The Journal clearly declined in the few short weeks with Abate at the helm. Though it will never, ever make up for the stupidity of demoting this county's best journalist, this at least makes me think the out-bleeding at the paper may have been "Abated." Now, bring back HANK! In any case, Burns is a sharp guy who will certainly uphold the NCJ to its former glorious standards and intelligence. I feel like the hooks have been removed from my back, and I may now once again pick up the NCJ without groaning.
This comic is still available at:
40600 Highway 299,
Willow Creek, CA 95573
Due to health problems of the author the series has unfortunately been put on hold for now. Issues #0 and #1 are in stock now.
From his previous album, Lie Down in the Light:
"Heed this word: BEWARE
for my heart's ways are unclear.
A fundamental prayer
leaves the evil one stripped bare."
Bonnie Billy is a cryptic alchemist playing esoteric wisdom games; but he is also a trickster who seeks to fool you through fun and music toward ultimate questions and the opening of real feeling in a tarnished and absurd world.
“Gnothi Sauton” hides behind an apparent pseudonym: Greek, for "Know Thyself," as inscribed on the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece. Come out, Mr./Mrs./Mz. "Ghothi," reveal thyself and thine holy bias.
NCJ WEB SITE ERROR. CORRECTED FIRST PART: As regards the previous Comments (by gnothi_sauton), let me say the following. The reader neglects to notice that this is a positive review. One must, I see, be careful not to step on the toes of true believers. Iyer himself indicates often that he is NOT a Buddhist practitioner, just as he was not a disciple of his father and Theosophy. He did speak at the Lodge in Santa Barbara that this reviewer attended (where I was acquainted with him), but he was not one of the “gopis” of which he quipped. This was a light-hearted joke, surely, as it was made to a theosophist. There is MUCH in Iyer's writings that indicates the influence of his father, just as there is a great sympathy for the various cultures and religions he encounters in his travels and depicts in his writings. BUT he does remain skeptical in the sense of continuing to critique their relevancy and their possible follies.
To every one: this is a great book. Run out and get it, whether or not you are a Buddhist. Tibet is perhaps the most heartbreaking current example of cultural assimilation and genocide in the world today. One of the world's most sophisticated and advanced cultures, sadly, its homeland is being turned into a Chinese "pleasure city" for gamblers, prostitution, and cheap tourism. Read this book, read the others such as Avedon's "In Exile from the Land of Snows," or Mary Craig's "Tears of Blood." Learn. Do something.
(Look, I just wrote nearly 800 words. I could have been paid $40.00 for this!)
I would argue again that the MOST characteristic element in Pico Iyer's writings has always been equivocation and a sense of ironic juxtaposition--it is this that gives the interesting contrasts and ironies to his work. It is here in this book, as well. NOT as in common parlance; this is not "irony" of a bitter sense, but rather the ironic as it is revealed when one thing is different or varied from expectations, often revealing its opposite character. And "equivocal" simply means considering something from multiple angles, the undecided quality of things in constant change and adaptation. This is a mature, sensible view of the world as it is today, rather than the rigid conviction that the commenter seems to desire. This is NOT an advocate's book on Buddhism, but an analysis of a real man living a very interesting life of multiple roles. The Dalai Lama is at once a traditional leader of an ancient culture, a god-king, as well as a politician and a real-world pragmatist and globalist. He seeks to reform and modernize his tradition every bit as much as he seeks to enact political reform and evolution of human ethics. "The Open Road" is not a hagiography; but neither does it discount the value of religious tradition.
This review sought to place this book into the context of Iyer's previous writings, and to provide perspective on its subject and author that one could not necessarily encounter in the dozens of other published reviews on the subject. It was limited to only six hundred words, and so had to be very brief. A book synopsis it is not. The review DOES mention the author's long relationship with the Lama, and it seeks to reveal Iyer as much as the Lama, both of whom are living in the difficulty of that world of change and constant need for evolving perspectives. The last paragraph is not an ad hominem, nor a fallacy, for it is NOT an attack. It is meant to convey the analytical engagement Iyer has always shown, one where he could speak from the podium to an audience of the spiritually enchanted while remaining himself critical. “Critical” here, lest we have further misunderstanding, does not mean “disparaging.” Rather it means being rationally engaged with one’s subject, considering its many aspects, thinking it over. This is what Iyer does in his book. He does not accept the teachings of the Lama blindly, though he does obviously love the man. He sees value in Tibetan Buddhist thought and ethics, but also lengthily considers their relevancy to today’s world. He also constantly considers the follies of unconsidered belief. It is not a sin to critically analyze our heroes and great exemplars; but there is a problem when we make graven idols of them and become reactionary at perceived insults to them. I would counsel the commenter to consider this ethic, and its place within Ethics and Buddhist thought.
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In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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