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Buddhist Icons and the Upside of 9-11

This is a continuation of a conversation that started with this comic.

erm.... from whom? but anyway, i do enjoy a good thought-provoking discussion.

I don't know why that sentence got truncated. I had written that it's unusual for more than one person to post a comment on any given C-Realm comic strip. Most strips generate zero reader comments.



well, i think that's actually not the thing that rings false to me. because the thing is, i haven't heard much of anyone getting too riled up about the broken statues recently at all.

As you pointed out, the Banyam valley statues were a flavor of the month. But now that concern is just so last year.

but the key phrase for me here was when the lion says, "buddhist revenge? nah..." because when did the chick (or for that matter, *anyone*) ever imply that it was the buddhists that were the ones that got upset over the destructions of the statues in the first place?

While he's evolved far from his origin over the last 8 years, the Lion started out as a bunch of drawings I did of a small temple lion statue I picked up at an oriental gift shop. The Lion is not a practicing Buddhist, but he is (or at least evolved from) a Buddhist icon, i.e. the symbol of fierce devotion to the dharma. The Chick thought perhaps the Lion felt a sense of solidarity with a fellow Buddhist icon. He didn't, but that's the tree she was barking up in this strip.

so in effect this line becomes a rather furtive conversational gambit to look at the whole situation from the buddhist perspective.

Furtive conversational gambits are his stock and trade. More about that in a moment.

you say siddartha would have brought the hammer down himself...

You can say that I said that, but I'm holding to the line that the Lion said it.

fine, but if you're going to ask that; why not ask if he'd do the same, were a similar situation to arise around the egyptian pyramids? would he knock down stonehenge? would he crush the egyptian sphinx? raze the imperial castle in kyoto?

Good questions, all, and worth asking. Consider this, though; from the time I put pen to paper to the time I hit the submit button, I estimate that I spent about 15 hours (over the course of three days) on this strip. It's the first one I've posted this month. It consists of 4 drawings, two doctored photographs, and 124 words. A hundred and twenty four words is a pretty typical word-count for a C-Realm strip. One hundred and twenty four words with which to establish that this is a continuation of the "Upside of 9-11" thread, pose a question then answer it in an unexpected way. By comparison, you took 104 words to pose the question that I'm now answering.

You've suggested some very worthwhile questions, but think about how long it would take for me to ask and then address them in comic strip form.

The time/labor-intensive nature of the medium necessitates that some hard choices be made. It also favors the furtive conversational gambit, as the essence of a self-contained comic strip (as opposed to a graphic novel) is to establish a topic, set up an expectation as to where it will go, and then take it someplace else. Paul Gude is the master of this formula.

In other words, you can talk about what that original buddhist would do about buddhist statues, but so what? how is that any more or less significant than what he'd do about non-buddhist statues? and most significantly- how is that any more significant than what non-buddhists do or feel about the buddhist statues?

Again, good questions. I don't have answers to them. But aren't the colors pretty?

and so- if the lion is trying to drive at a point here (and surely that is what the lion can always be counted on to do) rather than just trying to say things in a clever way merely for cleverness' sake- where is he going with that?

Well, I could make up an answer to that now, but I have no confidence whatsoever that his point, when finally revealed, will bear much resemblance to the destination I suspect he's driving at. I'll just say that I think the Chick was wise to refuse to hear him out on 13 September 2001.

i suspect that in the end, the answer is likely to be something much deeper than 'the taliban at least had a point there'... and it may be of a magnitude far greater and deeper than you could have possibly expected.

Or it could be an elaborate set-up for an exercise in pithy brutality. Or both?

Anyway, thanks for the time and brain power. I rarely talk about the comic like this.

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