Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giant Buddha is Giant

When you sit down and consider the kind of people who like Buddha (i.e. Buddhists) and how those are the kinds of people who do big things and build big things, when you conceptualise the biggest Buddha in the world, you just know that it’s going to be a damn big one. The world’s largest Buddha can be found in Leshan, two hours drive from Chengdu, and I can personally testify that you cannot finder a bigger Buddha anywhere in the world. It has fingernails the size of a person and each little curly roll on its head is the size of a human skull. The only trouble is, is that it doesn’t really do anything. It just sits there. It’s not even particularly aesthetic. To be honest, I’m getting a little bit tired of this kind of thing continuously happening when I go to see a Buddha or two.

So anyway, you climb these crazy stairs to get to the Buddha, and there are tons and tons of people everywhere and big groups of them wear matching caps. It sits there with this super chilled expression, like if it spoke it would just say “don’t worry dude, I got this. The whole afterlife thing and all the rules and stuff, just chill. Its all good man, its all good.”  I saw some people having quiet moments, gazing at the gigantic deity, but I really didn’t feel it. All I could think about was how many people died to make it. I was thinking how they would have fallen and how they would have been crushed.

So then I started thinking about all the big things in the world that people died to make. You know, all those superlatives from back in the times where there was no workplace health and safety. I’m not talking about the big lobster or a giant pineapple, I’m talking about this big-ass Buddha and the Great Wall and Notre Dame and the Pyramids of Giza and the Aztec Pyramids and the bloody Vatican. Somebody should make a blog about all the places in the world that hundreds of people had to die to create.

And the great irony is that we flock to these places now. Live people, paying buckets of money to see things people died to make.

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