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We Are All Shitty Buddhists

Saying you’re a Buddhist is less work than burning up your entire buzz trying to explain secular humanism.
April 26, 2012, 4:00am

If you ever find yourself forced into one of those stoned-with-close-friends-in-the-woods conversations where somebody is getting really intense about do you believe in God and “spirituality” and other severe bum-out stuff like that, and for some reason they want to force you into telling them what you really believe about life and religious things, sorry. That sucks. Next time don’t invite Mark.

You probably end up telling them you’re some kind of a Buddhist, just to get them off your back, right? It’s not too much of a stretch. You might even actually think of yourself as somewhat of a Buddhist, at least in that “standardized test for people who can’t handle a combination of weed and nature without having a ‘deep’ conversation” kind of a way. Unless you’re really a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or something like that, and you can kind of back it up. This person is on an annoying mission and they will want you to do that before they’ll let you start talking about what’s your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.


Saying you’re a Buddhist is less work than burning up your entire buzz trying to explain secular humanism. Plus, it has the added bonus of conveying that you, in the manner of a Buddhist, firmly believe that people should relax more often. That’s a good way to get out of the situation, because it’s a good reminder to Mark that he needs to calm the fuck down and if he’s gonna have a marijuana freakout he should at least have the common courtesy to go on a ridiculous paranoid bear patrol and not hassle everybody so much.

I know for a fact that I’d be a Buddhist in that situation. Either that or a Murderist. So… we’re Buddhists.

But: we fucking suck at it, you guys. Did you know that Buddhists believe that getting all fired up about having possessions and acquiring good taste in consumable things is, like, kind of a big no-no? Fact: real honest-to-goodness Buddhists have either “no” or “probably fucking terrible” record collections. Which begs the question: In that case, how in the Wide World of Jorts do they accomplish all that relaxing? After any extended amount of time interacting with the rest of the human race, I personally need to be near a selection of at least 50 records (or “vinyls”) to even consider untensing my shoulders.

An accomplished, real-deal Buddhist would probably tell me “no,” as in “no, you don’t need that.”  And maybe also as in, “This is exactly why white people have destroyed everything they’ve ever touched, because they see something like Buddhism and think, ‘Gee, those dudes sure are good at relaxing.’” To which I say, go to hell, Buddhists. I like records. I can be a shitty records-loving Buddhist if I want, and if I’m wrong I’ll spend the next life being a perfect Buddhist garden slug, where I will happily enjoy a sluggy lifetime of peace and quiet, away from your imaginary Buddhist onslaughts.


But these delusion-induced Buddhists in my brain do have a point.  I probably only need like a Top 5 records in order to achieve the kind of relaxation I reductively assume their whole entire millennia-old religion is based in.

They are:

1. Sam Prekop, Sam Prekop (Thrill Jockey, 1999): Sam Prekop is basically audio muscle relaxer, and if you listen to this all the way through twice in a row, your bones will dissolve.

2. Bitchin’ Bajas, Water Wrackets (Kallistei Editions, 2011): Attention Buddhists! I reserve the right to switch this out with any future “trippy” trance-inducing drone LP of my choice.

3. Thee Oh Sees, Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion (HBSP-2X 2009): This plus Water Wrackets means I also get to sneak two DVDs into this too. Take that, Buddhists!

4. J.J. Cale, Naturally (Shelter 1972): J.J. Cale taught Eric Clapton to be boring instead of BORING(!), so he is already like a total zen master of helping the world and stuff.

5. Chef Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (Loud 1995): I don’t know how Buddhists are supposed to operate, but I know I can’t just have four records that are only for pussies and then call it a day.

If I promise to pretend to only have those five records from now on, will you fuckin’ Buddhists get off my back? I feel bad for telling Mark I was one of you that one time in the woods. And don’t say, “We’re all Buddhists, we are all the Buddha,” or something like that in your hyper-relaxed yoga instructor voice. That only makes it worse when you do that. I KNOW. All of this is bullshit, and there’s nothing particularly nourishing about devoting myself so tirelessly to developing my taste in everything I do. I’m doing everything wrong all the time, OK?

Jeez, you guys are creeps. I’m going on bear patrol, because what if I get eaten.

Previously - Karaoke Master