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  1. Subtle tones of incense softly caress the air.  An exuberant brook glides over embracing stones.  Blissful birds circle the sky calling to the universe. And then the meditative quiet is broken by the chant of a revered leader.  

    He urges racial purity, restrictions on intermarriage and mob violence!?!?  Wait a minute.  Is this a gathering of no-hoods saffron robed KKK?  

    No, it’s just your everyday Burmese radical Buddhists.

    Ashin Wirathu
    (center) speaks at a clergy gathering

    Myanmar banned a recent issue of Time magazine, featuring a cover story of Wirathu, a Buddhist monk accused of fueling religious violence.  Religious violence / Buddhist monk...

    I’m sorry, that does not compute.

    Sandal shod, shaved head monks calling for violence?  The cognitive dissonance I’m experiencing around this issue is more confounding than the ageless question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

    Yes, I guess my stereotypical thinking rears its bald Buddhist head when it comes to my (formerly) soothingly exotic ideas about this group.  And yes, some of my best friends ARE Buddhist.


    Spending time with Angela Scott is a cherished opportunity to breathe a fragrant multi-hued bouquet of comedy. She has worked with the greats, Cosby, Townsend, Mooney and many more.  She’s an encyclopedia of inside humor history.  

    Angela Scott can recount endlessly, tales of comedy world woe and wonder as experienced by the giants and the not so tall of our industry.  She has worked with them all and Dear Reader for her eternally ebullient personality, she is beloved by each and every one.  My pal for decades, since we were fledgling actors at the original Negro Ensemble Company, when it was ensconced on St. Mark’s Place (a creative outpost) in New York City’s East Village, my friend Angela Scott is a Buddhist.

    Although I’m no longer married to Phil, I am grateful for the fellowship the loving family of my erstwhile spouse, continues to extend to me.  And by way of extended family - Phil’s 1st cousin’s 3rd husband – Seth Segall is my valued friend. 


    This Existential Buddhist, retired psychologist has an appreciation of music as vast as his unencumbered embrace of humanity.  

    Seth Segall is the least pissed off person I know.  One day he lost track of his wallet at a play we attended.  I immediately began mentally cursing and counting the scores of phone calls I’d have to make to thwart the nefarious scheme of whoever might find MY wallet should it be discovered.  All the while Seth remained calm and after making the inquiries possible at the venue, he went on with our evening with little more mentioned about his wallet.

    So when I read of  anti-Muslim mob violence, fueled by radical Buddhist rhetoric you can understand that I sit shaking my head. 

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comic. You can see her All July as the Bar Owner in Date Me Do Me Dump Me, a new musical coming to a bar near you.
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  2. 5 comments:

    1. I suppose every group has their people who "make them look bad."

    2. Sharon Renay said...

      Exactly - there are always some that try to ruin it for the rest. I like your this does not compute photo!

    3. Sharon Renay said...

      Exactly - there are always some that try to ruin it for the rest. I like your this does not compute photo!

    4. Sharon Renay said...

      Exactly - there are always some that try to ruin it for the rest. I like your this does not compute photo!

    5. She So Funny said...

      Great post. And no. Buddhist & Violence certainly does NOT compute. ~S

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