Monday, December 31, 2012

idiocy and the Internet

OK, so I get out of bed, take a leak, grab a cup of coffee, do a couple of exercises to work some of the kinks out and then open the email box and find ....

A letter posted on the Internet from a professor in Japan. The letter was passed along by a friend in Germany.

A professor is someone I assume has some relative intelligence, some capacity to judge his doings and the doings of others, some capacity to plumb the depths of his own interests and persuasions. An educated person, judging by his title.

And yet this educated person (and he is far from being alone) posts a letter on the Internet and then expects that somehow it will remain limited in distribution -- that what he has written will remain within the confines of a particular circle of interested parties.

Am I wrong or is this just plain insanely stupid ... dumber than a box of rocks ... or perhaps manipulatively naive ... but in any case wussy as a wet mop. The situation leaves me slobbering with incredulity ... bringing new and refreshed meaning to the Internet expression, WTF ... what the fuck?!

If you don't want people to know something, why in god's green earth would you put it on the Internet?

OK, I'll stop sputtering and get to specifics: The posted letter is entitled "An Open Letter to Sherry Chayat, the Zen Studies Society and Other Concerned Persons." It is written by Jeff Shore, a professor at Hanazono University who has involved himself in the long-running scandal surrounding the Zen teacher, Eido Shimano. With Shore's involvement, Shimano's standing within the Zen community (whatever that may mean) and his sexual and financial predations have been brought into clearer focus... not clear focus, mind you, just clearer focus.

Shore's efforts joins the efforts of others (notably the Shimano Archive), to shine a bright light into dark places of institutional Zen. His efforts, like other efforts before, exhibits some desire to be the conquering hero of the whole miasma of a situation (look ma! I've found a solution! I did what others could not! I've got a handle on a handle-less mess ... and deserve imperial applause). No matter ... everyone wants to be king of this rubbish heap and as far as I can see, no one is or ever will be ... it's a joint effort in which each contributes.

But my friend in Germany, the one who sent along the link to Shore's letter, added this sentence: "For whatever reason he [Shore] doesn't want it on the Shimano Archive."

The Shimano Archive is the go-to source for documentation surrounding Shimano's activities. It may contain opinions, but it does not express opinions. It is not some Buddhist play pen, some Internet bulletin board. It does not bow to this and disdain that. It is a collection, plain and simple. And in that role, it collects damn near everything related to Shimano's manipulations and depredations.

Expecting the archive to accede to a ludicrous professorial desire is ... well, it's ludicrous and beyond stupid. The best that can be said for it is, perhaps, that it is manipulative -- precious and manipulative:

If you don't want it on the Internet, don't put it on the Internet ... is that rocket science?


  1. Thanks for asking the questions, Genkaku.

  2. Genkaku,

    I think your cynicism surrounding all this mess is getting the best of you.

    I've never heard of Jeff Shore, and I don't know what his intentions are. But at least he's been pretty straight forward in dealing with Sherry Chayat.

    Perhaps one day Shimano's "Dharma heirs" will realize the fraud that's been perpetrated on them. Quite frankly, I doubt it, but at least they've heard more honest speech. They can do with it as they see fit.