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(The New York Times)   It sounds eerily like Germany in the 30's: a charismatic leader mixes nationalism with calls for attacks on business and even lynchings of a persecuted religious minority, except in this case the minority are Muslims and the leader is a Buddhist monk   (nytimes.com) divider line 70
    More: Strange, charismatic leader, minority religion, Muslims, Myanmar, Ashin Wirathu, mixtures, military juntas, monks  
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3433 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jun 2013 at 11:58 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-21 10:33:56 AM
Well, duh.

img.fark.net
 
2013-06-21 10:49:23 AM
If you haven't figured it out yet there is a huge gap between what the books say and how the people act.
 
2013-06-21 11:04:41 AM
Does that mean we will soon be enjoying the Myanmar Cabaret?
 
2013-06-21 11:16:33 AM
But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!
 
2013-06-21 11:39:29 AM
Maybe the Buddhists got tired of Muslims blowing up their shrines.
 
2013-06-21 11:59:10 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!


It's not so much about the religion.

It's been said many times on Fark and I know I've noted it many times in the past. In Myanmar, where the economy is terrible and there is no jobs (especially in the rural areas), it is not uncommon for the young Burmese men to join the monastery for several years because the monastery has food and work. However, they're not there for their spiritual improvement, they are there because there's no work to be have and being a monk is better than starving to death.

In other parts of the world, when you have a situation like that, it's easy for charismatic ultranationalistic leaders to rise up, blaming some minority for all of the wrongs of the country. In Germany, you got:

all-that-is-interesting.com

In Greece, today, you get:

static.guim.co.uk

And in Myanmar, you get this monk. He's not doing it because of religion. He's doing it because he's a fascist taking advantage of the conditions to gain prestige. That he is a monk is only sort of an incidental fact brought on by Myanmar's specific culture and economic factors.

That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."
 
2013-06-21 12:01:57 PM
How dare those Buddhists not tolerate Muslim aggression.  The hypocrites.
 
2013-06-21 12:03:00 PM
It sounds eerily like Germany in the 30's: a charismatic leader mixes nationalism with calls for attacks on business

So.. obama?
 
2013-06-21 12:04:56 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!


Someone didn't read the article.
 
2013-06-21 12:05:17 PM
Sri Lanka?

*reads article*

Oh, wait.  A farking login screen.
 
2013-06-21 12:05:42 PM
PC LOAD LETTER:
But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!


This.  B-b-but the Dalai Lama, Richard Gere and all those pretty exotic temples!!!
 
2013-06-21 12:05:45 PM

RexTalionis: PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!

It's not so much about the religion.

It's been said many times on Fark and I know I've noted it many times in the past. In Myanmar, where the economy is terrible and there is no jobs (especially in the rural areas), it is not uncommon for the young Burmese men to join the monastery for several years because the monastery has food and work. However, they're not there for their spiritual improvement, they are there because there's no work to be have and being a monk is better than starving to death.

In other parts of the world, when you have a situation like that, it's easy for charismatic ultranationalistic leaders to rise up, blaming some minority for all of the wrongs of the country. In Germany, you got:



In Greece, today, you get:



And in Myanmar, you get this monk. He's not doing it because of religion. He's doing it because he's a fascist taking advantage of the conditions to gain prestige. That he is a monk is only sort of an incidental fact brought on by Myanmar's specific culture and economic factors.

That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."


My hat is off to you. Nice to see critical analysis and context deployed so well on a subject. I can't agree with your thoughts more.
 
2013-06-21 12:06:49 PM
Um, paywall?
 
2013-06-21 12:09:05 PM

RexTalionis: PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!

It's not so much about the religion.

It's been said many times on Fark and I know I've noted it many times in the past. In Myanmar, where the economy is terrible and there is no jobs (especially in the rural areas), it is not uncommon for the young Burmese men to join the monastery for several years because the monastery has food and work. However, they're not there for their spiritual improvement, they are there because there's no work to be have and being a monk is better than starving to death.

In other parts of the world, when you have a situation like that, it's easy for charismatic ultranationalistic leaders to rise up, blaming some minority for all of the wrongs of the country. In Germany, you got:

[all-that-is-interesting.com image 750x522]

In Greece, today, you get:

[static.guim.co.uk image 460x276]

And in Myanmar, you get this monk. He's not doing it because of religion. He's doing it because he's a fascist taking advantage of the conditions to gain prestige. That he is a monk is only sort of an incidental fact brought on by Myanmar's specific culture and economic factors.

That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."


Nail, meet head.  Bingo, it's a country that was economically ruined by the insane junta who used to run it, and people with a newfound freedom to speak thier mind.  It's also a bit of a monoculture with a very distinctly identifiable ethinic minority, and a people who have bit of a chip on thier shoulder about how they got to be where they are.

That sort of situation is explosive and tipe for demagoguery.  Still this guy is pretty chilling:


In his recent sermon, he described the reported massacre of schoolchildren and other Muslim inhabitants in the central city of Meiktila in March, documented by a human rights group, as a show of strength.

"If we are weak," he said, "our land will become Muslim."

"You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog," Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims.


"I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers," Ashin Wirathu told a reporter after his two-hour sermon. "I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist."


If this guy called himself a "radical muslim" rather than a radical Buddhist, there already would be people on this thread calling him to be Drone-striked into his next incarnation
 
2013-06-21 12:10:04 PM
Farking paywall?
Here you go!



 
2013-06-21 12:11:17 PM
for anybody hitting the paywall (means you've clicked 12 or more NYtimes links this month)  You can clear your brower cache and reload.
 
2013-06-21 12:12:08 PM

Magorn: for anybody hitting the paywall (means you've clicked 12 or more NYtimes links this month)  You can clear your brower cache and reload.


Or incognito mode.
 
2013-06-21 12:13:37 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!


I preemptively invoke "ciberido's  7th law":

In any internet discussion of religion, as the thread continues, the odds that someone will claim that all religions are bad will increase towards certainty; after that claim is made, if the thread continues on long enough, it is inevitable that someone will claim that Buddhism is an exception to that rule.

Buddhist exceptionalism will usually be justified with one or more of the following incorrect claims:

1) Buddhism is "more a philosophy than a religion."
2) Buddhism doesn't have gods ; it is normal to be both Buddhist and atheist.
3) Buddhism doesn't have an afterlife.
4) Buddhist beliefs do not conflict with scientific understanding in any way; moreover, Buddhism is the only religion completely compatible with science.

How many posts deep will we go before I get a hit on one of these 4?
 
2013-06-21 12:15:46 PM

Superjew: How dare those Buddhists not tolerate Muslim aggression.  The hypocrites.


Read the article or hell any news article about Burma, and cite for me please, anything that can be described as "Muslim Agression" therein.  Go on, I'll wait...
 
2013-06-21 12:15:49 PM

Xythero: PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!

Someone didn't read the article.


I didn't read the article either because I hit a "log in" window which informed me "In order to access our Web site, your Web browser must accept cookies from NYTimes.com" and bailed.  Fark that noise.

So, was it interesting?
 
2013-06-21 12:16:58 PM

Magorn: Superjew: How dare those Buddhists not tolerate Muslim aggression.  The hypocrites.

Read the article or hell any news article about Burma, and cite for me please, anything that can be described as "Muslim Agression" therein.  Go on, I'll wait...


Does an article about shaving cream count?
 
2013-06-21 12:17:42 PM

Gunny Walker: Farking paywall?
Here you go!


Hey thanks a lot!


/jerk
 
2013-06-21 12:17:54 PM

Magorn: If this guy called himself a "radical muslim" rather than a radical Buddhist, there already would be people on this thread calling him to be Drone-striked into his next incarnation


What a cock.
 
2013-06-21 12:24:25 PM

RexTalionis: That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."


Buddists have a problem with Muslims.
Christians have a problem with Muslims.
Jews have a problem with Muslims.
Hindus have a problem with Muslims.


Gee, i wonder who the problem is.
 
2013-06-21 12:25:55 PM

LemSkroob: RexTalionis: That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."

Buddists have a problem with Muslims.
Christians have a problem with Muslims.
Jews have a problem with Muslims.
Hindus have a problem with Muslims.


Gee, i wonder who the problem is.


The vast majority of Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Hindus don't have a problem with Muslims. The fundamentalists among them do, sure, but they're not exactly the company you'd want to keep.
 
2013-06-21 12:29:46 PM

ciberido: Buddhist exceptionalism will usually be justified with one or more of the following incorrect claims:

1) Buddhism is "more a philosophy than a religion."
2) Buddhism doesn't have gods ; it is normal to be both Buddhist and atheist.
3) Buddhism doesn't have an afterlife.
4) Buddhist beliefs do not conflict with scientific understanding in any way; moreover, Buddhism is the only religion completely compatible with science.

How many posts deep will we go before I get a hit on one of these 4?


I'll bite on the first half of number 4. What Buddhist belief (I'm assuming you're referring to a core belief commonly shared by nearly all adherents of a major school of Buddhism, and not "some whackjob on the internet claims this belief") is there that you contend conflicts with scientific understanding?

(Not claiming "Buddhist exceptionalism," but I'm curious to see where you're going with this.)
 
2013-06-21 12:29:48 PM
I say we glass-parking lot all these bozos in their respective shiatholes. Wipe them out....all of them.
 
2013-06-21 12:30:54 PM

simplicimus: Maybe the Buddhists got tired of Muslims blowing up their shrines.


THIS!!!!

/tolerance of evil is a crime
 
2013-06-21 12:33:06 PM
When even the Buddhists are getting sick of your shiat, you know you have a problem.
 
2013-06-21 12:34:17 PM

Bslim: I say we glass-parking lot all these bozos in their respective shiatholes. Wipe them out....all of them.


But do so with mindfulness and great compassion.
 
2013-06-21 12:35:48 PM
blog.neosusa.com

You may know it as Burma
 
2013-06-21 12:40:07 PM
Wraithu, you say?  I guess those monks merely seek to throw off the enchantments of flesh and spirit and learn to ignore the bewitchments of love and hate so they can experience the the fulfillments of fate and desire.
 
2013-06-21 12:43:32 PM

ciberido: 1) Buddhism is "more a philosophy than a religion."
2) Buddhism doesn't have gods ; it is normal to be both Buddhist and atheist.
3) Buddhism doesn't have an afterlife.
4) Buddhist beliefs do not conflict with scientific understanding in any way; moreover, Buddhism is the only religion completely compatible with science.


Yeah, funny thing about that, when you actually experience a Buddhist culture, you find out those are more suggestions than actual rules. People go to the Buddhist temples for divination, to meet with people that channel Buddhist saints, pray and light incense for the dead, and everything else.
 
2013-06-21 12:45:23 PM

RexTalionis: LemSkroob: RexTalionis: That said, I'm not saying Buddhism hasn't been the justification for some pretty shiatty stuff over the years, but the situation in Myanmar is a lot more complicated than just saying "Buddhists hate Muslims."

Buddists have a problem with Muslims.
Christians have a problem with Muslims.
Jews have a problem with Muslims.
Hindus have a problem with Muslims.


Gee, i wonder who the problem is.

The vast majority of Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Hindus don't have a problem with Muslims. The fundamentalists among them do, sure, but they're not exactly the company you'd want to keep.


I think you put "vast majority" in the wrong place there.
 
2013-06-21 12:46:29 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!


The country is filled with political and religious hipsters.

"I'm into Syndicalism. You've probably never heard it."

"Yea, Buddhism is okay but I like Jainism."

Saying you're a Christian who likes free market capitalism is like saying you like to eat the occasional Big Mac. As "pedestrian" as that sounds...
 
2013-06-21 12:47:32 PM
BURMA!

/I panicked
 
2013-06-21 12:49:05 PM

Zul the Magnificent: Bslim: I say we glass-parking lot all these bozos in their respective shiatholes. Wipe them out....all of them.

But do so with mindfulness and great compassion.


Right. Don't hurt the oil, or rare earths, or metal ores, or slave labor.
Now, that last one presents a problem.
 
2013-06-21 12:51:42 PM

RexTalionis: Magorn: for anybody hitting the paywall (means you've clicked 12 or more NYtimes links this month)  You can clear your brower cache and reload.

Or incognito mode.


Yeah... didn't work.
 
2013-06-21 12:55:00 PM
All I gotta say is you know you done farked up good when even Buddhist monks want to go medieval on yo ass!

but hey this is fark.. where Muslim/Islamic apologists abounds and where every legitimate criticism of it is automatically surpressed and countered with images and horrific stories of Crusades and sexual deviancies of past religious leaders.
 
2013-06-21 01:05:56 PM

SuperNinjaToad: All I gotta say is you know you done farked up good when even Buddhist monks want to go medieval on yo ass!

but hey this is fark.. where Muslim/Islamic apologists abounds and where every legitimate criticism of it is automatically surpressed and countered with images and horrific stories of Crusades and sexual deviancies of past religious leaders.


If you think what this monk is doing is legitimate criticism, then, I think you should recognize that the problem is with you.
 
2013-06-21 01:08:34 PM

Uzzah: I'll bite on the first half of number 4. What Buddhist belief (I'm assuming you're referring to a core belief commonly shared by nearly all adherents of a major school of Buddhism, and not "some whackjob on the internet claims this belief") is there that you contend conflicts with scientific understanding?

(Not claiming "Buddhist exceptionalism," but I'm curious to see where you're going with this.)


Contentment, not striving for things? Dunno. Scientific progress requires a certain desire & inquisitiveness, and that's counter to Buddhist simplicity & not-want.
 
2013-06-21 01:10:32 PM

Xythero: PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!

Someone didn't read the article.


I don't have and won't have a NYT login. I know the history of ethnic violence in the region. I am snarking at the (dumb white person's) idea that Buddhism is the cure to all evil.
 
2013-06-21 01:10:39 PM
FYI: As of 1:08PM the link at NYT no longer works.
 
2013-06-21 01:13:58 PM
Sudo_make_me_a_sandwich:   1) Buddhism is "more a philosophy than a religion."
2) Buddhism doesn't have gods ; it is normal to be both Buddhist and atheist.
3) Buddhism doesn't have an afterlife.
4) Buddhist beliefs do not conflict with scientific understanding in any way; moreover, Buddhism is the only religion completely compatible with science.


Yeah, funny thing about that, when you actually experience a Buddhist culture, you find out those are more suggestions than actual rules. People go to the Buddhist temples for divination, to meet with people that channel Buddhist saints, pray and light incense for the dead, and everything else.

Yes, Westerners have some kind of new age touchy feely version of it that they developed for their own purposes.

Fact is like any other religion, Buddhism has its own shares of huckers, con-men, sex scandals, weird cult offshoots, etc.
We just don't hear about it as much because our media doesn't cover it and culturally it makes no sense to us.  I only ran into it because I was living for many years in Asia.

There are certainly ideal aspects of it I like a lot, but you got to take the good with the bad.  Compassion and the stance against desire sounds nice but ultimately I didn't like it so much because it often also involves a pantheon of gods or saints and lots and lots of various superstitions.  Maybe the later isn't pure Buddhism but it certainly is being practiced by a big percentage of their adherents.

I have one buddy who did sort of convert, but I respect that because he actually has gone to India several times and actually learned about the religion and stayed for a month in a monastery doing a fairly mentally and I'm sure physically taxing regimine.

But some dipshiat here in the US who just says, yeah I like Buddhism based on listening to Richard Gere and speeches by the Dalai Lama.  Yeah, sure, whatever.
 
2013-06-21 01:14:44 PM
 
2013-06-21 01:17:50 PM

ciberido: Xythero: PC LOAD LETTER: But the white people who think they are Buddhists all act like Buddhism is the greatest thing in the world and that it's pure peace and all the Buddhists are non-violent and compassionate. Could it be that white wannabees yet again oversimplify and romanticize a foreign culture/religion? Say it ain't so!

Someone didn't read the article.

I didn't read the article either because I hit a "log in" window which informed me "In order to access our Web site, your Web browser must accept cookies from NYTimes.com" and bailed.  Fark that noise.

So, was it interesting?


It is interesting.  Some highlights:

Even the radical monk inspiring the violence says he's ignoring Buddhist teachings because they can't be followed when crazy Muslims are involved.  Also, monks in Thailand, monks involved in the Saffron Revolution in Myanmar, and the Dali Lama have all denounced him as preaching ideas that run against Buddhism.

So even if we go with PC LOAD LETTER's assertion that Buddhism, a religion that was spread through Asia by evangelizing missionaries, can only really be understood by indigenous practicioners, this particular monk doesn't even meet those indigenous standards.
 
2013-06-21 01:24:16 PM

OnlyM3: It sounds eerily like Germany in the 30's: a charismatic leader mixes nationalism with calls for attacks on business
So.. obama?


Oh god, don't make me have to add Buddhist to the Big Spiffy List....

/also, subby fails for linking to an article behind a paywall
 
2013-06-21 01:24:39 PM
As in every religion, there are a some rightwing Buddhists who got tired of being abused, murdered and their land being stolen, so they decided they had enough of that shiat and BURN EVERYTHING DOWN.

/Otherwise Buddhism is a state of peace of mind and no need to question where all this universe comes from.
 
2013-06-21 01:30:20 PM

Uzzah: 4) Buddhist beliefs do not conflict with scientific understanding in any way; moreover, Buddhism is the only religion completely compatible with science.

How many posts deep will we go before I get a hit on one of these 4?

I'll bite on the first half of number 4. What Buddhist belief (I'm assuming you're referring to a core belief commonly shared by nearly all adherents of a major school of Buddhism, and not "some whackjob on the internet claims this belief") is there that you contend conflicts with scientific understanding?


Belief in reincarnation seems like a big one.
 
2013-06-21 01:32:04 PM
FTA: "You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog," Ashin Wirathu, a spiritual leader of the movement and very popular figure in Burma, said of the country's Muslims,

He does have a point
 
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