Monday, 23 April 2007

Friday 20 April

the weird weariness
of the long endless friday
slows me to nothing

The A-Z of Rationalism

B is for Buddhism (n.) a religious teaching propagated by the Buddha and his followers which declares that by destroying greed, hatred and delusion, which are the causes of all suffering, man can attain perfect enlightenment.

Buddhism actually makes a lot of sense. Most other religions seem to embody various degrees of greed, hatred and delusion as a matter of course. Buddhism places a serious emphasis on meditation and self-development, and members of the Buddhist faith are encouraged to question the nature of reality and the world around them, rather than being indoctrinated by dogma.
Other than that, to my knowledge Buddhists have never declared war on anybody, they’ve never had any suicide bombers and their belief system includes a prohibition against violence and a healthy respect for the planet on which we evolved.
While considering this challenge to my anti-religious viewpoint I rang the Tate Modern and booked our Gilbert & George tickets, discovering in the process that the tickets were five pounds cheaper than if one books them online.
I picked up Fish & Chips on the way home, having realised recently that the Empire Fish Bar near Shepherds Bush station does a blinding haddock and chips.
We watched the latest episode of ‘Ugly Betty’, a very funny American series about the Fashion industry in which we witness the clash of the diverse worlds of a Latino family in downtown Queens and the style-conscious office of Mode magazine.
Although Americans try to push the boundaries with their TV they seldom push far enough. Apart from her ubiquitous glasses and teeth braces, Betty herself isn’t actually that ugly. Bravely, they have
written Betty’s young nephew (a ten-year old boy more interested in fashion and soap operas than football and girls) as quite obviously gay, something which the entire family accepts apart from the boy’s estranged father who is finding it hard to come to terms with young Justin’s strange ways.
However, the gay characters generally have not evolved since the days of Mr Humphries in ‘Are You Being Served?’. The American world, it seems, is not ready for fully-rounded gay men who have other interests besides men and Gucci bags. This is a shame, as some of the other characters are wonderful, if sometimes grotesque creations. One wonderful running joke is Ignacio’s (Betty’s father) addiction to a Latino Soap, of which we catch occasional glimpses in which beautiful betrayed women seem to be always slapping the men by whom they’ve been betrayed.

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