Tonight I'll get, "Mr. Darcy would never post something like that to his weblog."
During these trying times it's important to protect and defend our liberties.
When President Bush gave the order to attack Iraq, many of us suffered at the same time. I was at Plum Village giving a lecture on the Avatamsaka Sutra, and in the middle of a sentence, I suddenly said, "I don't think I will go to to America this spring, I really don't want to go there now." We all paused for a long moment to breathe, and then I resumed the lecture. That afternoon during a tea meditation, a number of students from North America told me that because I felt that way, I should go. They reminded me that friends in the U.S. had been working hard to organize retreats there, and they helped me see that many Americans also suffered when the President gave the order to attack. So I decided to go in order to support them and share their suffering.He goes on to talk about his own experience in Viet Nam and later adds:
I understood that President Bush is a bodhisattva trying in his way to serve his people. Early in the conflict he instituted an embargo, but because we did not encourage him enough, he became impatient and suddenly war was inevitable. When he ordered the ground attack and said, "God bless the United States of America," I knew that bodhisattva needed our help. Any leader needs our help and our understanding. We must use intelligent and loving language so he will listen to us. When we get angry, we cannot do that. I listened to my American friends in Plum Village quietly and serenely, and I accepted their advice to go to the United States.
If we get angry, countless obstacles will be set up, blocking our way. So, without anger, we have to find a way to tell the president that God cannot bless one country against another. He must learn to pray better than that. But we should not think that simply by electing another president, the situation will be transformed. If we want a better government, we have to begin by changing our own consciousness and our own way of life. Our society is ruled by greed and violence. The way to help our country and our president is by transforming the greed and violence in ourselves and working to transform society.
Eighty perecent of the American people supported the Gulf War and called it clean and moral. They do not understand the true nature of war. Anyone who has seen a war would not say that...We who have touched war have a duty to bring the truth about war to those who have not had a direct experience of it. We are the light at the tip of the candle. It is very hot, but it has the power of shining and illuminating.I'm very worried that soon we'll all be touching war. The cycle will continue if people don't voice their oppositions; and many more lives will be tragically lost.
Flarebombs bloom on the dark sky.
A child claps his hands and laughs.
I hear the sound of guns,
and the laughter dies.
But the witness
psst, we're all jumping tomorrow at noon. pass it on.
The New Look
Yep, it looks like a web page now. A graphic "slide" related to the current story hovers in the upper lefthand corner. This might be a picture of a shark with the words Shark Attack, bullet points of facts about the story they're showing, or short quotes from the people involved in the story. Below this, the Headline section, comes hypertext complete with different colored, underlined subjects and a brief excerpt from the article. The problem is, we can't click on it to get the whole article. The blurbs often aren't enough to make sense of what we're reading even if we wanted to. Then, the weather takes up the lower right portion of the screen and scrolls through different large graphics with current temperatures. I'm glad I can see a sun icon while I find out the temperature in Texas. And finally they have a tiny, tiny window where the video is shown. On the web, video has to be tiny thanks to bandwidth restrictions. On TV, there is no excuse. If only the commercials were in that tiny box as well.
The concept behind "Headline News" is that you get the latest news headlines right away. Pre-AOL makeover, the channel used to show the top news stories at the top of the hour. These days if you tune in at the top of the hour, you're likely to see a 5 to 10 minute live-on-location report about stem cell research. Great for CNN, bad as a headline. Which brings me to the Headlines section: This text area is not usually news, but promotions for various CNN shows. "Oprah will be on Larry King" was one I saw recently. That's a headline? Their "news stories" lately aren't much better. They had a "Breaking News" segment a moment ago detailing the dinner menu for a state event at the Whitehouse. To which the anchor replied, "Mmm, good eats at the Whitehouse tonight."
We all know news has become entertainment. I enjoy the short attention span media as much as the next person. But AOL Time Warner seems to have taken it past entertainment to a new level of marketing. We aren't getting news on CNN Headline News. We're getting commercials - of course - but now the content passing as news between the commercials is merely more commercials for more AOL Time Warner media products (which may, in fact, be commercials themselves). To come up with this new format, they probably paid some consultant a huge sum to spin yarns about the new visual language of their target demographic (younger viewers like me). Instead of speaking to me, however, the channel has become the confused MTV of news. That's not a good thing.
skp and matt at the cache