Friday, June 10, 2011

A Colbert-Style Report: Comedy with News

Wisdom Quarterly, Colbert Nation, The Buddhist Blog, Dr. Robert Jacobs
Stephen Colbert on "blogger and journal-ish" Breitbart on Weiner on crotch-shots on Comedy Central (Huffington Post)

Living in a topsy-turvy world is easy -- as long as our sense of humor remains intact. That's not always easy. To keep smiling, to start laughing, is a blessing.

It takes not only an open mind but a throbbing heart. The heart opens, the mind opens. The marriage of compassion and wisdom is no mismatched pairing.

There are are growing number of intelligent comedians thriving in the the Bush-catastrophe era we are still living in with Barack O'Bush, who has done so much to keep and promote not only the policies of the Cheney-Bush administration but also its key players.

Why argue about revolution when things are worse than ever with a much nicer face on it? How I wished we could have a black president. I never bargained for a (shsssssh) sad "sell out."

The Colbert Report, Family Guy, American Dad, The Onion, The Daily Show, SNL (Seth Meyers), YouTube, The Young Turks, Bill Maher, Go Harrison-Jimmy Dore-David Feldman (KPFK radio progressive news comedians), Amy Sedaris, David Sedaris, This American Life... there are many options, many opportunities to laugh.

Buddhism has many comedians: Ajahn Brahm, Nes Wisker, Roshi Albrizze, Ashley Wells, and even the British Western-Thai-Theravada-tradition monk Ajahn Sumedho, who wrote a book titled Who We Really Are, which explains:

"Now one of the big problems in meditation is that we can take ourselves too seriously.

"We can see ourselves as religious people dedicated towards serious things, such as realizing truth.

"We feel important; we are not just frivolous or ordinary people, going about our lives, just going shopping in the supermarket and watching television.

"Of course this seriousness has advantages; it might encourage us to give up foolish activities for more serious ones.

"But the process can lead to arrogance and conceit: a sense of being someone who has special moral precepts or some altruistic goal, or of being exceptional in some way, having come onto the planet as some kind of messiah.

It's a kind of pride that can make human beings lose all perspective; so we need humor to point to the absurdity of our self-obsession."

James: I laugh a lot when I meditate, especially when that sneaky ego creeps in with the "spiritual materialism" of smugness, arrogance, and pride of feeling like I'm something special because I'm meditating, because I'm a "Buddhist," or because I'm feeling like I "get it." It is as if there is something to "get" (shaking head and chuckling). It's more like there is something to lose [to abandon, to let go of]. Namely, the very ego that wants to acquire. More

Laughter and Buddhism
This May I will travel to France to present a paper on Laughter and Buddhism. The meeting is that of philosophers interested in comparative work between Western and Eastern philosophies. The topic this time is "Laughter: East and West."
PICTURES: Buddhist wonders from Tegis Photography

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