Reading this essay in The Guardian, it strikes me once again that in their myopic and monomaniacal view of something called "masculinity," Jordan Peterson and his followers are not men, but boys.
Luridly retro ideas of what it means to be a strong man have gone mainstream even in so-called advanced nations. In January Jordan B Peterson, a Canadian self-help writer who laments that “the west has lost faith in masculinity” and denounces the “murderous equity doctrine” espoused by women, was hailed in the New York Times as “the most influential public intellectual in the western world right now”.
If Dr. Peterson is considered an intellectual, I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine that Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis might soon be handed distinguished professorships.
from tower block ledges
like falling bodies
snawin like fuck
Huike staunin ootside
"Bodhidharma, ya cunt
ur A'll cut ma fuckin erm aff"
While Buddhism's arrival and arising in the West has many problems, I think its most important achievement might be the prominence of female teachers. In Zen retreats, we chant the lineage of ancestral teachers, and, egregiously, women don't appear on the list except in Western sanghas with recently dead teachers. As Norman Fischer explains in this article, some sanghas are now correcting this.
In our sangha, we end that chant with words written by John Tarrant Roshi (who has ordained some great, still living, women as teachers: Deb Saint Sensei, Joan Sutherland Roshi, Susan Murphy Roshi, Rachel Boughton Roshi, Alison Atwill Roshi, Rachel Mansfield-Howlett Roshi):
All the unknown women, centuries of enlightened women, who hold our zazen in their arms, dai osho
The only person I've thus far ordained to teach independently, Daishin Stephenson Sensei, is a woman.
The Guardian has recently published several articles about an art exhibition inspired by Eliot's poem "The Waste Land." Because the exhibition is in Margate, they're keen to quote a part that mentions the place. However, at least three articles in the paper misquote it, changing its meaning.
While trying bizarrely to reduce the poem, which has multiple voices, to a personal depiction of mental illness, Jonathan McAloon claims: “'On Margate Sands,' he wrote, 'I can connect / Nothing with Nothing.'"
Laura Cumming makes the same claim, while Jonathan Jones claims: "It even has an eerie passage about how 'On Margate Sands / I can connect / Nothing with nothing'."
McAloon and Cumming have changed a period to a comma, while Jones has removed the punctuation. Further, McAloon doesn't seem to realise that the lines are framed by quotation marks, i.e. they're being spoken by a character in the poem, and are not the words of an omniscient narrator. Here's what Eliot actually wrote:
“On Margate Sands.
The period at the end of the third line gives it a difference in meaning that is not small, despite three writers for The Guardian failing to notice it.
winter street —
dog turd on pavement
shape and colour of autumn leaf
The headline of this Guardian piece, "The owners putting pets on vegan diets..." is telling. The animals are owned, i.e. enslaved. Is there any behaviour more anthropocentric/anthropomorphic than forcing animals to live by our ethic du jour? This denies the very existence of the animal.
But despite her enthusiasm for vegan dog food, Greek won’t advise owners to feed their cats a vegan diet. Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, meaning they can more easily adapt to a carefully planned plant-based diet. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, which means their bodies are designed to run on meat.