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  • hardie karges 9:15 am on August 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Buddhism 101: Life is about Suffering, and Its Cessation (NOT the Pursuit of Happiness)… 

    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    First Noble (Aryan, Civilized, Precious) Truth (Reality, Faith, Fact, etc.): “Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.”

    In other words: Life is suffering.  If you don’t understand that, then you’ll never really understand Buddhism.  Many modern proselytizing Buddhist priests from foreign ports, and their local converts and adherents, try to downplay this fact for their shiny happy American audiences, ultimately doing a disservice to both: weakening the philosophy and misleading the Homies.  No, there is no mistranslation, nor any misunderstanding.  That’s what he said and that’s what he meant.  Our lives as Americans are a lie, shiny and happy with mouth wide open.  There’s a word for that: Christian; not Buddhist.

    Second Truth: “Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for dis-becoming.”

    In other words: There is a cause for this suffering—desire.  Sorry, Homies, but Buddhism is not about ‘following your passion.’  ‘Following your passion’ is verrrry Christian.  This is Buddhism.  Get over it. (More …)

  • hardie karges 11:07 am on August 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acid rock, Jefferson Airplane, jefferson Starship, ,   

    Jefferson Starship: When a Band Becomes a Tribute to Itself, but not sloppy dead… 

    It was with some lack of luster that I signed on to the concept of seeing (and hearing) Jefferson Starship in concert at the Twilight Concert Series at Santa Monica Beach the other night. In fact I probably wouldn’t have, but for the beach itself, and my wife’s love of it. I mean, I’m no huge fan of their biggest commercial hits: “We Built this City,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” etc., and a much much bigger fan of their earlier incarnation as the Jefferson Airplane…

    Of course much of the problem is their third incarnation, or rather ‘spin-off’, as plain white ‘Starship’, which has more in common with Foreigner and Aha! than the Airplane, which pretty much defined ‘acid rock’. Still I showed up, hoping for the best—and was rewarded. Now I’m also no great fan of dino-rock in general, BUT… the Airplane was pretty special, and political, which seems very appropriate in this day and age. The current tour pays ample homage to the old days and ways and plays, while delivering quite acceptable renditions of the tunes themselves. (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:49 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , homophone, , vocabulary   

    Homophobes, Homophones, homo sapiens non sapiens… 

    If I simply avoid using the words ‘there’, ‘their’, and ‘they’re’, for fear of mixing them up, even though I know the correct usage, but always prone to a slip of the pen, glitch of the keyboard, mishmash of the motor neurons, or total breakdown of the autonomic nervous system; I mean: it’s not like I’m mixing disgust with discussed or I whored while hoarding the horde much less gamboled while I gambled, or did anything mean that I really didn’t mean in the meantime…

    I rather like them, in fact, homophones that is, if properly based on creativity while I baste the turkey in some debased state or otherwise in come pat a bull overt oh fence because I all most eight a hole brownie instead of the whole in the donut; I just don’t won’t to get a case of gilt when I new all along which won was write and the udder was miss taken, just an ax a dental sir come stance of berth and no like of incite on my part…

    I mean don’t ewe ever get stoned and right you’re fool head off, then go back and reed it just to find that its total gibberish? I don’t wont THAT. I’ve all ways herd that ewe knead sum thing to right about be four ewe even start the pro cess, but now I’m knot sew shoo-er. Sum thymes the best righting has knot won thing to dew with the subject madder at awl, but rather with the things ewe cum up with wile thin king about sum thin else, given the lye to the old ad age about no inn you’re subject. May be aisle just sir render and you’s core rect English. But that doesn’t make me a homophobe, does it?

  • hardie karges 7:10 pm on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bruce Springsteen, ,   

    ‘Born to Run: Celebrating Springtime for Springsteen 

    All the hubbub over the anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s breakthrough #1 album ‘Born to Run’ overlooks a few important facts: 1) the song itself only reached number 23 on the Billboard charts, and 2) the song is itself only Bruce’s 15th most successful, and 3) Springsteen has NEVER had a number one song–EVER.  For the cognoscenti, yes, it was a breakthrough album, and for Springsteen himself…ditto, BUT just by the facts and figures of singles and jingles in an era of album-oriented rock, it was hardly earth-shattering or ground-shaking. You had to be there to appreciate it, I think…

  • hardie karges 8:19 am on August 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , End of Days   

    Religio-Politics 101: Christian Death Wish–Apocalypse Soon? 

    The difference between me and the Christian Apocalyptics is that they want the End of Days; I don’t. Michelle Bachmann (remember her?) even actively encourages it, suggesting that the Iran nuclear deal would fit that business plan perfectly—great. And most mainstream Christians aren’t much better, they some of the world’s biggest consumers, they and their suburbs and Subarus and eight-lane freeways and store-bought freedoms, life measured by toys in the attic and needles for the addict…

    Of course what we have in common is that we both see the poop hitting the ventilator soon and life as we know it coming to an unceremonious end. Once again, though, they’re expecting some kind of rapture, while I’m looking for massive social disruptions and an economic crash that will… (wait for it)… likely solve the cause of the problem—eventually. By then, of course, it’ll be too late by some people’s reckoning and we’ll never get back to where we are today—good. Today sux… (More …)

  • hardie karges 5:04 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air conditioner, ,   

    Air Conditioned Nightmares, Eco-Green Daydreams… 

    I hate A/C and all that it stands for: the machines whirring and the air stirring, and the cool breeze blowing up my crack. Actually that part I like—sometimes. But what I hate most is the artificiality, the lie, the ultimate conceit, that we can defeat Nature, that we can override any and all obstacles, that we can ultimately prevail in our quest to enforce our will upon this planet, for the price of a barrel of oil… (More …)

  • hardie karges 4:48 pm on August 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Clickbait and a Better Mousetrap: Internet as Swiss Cheese 

    Facebook is a carnival midway, if you’re an oldster, or maybe a hippie fair, if you’re a boomer, everybody trying to sell something, mostly crap, but you never know, gotta’ get you off the pavement and into a cool room to discuss matters, like an Oriental rug merchant, sip some mint tea, and finesse that bulge in your pocket, the one that holds the money, not the one that wears the genes…

    The Internet is Swiss cheese, Emmentaler, hardened and full of holes, going off in to other dimensions. FB is a 3-D medium, a surface like People magazine, all smiles and light, and an infinite number of worm-holes that you’re supposed to crawl down for a better view of the Matrix, the ads, the commercials, the dark hidden world of desire unrequited…

  • hardie karges 10:04 am on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Love’s ‘Crush’ as the Basis for Religion? Or maybe shamanism or ‘life-coaching’ or … wha’d’ya got? 

    Image result for God pics

    We all know that ‘crush’ of falling in love, if not for the first time, then at least the first time in a long time, or with any one particular person, something that can go on for days, weeks, months, even years, while you try to get sorted and either get it or forget it. That’s the problem, of course, that ‘crushes’ can consume you, multiple times, and then just go away like nothing ever happened: “now you’re just somebody that I used to know”…

    I don’t think I’m being too ‘anal’ (pardon the cliché) by suggesting that this is not always the optimal basis for a relationship—sometimes maybe, but not always. The opposite extreme, of course, would be to have marriages that are not only planned, but planned by someone else! Yeow! That goes directly against modern Western thinking, obviously, though still quite popular in traditional cultures of the Asian sub-continent and elsewhere. (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:35 pm on August 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , meteors, Perseids, stars   

    Stars and Meteor Showers, Hollywood and High Lands… 

    Image result for perseids meteor shower picsI miss the old days, when we’d sit around and watch the stars every evening, up in the sky, not Hollywood Boulevard, up in Griffith Park, not Highland or Vine, imagining that those celestial bodies were items familiar to us and picking our favorites from the crowd: the dog star, the dipper and the crab, just like old friends, there every night waiting, like Bogart and Bacall, Taylor and Burton, Jolie and Pitt, de Havilland and Flynn…

    But sometimes there would be something different, something truly exciting, an eclipse or a comet or a supernova’s Greatest Show on Earth, like the Oscars, or the latest scandal from Babylon, or the Screen Actors Guild picnic. Of course there were also seasonal changes, Sun marking off its calendar along the horizon, or the moon having its period with the rising of tides and occasionally veiling its face, coy and toying with the audience and the suitors, like Marilyn mugging for the camera or Clint squinting in the sun or Cagney reading the riot act or Jimmy Stewart taking it on the chin…

    Those were the good ol’ days, the popcorn and the ice cream and the snow cones and the corn dogs, the gangsters and the good guys and the heroes and the vamps, frozen boiled fried breaded sprinkled dipped waffled and dripped, coiffed draped waved eye-lined lipsticked cinched up and driven, just for us: every day every night every summer every winter every year every decade for the rest of our lives, rest in peace when they close the cinema doors to Heaven…

    This is the time of year for the Perseid showers and I still haven’t seen it (them) yet. Maybe I’ll try again tonight—one last chance I hope. They say a new moon is the perfect time, after midnight. But you need to be in a place of few artificial lights. I like that idea. I like it here in the Arizona desert, the higher the better…

  • hardie karges 3:18 pm on August 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antonio Banderas, Automata, DVD, Melanie Griffith, , scienc fiction   

    DVD Review: Automata—Clunker with a Heart of Gold 

    I missed this movie when it came out a year ago, but that’s nothing new. I miss a lot. And foreign-made films don’t always rate first response from the American press. I suspect that’s why the reviews were not so good, either. Hollywood loves nothing so much as itself, even with Antonio Banderas in the lead role and Dylan McDermott and Melanie Griffith backing up. It’s just not a Hollywood flick and that speaks volumes. Even Robert Rodriguez rates better press than this from his Texas stronghold, but then he follows the bang-bang playbook to a ‘T’.

    Okay, so ‘Automata’ might not be ‘Birdman’ or even ‘Matrix’, but it’s not bad, not bad at all. It’s not easy making a good sci-fi film. It has to be ‘scientific’ enough for that crowd, yet realistic enough to be believable, and still satisfy the human need for narrative and sympathy—not easy. Apparently the main beef seems to be that it doesn’t live up to its promise. Geez! Give it credit for even having a promise! Most sci-fi flicks don’t, and action films don’t even pretend to..

    ‘The Matrix’ was great, but totally unbelievable. ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t even count. That’s just live-action animation based on the ‘Hero with a 1000 Faces’ mono-myth like 1000 other stories. And space-based tales like it and ‘Star Trek’ are largely a failed paradigm now—too bad—though ‘2001’ will never be surpassed in that genre. Space is dead—for now. Wait for the Mars space program—if we’re lucky. So we’re left with robots for our science fix, still relevant if kept up-to-date. (More …)

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