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#1558 - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
This morning the green fists of
the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open -
pools of lace,
white and pink -
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities -
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again -
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
~ Mary Oliver ~
Words of My Perfect Teacher
Not much on her site about it, but there is a blurb on the
film here: http://www.ziji.ca/wompt.html.
It played at the Atlantic Film Festival here in Halifax
tonight, and it was really excellent. The director and filmmaker,
Lesley Ann Patten http://www.ziji.ca/lap.html,
followed a particular Tibetan buddhist lama named Dzongsar
Khyentse Rinpoche to several locations around the world, showing
his relationship with herself as a student and a handful of
others who accompanied her. Great film, and she was also very
cool -- she spoke at the screening. She also has some interesting
things to say about the film and TV industry at http://www.ziji.ca/overview.html.
The music was also very, very good. I sent her an e-mail asking
about that music and also to tell her how much I enjoyed the
Interesting point raised about eating from the film. One of the students was talking about practicing mindfulness as you open the fridge door. Said, "Why are we really opening that door at ten o'clock at night, anyway? Are we really hungry? Do we need that food? Or instead, are we just trying to make ourselves feel happy for a moment?"
I thought about that as I worked my way steadily through a big bag of popcorn. Thought to myself, "I don't need some crazy meal plan or anything to finish losing the rest of my weight, I just need to be more mindful of what I'm eating and when I'm eating it." A different student observed that Rinpoche never ate more than he needed and never said more than he needed. Focusing on eating what the body actually requires given its activity level each day would also be helpful, I think.
September 15, 2003
Three Easy Pieces for Any Decent American
(from Michael Moore)
There are many otherwise decent Americans who are either
still on the fence about George W. Bush or they actually
profess to like the man. They are the ones who make up the
58% approval ratings and the 64% who say they still believe
the war was a good idea. You know these people well. They
work next to you, or they sit in the classroom next to you,
or they may even be sitting at your kitchen table right now!
I think that we need to hold out a hand to them, not in a
partisan sort of way, and not with any condescension. I think
that if we share with them a few pieces of information, and
do it with common sense instead of politics, there is a
chance we just might break through and turn things around.
Perhaps it's my foolish optimism in the goodness that is in
every person, and in their ability to ultimately know right
I would like to give you three little vignettes to share with
them. They are so simple and so shocking in their very
content that, if you pass them around the office, the school,
the neighborhood or the bedroom, it may just do the trick.
Here they are:
1. GEORGE AND LAURA ON 9/11 -- A BARREL OF LAUGHS!
The following is an interview with the First Couple from the
current issue of one of my favorite magazines, Ladies Home
Journal (Oct. '03). They are asked about what September 11,
2001, was like for them personally, and, although over 3,000
people had just perished, George W. was able to find some
humor by the end of that day:
Peggy Noonan (the interviewer): You were separated on
September 11th. What was it like when you saw each other
again? Laura Bush: Well, we just hugged. I think there was a certain
amount of security in being with each other than being apart.
George W. Bush: But the day ended on a relatively humorous
note. The agents said, "you'll be sleeping downstairs.
Washington's still a dangerous place." And I said no, I can't
sleep down there, the bed didn't look comfortable. I was
really tired, Laura was tired, we like our own bed. We like
our own routine. You know, kind of a nester. I knew I had to
deal with the issue the next day and provide strength and
comfort to the country, and so I needed rest in order to be
mentally prepared. So I told the agent we're going upstairs,
and he reluctantly said okay. Laura wears contacts, and she
was sound asleep. Barney was there. And the agent comes
running up and says, "We're under attack. We need you
downstairs," and so there we go. I'm in my running shorts and
my T-shirt, and I'm barefooted. Got the dog in one hand,
Laura had a cat, I'm holding Laura --
Laura Bush: I don't have my contacts in , and I'm in my fuzzy
house slippers --
George W. Bush: And this guy's out of breath, and we're
heading straight down to the basement because there's an
incoming unidentified airplane, which is coming toward the
White House. Then the guy says it's a friendly airplane. And
we hustle all the way back up stairs and go to bed.
Mrs. Bush: [LAUGHS] And we just lay there thinking about the
way we must have looked.
Peggy Noonan (interviewer): So the day starts in tragedy and
ends in Marx Brothers.
George W. Bush: THAT'S RIGHT-- WE GOT A LAUGH OUT OF IT!
Although America had just suffered the worst attack ever on
our own soil, somehow this man was able to end his day on a
funny note. I wonder how many of the 3,000 families who lost
someone earlier that day had a funny ending before they went
to sleep? Please read the above exchange aloud to anyone who
will listen. It speaks volumes.
2. WE HAVE JUST WRECKED OUR KIDS' FUTURE.
The first paragraph in yesterday's New York Times story on
how Bush has taken a record surplus and demolished it into a
record deficit was one of the best lead paragraphs I have
ever read in a newspaper article.
Here's how it went:
"When President Bush informed the nation last Sunday
that remaining in Iraq next year will cost another $87
billion, many of those who will actually pay that bill were
unable to watch. They had already been put to bed by their
Bingo. Gee, I hope the kids thank us some day!
Here's the next paragraph (my emphasis added):
"Administration officials acknowledged the next day that
every dollar of that cost will be BORROWED, a loan that
economists say will be repaid by the NEXT generation of
taxpayers AND THE GENERATION AFTER THAT. The $166 BILLION
cost of the work SO FAR in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has
stunned many in Washington, will be added to what was already
the largest budget deficit the nation has ever known."
Every conservative friend of yours should weep when they read
that, and then you should hug them and tell them that it'll
be okay, once we all do what we need to do.
3. WHAT WOULD $87 BILLION BUY?
If you can't get through this list without wanting to throw
up, I'll understand. But pass it around anyway. This is the
nail in the Iraq War's coffin for any sane, thinking
individual, regardless of their political stripe (thanks to
TomPaine.com and the Center for American Progress)...
To get some perspective, here are some real-life comparisons
about what $87 billion means:
$87 Billion Is More Than The Combined Total Of All
Budget Deficits In The United States.
The Bush administration proposed absolutely zero funds to
help states deal with these deficits, despite the fact that
their tax cuts drove down state revenues. [Source: Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities]
$87 Billion Is Enough To Pay The 3.3 Million People
Lost Jobs Under George W. Bush $26,363 Each!
The unemployment benefits extension passed by Congress at the
beginning of this year provides zero benefits to "workers who
exhausted their regular, state unemployment benefits and
cannot find work." All told, two-thirds of unemployed workers
have exhausted their benefits. [Source: Center on Budget and
$87 Billion Is More Than DOUBLE The Total Amount The
Government Spends On Homeland Security.
The U.S. spends about $36 billion on homeland security. Yet,
Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) wrote "America will fall
approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical
emergency responder needs" for homeland security without a
funding increase. [Source: Council on Foreign Relations]
$87 Billion Is 87 Times The Amount The Federal
Spends On After School Programs.
George W. Bush proposed a budget that reduces the $1 billion
for after-school programs to $600 million -- cutting off
about 475,000 children from the program. [Source: The
Republican-dominated House Appropriations Committee]
$87 Billion Is More Than 10 Times What The Government
On All Environmental Protection.
The Bush administration requested just $7.6 billion for the
entire Environmental Protection Agency. This included a 32
percent cut to water quality grants, a 6 percent reduction in
enforcement staff, and a 50 percent cut to land acquisition
and conservation. [Source: Natural Resources Defense Council]
There you go. In black and white. A few million of you will
receive this letter. Please share the above with at least a
half-dozen people today and tomorrow. I, like you, do not
want to see another approval rating over 50%.
Yours, Michael Moore www.michaelmoore.com [email protected]
PS. Thanks for the astounding response to the Wesley Clark
letter (and for your kind comments to me). Over 95% of the
thousands of letters received favored the General tossing his
helmet in the ring. All were passed on to his organization.
More to come on the road to removing Bush...
Contributed by Iamom to Live Journal
Margaret Cho http://www.margaretcho.com/blog/blog.htm
The Bible just got a makeover! There is a
new teen magazine called Revolve, which is actually the New
Testament disguised as a girl's fashion publication. So
instead of JANE, it's MARY. It's not TEEN PEOPLE, it's TEEN
DISCIPLE. It's choc-a-block full of sidebars of top ten tips
like where to go on a date (Take cookies to an old folks
home., Start a prayer group., Wash his feet with your hair!)
to beauty tips (prayer, as inner beauty cannot compete with
makeup or skincare). Then there are reminders of how to be a
Revolve Girl - Don't call guys, don't kiss and tell, guys
don't like that you show too much skin when you dress so be
aware! I guess inevitably there will be dreamy pictures of
Jesus, John the Baptist, and that bad boy Judas Iscariot (I
just can't help it, he makes me feel dirty!).
The magazine encourages the Revolve readers to be nice to
underclassmen and to honor their parents, unless their
parents want them to smoke pot, which is not God's will, so
there is a little leeway in the Ten Commandments that anyone
could twist and turn into their favor. I think this is the
best thing to happen to the Lord since, well, since the
reformation of the church, let by Martin Luther, not the
King, the German dude. It's about making God appealing for
teenage girls, because Christian opinion must think that
these girls are so stupid that they will believe anything
printed on glossy paper. To their credit, it is true. We are
duped by the hi-shine veneer of fashion magazines, girls and
women alike. From Teen to Mirabella, we believe, maybe not in
God and the Holy Spirit, but Clinique and Zac Posen. We are
devoted, but not to a religion that is old or particularly
It really is a cult, whose main philosophy is that "If
adhere to our principles and commandments and buy what we
tell you to, herein lies power." It is the empty promise that
if you emulate as closely as you can the images underneath
the gloss of the pages, you will be superior to other women,
and therefore more likely to catch the approval of men, and
that is really what we all want - right? I actually believe
Revolve is a positive thing, because it doesn't pretend to be
the way to our salvation as the other fashion rags do. It IS
the ANSWER, in that it is the WORD, the SCRIPTURE, the
MESSAGE - and whether you choose to believe or not - by the
way - I tend to be on the 'not' side - they are honest in the
fact that it is the fucking BIBLE. Not anything but the
alleged word of God written by a bunch of hippies a long time
ago when everyone wore sandals. Christianity is often
villified by the left wing intelligencia, and for good
reason. They are capable of the most idiotic behavior, but
sometimes, the simple belief that we need to be kind to
others and to ourselves is a nice one, and a bunch of
Christians I know are like that. So I prefer some Gospel to
some media propaganda that is telling me I have dark circles
under my eyes which undermines my chance at happiness -
therefore La Mer is the Golden Calf I must bow down to. Kinda
want to get a subscription to Revolve. I wonder if they have
Come and Go Series -- Boudoir, Pan Li-hong's current solo exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, originated from a Buddhist tale.
An old Buddhist monk is about to die. His disciples surround him, waiting for his final guidance on life. "People come and people go. Nothing happens in between," with these last words, the master attained nirvana. Pan recounted the story at the opening of the exhibition to calming Chinese flute music. "Why hurry yourself and be so busy when such is life?" Pan asked.
Drapes of white silk create a maze at Pan Li-hong's Come and Go Seriesv - Boudoir exhibition held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taipei.
PHOTO: VICO LEE, TAIPEI TIMES
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