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Tuesday
Nov262013

Guest Blog: The Angry Buddhist

Today’s blog post is a contribution from an old friend. He used to go by the name Wayne Lively. After many years of studying the writings of Siddhartha Gautama (commonly known as the Buddha) and those who followed in his footsteps, Mr. Lively sold his Harley, gave away all his worldly belongings (such as they were) and entered a Buddhist monastery. Since being consecrated or commissioned or whatever it is that Buddhists do when you enter the monkish life, he uses the name Don Gatasaro, a bow to his family and ethnic roots, though to me he is still ‘Wayne.’

He has undergone a remarkable change in his views on life and his vision for this planet. He studies philosophy, psychology, history and genetics along with his ongoing Buddhist training and is currently working on a book blending the palliative effects of mindfulness meditation with a broader social view of the modern world. But he retains his life-long fascination with politics. Born into a rigid conservative family and community in Texas he slowly moved toward progressive ideals and for a time was a left-leaning blogger for the Las Vegas Review Journal (yes, that right-tilting paper actually published his writings).

He recently sent me an engaging political rant, a very un-Buddhist political rant. It struck me as more than a little amusing. Here we have a Buddhist monk, a rather large white man with a shaved head who wraps the orange robes of his community about his frame, who meditates several hours a day, who preaches peace and tolerance, whose life is devoted to the diminishing of suffering and stress in the world going totally fucking ape-shit crazy over the insanity of contemporary right-wingnuts. It is amazing the impact that sheer stupidity can have. Even the quiet, contemplative Buddhists of the world can just fucking lose it. Rant follows:

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Isn’t it time we finally stop being liberals, just gave it up ‘cause nothing we do makes any inroads? Conservatives have had their chance and screwed the pooch. I cannot think of one single conservative ideological success. Not one. Name an industry, any part of our society that, over the last 30 years of conservative domination, hasn’t been hurt. Can’t, can you? What area of our society has moved forward in a positive manner from conservatives screwing around with it? Airlines, banking, media, religion, education? They have succeeded in just one place: They have made already rich people richer. (Which might have been the point, honestly, which certainly hasn’t been honest on their part.)

What happened to the conservative mantra of calling a spade a spade, of honestly, compassion? What happened to idealism? If Nelson Rockefeller were here he’d be first in line to change party registration. Nixon would be a moderate Democrat. Even Reagan couldn’t have stomached these morons.

I’ve tried talking to the ignorant conservatives I know — ignorant because they have limited facts, willfully stupid because they ignore facts which do not support their viewpoints so set in stone — and not one of them can readily point to a success. They simply try to bully their way out. They try to turn the tables. They change the subject. If you stick to the point, and make them answer the question, then they make YOU the problem. 

If they refuse to answer, then they should be ignored — and told they will be ignored until they stop being stupid. Case in point, health care reform. Did you see that the US came in 36th out of 38 in a report released last week of health care in developed countries? “We’re 36th! U-S-A, U-S-A.” Great chant. Yet the first meaningful reform has been put on the floor of the House to be repealed 48 times by Republicans. With no replacement plan at all! Not one! Not in five years! If there were a conservative alternative, don’t you think somebody would have found it by now??? So why isn’t anyone saying, “Shut the eff up!”

I wish I were going to live another fifty years to see if we ever clean the conservative mess up, and how. I think we will — the ‘we’ here being our children who have inherited it. It certainly won’t be the current bunch of idiots. What else could you possibly call the current crop of conservatives. Let them whine and bitch about liberals all they want, from social outcast purgatory. They’ve earned it.

What a bunch of losers.

 /rant off — Don Gatasaro

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