April 1, 2011

Elephant removes its controversial Paygate, thanks to @ryderhappy. {April Fools’ edition}


Bill Schwartz: Waylon Lewis, Tear Down This Wall. ~ David Telfer McConaghay

And so it is.

As of today the 33rd day of a devastatingly conspicuous one-man protest, the highly controversial elephant journal pay-gate is no more. It’s all thanks to Bill Schwartz.

Due to an intense and, upon review, entirely justified backlash from the community (specifically from those fast-adherents to the classical Buddhist canon collectively known as The Dharma), elephant will no longer sequester its material behind an unjust three-free-articles-then-you-have-to-pay$2-or-come-back-tomorrow-wall.

From on high it has been decided that, despite the delicate fiscal status of our humble journal, there can be no legitimate, karmically-neutral excuse for the nearly-profitable hoarding of texts so crucial to the collective enlightenment of our beloved community.

Instead of raising the price of the pay-gate as planned, it appears editor-in-chief Waylon Lewis has entered into some form of multi-dimensional breakdown, having realized the overwhelmingly epic scale of the errors inherent to his very life practice, and just completely given in.

Many of you will have seen the April Fool’s joke concerning Yoga Journal, that was posted earlier this morning. These are the tactics of a desperate man, and this is no laughing matter.

It is with sincere regret and humblest apologies that we now release all previously guarded material for public consumption. Let our hard-earned lesson be for the good of all sentient beings.

We would like to take a moment here to congratulate the NYT for the recent—and by all accounts, successful—launch of their pay-gate. It is with deepest empathy that we watch a secular, heartless, quasi-Zionist institution reinforce its financial backing in the interest of self-perpetuation.

As what can at-best be called lip-service Buddhists seeking liberation from the suffering inherent to embodiment, we have no such interest. We understand that it is not our role to produce worldly wealth for ourselves or anyone else. We are glad to deal exclusively in the realm of non-material wealth—which any aspirant knows (or has at least been told) is the only true wealth.

This most necessary retraction has become a catalyst for a slew of dramatic changes here at elephant. As a result of this shameful venture, and the resultant social and spiritual trauma it has brought upon him (or should I say, that he brought upon himself…), founder, and (until recently) fearless leader of elephant journal Waylon Lewis will step down and step aside from all of his attendant duties.

Indeed, as of press time, Waylon is believed to be in a self-enforced exile, and has not been heard from save the letter of resignation he tendered early this morning. In said letter, Waylon apologized — to his family, friends and most notably, the Buddha(s) himself/themselves — in a manner so awkwardly self-depricating and TMI-soul-baring that I will attempt to speed this sad turn on his personal wheel of samsara by not reproducing any section of his pathetically hyperbolic blubbering in this space.

The remaining elephant journal interns and serfs, er, staff have displayed their nobility by demonstrating unwavering (and suspiciously effortless) detachment from the drama that is Pay-gate-gate, and have all quickly moved on in the best interest of the journal. Onwards, upwards, we say, toward the enlightened society!

Beloved Iowan Joe Yeoman has been appointed as the new Yoga Editor, due to the unique perspective he brings to the discipline. We feel (and if you peruse his body of work, we are confident you will agree) that he will impose a freshly dynamic approach, wielding his unyielding discipline to eliminate idle riff-raff and, with his over-sharp blade of discernment, cut out the rigmarole with which rogi’s and bogi’s daily attempt to burden us.

Owing to his wild success in bolstering and expanding the Yoga Section, Bob Weisenberg will take his wiley marketing genius to elephant’s most popular area, the Sexy Section. This burgeoning elephantine focus, exploring the very front lines of the mindful life, has created quite a stir amongst the community of late, and we have full faith that Bob can continue, if not accelerate, this trend.

In the post-script to his verbose (18 pages, single-spaced—not counting several intermingled pages entirely covered with what appear to be samples from the Heart Sutra, though it is difficult to determine with any certainty due to the liberally interlaced profanity) resignation letter, Waylon has offered to contribute a sporadic, editorial, opinion essay.

These presumably on-a-whim submissions will be published in a special section, exclusively set aside under the heading, “The Elephant In The Room.” It has been indicated to us that these will likely be constituted primarily by the lude poll questions and soft-core nudity from the Asian sub-continent which are in accordance with Waylon’s standard contributions.

“The Elephant In The Room” will continue to require the current, standard, $2 per month subscription fee.

$108 for a lifetime membership—if you live another 50 years that’s just $2/year 🙂

In other news, keep your (third) eyes out for the first installment of our newest Buddhist series, “The Dharma — brought to you by Pfizer” in which readers will enjoy a uniquely modern take on ancient tenets, completely free of charge!

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