Sit Down Comedy … July 12th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4103)


Paralyzed by the immobility of a weary exasperation, I pause, waiting for the Senate of Sitters, the House of Misrepresentation, the President of Whim and the Court of Supreme Confusion to hatch a single egg of an idea from their coop of chickens.

I would suggest that it’s time for each of us to step up and become the solution before we are drug into the quicksand of indecision and suffocated by lameness.

So therefore, may I suggest the following mission statement:

A lways

B elieving in the persistent power of goodness

C oncerned

D eeply in our portion of the responsibility of carrying the banner of possibility, we

E ffectively craft a plan of action which has historical awareness, future vision and a great sensitivity to the present need.

F inding reasons to agree, similarities among us all

G iving us a common joy which beckons an uncommon strength to tackle our problems, while

H aving respect for one another and reverence for great ideals,

I join with you to form US, which is the “we, the people” who are in pursuit of a more perfect union.

J ustice is our mind, creativity our heart and mercy our soul.

K indly we enjoin.

L osing the fickle identity of political parties, we

M ingle.

N aturally becoming the melting pot of cultures that we have advertised ourselves to be,

O ur hope is an equality that lends itself to equity—

P ure of heart, to find the divine within us.

Q uiet in ignorance,

R allying toward learning who we are together, we

S urvive to expand what we know without shame over our lacking, for

T ruth is submission to the next well-proven revelation. We

U nite with each other in our hunger and thirst for what is better. Indeed,

V ictory is sweeter when celebrated by all, and

W inning, more peaceful when there are fewer losers.

X marks the spot where there is an atmosphere wherein

Y ou and I, once and for all, are able to look one another in the eye without fear or prejudice—to go out every single day and be:

Z ealously affected by a good thing.


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Sit Down Comedy … July 5th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4097)


It is not so much what as it is how.

Knowing what needs to be done may be insightful but discovering how to do it is the essence of wisdom.

In our time, the argument over what our problems are is quickly overthrown by a ferocious debate over how to address them.

I put this to the test.

While working on my latest novel, I came across a scene where two of my characters are embroiled in a disagreement. I sat down and wrote the entire passage with back-and-forth dialogue which was laced with animosity. At no time did I introduce foul language.

So the reader, after finishing this particular interchange, might well be alarmed by the severity of the debate—but certainly not frightened that the two souls involved were going to launch into anything other than aggravation.

Then I sat down and rewrote the scene, except in the midst of the fiery comments I inserted expletives, like “damn, shit, fuck and hell.”  As I moved along from line to line, I realized that the discussion had changed, and was now on the verge of violence. In other words, it would have been very easy to end with a murder.

The what was the same. The standoff was identical.

But how it was implemented changed it from a fussy situation to a dangerous dilemma.

In the pursuit of trying to get attention, gain influence and bring fame and fortune in our direction, we may be guilty of taking situations which could be handled more simply, and complicating them merely for the purpose of making ourselves look righteous.

Consider this:

Is it possible that an aging, well-seasoned politician who earned his stripes decades ago might not know to keep his hands to himself, and that instead of sexual assault, it just might be innocent ignorance?

Could it be that in trying to establish reasonable relationships with notorious dictators we could represent our willingness to sit down and prattle over the issues without jokingly referring to the two parties as being “in love?”

Might we possibly consider the myriad of problems that create gun violence rather than cursing all guns or insisting that the situation is just “the criminal mind?”

It may be admirable to know what a situation is, but it is divinely inspired to find the best way how to manage it.

I think this even goes into our relationships with government and faith.

Is it possible that what John Adams and George Washington considered to be of primary concern in 1790 might be better thought through by more educated souls in 2019?

And suffice it to say that a book that was written before Christ and some that were written after his birth might certainly do well to be mulled over and discussed in more detail before we decide on how to conduct our spirited decisions today.

Knowing what is good. But choosing how to solve it is better.

And of course, the best is knowing that the what and the how always have to be tempered by the why.


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Sit Down Comedy … June 28th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4091)


What it takes to be a:

PoliticianFinding yourself unexplainably interesting

MotherStill not crying over spilled milk

FatherHanging around to plan birthday parties

Football playerSurviving the hits

FarmerFirst, plant yourself

ChauvinistAct like a pig

ChristianHate religion but love Jesus

SoldierTake orders

BankerBe-A-Count-Able

ButcherA real cut-up

BloggerKeeping your parents’ basement reasonably clean

HousewifeA house, a husband…a kitchen

ModelCat-walking (no fur)

SingerCroon in tune

DancerStepping up to the routine

ProfessorBe noteworthy

PoetMaking rhyme with your reason

CarpenterNailing it down and not screwing it up

PilotStaying high at all times

SalesmanSelling out

Uber DriverUnoffended when angry people tell you where to go

AuthorFinding the words, editing the turds

DoctorSmooth operator

LawyerMaking a federal case out of everything

MatadorSwooshing through the bullshit with your glorious cape


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Sit Down Comedy … June 21st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4083)


God.

Would you stop talking about God?

Unless this God of yours has a goddamn idea on how to overcome this god-awful mediocrity.

I, for one, am fed up with anyone or anything that needs to be worshipped.

I can barely get someone’s attention at McDonald’s.

Where does God get off thinking we should stand up for thirty minutes, sing atrocious songs with insipid lyrics, and feed His ego—when He owns title and lien to the whole mess of the Universe?

And by the way, stop promoting books written by Bedouin prophets who believe that demons cause sickness. (By the way, they don’t.)

No more God talk until we have God walk

Here’s the problem—to be religious, you must buy into religion.

They won’t let you be religious by taking God in your everyday life and trying to love people. You have to purchase the whole package—kind of like a gym membership. You sign on the dotted line, it sounds like a good deal, you think you might be interested. But after you go there and realize you can’t measure up to the clientele who are lifting their heavy burdens, you don’t ever want to go back.

Religion says: God is in heaven.

I say: God is on Earth, or what’s the big deal?

Religion: God is to be worshipped.

But I say unto you:  God is a lifestyle—a way of living. Otherwise, if we’re just going to meet Him when we die, why mess around with Him now?

The church says God is a Savior.

I happen to believe that God is life abundantly. He’s just as interested in my pizza choices as He is my Bible study.

They will preach to you that God is a spirit. I happen to believe that God is the person next to me. If I treat him or her poorly, I register “suck” on the meter.

Of course, we’ve all heard that God is contained in the Bible. I will object and say that I think that God is my living word, if I dare to use my words for better living.

God is a Creator? Sure.

But more importantly, God is creating—even strange essays written by folks like me who might perturb those who pursue more of a divine sensibility.

And there are those who feel they can judge other people and tell you that God is Law.

May I proclaim to you that God is love, and if He isn’t, He’s not of much use to us at this point in our history.

OMG.

Stop talking about it, unless you’re prepared to bring something to Show and Tell.


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Sit Down Comedy … June 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4076)


I never planned on being a father

I just wanted to have sex

Sex was simple.

Sex was quick.

Sex was pleasurable.

Fatherhood, on the other hand, is neither simple, quick or necessarily pleasurable.

I was eighteen years old, attending my Junior-Senior Prom with my girlfriend, who had recently become my cohort in the exploration of the human body.

We were returning home from the festivities just before dawn, and arriving at her house, we pulled into her driveway. It was a long one. It ran alongside a pasture where her family boarded a horse.

Pulling inside the driveway and far enough from the road to not be seen but also far away enough from the house to be undetected, we got out of the car. I laid my rented tuxedo jacket on the grass. My girlfriend lay down on her back, disengaged herself from her gown and I from my pants, and we indulged in two-and-a-half minutes of sexual mischief, while the horse nearby observed.

After it was over, we restored our clothing, never realizing that the seed of our first son was planted while we were on that grass.

We had become travelers on a rocky journey.

From that night to the present, four sons have come into my life—one deceased. The three remaining boys that I fathered had to put up with a guy who really was more suited to be a vagabond gypsy musician than “Daddy reading books by the fireplace.”

I honestly don’t know whether I did a good job or not.

I know it could have been done better.

I know at times I was torn between my own desires and the needs of my family.

I know sometimes I over-disciplined and other times I slacked off and ignored situations because I was sleepy and wanted to go to bed.

When a friend of mine came out of a horrible marriage and divorce with three children of her own and was looking for a mission in her life, we joined efforts, including her three other children. Likewise, I don’t know if I was suited to be their godparent or not. It certainly seemed like I was better than their biological father, who was abusive.

But I cannot tell you, on this Father’s Day weekend, that I was well-suited for the job of nurturing children or being the guiding light to their galaxy of possibilities.

What I can tell you is that I did not run away.

I did not blame anyone else.

And I learned how to be wrong and apologize to them for messing up.

I know our Creator probably thought He was being very focused and concise by tying sexual intercourse to child conceiving.

Yet He was also intelligent enough to know that getting worked up over a woman’s sexuality has little to do with deciding to join her in a quest, as Mom and Dad, to rear young’uns.

I guess fatherhood demands three things:

1. Stay, don’t run.

2. Think, don’t assume.

3.  And be willing to be wrong without being angry that you are.


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Sit Down Comedy … June 7th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4069)


 

My favorite passage comes from the First Book of Pissed Off, Chapter 13, Verse 1: “Dammit to hell, Amen, what the shit, thank you, Jesus.”

There is no other collection of words that so typifies the balance of my walk in the Spirit. For I can tell you of a certainty:

Faith without frustration is fake

People who think they can cruise along and never want to spit at the heavens nor ever feel the need to praise the same are forgetting how easy it is for us to bounce between “Doctor Saint and Mister Sinner.”

You don’t have to go any further than Jesus of Nazareth to see faith and frustration at work. He constantly marveled at people’s unbelief. He yelled at the disciples, asking them when they were ever going to get some understanding of what he was trying to teach them. He scratched his head and inquired about how they could come up with so much doubt when they had seen so much happen. And on the night he was betrayed he lamented, “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” and noted that he would sure appreciate if this cup of poison could pass from him.

Frustration brings faith

Faith is the only thing that keeps frustration from taking over our whole being.

But faith offers its own banquet of frustration:

  • Who is God?
  • What is God?
  • Where is God?
  • When is God?
  • And why is God?

The five Great W’s that keep us in a constant quandary in the sixth:

  • Wonder

On the other hand, I know that frustration brings out the validity of my faith and makes it easier for people to understand both who I am and why I believe.

Some people are turned off by street language, and others completely repulsed by Biblical words. Yet a careful look at the history of great men and women of the scriptures shows that each of them had a very colorful faith—“faith” in the sense that they believed in something beyond themselves, and colorful because they spoke from their hearts, which included cursing this and sometimes cussing a blue streak.

So stop trying to remove the frustration from your faith or becoming agnostic by refusing faith to allay your frustration.

We will not know all the answers until we no longer need all the answers.

This in itself is enough to create frustration.

But may I say, the possibility that there will be a place to go where answers will be provided is why we require faith.


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Sit Down Comedy … May 31st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4062)


My definition of awkward: finding myself in an uncomfortable situation and then doing something dopey to try and fit in.

A Convention of Clowns

This happened to me many years ago when a friend invited me to a convention of clowns. (No—I mean real clowns. Not a metaphor.)

I arrived, walked in and realized there were over a hundred people there, give or take a dozen—all dressed as clowns.

Suddenly all the eyes of the room fell on me, with a combination of bewilderment and pity. I felt stupid—not because I was in a convention of clowns and they were all suited in their garb, but because I was insecure that I was not part of what was going on.

Awkward

One of the clowns walked up and handed me a red nose—an extra he traveled with. As I slid it on my nose, he stood back, and about fifteen surrounding souls with floppy shoes applauded me. I’m so ashamed to admit it, but I felt better. Donning the comical beezer at least made me look like I was a respectable participant.

Several months later the same thing happened when I was invited by a friend to a Pentecostal church. The music began and suddenly everybody rose to their feet, lifting their arms and talking in some unknown language which I did not comprehend.  Slowly I inched my way to my feet to join them. I tried lifting my arms but after a few moments they ached. And then, doggone it, I felt so out of place and so frightened that everybody was peering at me, that I pretended to mumble words to imitate theirs.

I felt so phony—but I didn’t want to be the “odd tongue out.”

Then a good friend of mine, Mike, asked me to go to a convention hall to see big time wrestling. Honestly, I’d never even watched it on television. Everyone around me was clad as their favorite character, screaming, pleading for blood and mayhem. Mike kept glancing over at me, wondering if I was going to catch on and join in. Eventually I did find a wrestler I favored and shouted a couple of inane words of encouragement his way.

Yes—not that different from attending a political rally with my friend, Linda. She was really sold out on the candidate. At the time, I was really sold out on her. Signs, slogans, speeches—even a small marching band—bombarded my ears and collided in my brain, pleading with me to cast my support.

I did a little. I hated myself for it. Well, maybe not hated—I just wondered why I still possessed this weakness—a need for some sort of acceptance, even when I was in an environment that was completely alien.

That’s the way I feel today.

I no longer recognize America.

The screaming, the cursing, the ignorance and the self-righteousness that encircle me is tempting me to make an awkward step to blend.

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t want to do it.

Dammit, I despise you Republicans for what you stand for and your arrogance.

And screw you, Democrats, for having a superior attitude to the world around you.

I feel my country has been absorbed by a cult of pirates who want to swash-buckle their way into fame and fortune.

If I resist, I fear they will make me walk the plank, pushing me off to drown in the deepest sea of despair.

How much volume can my voice have in a country full of shouters?

I don’t know.

But just as I was not a clown, a tongue-talker, a wrestling fan or a political enthusiast, I am also not part of this abduction that has happened in my nation.

I will try to be strong and not find a dopey way to slink into the shadows of sameness. 


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