Saturday, March 05, 2005

Less Hare, More Krishna

I was walking down 18th Street to meet a friend at a bar. As I came to the intersection of 18th and K, I heard chanting. At first, I couldn't place the group of people clumsily dancing to an offbeat drummer. There were two women handing out pamphlets, wearing what appeared to be saris. But, the saris were covered in glitter, and had almost a stars and stripes pattern. One of the guys was wearing Lugz. What were these people?

I kept my head down so as to avoid having to take a pamphlet. But, as is the norm with my luck, the light changed and I was stuck on the corner with them for 45, 44, 43 seconds (the crosswalk clock seemed exceedingly slow).

They were apparently Hare Krishnas. I don't know if they were in D.C. for a one time engagement or if they are going to pop up all over the place like the Falun Gong have recently in New York.

I listened to their song, and frankly I was unimpressed. Look, I am open to all religions. If you want to worship voles, have at it. But, that doesn't mean you can't suggest improvements.

The Hare Krishna chant was basically "Hare, Hare, Krishna, Krishna" over and over. It got real tedious after about 20 seconds. I understand that the power is in the intonation and the spiritual enlightenment the chanting evokes. But, I don't see how adding some verses to the chorus could hurt. A good song writer could take their chants to another level. Burt Bacharach (sappy, mushy lyrics)? Timbaland (edgy lyrics, but he'd give them a better beat)? I don't see how winning them a Grammy could hurt their efforts to proselytize and spread their religion.


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