Kerouac and Buddha: Compassion is Not Enough

You probably know the legend of Buddha. Princely Asian questioner-of-existence sits under a tree for like 8 years, exercises extreme mental focus and physical discipline, works out the problems of the world in his mind, then tells everyone who will listen what he learned, which alters millions of lives and leads to a major world religion.

Imagine if after only a few days of meditating, he had said, “That was cool, now I’m gonna go drive around for a while, try every drug imaginable, meditate some more, write a bunch of rambling novels, get famous and drown myself in alcohol.”

Jack Kerouac

According "Wake Up," Jack Kerouac loved dogs and "dogs loved him."

Then he would have turned out something like Jack Kerouac.

It turns out Kerouac wrote a little tome about his ancient alter ego called Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha, which I picked up at a used bookstore in Tennessee while on a not-totally-Kerouacian road trip this summer.

In the foreword to this long-lost religious fiction, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman (a brilliant/awesome fellow actually) points out that Kerouac’s interest in Buddhism focused on the Tibetan/Indian sects of the religion that emphasize compassion. He wasn’t crazy about the Samurai-rigid, discipline-minded Far East Zen schools, which he referred to as “mean” when discussing it with a fictionalized Gary Snyder in The Dharma Bums.

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Posted in Culture, Literary Matt-ers Tagged with:

How to Move a WordPress Install to your Website Root from a Subdirectory

Last night, I had to move a WordPress blog from a sub-folder to the website root. It was incredibly easy, in theory:

1. Before doing anything else, I changed both the website address (URI) and WordPress blog address under the “Settings – General” tab in the WordPress admin area to point to the root of the website.

2. I then copied all the blog files over to the root and deleted them from the sub-folder using Filezilla.

That probably would have worked for most people, but of course there was a snag:

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Posted in Web Design Tagged with:

A Rising Star, A Famous Niece and Military Propaganda

Me and Alexandra at Vermont Rising Star Awards

I stand next to Alex as she holds her well-deserved Vermont Rising Star Award. Photo by Borealis Public Relations.

Alex was honored by Vermont Business Magazine as a Rising Star last night. A whole table of KSV’ers attended. As did both the current governor (who was quite personable and funny) and the governor-elect (who gave an impassioned stump speech as if it were two days before the election and not two days after).

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Posted in Vermont Life, Week in Review

Fear and Loathing in Lake Champlain Chocolates

Drinking Aztec Hot Cocoa at Lake Champlain Chocolates

Last week my girlfriend and I were trying to think of a place to grab lunchtime coffee in Burlington other than our usual spots (Speeder and Earl’s, Uncommon Grounds, etc.), so we headed down Pine Street to the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory.

Which is a totally reasonable place to park yourself for an hour or so. They have a cafe. You can drink fine-tasting Mexican—excuse me, Aztec—hot cocoa infused with espresso, watch the factory workers in envy, discuss the issues of the day, relax, maybe write a blog post.

If you get really into it, you can even take a guided tour to see what the heck all that odd-looking machinery is doing with itself.

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Posted in Vermont Life

How To Get Young Vermonters Off Your Lawn And Into The Theatre

My magnificent girlfriend, who was recently named a Rising Star by Vermont Business Magazine, offers Free Advice on Getting Younger Audiences to the Vermont Stage Company, including:

Digital Footprints. Reach young audiences where they are – on social media. Develop a digital footprint for all press materials (including a social media press release, facebook status updates, twitter pitch and video pitches or interviews). If it makes sense, consider a Facebook Ads campaign. It is an inexpensive option that allows you to target your desired audience.

Just be careful that they don’t break any pieces of your Glass Menagerie.

Posted in Vermont Life

Highlow Project Depicts Vermont At-Risk Youth in Transition

Highlow Website

“Photographer Ned Castle collaborated with youth living in difficult circumstances across Vermont to re-enact high and low moments from their lives. The resulting large-scale photographs depict elaborate re-creations of these situations. Audio narrations by the participants provide context for the photographs.”

I developed the website for this project, which offers a preview of the exhibit’s photos and audio, over the summer. The show will be on display at several more locations throughout Vermont this year.

Posted in Culture, Vermont Life, Web Design

Quote from (the original) “Wall Street”

“Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”

More Wall Street quotes

Posted in Culture Tagged with:

State of the Media 09-09-09

I am watching the President of the United States give a speech to Congress on the LA Times website.

I am watching a live video speech by a bi-racial leader of the free world on the website of a newspaper on a link that I found via Twitter.

I am talking to people in real time using less than 140 characters about a speech I am watching on the website of a major newspaper.

You would think with all this ability to communicate through various media in real time, somehow people would be able to come to a consensus on health care reform.

You would think.

Posted in Culture, Politics