Tuesday, October 23, 2007

News round-up

Two articles that caught my eye today.

First, the Dalai Lama becomes a professor at Emory University. In itself, unremarkable. And the Dalai Lama made some gracious remarks, joking to the students that, "as a professor, I think you should listen to me." This gets me to something that has always struck me as bizarre about the Dalai Lama. On the one hand, here you have someone who is supposed to be the personification of generosity and humility, someone who recognizes the transience of all things. On the other hand, he is also someone who wholeheartedly believes that he is the reincarnation of one of the 5 most important people in all of human history, that he is truly enlightened, and that he is basically the bearer of absolute truth. Not that he doesn't seem like a totally nice, likable, and simultaneously humble guy! But it's an odd disconnect.

Second, the deputy mayor of Delhi has been killed in a monkey attack. Getting away from the awesomeness of the phrase "monkey attack," this caught my eye for two reasons. One, the awesome fact that one solution to the monkey that officials have pursued involves "train[ing] bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques." Monkey war! And two, this reminds me of this enormous-testicled monkey from outside of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Immediately after this photo was taken, the monkey started biting his own wrist and charging Marie, who was kneeling right next to me with her own camera. I'm not sure how the wrist-biting or enormo-testicles are related to the aggression, but they seem relevant.


Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

Sorry to delete the first one, confusing typo.

1. Not sure that the Dalai Lama thinks of it that way-- it seems to me like he focuses more on the message than on himself, and as for absolute truth, I think that's just about the opposite of what he's teaching.

Still funny though, I agree.

2. In Bali the Hindu people don't touch monkeys for religious reasons, so perhaps the langurs solve that problem if it's the same in India and having monkey-handlers would be a problem.

But yes, I saw the article and though of our Monkey General.

Ken Basin said...

Actually, there's another typo that remains, though it isn't especially confusing. =P