If you don’t like the news, go out and make some yourself.
-Wes “Scoop” Nisker
Wes Nisker is a radio newscaster, performer, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of two national bestsellers (Essential Crazy Wisdom and The Big Bang, the Buddha, the Baby Boom). He’s coming to Maui to inspire, stump, explain and ultimately, hopefully, gratify the audience in a benefit for Mana‘o Radio.
I’ve always liked that Nisker, who is 65, doesn’t act self-righteous. He’s a human being, and doesn’t just admit it, but actually seems to relish in it.
Nisker, explaining how people share DNA with rodents and earthworms, turns the notion of a divine humanity on its head. “We proclaim ourselves divine,” Nisker says, “[but] isn’t the slime divine?”
In fact, Nisker jokes that it’s highly likely universe exists preeminently for bacteria. “They’re the most successful life form,” Nisker says. “They’re everywhere!”
During his performances, Nisker often recalls how he was brought up Jewish. He laments that as a child, his teacher’s name was Rabbi Falik. We can only imagine how difficult it was to say the word “rabbi” right before a word that’s pronounced “phallic.”
“All joking aside” is a phrase that seems foreign to Nisker’s insights into life and the universe–even as he examines seemingly serious subjects.
For example, in 1969, soon after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first walked onto the moon, Nisker interviewed a man who had ingested LSD and jumped over the Golden Gate Bridge but somehow lived to tell the tale. When Nisker questioned the man, who was in the hospital at the time, as to why he attempted such a feat, the man replied that he jumped “for spiritual progression.” Nisker then combined the tape of his interview with a recording of Armstrong saying, “One giant leap for mankind…”
Nisker defines the 1960’s as a time of dropping acid and saving the planet–most definitely in that order–and even reported on an event where young activists protesting against paving a park tried to do exactly that. Wearing football helmets and gloves to protect against tear gas, Nisker reported how they “all got in a circle, popped a tab of acid, passed water around to wash it down… and then had a group hug.”
While Nisker can deliver an old drug story with meaning, he also ponders deeper subjects like creation, evolution, philosophy, the environment and our past and future with considerable insight. In a Nov. 30, 2007 interview with Some Assembly Required (www.some-assembly-required.net/blog), Nisker explained his motivations as, “women, peace in the world and money.”
I don’t think he was joking. Then again, the thought of a Buddhist meditation instructor being enlightened enough to offer that kind of list is hilarious in itself. MTW