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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 97 POP- AND SUBCULTURE SIGHTINGS BY ROD MEADE SPERRY FROM THE WORST HORSE’S MOUTH ROD MEADE SPERRY is editor of the “pop-/sub-/dharma-culture” website TheWorstHorse.net. PARIS HILTON: DHARMA PUNK’D March began with Paris Hilton becoming entertainment-news gold (again) by giving away her diamonds. After being seen in West Hollywood’s Bodhi Tree Bookstore with a red-and-orange-robed man—described alternately by the press as Hilton’s guru/yogi/ mystic/shaman—she then gave her jewelry to a befuddled passerby, explaining, “because the greatest gift is to give.” Sounds impossible, right? Well, not entirely. A year and a half ago, Paris was spotted making a few “dharmic” purchases in the very same bookstore. Was that shopping trip just a ruse to win sympathy with the hotel heiress’s detractors, who, by and large, write her off as a ditz? Or had the dharma struck a resonating chord with Ms. Hilton? This new episode was looking like the real thing, to the naïve, the hopeful, and the paparazzi alike. But the big question remained: Who was this guru (or yogi, or whatever he was)? His robes weren’t recognizable as being from any particular tradition, and he strangely looked the part, in an almost stereotypical way; his flowing gray beard and mane made him look as though he’d been sent from Central Casting. And, in essence, he was: The “guru” was none other than Maxie Santillan Jr., an actor who’d previously brought his wizened flair to roles as a pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean) and an old man (Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood!). Kind of a shame, but then Maxie is clearly a better actor than a potential spiritual advisor. (From his MySpace page: “Heroes: Me, Myself, and I.”) Paris, too, should get acting kudos here: many people were fooled for at least the moment. (Full disclosure: I was.) Not that she came up with the stunt; it was arranged by actor and producer Ashton Kutcher as material for a show in which the paparazzi (and bloggers, apparently) are pranked into covering false and ridiculous stories and made to feel really, really dumb. You win this time, Ashton. We were Dharma Punk’d. Aye Pari mak purc sam that aru with detr large ditz? stru with new like to th hop papa But the big question remained: Who was this g s DHAR MA BUR GER SIGHT I N GS The “Buddha Lucky Palm Breast Massager” • A Tom & Jerry DVD box featuring its feline star trying to sit zazen, and an episode called “Zent out of Shape” • Beloved doom-rock band Witch’s new song “Old Trap Line,” which is inspired by Vipassana meditation (among other things) • The “BabyGear Zen Collec- tion,” by Fisher Price • “Mr. Happiness,” a 47-year-old Japanese Buddhist monk who raps, um, for the kids • The Volkl line of skis with model names like Gotama, Man- tra, Karma, and even Dogen • ObZen, the new album by metal-band Meshuggah, whose title is described as “a play on the words “obscene” and “Zen” • The trailer for The Love Guru, which opens as you read this and features Mike Myers as a bumbling “Dharma teacher.” One of the film’s taglines: “His Karma is Huge.” INFPHOTO JULY 78-99.indd 97 JULY 78-99.indd 97 4/25/08 12:05:33 PM 4/25/08 12:05:33 PM