The Dali Lama is in Ann Arbor this weekend and I urge everyone to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Â Let me make it clear that I don’t intend this post to pass any judgment on the political situation in Tibet. Â I’ve always sympathized with the Tibetan cause, but without any reason other than sinophobia. Â However in a recent phone call with my girlfriend, she passed along her Chinese-born father’s advice that the Dalai Lama was “full of shit,” “the world’s biggest liar,” and the leader of a slave-state. Â I was further informed that my former admiration for theÂ BuddhistÂ leader was based on a systematically biased Western media. Â I’m not sure he’s factually correct, but I’ve had a soft-spot for him ever since he (though a Republican and a staunch opponent of the Chinese government) told me Chinese state television was like Fox News inÂ Mandarin. Â My point instead is that whatever one thinks of Dalai Lama, he is the spiritual leader of tens or hundreds of millions of people. Â In the same week that the media isÂ incessantÂ in its fawning over the Pope’s visit to the United States, we would do best not to forget that we have, right here in Ann Arbor, a man who, loosely speaking, isÂ Benedict’sÂ equivalentÂ for Tibetan Buddhists worldwide. Â And yes, maybe this is just bitterness over the fact that I lost my tickets in myÂ disgustinglyÂ dirty dorm room