You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

March 05, 2013

I Respect Spam That Doesn't Suck Up to You

Most comment spam is gushing and says something like:

Highly descripter article. I was loving this a lot. Will recommend and come back

But I just got this in the spam filter, which I respect for giving me some honest feedback:

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this 1. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I really thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is usually a bunch of whining about something that you simply could fix when you werent too busy seeking for attention. Wholesale NFL Jerseys

I encourage you to patronize those links for all your Cheap China Jordans Best Skilled Care needs.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at March 5, 2013 01:02 PM

Was wondering which translator you used in deciphering that gibberish.

Posted by: pa joe at March 5, 2013 01:43 PM

Yeah! Don't it just put yuh a bit over the edge.

I got so tired of these spams, (about 20 each day), that I just delete every registration request at my website daily. I figure that if anybody was truly interested, they would make a second attempt to register and perhaps add something original to the subject line.


Posted by: Calm at March 6, 2013 01:46 AM

Did you know that "spam" is a contraction for "spiced ham"? And that the "spices" are sugar and salt?

OK, that was an easy one.

Did you know that Shinzen Young has said:

Science has beauty, depth, power, and practical utility. I believe that the two most impressive discoveries of our species are the Eastern method of meditative exploration and the Western method of scientific exploration.

Some people claim that meditation and science have mated, but I think they are just starting to date. I believe the true mating will occur sometime later in this century and will give birth to a world-transforming paradigm shift.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 6, 2013 11:34 AM

Zen, 6th century

1. A special transmission outside of the scriptures.
2. No dependence upon words or letters.
3. Direct pointing at the soul of man.
4. Seeing into one's own nature and the attainment of Buddhahood.

Volkswagen, 20th century

1. A standard transmission underneath the chassis.
2. Strong dependence upon gasoline.
3. Goes where it's pointed.
4. Seeing out through the windshield and the attainment of Buddhahood.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 6, 2013 11:50 AM

mistah charlie ph.d. Only The Beautiful love a Volkswagen.
Ya know when the BBC, during WWII, would make transmissions at times with codes like " To our friends in France--- jack has jumped the fence, jack has jumped the fence" etc. (after all, the word "revolution" appears at the top of the page). OR some kinda Stutts U. social studies experiment.
As for chinese goods, Big Wally is just down to the corner.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 6, 2013 12:21 PM

this spam negging technique works with women as well

Posted by: frankenduf at March 6, 2013 02:10 PM

I really do need to read Zen at War one of these days. They have it at LAPL I see.

Posted by: godoggo at March 6, 2013 10:05 PM

I'm still trying to track down a copy of Sun Ruf's "The Art of Wha-?".

Posted by: Daruma at March 7, 2013 12:37 PM

OK, to be fair I read a book called The Emotional Life of Your Brain that talked about some pretty intriguing experiments about meditation, specifically about meditating on "universal love" as in Tibetan Buddhism, and I get the impression this sort of thing can have psychological benefits for the sort of person who somehow doesn't find it repellent aesthetically, but it's still worth bearing in mind that religion can inspire some extremely nasty behavior, and that very much includes Buddhism.

Posted by: godoggo at March 7, 2013 07:21 PM

"Boot camp, and particularly that of the Marines, is made to psychologically change a child into someone capable of performing under combat situations. In most cases, it is intended to take from them the aspects of their civilian lives that will make life harder for them in the military, and sometimes get them killed, no longer part of the calculation. The yelling, the sleep deprivation, and being cut off from friends and family are part of the process of becoming a warrior. It is also part of becoming a cult."

"The reason that Zen is necessary for soldiers is that all Japanese, especially soldiers, must live in the spirit of the unity of the sovereign and subjects, eliminating their ego and getting rid of their self. It is exactly the awakening to the nothingness (mu) of Zen that is the fundamental spirit of the unity of sovereign and subjects. Through my practice of Zen I am able to get rid of my self. In facilitating the accomplishment of this, Zen becomes, as it is, the true spirit of the imperial military."

Posted by: godoggo at March 7, 2013 07:25 PM

0) re boot camp - you could look at the Wikipedia article about Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.

1) godoggo - Thanks for mentioning Zen at War by Brian Daizen Victoria, which I do not recall having heard of before. Religion, including Buddhism, can co-occur with "some extremely nasty behavior" - yes indeed. Somewhat parallel in our own time and place is the role of fanatical right-wing Christianists at the U.S. Air Force Academy, for example. See the website of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for more information.

2)By coincidence, I too have recently been reading The Emotional Life of Your Brain, by Richard Davidson with Sharon Begley. As a consequence, I have signed missus charley and myself up for an eight week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - it starts next month. MBSR as an approach was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (the Zinn in his name comes from marrying historian Howard Zinn's daughter Myla, by the way). Like Shinzen Young, quoted earlier in this thread, Kabat-Zinn is one of the leaders of an intellectual and social movement which is bringing the insights of Eastern introspective psychology to the West by looking for ways to effectively present the essentials, while removing the potentially off-putting dogmatic, cultural, and aesthetic trappings. Davidson (as you know from reading his book) is among those applying the ever-more-powerful tools of brain science to researching this area. Who knows what the future may hold of marvel or surprise? - if global civilization can somehow manifest itself despite countervailing tendencies.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 8, 2013 10:41 AM

" I saw your profile picture , and you're sooo cute. You can contact me here :" I use a pic of a daylily ('Helix') so nobody can recognize me as the commie-pinko-un-Murrican-traitor, that they hate online. ( & for the Psycho-Stalkers? Nah! I appreciate the enthusiasm. ;)

Posted by: mikeinportc at March 9, 2013 12:46 AM

Mistah Charlie: I thought of a response that amused me, but decided that thinking of and it was probably enough.

Anyway, "coexist" is probably not the word I'd have used.

Posted by: godoggo at March 9, 2013 06:28 PM

But what I thought of was making light of the extreme civility of your reply, in rhyme (gratitude, attitude, latitude; alternatively brothers, druthers, another), and suggesting that our host might be able to form this into a limerick, what with him being a professional writer and all. I made me laugh.

Posted by: godoggo at March 10, 2013 01:36 AM


Posted by hendiadys (an 85 year old man from Great Britain) at allpoetry dot com on Nov 19, 2009

An almost inaudible tapping?
Even fainter than lake-water lapping?
I'm trying to show an
Example of koan,
The sound of a single hand clapping.


Who knows what the future may hold of marvel or surprise? - if global civilization can somehow manifest itself despite countervailing tendencies

The first phrase is adapted from John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "The Eternal Goodness", chosen by my late father to be one of the hymns sung at his memorial service. With regard to the second phrase - in my previous comment I mentioned Jon Kabat-Zinn's work in adapting Zen and other Buddhist methods for use in a secular Western cultural context. He has published "Some reflections on the origins of MBSR, skillful means, and the trouble with maps", in Contemporary Buddhism, Vol. 12, No. 1, May 2011. The abstract is:

The author recounts some of the early history of what is now known as MBSR, and its relationship to mainstream medicine and the science of the mind/body connection and health. He stresses the importance that MBSR and other mindfulness-based interventions be grounded in a universal dharma understanding that is congruent with Buddhadharma but not constrained by its historical, cultural and religious manifestations associated with its countries of origin and their unique traditions. He locates these developments within an historic confluence of two very different epistemologies encountering each other for the first time, that of science and that of the meditative traditions. The author addresses the ethical ground of MBSR, as well as questions of lineage and of skillful ‘languaging’ and other means for maximizing the possibility that the value of cultivating mindfulness in the largest sense can be heard and embraced and cultivated in commonsensical and universal ways in secular settings. He directly addresses mindfulness-based instructors on the subject of embodying and drawing forth the essence of the dharma without depending on the vocabulary, texts, and teaching forms of traditional Buddhist environments, even though they are important to know to one degree or another as part of one's own development. The author's perspective is grounded in what the Zen tradition refers to as the one thousand year view. Although it is not stated explicitly in this text, he sees the current interest in mindfulness and its applications as signaling a multi-dimensional emergence of great transformative and liberative promise, one which, if cared for and tended, may give rise to a flourishing on this planet akin to a second, and this time global, Renaissance, for the benefit of all sentient beings and our world.

[end of quote from abstract]

At this point, someone unable to resist their jocular tendencies might add: And a pony.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 10, 2013 09:04 AM

Yep, some kinda code.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 10, 2013 03:28 PM

absolute blueprint to accomplish activity plan

"On a two-week vipassana retreat at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, in the Spring of 1979, while sitting in my room one afternoon about Day Ten of the retreat, I had a “vision” that lasted maybe ten seconds. I don’t really know what to call it, so I call it a vision. It was rich in detail and more like an instantaneous seeing of vivid, almost inevitable connections and their implications. It did not come as a reverie or a thought stream, but rather something quite different, which to this day I cannot fully explain and don’t feel the need to.

I saw in a flash not only a model that could be put in place, but also the long-term implications of what might happen if the basic idea was sound and could be implemented in one test environment – namely that it would spark new fields of scientific and clinical investigation, and would spread to hospitals and medical centers and clinics across the country and around the world, and provide right livelihood for thousands of practitioners.

Because it was so weird, I hardly ever mentioned this experience to others. But after that retreat, I did have a better sense of what my karmic assignment might be. It was so compelling that I decided to take it on wholeheartedly as best I could."

--Jon Kabat-Zinn

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 11, 2013 10:44 AM

"would spread to hospitals and medical centers and clinics across the country and around the world, and provide right livelihood for thousands of practitioners."

Yeah, this is where it gets into scam territory.

Posted by: godoggo at March 11, 2013 03:42 PM