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VIVA AMERICAN BUDDHA!
"Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata
Death is preferable to life without dignity, but violent revolutions cause social chaos and cycles of vengeance and opportunism. How is revolution conducted so that it actually achieves the end of liberating people? This problem is posed in a brilliant short novel, The Underdogs, A Novel of the Mexican Revolution, written by Mariano Azuela, a doctor for Pancho Villa's guerrilla army. The Underdogs is now available online in the American Buddha Online Library (ABOL)
Dip into the wealth of Mexican creativity in strange, rich images pulled from cinema, religion, commerce and revolutionary art.
ABOL suggests you use Winamp to listen to the archive of MP3s. Please abide by the fair use guidelines, and download only one at a time, or the ABOL Witch will visit you.
"The Ramones shattered my prison, burst my chains, and invited me to march down the streets of the metropolis with them, the lords of everything we had thought lost. My dignity restored, a new vision of liberty dawning in my mind, I seized the rude implements of modern life and plunged forward. Into the smog, into the traffic, into the core of the monster, my mind blazing, my stereo cranking, the world cleansed by radioactive sounds. The Ramones accelerated the rhythm of my being until I caught up with the adversary, then ratcheted me into hyperdrive and blasted me far beyond the distant horizon." -- Bad Brain Answers the Question, "What Do The Ramones Mean To Me?"
The silver screeen has become the flat screen DVD, the fourth wall of your home, and realizing that few things could be more important than what you put there, our Cinema Section helps you make wise choices.
Reviews by Charles Carreon
"I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy." -- The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine
While many people think only "eastern philosophies" are truly cool, that idea is truly stupid. Western philosophers have concerned themselves with many of the same questions as the brightest eastern philosophers, and often asked better, more important questions, since they weren't burdened with rigid ideas like reincarnation and transmigration, the "illusory" nature of the universe, and the futility of material striving. Have you been feeling a little twisted by all the paradoxical double-talk about emptiness, selflessness, and illusory forms, while the "teacher" is simultaneously making a grab for your wallet? Check out these guys below. They're a lot more interesting than you thought, and it won't cost anything but time.
"We came to a library of Eastern and Western books. I recognized bound in yellow silk several volumes of the Lost Encyclopedia, edited by the Third Emperor of the Luminous Dynasty but never printed. The record on the phonograph revolved next to a bronze phoenix. I also recall a famille rose vase and another, many centuries older, of that shade of blue which our craftsmen copied from the potters of Persia." -- The Garden of Forking Paths
"It was the thirst of many years restrained in our body. Chained words we could not say except with lips of dreams. *** There was all manner of fruits in the juice of your lips, the blood of the pomegranate, the horizon of the mammey fruit and the purified pineapple." -- Frida Kahlo
The life of a mid-20th century Mexican woman didn't easily accommodate an artistic path, but Frida Kahlo matched Diego Rivera's globe-spanning stride in their worldwide travels as internationalists, and gained his acknowledgement that she was his superior in art. Frida introduced the art world to the splendor of Mexican feminine adornment, excelled in naked self-expression, and was the first woman to sell a painting to the Louvre.
"Several troops of banditti assemble for the purpose of upsetting some country, of laying contributions over it, of seizing the landed property, of reducing the people to thraldom. The expedition being accomplished, the chief of the gang assumes the title of king or monarch. Such has been the origin of royalty among all nations..." -- Thomas Paine
In the struggle to end the brutalization of humanity by serial tyrants, we must always apply means that serve the goal of ending rule by violence. Humans have proven far more capable of discovering new ways to kill each other than they have discovered new ways to understand each other. The human obsession with developing killing technology is really about psychology, as illustrated in the graphic comic book, The Seduction of the Gun. Guns seduce people into killing each other for small or no reason. High tech killing technology blends with psychopharmacology, and national armies and insurgents alike render their soldiers temporarily insane with drugs and unleash them to commit mechanized slaughter. Killing technology intensifies security threats to astronomical levels, so intelligence officers make torture routine. This infernalization of the surface of planet earth is justified by the dominator philosophy extolled by the Project for The New American Century, which has successfully solidified the collective will of the power mongers and arms dealers who are the true cannibals, worse than Killer Klowns. Against this tsunami of murderous ignorance, American Buddha asserts one just demand -- Peace Now, Asshole!
VIVA ORIGINAL FINE ART!
Original fine artists are the most idealistic people in the world. Their works are often difficult to understand, because the official art-explainers have not yet arrived at the scene of the artistic accident, and most art critics will not even look at a work unless the artist is dead or living in New York. Our favorite original fine artists are ones who are still alive and living in our town. While dead artists, we can safely say, have done their best work, living artists are still around to create new works, take commissions, and respond to your emails.
VIVA HUMAN BODIES!
"Our own images have been stolen from us and licensed back in socially-approved and disapproved versions. The approved version appears as glamour, fashion, and privileged promiscuity. The disapproved version appears as pornography. This is a difference in marketing style, not a moral distinction." -- Buddha and Eros
"Women are the most active players on both sides of the pornography debate, both in their denial and exemplification of sexuality." -- The Anti-Pornography Movement
Visions of Beauty
VIVA DON JUAN!
"Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge," Don Juan said. "Because the art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man." -- Journey to Ixtlan, by Carlos Castaneda
Don Juan Matus of Sonora, Mexico was the most pragmatic of philosphers, the least craven of sorcerers, a man given both to pathos and cynicism, and certainly not a creature of fiction. The ancient Mexican sorcerers thought they had the universe all figured out until Cortez's armed horsemen showed them some new tricks. Don Juan's spiritual forebears, The New Sorcerers, abandoned the elaborate supernatural explorations of the past and concentrated on the accummulation of personal power, a feat that they could accomplish more swiftly under the yoke of oppression, although the death toll was high. The pragmatic lessons that oppressed indigenous people drew from the oppression are part of the hard-won philosophical treasure of the New World, and it should never become stylish to deride it. Nevertheless, since he died, Carlos Castaneda has been accused of inventing Don Juan, and the maestro's teachings no longer receive the respect they deserve. If you don't read them, though, you never know that Carlos wrote the world's funniest spiritual books, which also happened to make a hell of a lot of sense. Students of sorcery and philosophy shouldn't prejudge the works of a once-respected author. They should join ABOL and study the wisdom of Don Juan for themselves, by clicking the links below.
VIVA FIRST CHURCH OF BUDDHA, MATERIALIST!
say 'materialist' is necessarily to sneer at the person so described. They
are bad ab initio, unworthy of love or appreciation, guilty of valuing
things more than people. They deny the existence of the mind's deathless
nature, and spread the heresy of this-life-only. They fall into
self-indulgent pleasure, or into abysses of depression and despair. No one
would want to be a materialist.
The spiritual path has always been popular with bored people, but never with so many as during the present time in the United States. Rituals have become very popular, but it is difficult to think them up yourself -- invented rituals just don't seem very ritualistic. Some people stop doing mantras and other rituals, but don't know what to do next. In an effort to tackle this problem, our resident philosophical madman, Baksheesh, has penned a "Materialist Manifesto," a couple of "New Sutras," and this Tsu-do Zen thing, which, in the words of Pink Floyd, "could be made into a monster!".
"It's true what they say about ABOL, isn't it?"