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Lions Roar : Nov 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2007 103 ROD MEADE SPERRY is editor of the pop- and subculture website TheWorstHorse.net. BUDDHA BLING! PART 2 We’ve all fantasized about winning the lottery. Me, I’ve always thought I’d buy a farm, donate a cool million each to a couple of local meditation centers, and maybe even start one myself. But now that I’ve seen “Sphinx (Road to Enlight- enment)” by sculptor Marc Quinn, I might just have to rebudget accordingly. In the piece, notoriously waif-like model Kate Moss stands in (or rather, sits) for an emaciated Shakyamuni Buddha. Quinn says in a press release: “In a world without Gods and Goddesses, celebrity has replaced divinity. ...Kate Moss is someone whose image has completely separated from her real self and [now] has a life of its own. Our problem is: How do we measure ourselves against the impossible infinite virtual world of perfect images?” I called and spoke to one of the directors of NYC’s Mary Boone Gallery, which has been showing the piece, in the hopes of getting an interview—and finding out the price tag for the piece. I in- stead received one of the most polite brush-offs in journalistic history. Perhaps they could sense that my lucky number has yet to come up. ♦ THIS ISSUE’S DHARMABURGER GT Bicycles not only knows how to makes great bikes—they know something about advertising, too. Why is this print ad worth a mention? Let me count at least some of the ways. First of all, it’s well-composed, well-shot, and the headline typography is lovely. And they didn’t use any faux-Tibetan or “Asian” typefaces. They let their image feel contemporary, and they let it do most of the talking. ( There are les- sons here, advertisers!) Secondly, it’s playful, without being overly cheesy. GT is not actually “selling” (read: capitalizing on) some kind of phony, exotic, Eastern spirituality, much less a legit one. They are, as the rapper Eminem would say, “just playing.” Thirdly, dig the details. The monk’s robes aren’t in any traditional colors we’re used to seeing—they’re yellow and blue, GT’s corporate colors. And, as befits an “extreme” sportsman, our bald-headed friend is densely tattooed. The company isn’t trying to get over on us by pretending that their products have some sort of “dharmic” quality. They’re just having fun. Purists might shudder at the sight of such an ad, but there’s no disrespect meant, and sometimes, fun is just that: fun. REDUCE, REUSE, REINCARNATE! Jerry Whiting, who runs the web- site JetCityOrange.com, wants to transform the way we think about those Altoids mint tins that are lit- tering our handbags and the floors of our cars. The tins have become “the project box of choice for nerds in the know,” he says. Whiting’s own applications for them include pocket shrines and prayer wheels (made from the round tins). “Such recycling is consistent with my spiritual practice, transmuting trash into treasure,” Whiting says. His site even includes a bevy of links and info on “praying with electrons you already have around the house” by converting your computer’s hard drive into an information-age prayer wheel. “Nowadays hard-disk drives spin their disks somewhere between 3,600 and 7,200 revolutions per minute, with a typical rate of 5,400 rpm. Given those rotation speeds, you’ll soon be purifying loads of negative karma.” NOV 78-103.indd 103 NOV 78-103.indd 103 8/29/07 2:24:21 PM 8/29/07 2:24:21 PM