Johnny Karma and the Fundamentalist Buddhists

I’ve never considered myself a particularly spiritual person, so I have surprised myself in the last week by finding something deep within myself that was previously unexposed.
I’ve changed my diet.
I’ve changed my attitude to what makes me happy.
I’ve changed my approach to how I deal with other people.
I’ve changed my approach to life.
I’ve changed my underwear.

I think it came about from my obsession with having enough money. I’ve been struggling with this since I can remember. I’ve never wanted to be outrageously wealthy, but I’ve always been concerned about running out of money or losing the things that I possess.
I stumbled upon this thread about Buddhism on the forum of The Ornery American. Adam Masterman is clearly a practising Buddhist, and his posts made a lot of sense. In particular he says that the Buddhist attitude towards wealth is: “If it comes, that’s fine. If it goes, that’s fine.”
My problem is that I’ve never believed that before. My perception has always been, “If it comes, that’s fine. If it goes, that sucks.” But the Adam explained things so well that I was inspired to do a little more digging. I found an introductory course on Buddhism and eagerly devoured the information.

There’s a lot of gobbledy-gook. A whole bunch of the stuff just doesn’t make much sense to me at the moment. What I like about the philosophy is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t get it all or don’t want to buy into the teachings. A skeptical and critical attitude is actively encouraged. Buddhists don’t want you to take anything on faith and just believe that what they say goes. Instead they say, this is how it is — experiment using logic and see whether or not you agree. Even if you don’t agree, keep experimenting.

If only I’d realised how scientific Buddhism was, I’d have been more spiritual a long time ago. It’s a pseudo-scientific philosophy! Kind of like Intelligent Design (ID) is pseudo-scientific. Uh…
ID is certainly not logical though. If an intelligent designer designed everything, then who designed the intelligent designer? (I much prefered the word “god,” because that’s only three letters to type when debating online).

Ok, so there are unresolved problems. Still, Buddhism really is one kick-ass way to live because you don’t kick-ass, and that’s kick-ass.
Ask Johnny Karma if you don’t believe me.

Sony disrespects its customers

Do not buy anything that Sony manufactures, specifically any of their bullshit copy-protected CDs. I figure all of their products deserve boycotting though.

Sony BMG installs software that hides its presence from you on your PC. It does this if you just play the CD, never mind make legal copies. Sony doesn’t get your permission. If you know what you’re doing and actually find the programme and remove it, it breaks your CD-ROM.
Crackers write viruses that behave in the same way, and in fact a virus that takes advantage of Sony’s nefarious work has already surfaced.

And their EULA is full of fun and games too.

Again I say: Don’t buy even a single writable CD from these cretins!

Woolworths sent me some crap

And I’m not happy about it. I decided to email them the following letter listing my grievances.

[edit]It seems I made a typo in the email address. Could this be a sign from a higher being that it is inadvisable to send the message in its current form? You tell me. Perhaps I need to tone down the language or something?[/edit]

Do enjoy:

Dear Customer Services Manager

I’ll start by quoting from the letter that you sent me on 19 October, 2005. The same letter that included my Woolworths Store Charge Card.

“Your world of difference Store Charge Card is your key to a wonderful new world. A world created especially for you. A world where membership is free. A world where you will always have the inside track on everything happening at Woolworths. A world where you don’t need to wait for what you want, just hand over your card to pay for whatever your heart desires.”

Now let’s run that through a little de-obfuscation, and closely analyse the statements you have made.

1. “Your world of difference Store Charge Card is your key to a wonderful new world. A world created especially for you.”
What a blatant load of crap. I’ll be generous in my criticism and let the ‘wonderful new world’ metaphor slide. You’ve created a supposedly wonderful world of shopping, and I’ll accept that. What I refuse to accept is that you’ve created it especially for me.
That statement insults my intelligence. It even insults the intelligence of people with below average IQ’s. If this world you created was created especially for me, that implies that I am the most important person in that world. Surely then my account number shouldn’t be 6007 8501 0196 1967? That’s an unnecessarily long number when I’m No.1.
But I’m not really 1st in line, am I?

2. “A world where membership is free.”
It is incidentally also a world where membership is unwanted. Membership is free, but buying stuff isn’t, and ultimately you want me to go into debt so you can charge me interest. Will the interest be free?

3. ‘A world where you will always have the inside track on everything happening at Woolworths’
This doesn’t seem nefarious, but the next line…

4. ‘A world where you don’t need to wait for what you want, just hand over your card soul to pay for whatever your heart desires.’
Note the alteration I’ve made to the above quote. Less deceptive now, in my opinion.

Your annoying letter goes on to tell me that the best thing of all is that I don’t need to apply and that I’ve already been pre-approved for R5500 credit. Plus, you gave me a R25-off voucher if I spend R150 or more using the card of evil.
Thanks. That’s very generous and accommodating of you. Helping pave my road to insolvency. Standard Bank is already doing a fine job without your assistance, but I specifically asked them for a credit card so they get a state pardon.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say in my very long-winded fashion, is that sending me unsolicited mail pisses me off. Sending me unsolicited mail that tries to tempt me into taking out credit pisses me off a lot. Pissing me off tarnishes my perception of your brand and makes me think twice about shopping in your store.
Pissing people off is not something you want to do, because you never know how influential or powerful someone you piss-off might be.

Good day

Friends don’t subject friends to pictures like this

In fact, I feel so much better that I thought I’d strike back at Michael Fletcher’s abomination in the only way I know how.

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Take that!

In case you are worried, I don’t generally dress up like this at home. This was for a Halloween party. Honest.
You have to admit — it’s pretty damned scary.

Ketamine Hydrochloride

I’m grieving.
But no-one has died

I’m hurting.
But I find no wound

I’m angry.
But there’s no-one to blame

I’m vengeful.
Who deserves my wrath?

She’s drugged.
Abandoned in the club
Her drink has betrayed her

She’s raped?
The tests do not say so
No clear way to tell though

She’s ill.
Feels weary all day now
Curse the pill that AIDS her

And so
I grieve I ache I rage

I avenge?
Do you deserve my wrath?