Dr. Dawg

Objects out of place

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A famous definition of surrealism: “the exploitation of the chance meeting of two remote realities on a plane unsuitable to them.” Take, for example, a jar of urine, several LGBT books and a university library.

We are told—with the straight face of a Harvard dean—that the destruction of a number of books on gay themes (as opposed to gay books, which, to paraphrase William Barber, are books sexually attracted to other books) with a jar of urine was an accident, and not, as previously supposed, a hate crime.

The chair of Harvard’s LGBT student group seems disposed to go along with this. Note his remarkable understatement:

Though Harvard College Queer Students and Allies Co-Chair Marco Chan ‘11 expressed relief that the damage was the result of an accident and not a targeted act of homophobia, he said that he remained concerned by facts of the incident that remain unexplained.

(Adding to the marvellous mix, his co-chair goes by the name of Emma Q. Wang.)

The rational Western mind will search, of course, for explanations. Now that the hate crime hypothesis has been excluded, others must be entertained. Perhaps the library employee who allegedly caused the accident and reported it was heading off for his annual physical after work. Maybe the university infirmary is short of storage space. Possibly the “bottle assumed to have contained what investigators believed to be urine” will eventually be determined to have housed a more salubrious liquid.

But I prefer to see this as the literal enactment of a Zen kōan:

The student asked the Master, “What is the Buddha-nature?” The Master replied, “A jar of urine in a library.”

Sadly, however, I must report that I have not, as yet, achieved kensho.

[H/t Slap Upside The Head]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on December 15, 2010 10:26 AM.

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