It’s been 11 days since the South Ossetia war began between Georgia and Russia, and the only thing that Tricycle Blog has to say about this conflict is a snide comment that implies McCain might not know the difference between “Georgia with Tblisi, not Atlanta.” Otherwise, not one word. Indeed, there’s been ethnic cleansing. We have a powerful oppressor weighing down on a small nascent democracy. There are even Buddhists nearby. So what’s stopping the ink?
Oh yes, if only they were Buddhists.
In my last post, I knew I was hitting low when I wrote about Tricycle’s obsession for its Tibet and Burma coverage. Those are not the only two issues you’ll find on the Tricycle Blog. To give them credit, the review’s blog also covered natural disasters in Aceh (tsunami) and Sichuan (earthquake) — and note that these are parts of the world which aren’t exactly where white people go to learn meditation. So props for Tricycle. But a glance at today’s posts gives us a different picture. Clearly, the ethanol capability of grass is more important than ethnic cleansing in the Caucasus.
Tricycle may be the closest thing that the Buddhist community has to a mainstream media publication. But rather than become a beacon for the general community, it’s become a mouthpiece for a minority: liberal Buddhist romanticists, not to mention aficionados of the Orient. That’s not to say that there aren’t interesting posts that I enjoy immensely, but I’m put off by an excessive interest in organic foods, liberal outrage and Oriental affairs. Can we have more Buddhism and less arugala?
When it comes to issues like the conflict in Georgia, I’d like to see a “mainstream” Buddhist review get Buddhist takes on the subject. What are the perspectives of Russian Buddhists? What do Buddhist leaders say about the conflict? What are our Buddhist members of Congress doing and saying about this? (Or if you insist on continuing your China bashing: What is China not saying about this?) These are some interesting questions that I think a lot of Buddhists (both Anglo and Asian Americans) would be interested in.
So that’s my angry Asian rant of the day. If this posts gets any readers, I’m sorry if I offended you with my outright racial comments. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being liberal, white, obsessed with organic foods, or even having a deep enthusiasm for Asian culture. Just don’t confuse these qualities with Buddhism or the Buddhist community.
May all the civilians, refugees, politicians and soldiers in the Caucasus be truly happy, peaceful and free from suffering. May all beings be truly happy, peaceful and free from suffering.