Friday, September 14, 2012


The Dalai Lama
Mohandas Ghandi
Martin Luther King

Three men whom it is assumed one will mention with respect, even awe. Heroes all. (And none of them White, which makes it much cooler to think they're cool.)

Just let me say that Ex Cathedra finds all three of them seriously flawed and no genuflecting will be forthcoming.

Dolly L ---as B refers to the Tibetan monk-- owes his celebrity to his exile. And to the silly Western infatuation with Buddhism. Not because Buddhism is silly --it is a brilliant religious psychology in many ways-- but because Westerners uncritically love its non-Westerness. As for His Tibetan Holiness, most of what he spouts is just pablum, like the other His Roman Holiness can do on a bad day. Peace, love, compassion, etc. Blah Blah.

The former ruler of the feudal state of Tibet provoked this post when he recently opined that religion was no longer adequate to the global ethical needs and something new was required. When has religion ever been adequate --whatever that may mean-- to the ethical needs of an intrinsically unethical species on a planet which makes living ethically a very iffy proposition? I cannot think of anything Dolly has ever said that Mr Rogers didn't. Color me unimpressed.

(Now that I think of it, We Need Something Entirely New is as easy and unoriginal a highminded response to a problem as the cheap adolescent satire of You're All Hopelessly Corrupt.)

As for Ghandi, his political achievement of an independent India is very impressive. But his ideology of non-violence is as stupid as any form of pacifism.  If he had been facing the Chinese, the Japanese or the Germans (or the Mughals) rather than the British, you can bet he would not have survived long enough to head a movement. You only get to be a great visionary if your opponent has a conscience. Plus, telling the Jews not to resist noble of him.

And Rev King. A socialist, a plagiarist, a serial adulterer. Like Ghandi, he succeeded because of the American moment. And the results of his undertaking, intended and unintended, are now taking down the country. So not a hero of mine.

Gosh, who could be next on Ex Cathedra's shockingly heretical UnList?


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