bluewolf

  48. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 10, 2007 at 3:06 am | |

    Brad said, “Seriously, though, I think one of the great tragedies is how Buddhism has become the property of stuffy intellectuals who seem intent upon making it as inaccessible as possible to ordinary dumb people like me.”

    Absolutely! I hope you keep right on doing what you’re doing, even when you piss me off. That mag takes itself way too seriously (taking oneself seriously seems to be a common Buddhist disease or something).

    DB

  49. Jared
    Jared June 10, 2007 at 7:41 am | |

    Who else thinks that “Girls” by the Beastie Boys is also a not-so-subtle musical treatise on Buddha-mind?

    :-D

  50. esmerelda_verde
    esmerelda_verde June 10, 2007 at 9:06 am | |

    Well, I thought it was a good review in that if I had not already bought the book it would make me likely to go find it.

    By the way I took the book to Greece and read most of it on the Island of Samos. While I also looked at big fish and the ocean, it was still a good place to read it. I do now understand Dogen a little better.

    Thanks Brad, sorry I couldn’t take you but I figure you and the book are one so you got to go too, in a way.

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