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OCTOBER 25

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The current vogue Tibet is experiencing among the new-agey left is just the crassest kind of cultural imperialism in reverse. The Chinese should stop persecuting the Tibetans because they shouldn’t be trying to wipe out anybody’s culture, not because the Tibetans are so, you know, spiritual. That said, the Sera Je lamas’ multimedia extravaganza should be very interesting. Plus, it provides me with an opportunity to tell my two Dalai Lama stories. The first is about the English woman who is touring Tibet when she gets arrested by the Chinese authorities. She’s in custody for a couple of days, and when she finally gets her captors to explain why, they point to her T-shirt. It seems it’s illegal to display any likeness of the Dalai Lama. Problem is, though, it’s a Sgt. Bilko shirt—the icon she’s proudly sporting is Phil Silvers. The other story involves a friend of a friend who is at a cocktail party where he meets Richard Gere’s agent. They get to talking, the Dalai Lama comes up, and the f.o.f. realizes he knows a good one about His Holiness—Q: What did the Dalai Lama say to the hot-dog vendor? A: Make me one with everything. The agent thinks it’s a riot, so he tells Gere, who yuks it up and then tells his friend the Dalai Lama, who agrees that it’s a scream. Well, the DL wants to know where such a knee-slapper came from, and the f.o.f. ends up getting a letter from the Dalai Lama congratulating him on such a good joke; His Holiness thinks it’s important that people have a sense of humor about things. At 8 p.m. at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. $15 (benefits Sera Je Monastery). (301) 949-5989. (James Lochart)