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Lions Roar : November 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 103 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. T HE BUMPIN’ REEMERG ENCE O F SHAMBHAL A Based on a new music video, it looks like the gold chains of gang- sta rap and the Africa medallions of the all-but-lost “conscious rap” movement of the late eighties and early nineties have been replaced— by the BIGGEST MALAS YOU’VE EVER SEEN. Luckily, musically and lyrically, the hip-hop duo Shambhala bridges the gap between those two forms of hip-hop music. They’ve got gangsta swagger and lyrics that go beyond “con- scious” and into the realm of the bodhisattva. After hear- ing from them again, I can’t WAIT for their new album, The Return of the Silent Dragons, which is set for release any minute now. In the meantime, their debut, The Lotus of..., has just been re-released, and thank goodness. Get caught up at shambhalatrue.com. BARACK THE BUDDHIST? Lama Surya Das went on The Colbert Report to ad- dress (facetiously, of course) whether or not Barack Obama should become a Tibetan Buddhist in these, the post-Jeremiah Wright days of Obama’s life and presidential campaign. This was Surya Das’ second appearance on the show, and again, he did us all proud. So why might Obama become a Buddhist? For one thing, Surya said, “Buddha’s been teaching about change and inclusion for 2,500 years.” The segment was also worth seeing if only for the fleeting image of “The Dalai Grimace,” Colbert’s vision of how Tibetan Buddhists might cash in on their fast- food-friendly color scheme. COME ON NOW, SHARON. WHAT WERE YOU T HINKING? Sharon Stone, speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, called China’s May 12 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people an act of karma. She said (on camera, mind you): “ They’re not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a friend of mine. And then all of this earthquake and all this happened, and I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice, that bad things happen to you?” This tasteless remark caused an outrage. And the effect? Christian Dior very smartly decided to remove Stone from its Chinese ads. She had exposed not only her tendency to gaffe, but also her slippery hold on the idea of karma itself: It’s not about punishment or rewards. It’s about (you guessed it) cause and effect. But don’t worry, Sharon. If you can be forgiven for Basic Instinct 2, you can probably be forgiven for this. And hey, you’ve landed in “From the Worst Horse’s Mouth” for the third time! So congrats. (Though you might wanna refrain from hawking diamonds for Dior, or anyone. Think about the karma there.) ot wards. t) t be ct y, ” VIRT UAL KARMA “How is your karma? Want good things to happen to you? And your friends? Send Good Karma to your friends and your karma will be returned to you.” Or so says the copy about one of Facebook’s many time-wasting mini-applications. I under- stand that it’s born of nice (or at least innocuous) intentions, but really. Not only will this further pervert ideas of what karma actually is, it’s just something else to delete, mindfully, from your inbox when Sharon Stone sends it to you. (See immediately below.) NOV 84-105.indd 103 NOV 84-105.indd 103 9/1/08 12:25:05 PM 9/1/08 12:25:05 PM