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For Entertainment Purposes Only

June 24, 2009

I first heard that snippet of legal jargon years ago when listening to the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show radio broadcast.

One of his cast of weekly regulars was a woman named Miss Dupree, whose segment was called, “Miss Dupree’s Winning Numbers”. The radio character was a voodoo priestess from New Orleans who would tell listeners how to select a 3-digit lottery number. Her advice was silly and made for some harmless yuck-yucks during morning drive time.

For example, if the 4th of July weekend was approaching, she might say something like, “count the number of people who show up uninvited to your holiday BBQ – count the number of people who get arrested with illegal fireworks and count the number of red, white and blue outfits you see at church Sunday, then play these numbers straight and boxed for the week. These are Miss Dupree’s winning lottery numbers.”

At the end of each segment Tom Joyner would announce, in a way that was part of the bit, “This is for entertainment purposes only.” Miss Dupree would balk something like, “Yeah right.” And that would be that. I never took her tips to my neighborhood lottery terminal but I did get a few laughs each week during her segment.

This week I was goofing off in my neighborhood big-chain-bookstore looking for a music CD. I came face to face with the reality that there are no music stores anymore. This big chain store’s logo still says Books-Music-Movies-Café, although they no longer have a music section at their store in my neighborhood. So I piddled around looking at the stuff they did have.

I stumbled upon a “Buddhism Kit” for $7.99. The kit contained a DVD and a book featuring “practical Buddhist principles”. Being the “buddhaphile” that I am I grabbed it. On my way to the checkout I saw a “Chakra Meditation Kit” for only $4.99. I purchased that instead. I figured I already knew more about Buddhism than I knew about chakras and since neither was what I set out to purchase I opted for the lower price point.

My Chakra Meditation Kit contains: 7 colored candles – one to represent each of the 7 chakras, 7 colored chakra cards, a guided meditation CD and an illustrated guide book about meditation and how chakras work (giggle – cheap gift idea for the “new age mystic”).

Any “New Age” mystic worth her salt knows the in’s and out’s of chakras. I’m not a New Age mystic so I had no idea what to expect. The kit didn’t really hit the spot for me, but then again I wasn’t expecting to levitate or bend spoons with my mind (I already know how to do that LOL – just kidding).

The guidebook did suggest and I quote, “If you are ready to make positive changes in your daily life and your overall well-being, then our Chakra Meditation Kit is for you.” I knew I picked the right kit, hell, who doesn’t want to do that (still LOL)?

Without finishing the book I played the CD and examined the other trinkets in the kit. Everything seemed a little bland, but for $4.99 so what. As I finished reading the 48-page guidebook it ended with (and I quote again) “A Gentle disclaimer” – [The Authors] may seem to have our heads in the clouds, but our feet are planted firmly on the ground. The possibility of people misusing our Chakra Meditation Kit is as real to us as chakras are. For this reason we are required to inform you that our Chakra Meditation Kit is for entertainment purposes only.

Furthermore, never use any information contained in any of the various pieces of our Chakra Meditation Kit or that you have received from within yourself during your chakra meditations as a substitute for the advice of a doctor, lawyer or other trained and licensed professional who you know and should have come to trust. We don’t, and we want you to know that you shouldn’t either” (end quote).

While rolling on the floor laughing my ass off I got to thinking, why isn’t the same “gentle disclaimer” required at churches or temples or sanghas? Is it because pastors and rabbis and monks have been “ordained” and are included in the “trained and licensed professional” category (smirking with distain)?

No TV evangelist is required to say “For Entertainment Purposes Only”, when telling you to plant a thousand-dollar seed into his or her ministry at 2a.m. or to tithe 10% of your earnings and God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

No Rabbi has to tell you “For Entertainment Purposes Only” when he says that fasting for 25 hours on Yom Kippur will erase all the fugged-up stuff you did all year – I now pronounce you cleansed!

No Soka Gakkai practitioner was ever required to tell people “For Entertainment Purposes Only” when telling them chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for 2 hours everyday is the mystic ingredient for happiness.

No Zen master is required to by law to inform you that sitting in the lotus position for hours and hours will not only make your legs fall asleep, but that it is also “For Entertainment Purposes Only”.

Come on! Isn’t it all for entertainment purposes only? I’ve been to churches, temples and sanghas and they all have been pretty gall-dang entertaining!!! I’ve seen grown men and women running around arms flailing shouting what I was certain were the same words Chucky shouted when he was trying to transfer his soul from the Good-Guy-Doll in the movie Child’s Play.

I’ve seen a casket on an alter, but not because there was a funeral but because it was New Year’s Eve and the casket was for people to put in all the stuff they did not want to take into the new year.

I’ve seen men wear teeny tiny hats and what looked like big giant beach towels on their heads and it all reeks of entertainment purposes only.

So if someone out there thinks that unblocking their red root chakra is going to make positive changes in their daily life and in their overall sense of peace and well-being, why does Johnnie Cochran (may he rest) have to get involved? Any attorneys out there? Whatcha got on this one?

I’m going back to Big-Chain-Books-No Music store today to get the “Buddhist Kit”, just to see if it has a “gentle disclaimer” too. After which I will be selling both kits at a low, low discounted price since they both will have been opened and I did light one of the chakra candles.

Any buyers?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 9:04 pm

    So did you ever buy the other kit?
    I sitting at the edge of the Rouge River in Oregon right now thinking of you.

  2. rougebuddha permalink
    August 9, 2009 7:37 am

    Hey Joe!
    Yes, I did buy the other kit.
    It makes no mention of Entertainment Purposes Only!
    Of course I’m biased, but it is a much more “serious” feeling kit.
    It also makes no mention of any particular school of Buddhist thought and is a generic introduction for anyone curious about Buddhism.
    I’ve changed my mind – I’m keeping them both.

    Enjoy the river – it flows, it runs deep and you can’t step in it twice!

  3. rougebuddha permalink
    May 1, 2012 6:38 am

    Reblogged this on Rougebuddha’s Blog and commented:

    Now 3 years later, that once famous book store borders on only a memory…and BTW I did get the “Buddhism Kit” and it had no disclaimer.

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