Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Aren't Actors Buddhist?

... or Hindu?

Over the weekend, I listened to Shatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large. It's William Shatner's reflections on life at age 80 and it's a lot of fun. While he's not terribly deep, he's charming, entertaining and thoroughly understands his success.

Shatner spends most of the book giving you rules for living illustrated by cute anecdotes from his life. There is a brief detour into seriousness where he talks about the environment and how he thinks we're all going to die because we're killing the planet, but the audiobook is well-constructed and it's easy to flip to the next chapter.

Shatner's sophistication is confined to life and career advice. His science and metaphysics leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately, he spends very little time on those. Having said that, as he is 80, Shatner reflects on his own mortality near the end of the book and spends a little time stumbling around the meaning of life. (Hint: his conclusion involves having fun.) He refers to himself as a Jewish boy from Montreal, but that reference just illustrates his ignorance.

Rule: You can't claim to be Jewish if you don't go to synagogue and you profess your atheism / agnosticism in your book.

When he was younger, Shatner fashionably visited the Himalayas to find enlightenment. What happened? Whatever his experiences might have been, they didn't take root. From the existential questions he poses at the end of the book, it's clear that there was no serious change in him from the experience.

Before: Act, ride horses, party.

After: Act, ride horses, party.

Rule: A trip to find enlightenment that only results in a couple of brief anecdotes is called a "vacation".

Shatner's not the only one of the Hollywood set to have gone to Tibet. So why doesn't Studio City have more Buddhist temples?

This is not a photo from Hollywood and Vine.


Kelly the little black dog said...

Actually many are, they just don't make a big deal out of it.

I don't think you want to take on the roll of deciding who is and isn't Jewish. There's already enough disagreement on that among practicing Jews.

The Nazi's didn't concern themselves about who was a practicing Jew, they just rounded them all up. To them it was a racial and cultural designation. Many present Jews see it the same way.

K T Cat said...

There may be buddhists in Hollywood, but Shatner is not one of them. Buddhism does not inform his decisions any more than Judaism does. I'm sure there are people who claim that being Jewish is like being an Indianapolis Colts fan, all you have to do is say you are one in order to be one, but I'm in the camp that being Jewish places actual behavioral and belief demands on your life.