Jesse P. Hiltz17p
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One City: "The Sickest Buddhist, Lululemon and Spiritual Materialism: So Overrated" -
Let's not pretend that someday we will somehow return to a golden age, without electronics or technology - like a zero-impact, techno-Eden. A phone that can be charged by our own fidgeting (mindful or otherwise), rather than a well outlet, seems a step in a productive, or at least, a pragmatic direction.
We all operate in a materialistic, Late-capitalist model of free market economy, so if we want our gadgets to become eco-friendly, which I do, it would seem that they have to "take-off" from some sort of marketing niche. And, unfortunately, eco-friendly products are expensive, so a "handheld meditation power converter" (as opposed to wall plug-in) for Buddhists with money to spend - well, you have to start somewhere.
Their mission statement says "Our Mission is to help oppressed and persecuted Church throughout the world." If this is the sentiment in the documentary - which alas, we have not seen to whole of yet - the film might actually be a middle form of propaganda: its not trying to condemn Buddhism, but wants to tip the scales slightly in their favor in that geographical location.
Presumably, those impressed by the doc will donate to the charity in the name of the catholic missionary in Tibet.
Does this makes sense?
Also, in response to Rodd, its hard to tell the agenda of the film. There isn't much information on it elsewhere. I virtually just popped up, but it seems quite well made. I'm sure that it has been crafted with the best of intentions. Most things are, which why the language doesn't at first seem hostile. The language does, however, use a very particular choice of words, most of which have more archaic, negative contexts then more thoughtful synonym. I would say that, whatever the intent, there is sometime implicit going on, even if it isn't explicit. But that maybe is leaving too much up to interpretation.
But if that is the charge as it stands, I’d still like to ask the question again. If what I’m doing is Buddhist hype (by linking to our own story and to the interview in which Ramis allegedly scorns us), what does that mean. What are its limits?
Perhaps the tongue-and-cheek nature of this blogpost didn't come through. I am aware that I've engaged in Buddhist hype. I feel that this point is made honestly enough. I'll quote myself here: "[...] insinuating that Buddhists will watch, read, listen, to anything a famous person says, writes, produces, that mentions, implies, implicates something directly, connotatively, remotely Buddhist."
I'd hope that the reflexivity of the statement is apparent, the irony of which is what is key here.
So, regarding the charge of "starf**king," I'd like to deny this. We've just done a piece on Ramis, yes, we are guilty of this, (Groundhog day is, without a doubt, a popular film among Buddhists) so him mentioning us seems apt enough. But, we've interpreted the situation as playful, not malicious, and we are engaging playfully with it.
Finally, if the charge of "lowbrow" was made, I'd say that there is indeed a difference of “brows” between Groundhog Day and Animal House. I mean, doesn’t Jack Black eat some poop in the last movie? But this doesn't demote his entire corpus, does it? Nor does it insinuate that low brow isn’t enjoyable; Animal House is a roar.
In sum, you are correct to see the hype, but believe that this was mainly my point the whole time.