I have great respect for Christiane Amanpour. I think she's awesome. She did a tremendous series on being a woman in Afghanistan that should have won all kinds of awards (and maybe it did.) She's my favorite journalist besides Anderson Cooper (I still wanna take that soulful, sad-eyed boy home, feed him a good meal, give him a hot bath and _______ his brains out; unfortunately he bats for the other team, or rather my team, or--well, he wouldn't be interested). But I gotta wonder where on earth she got the idea to call her new series "Buddha's Warriors." Uh, hello? Christiane?
I mean, talk about antithetical. In Myanmar, lots of monks got the snot beaten out of them recently for protesting 500% increases in the prices of gas and most foods. What did they do to deserve this? Pretty much march up and down the street chanting. When the guys with the billy clubs showed up, they didn't fight back; they just got pounded into the ground. I mean, there are exceptions - many Samurai were Buddhists, and they killed people for a living - and there's Buddhist Army chaplains (one who served at Abu Ghirab) and plenty of modern-day Buddhist martial artists running around, but for the most part, Buddhists? Warriors? Hard to fit into a sentence together. I realize "Buddha's Peace-Time Civilians" isn't nearly as catchy a name for a series, but somebody should have thought about it. Sincerely.
That's not gonna stop me from watching, though. I'm rabidly curious. I wonder if it's gonna be one of those, "This is what Buddhists believe" things that are always so accurate. Sorry, that's me being snarky again. This being Texas and all, there's plenty of letters to the paper that say, "I'm a Christian and therefore I believe..." as though all Christians always agree on everything (and even when I was a Christian I didn't agree with a lot of folks; Christianity is kind of God's joke on the term "organized religion"). There are worse letters about what all Muslims allegedly believe, and don't get me started on Wiccans/pagans. But still, it's very cool that somebody's doing an actual series on Buddhism. Maybe they'll say in the series how many Buddhists there are in the world, the U.S., or whatever; Buddhists never seem to show up on those Pew Research Center surveys of American religion. (Prompting my Buddhist monk friend to say, "But of course; Buddhists do not believe in answering surveys." Uh, he was kidding.)
Meantime, you might wanna check out this book. Heck, for that matter, so do I. I wonder if the local library has it. Oh, Joan...