Genius Clowns And Silver Tongued Uncles
Hello from scenic Pokhara, Nepal!
I hope you are happy and healthy. What is going on in your part of the world?
There will be a lot to tell about this lovely town, but I have to do it before I can write about it! That report should be ready next week. This week please enjoy two bits from what may be the most important section of the new book in progress. Here is the first piece and then some more from the Tribute To Teachers section in that soon-to-be new book.
The prophetic George Carlin has been without question one of the major influences in my life, and the lives of many others. He used a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, often crude, pull no punches, blue collar approach to what he saw going on in the world. He often envisioned, then clearly and accurately commented on, events that didn’t actually happen until years later — as well as having cutting edge interpretations of the present. He was our canary in the coal mine, and much more a comic genius with immense foresight than a simple class clown.
Leo Buscaglia was favorite uncle to the world. Among the many brilliant strokes of pure honesty to come out of his mouth is the line mentioned as the title below. He asked a friend with a sour look on his face, “How are you?” The friend answered with an unconvincing. “Fine.” Uncle Leo replied, “Why don’t you tell your face!?!” Leo Buscaglia was filled from head to toe with good-willed honesty. He could say things like “Why don’t you tell your face?” without being insulting. His good intentions and love of humanity always shined through whatever little sting might result from his honesty and accuracy.
I hope you enjoy my two little tributes to these incredible modern masters.
Thank you for reading, and for clicking the backlinks. Be well. Love, Tenzin
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No Misunderstandings, Please/What Does Matter
Thank you, Mr. Carlin. You brought us laughter, truth, integrity, courage, and conscience — and did each of them better than most folks do any one of them.
Just so there are no misunderstandings, I would like to officially state something right here near the beginning of this section of tributes to teachers. Almost none of the people (there are a few exceptions) who are complimented here as teachers and influences actually know or ever knew me. I’m not trying to make believe that I am in some kind of intimate buddies club with every genius on Earth, or that I have personally met and had social what-to-do with any of these people. I go to lectures, classes, concerts, get the books, and watch these folks on HBO specials, YouTube, or PBS just like nearly everyone else who has been smart enough to seek out these human lighthouses, or has been lucky enough to just stumble across them. I do have an active imagination. Even the repetitive contact with videos can affect me strongly at times, but that’s where most of these “relationships” end.
A very small number of people have become a lot more famous than the rest of us. Sometimes this happens because we admire a person’s genius, talent, or merit. But just as often, it happens through no actual accomplishment on the part of the famous person. It often happens because shill marketing and media conglomerates are selling the public an image, as well as an artificial relationship to that image. These marketing and media folks work for corporate pimps. The corporate pimps and their companies collect big money from these processes because these methods result in bizarre purchasing habits on the part of consumers. These bizarre purchasing habits materialize when consumers become hypnotized by vast avalanches of enticingly designed commercial messages into believing their imagined connection with the celebrity is not only real and meaningful, but also has a connection to the product that is for sale.
But even truly meeting or knowing someone admirable doesn’t make you, yourself, an improved or admirable individual. That happens when you are actually being, doing, or taking part in something admirable.
Why do people make such a big deal about this associating with/meeting/knowing a famous person thing, anyway? Brag about meeting, say, Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? I don’t think so. I’d brag if I spoke and acted as nobly as Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama!
No, on second thought, I guess I wouldn’t.
I feel so strongly about all this that the following true story is still, thirty-five years after the fact, one of my very favorite moments in life.
It was a beautiful autumn day in the 1980s at Hugo’s bar on Pleasant Street in the lovely town of Northampton, Massachusetts. After an all-day effort to deplete the world’s beer supply, a sudden flash of inspiration came to me. Over the course of the following year, that inspiration developed into a successful local, and then statewide, charity project. It got a lot of attention and press because it involved high-level politicians, famous musicians, major league sports teams, labor unions, volunteers who didn’t get paid at all, and a hot button issue. Above all, the project went well because none of the money passed through me or our little volunteer group. It went directly from contributors to very well established and reputable charities. There was no possible question-of-trust factor. (Details in news articles at fearlesspuppy.info, if you are interested.)
Shortly after the project, I was back at Hugo’s, again doing my part to help society drain free of its alcohol content. I made this effort many times during the 1980s. A guy (decent sort) who infrequently frequented our watering hole came through the back door. He was known and well liked by one of the regulars at our table, so we invited him to join us. Decent-sort-Mike was then introduced to several people who were well known for not being able to remember names.
Mike downed half a beer and suddenly turned wide-eyed. He stared at me for a few very long seconds. It was the kind of stare that made me wonder if he was on some powerful drug and I was showing up as a freshly tapped keg in his hallucination.
That wasn’t it. The mad stare was his sudden recognition of a person whom he knew had experienced the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame.
“You’re that guy from the newspapers. You’re great!” said decent-sort-Mike.
I had to reply, “Don’t be fucking ridiculous. I’m a drunk from Hugo’s, just like you are.”
The light went on in Mike’s more than slightly bloodshot eyes. It was that deeper kind of understanding that rarely happens, even between people who know each other very well.
He got it.
A big slow “Wooooow!” came out of his mouth.
Mike suddenly realized that he could have done that charity project and would have received the same attention from the media if he had. Instant insight told him that anyone could have done it. It was all just about getting up and doing it. All I did was kick my own drunken ass into the process. That didn’t make me any more of a superman than Mike. The only difference between us was that I put a situation’s potential to actual use.
We bought each other beers and talked for hours with no further misunderstandings.
All of us humans have the same potential to be incredible.
Who you’ve met or know doesn’t matter.
Who you choose to be and what you choose to do with your life is what does matter.
“Why Don’t You Tell Your Face?”
With love and thanks to the world’s favorite uncle, Mr. Leo Buscaglia
I ask how you’re doing and you tell me you’re fine, but you’re staring out off into space. The look in your eye tells me something’s awry. You’re not sitting in your favorite place. You appear to be thinking that to speak your true feelings would surely result in disgrace. If you’re feeling fine, I’ll kiss my own behind. If you’re happy, you should tell your face!
No one feels perfect all day and all night, and if you’ve got a problem then you’ve got a right to share it with people who care ‘bout your plight and can help you recover, recycle your sight.
But you don’t.
You just sit there with that frown covering you.
Seems kind of silly.
If someone sincerely asks how you are, that’s a sign of your luck and their grace. They can help wash your clothes and straighten your wrinkles, pull joy through the holes in your lace. So do not sit there with your head up your butt wishing you were in some other place. Open up the damn door when your friends come knocking. Let them help you stabilize when you are rocking. You can’t tell them anything that will be quite as shocking as “If you’re happy, why don’t you tell your face?”
About the Author
Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He is the author of the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account.
Ten Rose and his work are a vibrant part of the present and future as well as an essential remnant of a vanishing breed.
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Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!