Not Long Tales … December 24th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4468)

20.

The Wysies

On July 19th, the project received the green light for filming—seven days commencing on the 2nd of December—to be aired for five straight nights, beginning December 19th through December 24th, Christmas Eve.

Expectations were high.

The network was always thrilled when any new angle on the holiday season could be unearthed in an attempt to capture a large market share during the December festivities.

This year was particularly exciting, because along with the entertaining new concept was the introduction of Zandy Carlisle to direct. She was an Asian gay woman with a disability—carpel tunnel syndrome. A promotional trifecta.

The premise of the show was simple. A twist and turn on the phrase “Wise Men” had become “Wysies.”

This was not the original title. At first it was spelled W-I-S-S-I-E-S. But after conducting a survey of potential audience, it was determined that the name was too close to “Wussies,” which made everybody laugh—but for the wrong reason.

So it was quickly changed to W-I-Z-Z-I-E-S. But this tested worse, since the inclusion of the prefix “wiz” brought forth images of urination as far as the eye could see. It was Zandy who suggested that using a Y took care of the pronunciation, and striking the extra S eliminated the “Wussie” or the “Wizzie.”

Actually, choosing the name was much more difficult than coming up with the blueprint of the show.

Basically it was a broadcast about five couples, all in their twenties, sent on a mission. Each couple would begin in Temecula, California, dressed in shorts and a shirt, barefoot and with fifty dollars. They would be instructed to walk all the way to the Burbank, California studios as their final destination.

The ninety-four miles between Temecula and Burbank were almost identical to the ninety-seven point six miles that the first Christmas couple, M & J, trekked from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

The rules were easy to understand. There were four things that needed to be accomplished:

  1. Each couple was to stay on foot with no motorized transportation, be it public or private.
  2. They must garner all food and drink from the kindness of strangers.
  3. They would also have to perform one huge, provable good deed.
  4. And finally, to keep everything lively, they should arrive at the finish line in Burbank with a donkey.

Each journey would be filmed, and on the final night, there would be a vote cast by the audience to proclaim the winner.

A rather extensive search took place for the right participants. Of course, in respect to the times, one needed to be gay, one was interracial—black and Asian. An additional couple was a prison romance which blossomed into freedom, with a great backstory. One selected pair was a very religious married team. And finally, there was one couple that was white bread enough to make peanut butter sandwiches for all of summer camp. Their names were Curtis and Morena—a pair of actors who had come to Southern California seeking fame and fortune, but willing to settle for either.

Curtis had been in the hunt for notoriety for about a year-and-a-half, and so far, had only procured a job as a stand-in for a talking jalapeno in a Mr. Mexico taco commercial. Morena had a bit more success—playing the notorious “Queen of Dirt” in a kitchen cleanser TV ad.

Long before the time for filming arrived, sessions were planned to discuss what was expected, beneficial, preferred and helpful for each couple. It was made clear that it was absolutely fine to mention God—but no more than once per episode, so as not to scare away the “uncertain” crowd or the “God is dead” demographic. At no time was Jesus to be included. There were just too many Jews, Muslims and Buddhists for the show to present itself as a billboard for Christianity.

Every couple needed to have a story, so questions were asked, and the search began for what approach would draw the public into the private lives of the contestants.

But first, it was made clear that the name “Wysies” was chosen because it gave a quaint, holiday sniff to what was actually a reality game show (“Wysies” being the Wise Men). That was coupled with the length of the journey being tied into the story of Mary and Joseph. It seemed to be just enough to provide a flavor of inspiration.

The back-stories were chosen.

The gay couple was to play out the persecution they had suffered in pursuit of gaining the right to be married in an America which was “the home of the free and the land of the brave.” Or maybe the other way around.

The black man and Asian woman had lived in Mississippi after he had completed a military tour of duty in Iraq. Their feelings had been greatly injured by the citizens of Dixie, who found their joining to be unnatural under God’s Law.

The two prisoners who had found love after jail had a natural set-up. He was in for trafficking drugs, and she had killed her former husband in a fit of rage when she found him sleeping with her younger sister.

The difficulty came when it was time to derive an appealing presentation for Curtis and Morena. After much questioning, it was decided to emphasize that Curtis was an orphan—since his father had died when he was ten, though his mother was still alive and dwelling in Columbia, Missouri. And Morena had been plagued by disease because she had terrible allergies to both hay and ragweed. (It was agreed that as long as they didn’t get too specific, a general mentioning of their circumstances could still stir the sympathies of the viewership.)

Director Zandy made it abundantly clear that a show of this intensity—this rich with human conflict—would have to emphasize forced feeling, forced fighting, forced exposure, and when necessary, forced story lines.

After the first four planning sessions, Curtis and Morena became disillusioned. It was especially disheartening when the religious couple stomped off the set after being informed that any testimony of their salvation or personal relationship with God had to be abandoned in favor of punctuating their own love story—with a strong dose highlighting their sex life.

That left four couples.

Director Zandy said she was thrilled when it came down to four because five stories were more difficult to squeeze into the time constraints. Even though Curtis and Morena became upset about the job, the first-place prize money of fifty thousand dollars would keep them working and striving toward their goal of becoming full-fledged actors—and was certainly worth putting up with some bleeding of the conscience.

After the planning sessions, and with a general understanding of the expectations, the cast members were sent back to their lives to fend for themselves until the filming began. Each week, Zandy sent off an email with little hints and encouragements on how to better access their greatest potential for winning the show.

Especially significant were the ideas on how to do a good deed. Matter of fact, Zandy referred to this as a “sloppy, sappy service.” In other words, something so obviously kind, generous and merciful that the audience at home would be brought to tears, convinced of the overwhelming goodness of the contestant.

Each week, Curtis and Morena read the directive from Zandy, feeling more and more unsure of their footing. Also, Curtis received alarming news about his mother, Catherine McDermott, who was showing the first stages of dementia—or perhaps warning signs of cardiovascular disease and the danger of a stroke. In other words, she was “ailing.” That’s how family and friends in Missouri expressed their fears for the worst.

Curtis didn’t know what to do. The main problems were his financial situation, fear of failure and his lack of passion about his aspiration for acting. He was frightened that if he went home to Missouri, he would never make it back to Hollywood. He was reluctant to share his feelings with Morena, who found his silence about his mother to be disconcerting, and soon was considering leaving him. She probably would have done so if it had not been for the commitment to “Wysies,” plus a nagging, heartfelt affection for the boy.

The next directive arrived the following week. Both Curtis and Morena were shocked.

Now, neither one of them were religious. But when they read Zandy’s message, the little, tiny piece of faith that still abided in them was stunned. The directive read:

“Good morning to you outstanding human beings and contestants for “Wysies!” I wanted to give you a heads up. During one of our planning sessions, it was discovered that some initial press reports have leaked—portraying the show as a religious broadcast about the journey of Mary and Joseph to the manger. The critics are already attacking it as being just another righteous ruse’ to punctuate the differences among the populace, aggravating the debate about the separation of church and normal life.”

“Of course, nothing could be more untrue. But once a rumor like this gets started, it must be stomped out quickly, or pretty soon a forest fire of misunderstanding will be set ablaze. So I am asking each of you to do a couple of interviews on a press junket in order to (a) advertise yourself; (b) be cute and humorous, bringing intrigue about the show; and (c) strongly establish that ‘Wysies’ is not a God thing.”

“I will contact you soon with times, dates and some possible lines you can use to sever this contest from Sunday School lingo.”

The email was signed:

“Your fearless friend and leader, Zandy”

This stimulated a discussion between Curtis and Morena. Neither one of them felt comfortable defending the faith. They were not like the religious couple, who yearned to preach the Gospel, but they also found no contentment in being included among unbelievers and those who were apathetic about a possible Creator in Heaven.

What began as a discussion about the show ended as an argument about their relationship. Morena was just as discouraged about their progress in the cattle calls of the entertainment industry thus far. Playing the “Queen of Dirt” had not garnered much business, and unfortunately, had not become a repetitive character for future commercials. (Matter of fact, those reviewed about the commercial were thrilled when she was sucked down the drain in the last scene.)

But Morena did not want to be the one to give up. If Curtis were going to leave, he needed to make it clear that he was the quitter—and if he wanted her around, he needed to offer a greater commitment than a tender pat on her bare butt after sex.

On the other hand, Curtis did not want to be the villain in the great tale of their lives. So ensued two or three days of continual fighting with perpetual finger-pointing.

“You’re the reason we’re failing!”

“If you just cared more, we might do better!”

In the midst of this, more calls came in from Missouri, expressing, in a quiet way, desperation over Mother Catherine’s well-being.

Curtis began to wonder if he could just abandon his dream and blame it on his mother’s condition. His problem with that plan was that Morena would always know about the little piece of chicken-shit mixed in with his nobility.

He could leave her, but then he would be arriving back in Missouri alone, into an atmosphere of dreary demise.

One night as they sat, heads spinning from the latest bewildering exchange of ideas, Curtis posed a very interesting question.

“Morena, do you think we can win ‘Wysies?’”

Morena was offended, and then surprised that she felt so insulted by a legitimate question. After all, there were three other couples. The gay lovers were certainly cute and flamboyant. The two prisoners had enough tattoos for three people. And the black and Asian couple—well, on top of military service, they had the applause of everyone who hated Mississippi.

Curtis asked again. “Do you think we can win this thing?”

Morena surprised herself. “No.” That was all she said.

Curtis turned to her, alarmed. “Then why are we doing it?”

Morena replied emphatically. “You know why we’re doing it! Exposure! Showing enough of ourselves that this time, you get to play the jalapeno instead of getting coffee for him!”

Even though the comment stung Curtis’ ego, it was still rather funny. He laughed. “And,” he retorted, “you might get the part of Princess of Clean in the next commercial—who gets to survive to sell yet another day.”

“So,” she said, “we’re hanging around here to participate in a contest where we have no chance of winning, and we’re hoping that our failure will draw enough attention to us that someone will want us in some sort of part because we were such dynamic also-rans.”

Curtis smiled. “You left out something,” he said. “All this is true—plus we have to find a donkey and get it to Burbank, California.”

Then something strange happened—odd indeed. Morena did something she had not done since she was a young girl. Matter of fact, she had been nine years old, and her dog was hit by a car and was lying in the middle of the street, twitching.

On that day, she had bowed her head and prayed. “God, heal my dog.”

Her puppy died. And so did her faith.

But now, in this moment of craziness mingled with humor and pathos, she prayed again. “God, would you get us out of here to someplace where we can breathe without being afraid?”

Curtis was shocked. The two of them had never even mentioned the word “God,” or thought about an Everlasting Presence, but without even thinking, when Morena finished her prayer, he said, “Amen.”

There were no phone calls. The sky did not open. There was no chill going down the spine.

They simply looked at each other and they both knew their next trek would not be to Burbank, but instead, across the country as best they could—to the bedside of a hurting woman in Missouri.

When Curtis called Director Zandy and quit, she was infuriated. She briefly tried to get him to change his mind, but when he wouldn’t, she explained that due to the nature of their contract, they would be required to sign a termination agreement, guaranteeing that they would never sue the show or the network. After this, Zandy curtly stated that the show would be “better with three couples anyway.”

When Curtis and Morena showed up in Burbank to sign their termination agreement, to their surprise they were both issued checks for five hundred dollars. They promised to never say a bad word about the show or do any negative promotion.

Shocked, bewildered, and dare we say, blessed, the two climbed into Morena’s old car—held together with rust and hopes—and headed toward Missouri.

They were in no hurry. It was a five-day journey, and they arrived on the exact day they originally had planned to begin filming “Wysies.”

Mother Catherine was still living in the old homestead. When they got there, she was sitting in the living room, staring out the front window. At first Curtis thought she was anticipating their homecoming—because he had called ahead to let the family know of their intentions. But when they came in, she continued to stare out the window to the undetermined outside.

He made his way to his mother’s side and touched her hand. Barely acknowledging his presence, she reached over and clasped his arm. Unexpectedly, Morena made her way up the stairs to the attic, where, as Curtis had explained, they kept all the Christmas decorations.

She emerged carrying a big box, shut the attic, came downstairs and opened it, beginning to remove the seasonal family treasures. This gained Catherine’s attention. She got up, walked across the room, and began to help Morena.

About five minutes into the experience, Catherine took Morena’s hands, and though she had never met her, she said, “We have done this before, haven’t we?”

Morena saw no reason to argue, so she nodded her head. Immediately, Catherine stood up, walked into the kitchen and took a stance next to the stove, as if considering warming water for tea or beginning a pot of coffee. She stared at the oven intently, as if seeking inspiration.

Concerned, Curtis followed her in. Seeing her stymied at the stove, he came up behind her, placed his hands on her shoulders, and then his arms around her neck, embracing her. Suddenly, from behind, he felt Morena’s tender arms squeezing his waist. The three stood there, connected, tightly holding one another, trying to draw strength from within.

That year, when “Wysies” aired, the ratings were so bad that they never actually finished the five days of production, pronouncing a winner.

Curtis and Morena spent the holiday season with Mother Catherine. Although they feared for her health, each day she actually grew stronger, more present and cognizant of the world around her.

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, she was reciting memories, singing carols, and fixing the delicious chocolate chip cookies for which she was acclaimed.

Curtis and Morena fell in love—first, with Mother Catherine. Then, with the sweetness and nostalgia of the home. Next, with each other, as they sealed the covenant between them. And finally—and more slowly—they fell in love with God. Even though He had not done much to help Morena’s puppy, this time, on this occasion, and in this Christmas season, He had shown up…and answered their prayers.

The B. S. M. G. Report


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Humans are the race

Not the color of their face

BAD

Like millions of other Americans, I assumed that we had tracked down Jim Crow, put him on trial, convicted him and imprisoned him forever in a small cell of disgrace.

But lo and behold, it turns out that he was not imprisoned at all. Rather, he was taken into a witness protection program, sent away to be refined, get a little plastic surgery and come back to us in this season.

Shall we call him James Crown?

Mr. James Crown, the grandson of Jim Crow, is not nearly as bigoted, ignorant nor self-righteous. He does not contend that some race is inferior but continues to promote the idea of “separate but equal.” This, of course, was the false premise that began our national trial in the first place.

Black people don’t have to go to their own bathrooms anymore.

But we do signify that whatever they pursue, think, vote, believe and regard needs to have the word “black” in front of it.

  • The African American market
  • A poll taken in “the black community”
  • The black voter
  • The black church
  • The black culture

Here’s where James Crown is much trickier than his grandpa, Jim Crow. He pulls off this separatism by making sure we never refer to “the white market, the white community, the white voter, the white church or the white culture.” If he did so, it would expose James Crown for being the hidden racist he truly is. Instead, he tries to appear educated and open-minded by talking about cultural differences—how wonderful they are.

We don’t have any sniff of the Ku Klux Klan because we never attribute the same promotion to white people. If we did, we would identify it immediately as prejudice.

But today we have people interested in their ancestry.

At first, this was, “What part of Africa did your ancestors come from?”

But now we ask, “Where in Europe did you immigrate from?”

It’s all very unseemly—very bad. It enables a city council in a Mississippi town to name a street “Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard”–while you could never find a library, municipal building, or decent grocery store with an address on that same street.

The James Crown concept is: “Maybe we can make people more comfortable with this separatism, giving the illusion of equality while never offering a heartfelt all men are created equal.”

SAD

Of course, the sad part of this is that it easily slips into our educational system.

We convince our children they are free thinkers when they’re curious about other cultures and their customs.

Simultaneously, as we establish these differences, we don’t adopt any part of them into our own homes, colors and cultures, but instead, admire them from afar.

It is our current derivation of “separate but equal.”

It is an attempt to refuse to accept people as human beings, but instead, categorizing by race, culture and nationality.

The truth of the matter is that no black person in America would last thirty minutes in Africa. Why?

Because they are Americans.

They are accustomed to our style of life.

They enjoy the freedoms.

And likewise, no white person would survive in Europe, picking up where their long-lost relatives were born. Keep in mind, if Europe had been such a great place to live, our families would probably have stayed there.

They came to America for a better chance.

It is sad to see informed, caring people buying into James Crown.

MAD

But what really makes me mad is that the church of Jesus of Nazareth is a huge promoter of this evil game.

There is a white church and a black church in America.

It is heavily segregated and the arrangement hinges on the supposition that “black people like to worship one way” and “white people like to worship another way.”

Jesus said the only way to worship is in spirit and truth.

There is no spirit in being alienated from your brothers and sisters and no truth in believing it has anything to do with the mindset of Jesus.

Whenever anyone tried to separate people in his presence and criticize them for not being just like the disciples, he always replied, “Don’t forbid them. Those who are not against us are for us.”

I am mad to be part of a faith that has a church that is manipulated and has welcomed racism into its operation.

GLAD

Yet not everyone gets hoodwinked, even when there are hoods available for all.

There are folks out there who refuse to be called “African American, German American” or anything other than American.

There are individuals who will not attend a church unless it is integrated and recognizes that any separation is the definition of inequality.

And there is a small awakening in the political arena which contends that a black voter, a white voter, a Hispanic voter and an Asian voter all have one thing in common:

America.

Answer the questions about our country and you answer the need.

James Crown will hang around until we stand up and call him Jim Crow, which is who he really is.

He is not our witness, so we have no intention of protecting him.

 

Sit Down Comedy … September 6th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4159)

Sit Down Comedy

Everyone sing along!

He’s a racist

She’s a racist

You’re a racist

I’m a racist

Wouldn’t you like to be a racist too?

Show your faces

Come be a racist

From all places

We are all racists.

Sitting on a park bench, a dog walks by, thistles stuck in its fur, dried fecal matter on its leg hair. Our reaction? “Poor puppy.” Matter of fact, we might look through our pockets to see if we might have a snack to offer the unfortunate creature.

Same day, same park.

A homeless man strolls by—dirty pants, nine-day-old growth of beard and tousled hair. We look at him and conclude, “Goddam bum.”

You see, it doesn’t matter what color we are. It isn’t as if white people don’t hate white people or black, black. Brown folks hate the various shades of beige, Asians attack Asians, and the Cherokee nation, the Navajo tribe.

It is not a color issue.

It is not a culture situation. It’s not a religious affiliation. After all, the Baptists bicker with the Baptists, the Catholics abuse their own, the Jews pull rank on one another and the Muslim terrorists kill more Muslims than Christians.

Staying with that dog example, if we were dogs, the human race would be pit bulls, adamantly insisting that the problem is not our breed, but rather, how we were trained.

Candidly, it wouldn’t matter if we finally found a way through eugenics to come up with one, single color for all Homo Sapiens. We would still commence murdering one another over eyebrows.

It may seem easier to blame it on color scheme, religion or patriotism, but we all are human racists. Allegedly, the first murder was committed by one brother on another brother.

In other words, they looked alike.

If we don’t get rid of human racism—an ironic hatred for our own beings—we will never be able to overcome the lack of similarities accomplished by evolution.

Here’s what causes human racism, if you’re interested in actually addressing it and once and for all identifying it in your being:

1. I need to be special.

Actually, you’re not, my friend—not unless you decide to do or be something special to the world around you.

2. I need to stand out.

The chances of that happening are few, and then could always be caused by your iniquity instead of your contribution to goodness.

3. I need to withhold praise just in case…

Yes, because you’re frightened that you won’t be appreciated enough, you decide to keep focus on yourself instead of valuing the gifts of others, even when their inspiration has benefitted you.

4. I need to hurt somebody.

Perhaps you prefer to do it in a civil way, using gossip or innuendo, but if necessary—if you find others completely annoying—you are willing to kill them for the cause of your country, your family or your Christ. So please, trace racism back to where it began:

Despising others because we’re dissatisfied with ourselves.

 

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G-Poppers … June 1st, 2018

G-Pop wants his children to know that 155 years is just too long.

This is the amount of time that has passed since Abraham Lincoln offered the Executive Order of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves.

But the slaves aren’t free.

With the mixture of lingering bigotry, cultural confusion, social fears and entitlement entanglements, the American black man or woman will never be free–until we stop the foolishness of color-coding our choices.

Of course, the most ridiculous notion is the recent declaration that these individuals are “African American.”

It is insulting. They have lived here longer than many white people and this is their country–not the unfortunate prison which they’ve never been able to escape.

If we had made the same progress in the medical field over 155 years, we would still be amputating limbs because a bone is broken.

In the transportation system, the Wright Brothers might have recently discovered the possibility of flight.

In the business world we would still be clinging to twelve-hour days, with no restriction on child labor laws and women relegated to nothing more than secretarial duties.

I don’t know–if you parallel the educational system to the progress we’ve made on racial relations, we might have evolved to the four-room schoolhouse.

It is no longer a mar on the American image–it has become our image.

Our musicians and artists rallied against South Africa and boycotted the country to get rid of Apartheid. I wonder what would happen if they refused to work cities in America due to the mistreatment of people of color?

Three things must happen:

1. We must disband the different approaches to culture, and really take up the banner of being a melting-pot–a single culture called America.

2. The black community should be given the question of the doubt in its conflict with the police department. We’ve done this with women who accuse men of sexual harassment–the men are basically considered guilty because of the accusation. Why is this not true with the police? If police are here to protect and serve, and someone does not feel protected and served, then they must place the onus of responsibility on their officers.

3. We need to get rid of anything that is spoken before the word “American.” African, Irish, European, Mexican, Hispanic, Asian, Indian–whatever the prefix. It does not extol these individuals–it targets them.

155 years is too long to solve a problem that should have been rooted out through the educational system within two generations.

We have just decided not to do it.

It is time to change this pernicious piece of history, and in so doing, show the rest of the world that we are a “shining city on a hill,” and we are prepared to lead the way in human rights, including the equality of race.

 

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“Crown Thy Good…” July 4, 2012

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America, America,

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good …

On this auspicious occasion of the 236th birthday of our nation, may I stop for a moment and find out what is good about us and also what crowning achievement we should place upon that particular piece of endeavor? America is not exceptional in every way–what is? But there are important ways that this country is unique and beneficial to the human family, which fosters not only a need for its existence, but also a true mission for its statement.

So please allow me, on this Independence Day, to tell you what I think is really good about this country–and what I think we could do to “crown” that particular piece of righteousness to make it even better. What is good about America?

1. There is an extraordinarily uncomfortable amount of liberty available. It is what makes us great. Theology and pornography have to occupy the same town. They are not allowed to expel each other from the region because of a preference for one over the other. They must coexist. What do people do with liberty? The Bible says that what everyone first does with liberty is “use it as an occasion for the flesh.” Bluntly, every human being first goes too far before doubling back to find a more realistic position. Great. America is tremendous because we have no moral police, no social schoolmarm to insist upon correct etiquette, and no border patrol for liberty. Whenever we try to legislate morality, we turn into a bunch of obnoxious Puritans who are soon apologizing for their short-sightedness.

2. America is good because we always keep the melting pot boiling. If you don’t keep the heat going on the stove, things stop melting and just begin to congeal in globs of fatty grease. What makes this country good is the fact that we insist on equality, conversation, respect and inclusion of all races, no matter how hot the controversy may get, keeping the pot melted and eventually, giving the appearance that we’re all really all the same. Whenever we try to break apart into sections of the country, racial voting blocks or ethnic preferences, we become the nastiest group of people who ever walked the face of the earth.

3. Another good thing about America is that when we are chasing the dream in the right way, we encourage excellence while simultaneously showing compassion to those who can’t measure up. I have no problem with being generous to weaker brothers and sisters, as long as we continue to admit what is really excellent, and refuse to drop the bar so as to include more of the populace. For example, I have no problem with you calling me obese– because I am. I don’t need you to raise the weight standards in order to make the terminology for my condition seem more pleasant. Excellence is excellence, and when it is not accomplished, we should give grace, while continuing to revere the standard.

4. And the final thing I think makes this country good is that at our heart, when we are free of social mediocrity, we do ask people to take personal responsibility for their lives. I do not care if you’re an atheist, gay, Republican, Democrat, man or woman. I want to know that if you run into the back of my car, you going to get out and hand me your insurance card, and own your mistake. If not, then you become a jerk who happens to be gay. Or a loser who is a woman. Or a cheater with male parts. Or a cop-out who is a Republican. Or a shirker who is a Democrat. Or an atheist–who is God-awful. Personal responsibility is what makes us valuable to ourselves. When we establish that worth, we are enlightening to others.

Now, these are the things that are good–but what crown would I place on them during this July 4th coronation? Here are the crowing achievements I think would not be terribly difficult, unrealistic or beyond the pale. As a matter of fact, to me, they just make sense:

1. Since we are a land of good liberty, let’s go ahead and denounce all aspects of our “gossip society.” Let’s stop living our lives through other people. Let’s stop targeting folks who are going through a hard time just so we can feel better about our own inadequacies. I have placed a moratorium on watching anything that attacks other people or gossips about them. If they are not interviewing the person directly involved in the situation or altercation, I will not  listen to other folks pontificate on the dilemma. If we are going to have a crown on our goodness, we have to stop gossiping.

2. Secondly, the crown I would add to the melting pot is to make sure that once and for all, we get rid of any word before claiming our brothers and sisters as Americans. I will never, ever again say “African American.” There isn’t a black person in this country who would last one single morning in Africa without being eaten by a lion. There isn’t one Asian in this country who would survive the hustle, bustle and crowded conditions of the east without ferociously complaining and running to buy a ticket back to Albuquerque. We are Americans–both generous and spoiled, both inventive and lazy. But one thing is certain–we are all the same.

3. The crowning achievement I would put on the encouragement of excellence is to begin to encourage innovation–with money. I don’t think we should ever fail to provide for the common need of those who are disabled or without resource. But I do think we need to make it clear that this is a country that rewards those who go the second mile. And by reward, I’m talking moolah. Instead of giving finance to those who have failed, let’s begin to give more capital to the true capitalists–those who have once again discovered America.

4. And to put a crown on personal responsibility–honor hard work. We live in a nation where the people who work the hardest make the least amount of money. I think we should continue to extol the value of education, but simply possessing a diploma does not guarantee anyone in a free market a ride to the penthouse. Work needs to be honored. As you sit on the highway, stalled by construction, angry at being delayed–make sure you take two minutes to thank God for those hardworking individuals who are out in the beating heat, trying to make your life ultimately easier. When we begin to honor work in this country instead of just flashing credentials, we will put a crown on responsibility and people will be proud once again to come home tired, with a paycheck that is growing instead of shrinking.

I am a patriot because I continue to fight for freedom instead of settling for the latest compromise. There is so much good in this country, but it is time for us to step up to the plate and crown that good … with brotherhood. And what would be the first step towards achieving brotherhood? I believe we could make an initial movement in that direction by stopping the emphasis on political parties and uplifting people with the courage to pursue any idea that includes everyone.

God bless America–but maybe we need to learn how to bless ourselves by crowning all of our good with a new burst of brotherhood.

   

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