Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brad Warner's promos

I was just reading another one of Brad Warner's gleeful promotions of a book he had written and being, as usual, mildly irritated. I was not irritated by yet another author doing his best to sell-sell-sell because he had worked-worked-worked and if he had worked so hard, well, it must be worth promoting ... an often-dubious if completely understandable mind-set.

I was irritated because, although I have never read one of Brad's books and have no intention of doing so, still, what I have read on blogs here and there makes me like him quite a lot. In the world of Zen, if such a thing exists, Brad has balls, and I get tired of mealy-mouthed oratorios that encourage a great deal of daring while exhibiting almost none of their own.

Brad pushes an envelope that very badly needs pushing. He goes to the edges of things and puts his ass on the line. I don't always agree with the positions he takes, but I would rather disagree with a man of substance than agree with a bunch of murmuring sissies.

Brad is not a comely Buddhist. He may be literate, thoughtful and have a series of other well-thought-of attributes, but he is not comely. He is willing to piss in the punch bowl and take responsibility for it. That he has made a reputation out of this does not bother me. Why? Because he has done it. Full frontal nudity. Brad is not a Zen pussy.

Why then be irritated by his latest promotion?

Because I always enter some piece of his writing thinking that he will, in one form or another, piss in a punch bowl that is badly in need of some spice. He will unveil what everyone is secretly thinking about some hot-button topic ... and won't flinch.

So I was mildly disappointed to see it was just another promotion -- a promotion I forgave him, but still wished it were something other than a promotion.

And also, I was mildly irritated at myself. Why had I not been more splashy-noisy when I wrote my book back in 2007? I suppose part of it was a kind of diffident hubris. That and an unwillingness to push my own envelope ... what the hell, if you're going to be an author and a goof, go ahead and be an author and a goof. My style is not Brad's style, but that doesn't mean I can't wish I had been a bit more like him ... and maybe put a chesty young woman on the cover.

Oh well, too late now.

I'm not sorry but I am also a little sorry.


  1. I like Warner...OK you have to see past the obvious and self conscious attempts to shock.
    But that done and what is left is honesty.
    No mystical flim-flam..no semi-hindu "karma" and romaniticised " past births ". No sleight -of hand.
    I notice that without having thought about it too much, I have his last book next on the shelf to "Answer Your Love Letters "...
    C'mon Adam..why not give the lad a read ? :)

  2. Hubris...I wish I could muster up more hubris. People with hubris seem to win at the game more often.

    My Catholic upbringing taught me that pride is the head of the deadly sins. When I was little and completed a painting, it was always followed up with warnings about not being too proud of myself. I never even got a chance to show-off.

    The universe has a way of leveling off either attitude. Well, it's what I tell myself anyway. :)