A quick PSA, because working in a New Age store I realize a lot of people don’t know this. Keep in mind this is the simple version.
The fella on the left-hand side, that’s Gautama Buddha, the Buddha, the central figure in Buddhism. Note that he is not considered a god, but a teacher and spiritual leader, the first to attain Enlightenment in his era. Note also how thin he is. This is because the Buddha fasted a lot. He was born Siddhartha Gautama. Buddha is a title, and not actually his name.
The fella on the right-hand side is not Buddha. This is a common misconception in the West. That is Hotai (or Budai or Hotei depending on the language), a Buddhist monk from China and folkloric hero. Hotai is thought by many to be a Buddha, but he is not the Buddha. Unlike Buddha, Hotai actually is revered as a god in Chinese folklore, although not in Buddhist practice.
This post is based on things I’ve been taught by my Buddhist coworker but if I forgot or mixed up something important and you are Buddhist and you notice, please let me know.
This has been an informational post. Have a nice day.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD EVERYONE READ THIS. READ IT. LEARN IT. PREACH IT.
I AM SO TIRED OF EVERYONE BELIEVING THIS MISCONCEPTION.
The ’90s were golden years for Nickelodeon. The children’s cable television network was home to now cult-classic shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-2000), Clarissa Explains It All (1991-’94), The Secret Life of Alex Mack (1994-’98), and Salute Your Shorts (1991-’92)—arguably heretofore unmatched in their clever, un-condescending approach to entertaining young people. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee launched in 1992, and remains to this day one of the only shows on-air devoted to frank, engaging discussions of teen issues and opinions.
But perhaps the program that best embodied the values of Nick in those years was All That, a sketch-comedy show that premiered 20 years ago today. Created by Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin, All That ran for an impressive 10 seasons before it was canceled in 2005. The prolific franchise spawned a number of spin-offs (Good Burger, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show) and launched the careers of several comedy mainstays: Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, and Taran Killam.
Like Saturday Night Live (which would later hire Thompson and Killam), All That was a communal pop-cultural touchstone. The parents of ’90s kids had the Church Lady, “more cowbell,” and Roseanne Roseannadanna; the kids themselves, though, had Pierre Escargot, “Vital Information,” and Repairman Man Man Man, and we recited their catch-phrases to one another in the cafeteria and on the playground. Although All That was clearly designed as a SNL, Jr., of sorts, it wasn’t merely starter sketch comedy—it was an admittedly daring venture for a children’s network to embark on.
In its own right, All That was a weirdly subversive little show. It never explicitly crossed the line into “mature” territory, but it constantly flirted with the limits of FCC-approved family-friendliness. Take, for instance, the “Ask Ashley” sketch. A barely tween-aged Amanda Bynes (Seasons Three to Six), played an adorably wide-eyed video advice-columnist. Ashley (“That’s me!”) would read painfully dimwitted letters from fans with clearly solvable problems. (Example: “Dear Ashley, I live in a two-story house and my room is upstairs. Every morning, when it’s time to go to school, I jump out the window. So far I’ve broken my leg 17 times. Do you have any helpful suggestions for me?”) She would wait a beat, smile sweetly into the camera, then fly into a manic rage; emitting a stream of G-rated curses, always tantalizingly on the verge of spitting a true obscenity into the mix.