Fist-bumping Lowery: Put a fork in him. He’s done.

You don't fist bump the DALAI LAMA. Not cool.

You don't fist bump the DALAI LAMA. Not cool.

And with the fist bump heard round the world, Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery’s mayoral campaign is done.

Oh, it was over already, really – he knows he’s the underdog and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton is just too polished not to win next month’s special election to replace you-know-who. (Although many see the polish as just the reason NOT to vote for Wharton.)

But when Lowery tried to have a funny moment with THE DALAI LAMA (AND YES, I REALIZE I’M SCREAMING HERE, BUT HE’S THE FREAKIN’ DALAI LAMA!) and fist bumps him in Memphis today down by the river – not once, not twice, but three times, forcing the affable DALAI LAMA to return the fist bump in what looked like a weak uppercut – I wanted to crawl under the couch in shame.


According to news reports, the DALAI LAMA wasn’t comfortable with the greeting, saying it reminded him of violence. I can see that – because Lowery effed up the fist-bump. You do it once. Barack and Michelle taught us that. Once. You touch fists once, you keep it moving. It’s not a closed-hand version of pattycake. Once.

So not only is it embarrassing and unnecessary, it was executed completely incorrectly. AND to make it worse, Lowery greeted the DALAI LAMA with “Hello, Dalai!” – as if the DALAI LAMA hasn’t heard that before.

This man can’t be mayor – for a lot of reasons that have to do with his leadership style, how he handles confrontation, etc. – but this is the icing on the cake.

He can’t be mayor because if he is, he’s going to embarrass us. The spiritual embodiment of peace comes to Memphis and Wharton shakes his hand and bows slightly. Lowery decides this is the time to teach the DALAI LAMA the fist bump – which is not anything Memphis is known for – AND to throw in a corny, “Hello, Dalai!” Yeah. Not cool, dude. Not cool.

There are more than 7,000 hits on Google for “DALAI LAMA and fist bump.” I’m guessing all of them also include the word Memphis. I wonder how many mention why he’s here – to get a Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum.

Oh, and here’s how you are to greet the DALAI LAMA. Note there’s nothing about fist bumping.

5 thoughts on “Fist-bumping Lowery: Put a fork in him. He’s done.

  1. I was there. The Dalai Lama actually said it was reminiscent of violence as a segue to his talk. The fist bump and the Hello Dalai comment were fully approved and expected by the Dalai Lama in advance.

    Here in Memphis, the City Council recommended the fist bump in lieu of handshakes due to the recent outbreak of H1N1.

    The Dalai Lama’s people have been on the news telling folks that he knew in advance and thought it was funny.

    Suzan David, Memphis

  2. I like the flying back touch (two players jumping and flying at each other with there backs toward one another, and then landing apart). Most NBA stars know the move. Keep it Real.

  3. Suzan: i hear you – and I wasn’t there, but that never has and never will stop me from commenting on something. 😉
    MY source – who talked to Lowery about this – says that the fist bump was most definitely NOT pre-approved, but the “Hello Dalai” comment was when Lowery asked the DL’s people if the DL had a sense of humor. You could be right, but I’m going by my source, who got it from the horse’s mouth.

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