Early this morning I finally broke down and took the Adsense link off this blog; if you look, you'll notice it missing, immediately above. I think I put it up there late last year not long after I started this blog, not so much in the hope that it generate any real revenue, but just to see what ads would be placed. The way it works is, when you first sign up for Adsense and add the html code into your template, it gives you a bunch of public service ads; but after the webcrawlers start to cover your site and pick it up, you get ads which are targeted for the content of your site -- by key words, I guess. So I wanted to see what ads would wind up on a blog which consists mostly of anti-totalitarian politics and Zen Buddhism. It's been amusing; at least half of the ads were for things that were explicity or implicitly disparaged in the content of the blog entries I was writing. But at long last I got tired of giving these weird things ad space on my space (although it's free space), and occasionally I worry about whether people who are new to my writings actually might think I was advocating all this crap. So it's gone.
Oh, and in case you're interested, my total earnings for the entire run of the ads is $11.11, of which I will probably never see a penny; I understand they only start to pay at $100.00. If anyone out there knows how to make them cough up my eleven bucks, please let me know.
You'll also be amused to hear that in the course of revising my template to get Adsense out, I screwed up the html and dropped the entire right column to the bottom of the page; then it took me at least half an hour to find the offending code and get it out (it was an extra html command). By the way, I think that's probably what's been wrong with Brad Warner's blog site the last couple of months, so Brad, if by any chance you read this....
One more thing. I'm quite aware that some of you reading this blog started reading it for its anti-Bush orientation, probably, and lately you've been getting mostly Zen stuff. That's just because it's where I've been and where I've been putting my energy. I seem to have gotten tired of beating my head against the wall, and I suppose for the most part I've been preaching to the choir, anyway. I't really just so obvious and apparent what's going on in this country and the world that I don't see how anyone can not see it for what it is. And without going off on a huge digression, what helps me to see more clearly, on this and every other matter, day by day, is my zazen practice. And no, I'm not advocating that everyone practice zazen or become Buddhist, although some people I highly respect and call my teachers say that yes, Zen is for everyone. I certainly respect that opinion, but I won't say that myself until and unless I come to truly believe that through my practice. But I will say that whatever you can do to see and think clearly, do it now, because now is the time. In the current state of the world, we can't afford to live in illusion. The best analogy I can think of is, do you want to be drunk or stoned when the storm troopers kick in your door, or do you want to be able to handle yourself at your best?
So my less specific advice is, clear out the cobwebs, get your head on straight, and walk erect through the darkness, 'cause that's where we're heading. Although I would love to believe those optimists who think the world is entering into a better age, this contradicts everything I see around me. I think it's pretty obvious that things are gonna get worse before they get better. Be prepared.