Bad Karma

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Bad Karma[1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
Jack Kornfield, Larry Block, Kristine McKenna, Ruth Seymour, Joe Frank
Karma Style, 58 minutes
Preceded by: Karma (Part 7)
Followed by: Evening Sky

I'm sitting at a dinner party, attended by Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

Bad Karma is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on July 9, 2000.


  • Prison song, "No More, My Lord".
  • Monologue- Joe is at a dinner table with Hitler, Pol Pot, and other brutal world figures. Serial killers are seated at a children's table. They discuss tailors, flower arrangement, kitchen decorating, children's books.
  • John - (A stranger who Joe has called in the hospital.) He's going to have open hear surgery to replace a heart valve. Joe probes his family relationships, religious beliefs. He claims the diagnosis has had little effect on his life. Joe explores why the woman he's involved with isn't planning to visit.
  • Larry Block - Larry criticizes Joe's discussion of the woman, suggests Joe talk to her.
  • John - His story is dull. Joe suggests it would be more interesting if he were more seriously ill. John says he feels sorry for Joe, suggests that Joe is obsessed with death. Joe pushes him further.
  • Larry - Exploring John's response to Joe's questions.
  • Ruth Seymore - Joe's in trouble for descriptions of graphic sex spoken by his mother in a dream in an earlier program.
  • Kristine McKenna - What is allowable in the realm of art. Do Picasso's paintings justify the suffering he caused in his personal life? The danger of cracking facades. Joe's strategy worked - the interview with John became much more interesting when Joe pushed him into conflict.
  • Larry - Maybe John's illness really isn't too bad. Larry's awaiting medical tests on what might be skin cancer. Joe tries to frighten him with the dangers.
  • Jack Kornfield - Impossible vows. Direction. Loving kindness meditation.
  • Kristine - Hitler would say his crimes were justified. Hitler as an artist. Only good people feel guilt.
  • Joe - A dream. He's in an undefined country, enters a building to find an oasis in a vast desert. He meets god and asks him a list of questions. Cruelty in nature.
  • Joe - A new dream: Joe's in a nightclub in Prague. The club is filled with priests and built on an old graveyard. He leaves, passes mass graves, bodies hanging from lamp posts. A revisionist historian speaks to a crowd, says the bodies are paper dolls created by Jews in order to trick people into thinking they've been persecuted, demands thir eradication as punishment. Joe leaves, terrified. He's offered a ride by a car carrying his young parents and himself as a child. He refuses the ride and watches as the car is stopped at a police checkpoint and his family shot. He awakes from the dream, opens the newspaper to read a story of his own suicide.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "With Larry Block, Kristine McKenna, Jack Kornfield, and Joe Frank. Special thanks to John. Portions created in collaboration with David Rapkin. This program was recorded and edited by JC Swiatek, and mixed by Bob Carlson. Music consultant: Thomas Golubić. Production assistance: Esmé Gregson."


The dinner table segment has been included in compilation CD's under the title "No More, My Lord."