February 24, 2010


I don't know why I am ashamed by Obama's insults to the Dalai Lama; I'm not even American and he's equally contemptuous to my country. But I am.

Maybe the Dalai Lama is the wrong religion. Maybe Obama wants to appease China. Probably both.

Altho the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, can be a bit of a twit on political theory, his holiness and symbolism exceed those of any other living leader despite having the Nobel Peace Prize. Americans who see their President treating him with disdain may weep to recall that the Dalai Lama holds the Congressional Gold Medal....like George Washington. It makes me angry to write it, but the Dalai Lama would be the last to take offence. He'd see it as no problem or Obama's problem.

The mystique of the Dalai Lama in the psyche of adventurous boys of my generation is hard to overstate. 'Seven Years in Tibet' by Heinrich Harrer is a sensational story guaranteed to make a boy head for the mountains; I stress the book not the movie. In part it deals with the moment when remote Buddhism met modernity and modernity's monster in the attic, communism. That tragedy is personified by this man whom Obama puts out with the trash.

When one day Obama is awarded the Nobel Prize for Phoniness and the Prize for Narcissism and the Prize for Appeasement, let there be added a Nobel Prize for Gracelessness. Then let the medal's mould be smashed.

Sherpas are Tibetan Buddhists who emigrated across the Himalayas to Nepal 300 years ago. Their strength, bravery and sense of fun were qualities I read about as a boy and found to be real when I first climbed in the Himalayas. As a palate cleanser here's a picture of my friend, DaGombu Sherpa, in front of the Everest massif:

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