The X Word … July 16th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4107)


THE

Image result for gif of the letter x

WORD


It is my belief that all the people of the United States owe a brief moment of gratitude to President Donald Trump, for he spared us another administration of Hillary and Bill Clinton. When they were in the White House, they brought disgrace, confusion, deception and a certain brand of conceit that has troubled us for years.

The American people looked at the binary choice and selected the unknown.

It was a smart move.

In that moment, it seemed a prudent way to avoid many of the mistakes that were made by the Arkansas couple the first time they were bequeathed the honor of occupying the nation’s house at Pennsylvania Avenue.

Yet, President Trump was a novice.

We have all been novices. We immediately had to accept two important factors:

  1. Not knowing what to do, we were required to learn.
  2. Since we were learning, mistakes would have to be confessed and changed.

The novice we elected took a profile of already knowing instead of studying up for the job. The end result is that errors were made, and rather than correcting those mistakes, smoke screens were sent out to disguise the mishaps, and attempts were made to rally “we, the people” behind nasty causes.

That is why I tell you that the X word that should never be spoken or written again is:

XENOPHOBIA

It is a prejudice against people from other countries, but also other lifestyles. It is fostered because of insecurity.

For instance, there isn’t a black person in this country who isn’t a little nervous around the white folks who have caused him or her problems.

There isn’t a Native American who can’t point to mistreatment of his tribe by the immigrants who came from other lands.

Nor is there a Japanese American who is unaware that at one time, his great-grandfather or great-grandmother were put into an internment camp.

The Chinese Americans recall the history of how they were mistreated in the West during the great expansion of the nineteenth century.

And also, every white person in this country is a little sensitive about being cast into the role of the villain on all issues of race.

We are neurotic.

Somewhere deep in our soul is the desire to be kind and tenderhearted, but a fear of one another manifests as a hatred of each other. So when the drums of prejudice start beating, the accusations start flying, the bullets pierce black flesh at white hands, and the nation seems to look on those south of the border as trash, it is time for our leaders to calm us.

They should teach us to appreciate one another. Give us a chance to get used to skin colors and lifestyles, and acclimate to our neighbors. After all, we have an absolutely magnificent country in which to do it.

I say, shame on our political parties.

Shame on the Democratic Party for presenting Hillary Clinton with a side of her husband, Bill, as warmed-over hash.

And shame on the Republicans for failing to take their candidate and place him in adequate restraints for learning and growing into the job of President.

Both parties have turned us into raging xenophobes.

This will not be solved with a political solution. This will require the simplicity of neighbors chatting with each other and gradually coming to a national common sense that acknowledges that even though we are nervous—at times terrified—of the person standing next to us, America is still the best spot to be, this side of heaven.

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Sit Down Comedy … May 31st, 2019

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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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1 Thing You Can Do to Become a Great Patriot

 

DON’T

React, Resent, Reject, Regress

OR BE

Rude, Rowdy, Racist, Raunchy

THIS IS NOT WHO WE R

 

REASON

The colonists who settled the Americas were most concerned about wording. They realized that in the future, in studying their original thoughts on creating a perfect union, the words would make a huge difference. So they struggled, parsed and edited—writing documents to include as many people, situations and lifestyles as they could possibly imagine.

Out of that effort came phrases such as:

All men are created equal”

“Truths that are self-evident”

“Government by the people, of the people and for the people”

“Liberty and justice for all”

Even though these men were chauvinists, racists, wore powdered wigs and snorted opium, they were still aware that the greatest power we possess as people is to reason. So:

I will reason

You will reason

Until we discover together the reasonable solution.


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Sit Down Comedy …March 22nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3992)


I bought a loaf of bread. I didn’t eat it all.

So on the eighth or ninth day, I visited the cupboard to see if I could get another slice of life and discovered that the bread had been overtaken by mold.

I paused.

I considered removing the wrapper, cutting the mold off and eating the rest, but the mold also came with a smell—actually, similar to beer. So reluctantly—maybe even a little aggravated—I took my last five or six slices, now moldy, and tossed them into the garbage.

I was a little surprised how fussy I was about it. I don’t know if I just had my heart set on a sandwich or if I felt cheated because my bread gave up.

But I knew this: mold does not get better. I couldn’t do some “treatment” to my bread and return the next day and find it unmoldy. Once mold arrives it takes over. Quite aggressive. And it isn’t pretty—grayish-green with little hairy arms.

It’s a nasty substance and it turns bread into shit. (You can hear by my words that I was really put off.)

Welcome to America.

I’ve heard us called “the breadbasket of the world.” I was told as a youngster that our farmlands could feed the nations. Not much talk about that of late—nowadays farmers are trying to survive and make their beans and corn cover their budgets. No one trying to feed the four corners.

But we once were the breadbasket. Then one day, we reached into our souls, our mind, our heart and into our principles and pulled out moldy bread. Really bad mold.

And as I told you earlier, mold doesn’t get better. You can’t reform mold. You can’t try to find a way to accept it and develop a taste for it. You have to throw the whole damn thing out.

That’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate but it’s necessary.

Truth is, one apple does not spoil the whole bushel—but one little piece of mold does spoil the whole loaf, because the climate necessary to breed that mold permeates all the way to the crust.

Likewise, the insolence, selfishness and meanness that have brought about the present American way of dealing with each other has spoiled many of the treasures we used to hold dear.

Some things have just got to be thrown out. There isn’t a choice. It’s because the mold has taken over the “bread of life” in America and the mold is a simple poison. Here it is:

  • “My ideas are more important than you.”
  • “My faith is more valuable than your freedom.”
  • “My politics are divinely inspired, while yours are evil.”
  • “My lifestyle is superior.”
  • “Even my dog is more human than any of you.”

And,

  • “I and those who came out of my orgasm of procreation are much higher in quality, and it’s difficult to tolerate you anymore.”

There’s the mold. It’s gotta go.

You can try to save some of the stuff, but the arguing that we call politics has to be thrown in the trash, even if we lose some “debate.”

The beliefs we call religion have to be dumped even if we ignore a verse or two of holy writ.

And the definition of family needs to expand to include everybody twenty-five thousand miles in any direction throughout the entire Earth.

If we don’t do this, we’re going to start believing that the worst parts of the bread can be cut off, and the rest will be just fine, even though it tastes a little pukey.

We are permeated with the mold of those who are too old, too bold and too cold. Some things must be thrown away.

I, for one, am going to go into my cabinet, where I keep my soul, and start clearing out the nastiness. Anything that makes me believe that I’m better than you, or that my ideas are more God-like, or that my politics have the touch of grace while yours are imbedded with the sinister, will be dumped into the trash.

Buy fresh bread. Don’t get more than you need.

Matter of fact, start thinking of it this way:

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become a Better Person)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become a Better Person)

 

JUST ADMIT YOU ARE PREJUDICED

Being prejudiced just means that we see things in color, shape, size, style, gender and even finance.

But when it comes to matters of the heart, seeing is not believing. All of us believe things which our eyeballs tell us are different.

The importance of admitting prejudice is to prevent ourselves from becoming bigots, and end up racists.

HIDDEN PREJUDICE IS THE PROBLEM

Just because I see a man who is a different color than myself does not mean I feel that I am better than him, and I certainly do not want to act superior, because then, I will try to find a way to hurt him, which will make me a racist.

America will become free of its racial, cultural, spiritual and gender bias just as soon as we realize that our eyes still see what is set before us.

However, we don’t need to believe what we see, or hold what we see to be sacred.

I am prejudiced.

I still see fat, I still see youth, I still see old, I still see color–but because I admit it, I can confront myself and realize it doesn’t make any difference–and certainly doesn’t make me superior to anyone else on the planet.

Therefore I feel no need to hurt them to make myself look powerful.

So there’s your one thing–if every human being in America would admit they are still haunted by prejudice, we would do away with bigotry in a generation, and racism even quicker.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 62) Meeting II, Three and 4…August 19th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3769)

“I usually don’t meet with white people.”

Terrance Eldridge.

Carlin paused, considering the statement. “Well, I usually don’t meet with a racist,” he replied.

Terrance stiffened. “I’m not a racist. I wasn’t casting an aspersion on the white race. I was merely saying that usually white people don’t want to hear what I have to say.”

Carlin smiled. “Maybe if they knew you weren’t going to be reluctant to see them they might be more receptive to your words.”

Terrance leaned back in his chair, reached over and took a sip of coffee. “You see, you feel comfortable being self-righteous, my friend. That’s because you’re white. If I take a dignified position, I’m uppity. Or radical. You may not be aware, Mr. Canaby, but America works on the ‘Hue-y’ decimal system. ‘What is your color? Then we’ll place you on the appropriate shelf.'”

Carlin just shook his head. “There’s nothing new here, Mr. Eldridge. This is the same drivel that’s been shared through Malcolm X, Farrakhan and any number of urban rappers who rail against the system and present themselves as victims.”

“Not victims,” said Terrance. “Just unable to join in the game without being proclaimed a loser before it even begins.”

Carlin sighed deeply. “Well, I’m not here to argue with you. Let me just sit here as the oppressive white person in the room and listen to you rattle on for half an hour, and then deliver my report. But I’ll tell you right now–somebody’s made a mistake in choosing you for anything. You are an agitator. Yes, an agitator. You come along just to stir people up, without offering any solution. And I, as a white man, don’t have any problem telling you that you’re sand blowing in the wind.”

Terrance eyeballed him. Then he spoke slowly. “I think I like you, Canaby. I think you’re stupid. I think you have no grasp of the problem. But you speak your ignorance eloquently.”

Carlin lifted his hands in the air and replied, “Then we agree. We’re both talking asses.”

“Perhaps we should start over,” reasoned Terrance Eldridge.

For the next half hour, the black educator did his best to present a coherent message to his pale brother. Basically it was pretty simple. As long as white people were deciding what black people were, black people would be unable to make decisions for themselves. Even if the decisions made by white people were favorable–“they’re great athletes” or “no one is as strong as they are”–black people were still victims of slavery.

They are really African-Americans, Terrance pointed out.  They deserved to be honored with their history one month a year. But even when such concessions are made, they are still chosen by a white committee.

Terrance explained that the black man achieved nothing by being angry at white America or at the nation in general. This just played into the hands of false patriots, who wanted to believe that equality had already been achieved, and what the black race was looking for was entitlement.

Terrance had two visions.

One was educational–huge weekend rallies held in big cities, inviting famous athletes and musicians to come and share, and to punctuate the fact that the black race, although brought to the United States under evil pretense, still owns their portion of the American dream.

The second piece involved taking the finest actors in Hollywood and making five movies–entertaining but also inspirational–about the journey of the black race in America. Each movie would take a different era, beginning with Movie One: 1750; Movie Two: 1850; Movie Three: 1950; Movie Four: 1960, Movie Five: Today.

Using the foundation of the Alex Haley series, Roots, there would be storylines connecting all the eras, to show what progress had been made and what progress still needed to be pursued. The movies would be entitled “AmeriKin” in honor of Terrance’s book.

So with the combination of the rallies and the release of the films, a new awakening could come into the black community, to seek common ground with all races in the country, to claim the space reserved and preserved solely for them.

The meeting ended up lasting an hour. Carlin listened carefully. Even though Eldridge was guilty of both erroneous opinions and overly zealous projections, Carlin could see where there would be value in having a movement among black Americans to claim their true heritage.

Terrance closed his discourse by saying, “I don’t know why you’re here, Mr. Canaby. I don’t know what this is all about. I don’t know whether you’re a spy or just a nice guy. I don’t know whether curiosity brought you here or if I’m going to walk out in the hall to say good-bye and get blown away by an assassin. So let me just say this–I will find a way to do all the things I’ve mentioned here. I will not judge whether these things will be successful until they’re accomplished. And if I’m the only black boy in America who claims his true kinship in this country, you will have one of us to deal with.”

Carlin smiled. He suddenly felt close to the dreamer. They stood to their feet. Carlin gave Terrance a hug. Terrance recoiled a bit, but reciprocated.

Carlin walked out the door, comically mentioning that there was no assassin–because they couldn’t find one on a Thursday afternoon. He headed for his car.

He had done what he was told. He had completed his mission.

What in the hell did it all mean?

*******

Jasper was freaked out.

He thought he was supposed to meet up with a comedian named Mickey Kohlberg at a comedy club. Jasper was used to comedy clubs. They were pleasant holes-in-the-wall in the middle of Downtown Somewhere.

But Jasper became unnerved when the corporate jet flew him to Tel Aviv in Israel.

Jasper did not like the Holy Land. First of all, it wasn’t very holy–more bloodshed had been perpetrated there than any place in the world. And honestly, Jasper never found it to exactly be land. There was so much contention, so much disagreement, over who owned the little strip of property, that it was difficult to believe that anybody would ever be able to put up permanent housing.

Landing in Tel Aviv, Jasper was handed an envelope by a fellow dressed in black, with no neck. He sat on the tarmac and opened it. It read: “You will be taken by car near Jerusalem, where you will meet up with Mickey Kohlberg at a location called the Sinai Club.”

That was it.

Jasper had a million questions–but the only person to ask was his driver, who only spoke Hebrew. Or was it Farsi? Jasper could not distinguish.

He decided to take a nap on the ride, and the next thing he knew he was sitting in front of a building made of cement blocks–unfinished, unpainted, resembling more a bomb shelter than a commercial venture.

Jasper climbed out of the car and a very small man with wire-frame glasses, long, black curly hair and a beard came walking up, and introduced himself as Mickey Kohlberg.

For a brief moment, Jasper was mentally and physically unable to function. He wordlessly followed Mickey inside.

He couldn’t fathom being where he was. He thought he was heading to a comedy club. What was sitting in front of him was a makeshift structure without air conditioning–without electricity–filled with small round tables and rickety wooden chairs.

Because Jasper felt so overwhelmed, he just allowed Mickey to do the talking.

“This is what we do. You may not know it, but you’re sitting on the border of a disputed territory. You go fifteen feet in one direction and you’re in Israel. Fifteen feet the other direction, you’re still in Israel–but not according to the Palestinians. They believe it’s their land. It’s a little bit hard to define who ‘they’ might be–coming from Bedouin backgrounds, they don’t exactly have a formal government or leader. They have a claim. They believe the land is theirs.”

“Every night I open up this club, put some candles on the tables, and I invite people from Israel and from Palestine to come to this structure and sit down together…and laugh. This club has been blown up five times. That’s why we keep building it in cement blocks. Makes it much easier to reconstruct.”

Mickey smiled a bit sadly. “So you may ask, how do I bring these people together? I find the only thing they really share in common is Jesus of Nazareth. He was once a prophet to the Jews and also one to the Muslims. I don’t sit here and share his teachings, but I take his teachings, his thoughts, and even parts of his life, and I turn them into comedy routines. Because I’m not making fun of Jew or Muslim, they are completely willing to laugh at Christian.”

“Now don’t misunderstand me. I am very respectful. But I do poke fun. Especially when I talk about how Americans have turned their religion into guns and bombs instead of compassion.”

Jasper held up a hand to stop Mickey. “I don’t understand,” he said. “What do you expect to achieve?”

Mickey sat for a long moment before answering.

“I believe,” he mouthed slowly, “that if we can show, even for a moment, that Palestinians and Israelis can agree on a common laugh, we might gain the world’s attention and get comics, musicians or artists from all over the world to come and sit in our little stone building and encourage the possibility of communication.”

Jasper sat very still. He realized that such an effort would require much money, a whole lot of motivation and twisting some arms.

“And what is the end game?” Jasper inserted.

“The end game?” repeated Mickey, uncertain of the meaning.

“Yes,” said Jasper. “Where does this take us? What is the next step afterwards? Where are we going?”

“I don’t know,” said Mickey. “Honestly, I just come here in the afternoons with a bunch of friends–early enough to rebuild the stones if necessary, and grateful if we don’t have to.”

“You’re a dead man walking,” observed Jasper pointedly.

Mickey welled up with tears. “There are worse ways to go,” he said. “That’s why I call is ‘Dying Laughing.'”

Jasper felt horrible for his nasty comment.

He told Mickey he would go and report what he had found and see what the people wanted to do about it. Jasper explained that he didn’t even understand why he was there.

“Just one more question,” posed Jasper. “Why do you call it the Sinai Club?”

“Mount Sinai was the last time that God spoke to my people,” Mickey answered. “I just think it’s time again.”

Mickey stood to his feet and walked out of the building, terminating the interview.

Jasper picked up a handful of the sandy floor of the club and tossed it across the room. He strolled out of the concrete bunker, hopped into the car and headed back to the Tel Aviv airport. The jet flew him to Washington, D.C., arriving ten hours later.

Coming down the steps of the jet, he found himself face-to-face with Jo-Jay, who was getting ready to board.

“Where you been?” she asked.

“Hell,” replied Jasper. “At least, the closest place to hell there is on Earth.”

He walked across the tarmac to the hangar and disappeared.

Jo-Jay shook her head and headed into the jet, waiting for them to refuel. She was on her way to Phoenix, Arizona. There she was scheduled to meet up with the young man named Careless.

She had done a lot of reading. She had a lot of stats and facts–the kind of useless information that makes interviewers feel informed, but actually does little to acquaint them with the subject.

Careless had selected his name based on the idea that if rich people were so rich that they weren’t concerned about money anymore, then they should start acting like they cared less and find ways to care more.

He was an igniter.

He felt it was his job to connect people of great finance with people who had Earth-changing ideas. He called it “the MacDonald project”–after Old MacDonald who had the farm.

In this scenario, the “farms” were worthy projects, organizations, research or efforts to quickly and efficiently impact the human race.

He envisioned a situation where he would be the conduit between those who had money and those who could use money efficiently to heal, protect, save and inspire.

He called it the E.I.O. Project.

Eeliminate

Iilluminate

Oobliterate

He was looking for people to take one of the “MacDonald farms,” a stash of cash, and in a 365-day period, either eliminate an evil or a disease, illuminate a nation or a race of people, or obliterate an injustice that exists on the planet.

Each one of these “farms” would be given fifty million dollars and at the end of a year, would be asked to account for how they used it and what effect they felt their project had achieved. There would also be a private investigating committee, which would likewise review and summarize.

If one of the “farms” was successful, the following year they would be given a hundred million dollars. If they were not, they would be replaced by a new “farm.”

Many people had been critical of Careless, contending that one year was insufficient to evaluate any effort. Careless, on the other hand, explained to his billionaire clients that too much time was spent by charities deliberating the best way to do something instead of experimenting with the next way.

It was radical.

Jo-Jay fell in love with him. Not romantically–but she believed she had found a common spirit. Even though Careless was well-versed in the subject matter, there was a simplicity and optimism in him that was infectious. She left her meeting inspired–realizing that the billion dollars he planned to raise to get the project going was chump change to the fifteen potential clients he was pursuing.

It was an interesting possibility.

Jo-Jay departed overjoyed, thinking to herself that the whole world could use such a sensation.

*******

On Thursday, at 1:15 A.M., Matthew checked himself in to the Las Vegas hospital. It had been a rough week.

Leonora had left him. He wasn’t angry at her–she had hung around for several weeks, even though his ability as a lover had diminished to nothing.

His body was taking on the pallor of a dying man.

She tried, but she was just too pink to be gray. She was too young to be around debilitation.

When she left him, he wanted to turn to the bottle, but now he felt too weak to even get drunk.

When he woke up on Wednesday morning and realized that his left leg was not moving, he knew he was in serious trouble. He spent the day crying, thinking, and even for a brief moment, tried a prayer.

But at midnight he realized it was time to call a private ambulance to pick him up and take him to the hospital.

He was only in the examination room for about an hour when the doctor appeared and confirmed the situation.

“You are in the final stages of liver failure. Your other organs are beginning to give up in sympathy. You need a transplant and you need it now. Before you ask me, I will tell you–we’re talking no more than a week. I’ve had your name pushed to the front of the list for donors. We shall have to see.”

The doctor left the room.

Everything was so still that Matthew could hear the buzzing of the flourescent bulbs.

He needed to talk to someone.

Who in the hell should he call?

 

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Cracked 5 … July 3rd, 2018


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(3722)

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The Reason Fireworks Make a Lot Of Sense for July 4th

A. They make a lot of sound but not much sense

 

B. They sparkle but quickly fizzle

 

C. You can blow things up

 

D. “God Bless America” doesn’t sound quite so arrogant

 

E. They’re cheap

 

 

 

 

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