|The audience and Eric Benet serenading the Dalai Lama with a love song (philflash)|
|The Lourdes Foundation welcomes the Dalai Lama to Los Angeles|
|Buddhist Richard Gere|
But on the northeast corner of the $25 per spot Forum parking lot, someone is calling him a "liar" and a "the worst dictator in the world." It is a Tibetan monastic. Not one monastic but a group of anis and monks, presumably lamas. Not only this group, but many laypeople as well. They are singing, "Stop lying, Dalai Lama." This is the Dorje Shugden controversy, and most people won't see it tucked into this tiny "Free Speech Zone" on the fringes of Manchester Blvd. -- unless they saw it when they drove by.
Eric Benet is singing, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love; it's the only thing that there's just too little of..." and encouraging audience participation. We're serenading the Tibetan Buddhist leader. Up in the stands there is a very vocal level of participation, out of character for this characteristically cool and jaded L.A. crowd. (Like Lorde, whenever any artist asks us to throw our hands in the air, we yawn, so there). It is a thousand Inglewood High School students brought here to see the Tibetan master and Nobel Peace Laureate inspire this city to choose compassion over violence, amity over enmity.
This is Black History Month, Inglewood's Mayor Butts reminds us in his welcome speech. Then Maria Shriver, scion of the Kennedy Family (Camelot), former First Lady of California (betrayed ex-wife of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger), and co-organizer of The Women's Conference lecture series. She once visited the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) to invite him to address her series' participants. She inspires us, brings us to our feet, and the Dalai Lama begins his loveable silliness.
|You smell good. - Than'kyew. - Don't sniff him!|
|America loves the 14th Dalai Lama (JB)|
We love him for that because we "sense" his love, his open heart. It opens our heart. He may be called a liar, oppressor, and feudal dictator outside, but in here, he is in love, and we are in love, and y'know how it is when you're in love? It's all love. Who sees any faults?
He may sound like he's scolding Los Angeles, the seat of global communications and pro-military propaganda and psy-ops, pointing his finger like a young and impetuous Bill Clinton (who was eventually taught to bend it to soften his delivery), but we all take in stride like we're being chastised by the new and improved Pope Francis. He's not chastizing us; it's the people sitting around us he's after, and they need it, we imagine in our pettiness.
|"Jeepers Creepers Slacker Guy" (Mr. Show)|
"Attention please! If you have the time,
I'd like to blow your mind!
Always be good, except when you're bad.
Choose to be happy, except when you're sad.
Don't quote me on this; don't hold me to that!"
Is there a God?
"Don't know for a fact."
Should we live a good life?
"I guess it shall be."
Are you the [Maitreya]?
"Yes I, no I, I perhaps could be..."
Hey, man, why can't you commit? Stop walking the line!
...Your people need some leadership!
"Cut me some slack, I can't make up my mind.
Get off of my @$$, I heard you all the first time.
I'll get to it eventually. Just leave me be!
I can moan and groan, but I'm still on my throne.
My throne is this stone! Who'll throw the first stone?"
...Jeepers Creepers, Slacker guy, just wants to wave without saying goodbye. Jeepers Creepers, not so great, a guy we'll never really love or hate (famously delivered by comedian Jack Black in the Mr. Show production of "Jeepers Creepers," a Slacker rendition of "Jesus Christ Superstar").
|Y'know what you must do? - Yeah, uh-huh...|
People love it. People can't get enough of it. We fly to India to hear more of it. The Lourdes Foundation speaker, Mr. Lourdes of the Lourdes family, at the end explains why his family and their foundation brought the Dalai Lama to Los Angeles today. He himself went to India and heard the saintly Tibetan monk speaking and thought, "People have got to hear this!"
|The spectre of self-immolation|
Whoever dares disagree only imdicts him or herself. One does not belittle the Dalai Lama for calling such pabulum "Pablum."
|Brian praised for his book Wish It, Want It, Do It|
|Ariana, Dana, and Bill Maher grill Brian|
Obama has heard the Dalai Lama's message of peace. Did it work? Will he listen? Will he call off the NSA, which he has the power to do by executive decree because that is all that is empowering the NSA to do what it is doing. Will he ground the CIA/JSOC's drones, which he does not really have the power to alter or affect? JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, is the president's personal army, and yet he has no real power to stop it. (That's how it is with the US presidency, which is a Big Show, a distraction, a ceremonial position, a read-the-prompter post for those who love a lot of fun and palaver of politics-as-usual without much actual power. Obama, and many before him, does not have to decide anything, just communicate what movers and shakers have already decided). Will he?
|Too hot to mention (Agent_Orange2006/flickr)|
If you want to hear less, attend a Thich Nhat Hanh lecture (more like a Hindu darshan, a chance to see a spiritually important person). That, too, is all about the heart, all about the experience, all about connecting and has next to nothing to do with the intellect. And that's the way devotees and fans want it.
|See the Dalai Lama|
See the Dalai Lama soon. He continues his tour across the US, Europe, and India: dalailama.com