At last, some good news

IMHO, this thread should be read as a followup to Bhante’s recent posts here and his article below where he decries the apathy and despair that seems to have got everyone stuck in the mud with regard to any kind of action… unfortunately most people aren’t angry… they just seem to have given up!

3 Likes

Michael, I agree with you on this. It’s a nice wake-up call for many people in the area I’m sure. My surprise is to see this news on this forum: 1) it’s very political, 2) the person uses harsh language promoting anger and hate towards another group (and 3) the person self-identify as Satanist which is often associated with anti-dhammic values, although not in this case it seems, so I’d happily retract this criterion of the list).

Thanks for this sinjin. I edited my post above to reflect this information. I dug a bit more into this and it seems the Satanic Temple is controversial in the sense that it is maybe more an activist group using the satanic caché to get attention rather than a true spiritual movement.

So what do you make of ‘F*** the police’? This is their own words. I know that they (the person) are only referring to the ‘corrupt’ police and not to the police as it should be, but using such hard language to provoke only lead to more anger and violence. Why are we celebrating this here on this forum?

5 Likes

I don’t think anyone is “celebrating” the phrase. Again, it’s a contextual thing. In much of the US (basically anyone under the age of 50 who hasn’t lived a sheltered life), “F*** the police” has lost a lot of its potency because it’s been part of pop culture since the 1980s when the rap group NWA had a hit song by that title. It’s commonly understood not to be anti-police per se (in their capacity as civil servants fulfilling a sworn duty) but anti-racist and anti-state violence. It’s a protest, not hate speech.

“Hate the police” is superficially comparable, more or less, but doesn’t have the same context and provenance, and as such sounds more genuinely hateful and provocative even though it doesn’t have profanity. Which brings up the always interesting question of what exactly is profane? :smiling_imp:

3 Likes

Wow, I read it totally differently. I thought he was not quite defending, but explaining the despair as a reasonable response to reality, and pushing back against the people getting judgey about the so-called doomers.

In the kettle, the one frog turned to the other, “is it warm do you think?”
The other nodded in contentment and settled in deeper.

4 Likes

The despair and apathy of the present generation is a reasonable response, and is also one already predicted by research. But Bhante began the thread on civilization collapse decrying the apathy that surrounds current societal response to these issues. The question really is “How does one get people to wake up?” I guess that DiMezzo’s way is one way to solve the issue … :thinking: :roll_eyes: :rofl:

3 Likes

Thanks, friend Yasoj for your comment; very cool. For me, this is what makes D&D so compelling. We have the very best resource for Dhamma here, and at the same time, sometimes in the moderated Watercooler forum we can touch on religion, politics, war, and other issues and have a chance to share thoughts with a group of smart and Dhammic friends here. We also have monastics like Vens. Sujato, Brahmali, Vimala, and others who are scholars, highly accomplished individuals, and Vinaya monastics that can give us feedback and insight on global issues, culture, and politics within the Dhammic context that I feel are often very insightful and unique.

@Yasoj, thanks for your comments and thoughtfulness. It’s what I really like about this forum…cool smart people with great insights, and who provoke good and kind exchanges on important and interesting subjects.

5 Likes

Thanks for posting this…just read it and it rings true with earlier points made…we are lucky to have such solid Vinaya monastics writing these kinds of essays, and I wish that Harbingers—I’d rather be a Doomer than a Boomer · The Monastery at the End of the World has the broadest distribution possible. FWIW, I just posted this article on Greta Thunberg’s Facebook page…

3 Likes

Post it on AOC’s too. Bhante will be tickled.

4 Likes

Copy cats! Generation X totally got there first. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

3 Likes

It’s as if you know me!

Preach, sister!

5 Likes

@Yasoj sinjin’s response offers some helpful historical context to a common worn slogan of protest of police brutality, corrupt authorities, and disparity under law. It is a rejection of social helplessness, hopelessness, despair, passivity. “Their own words” is perhaps misleading, when a writer is using such a slogan. However, at least in examining it as posted on that person’s website, this conversation has moved from referencing words of other Satanists as something for which that individual is responsible.

Is this true? Protest movements have often used shocking language to provoke thought and discussion, as much as bodily action; this is to get apathetic or ignorant people to quesion authority and complicity. In US politics, “f°ck war”, “f°ck the patriarchy”, “f°ck consumerism” and “f°ck capitalism”, and “f*ck fascism” are examples of slogans of protest, going back to the 1980s or even the 1960s (as a F°ck Chant was part of the performance of an anti-war song at Woodstock, with that part getting Country Joe & The Fish blacklisted from network television and some radio stations).

I agree with @sinjin in that I don’t think anyone in the thread is celebrating the phrase. Though the OP title At last, some good news suggests something positive to recognize (perhaps; whatever it is is not explicit in the OP.)

I do celebrate (as others have) this conversation and examination for ourselves, of assumptions and conditioned reactions. That seems to me to be beneficial, and maybe losens the grip of self views.

If I follow your logic, then we cannot derive any meaning from any words unless we have checked the meaning of such word with that person. This is too high of a standard I believe. Trying to not make assumptions is great but at some point we all have to make some assumptions about what a word means.

I appreciate the historical context, thanks. It’s not because it is a common occurrence that it is right or good. For me the end doesn’t justify the means. My personal preference is for less provocative language and approaches, I’m not inspired by the provocative, sarcastic or violent ones.

3 Likes

Not my logic, or words.
A difficult standard at least, perhaps impossible if communication is impossible (which is sometimes the case).

Common is not from that quality right or good, I agree.
I too prefer less provocative or aggressive approaches.

I still wonder what particularly inspires Bhante @sujato 's OP, as I wonder if we have used it as intended.

I think the concepts of “only” or “inevitably” may not be entirely compatible with the Dhamma; what do you think? Or the concepts of “ends” and “means” as absolute truths; those concepts are perhaps not how things are or can be.
Conditionality and kamma and non-self to me suggest the possibility of doing better and movement towards (or away from) liberation. But maybe some predictability is possible, from understanding dynamic principles.

edit: after writing all the above I read Bhante’s Harbingers—I’d rather be a Doomer than a Boomer, linked above. :slight_smile: Stimulating social commentary, thank you, Bhante!
I am glad the world gets his voice and grounded teachings (which might be characterized as provocative…) May it be of lasting benefit to many lives.

1 Like

This is a more serious charge than you may realize. You are suggesting, in an indirect way (which is a little off in itself), that DiMezzo is being Machiavellian. I’m not sure what you mean by “ends justifying means,” but it is commonly understood to mean that someone is employing starkly immoral means like lying, stealing or killing to achieve a supposedly noble end. That is simply not what’s going on here. Not only is using a naughty word not immoral, its use here is an end unto itself. It’s an expression of righteous anger in political protest. And yeah, it’s harsh. :man_shrugging:t2:

No one who is part of this conversation is endorsing immorality, and while we may try on this forum to heed as much as possible the five aspects of right speech, I don’t think it is incumbent upon us to hold those outside it to that standard, or refuse to support those who commit minor offenses against it.

1 Like

Hi Yasoj!
Maybe, a useful principle is the application of an idea expressed by Charles Sanders Peirce:

‘Let us not pretend to doubt in philosophy what we do not doubt in our hearts.’

Basically, what that would intails is the normal and unquestioned continuation of our lives, actions and perceptions until something feels “off”: that feeling is “doubt”, which can be characterized as some kind of “irritation”. Only when that “irritation” arises, then it is useful to inquire about the situation which could be the cause of it. In the case of the the topic of the thread, we ask about definitions of some concept when we feel a possible misunderstanding.

The irritation of doubt causes a struggle to attain a state of belief. I shall term this struggle inquiry.

With the doubt, therefore, the struggle begins, and with the cessation of doubt it ends. Hence, the sole object of inquiry is the settlement of opinion.

If we doubt about everything, the we wouldn’t be able to act at all, because we’ll be always in fear of the the wrongness of our knowledge about the world (and about others). If we know nothing about the world, then we wouldn’t be able to satisfy any desire at all, since fulfillment of desires requieres some degree of an ability to predict outcomes. If no such prediction is possible, the communication wouldn’t be possible at all. It would be better, then, to stop actions altogether. This tells us that an extreme skepticism is not compatible with actions in the world.

Healthy skepticism, according to Peirce, is the one we apply when our beliefs about the world seem interrupted by the irritation of doubt.

Sorry for the excursion, but I thought it could be useful to make explicit this helpful pragmatic principle.

Kind regards!

1 Like

Police is a system made of people. One can speak out against the system.

I find this a very creative, non-violent protest. The use of the system to subvert the system - getting the Republican Party nomination - seems like performance art protest. :smile:

Yes, for my taste, their use of the phrase “f**k the police” seems off. Not because of the language, but because it just seems so pedestrian compared to the brilliance of the rest of the protest.

I am feeling very uplifted right now.

3 Likes

C’mon, the thread is basically a lark. Would you prefer that SC shut down the Watercooler as long as there is tragedy and horror in the world?

If you read more carefully, you might see that to the degree that this is a serious discussion, we are working out community standards and principles of Right Speech. Is that cynical? Btw, we are ordinary people too.

Thanks for the good news! I live in New York City. You may have heard that we had a bit of a problem with COVID a few months back. I’m happy to report that we have flattened the curve, kept it flat, and people are still doing great with social distancing measures. Schools are a bit touch-and-go, but we are working it out.

I have many friends and family in Lombardy, and I’m sad to see case counts are on the rise there.

1 Like

Dear @sinjin,

I didn’t know that this expression had such a narrow range, thanks for explaining this to me. In that case, I do agree that it does not apply here, I just thought the expression could also be used for (let’s use an EBT term) ‘unskillful’ means not as severe as the ones you listed. I stand corrected.

Ah the pitfalls of language… :upside_down_face:

2 Likes