Sit Down Comedy … April 26th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4027)


It is completely unlikely that anyone over the age of seventy in the United States of America has not heard, spoken or nervously laughed at a joke containing the “N word.” As painful as this may be, we were a country that was comfortable with bigotry.

Likewise, is there any chance that there’s a human being over the age of fifty who hasn’t stated, repeated or stood silent when the word “fag” was offered in an adult conversation? For years, this was the way we described anyone we deemed incapable of the tenacity, strength and energy to succeed.

And dare I say, there is probably no one over the age of twenty-five who has not referred or heard a reference to the female of our species as “bitch.”

It’s just the nature of our journey. We are born without the ability to walk, talk or use a spoon. We graduate from high school and enter grown-up land unable to solve problems, and therefore often opt for selfishness, in order to protect the little we have. As the old song says:

I wish I knew then what I know now.

But do you?

Do you really want to be the first white person in Montgomery, Alabama, who comes to the conclusion that Jim Crow laws are evil and must be overturned?

Do you desire to be the straight person, who during the AIDS pandemic of the mid-1980’s, decides to defend the gay community instead of insisting they brought a plague down on mankind?

And even more recently, do you want to believe the stories of women who were subjugated by domineering men, when it seems more popular, or at least politically acceptable, to come to the side of the accused, dominant, masculine figure?

There are no rewards for those who think ahead of their time.

Society has a history of putting to death those who finally clarify their message, especially when that proclamation is contrary to cultural standards and mores.

You can be popular—or you can be right.

You can’t be both.

It wasn’t even popular in 1863 to free the slaves, even though supposedly we were fighting a war to do so.

It wasn’t popular to take those same slaves—after the war was already over—and give them human and states’ rights.

It took us until 1919 to allow women a chance to vote—and even after that “lightbulb decision” was enacted, there were many places in our country where females were not allowed to serve on juries.

Being spiritually insightful, emotionally empathetic, mentally progressive and physically fit never places you in the forefront of anything.

BEING A LEADER MEANS…

If you decide to be a leader instead of a follower, you will lead alone—since the followers have already pledged their allegiance. Yet we, as a people, count on certain souls to walk a lonely path, pursue through resistance and overcome public opinion to bring us the solutions which lead us into a spirited life instead of rendering us dispirited.

As we judge candidates, senators, congressmen, President and judges, let us keep in mind that they gain their positions by either being voted in or approved. In order to get a vote or be approved, you have to get the blessing of those who walk in the present—not those who have the presence of mind to know where history is walking.

If I knew then what I know now, I would either have to forget it so I could still be fairly popular, or else decide to take the path untraveled—alone.


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Sit Down Comedy …March 15th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3985)


There were a few citizens of Springfield, Illinois, who were surprised when the city council did not nominate Maggie and Carl Johnson for consideration as “Parents of the Decade.” There were four nominations in all, but Maggie and Carl were not included.

The long arm of their charitable deeds had stretched across the entire townscape. Their oldest son was a banker, a daughter was a doctor, another daughter a lawyer, and a son was a Captain in the Marines. They seemed perfectly poised to take the prize.

But for many in the capital city, they were disqualified because their youngest son had raped and murdered nine women.

Even though it was common knowledge that he was inflamed by chemical addiction and haunted by mental illness, it still seemed inappropriate to the town fathers to grant Maggie and Carl consideration.

Likewise, two nights ago, I walked into my kitchen and smelled something. I followed my nose on a merry chase, and finally ended up standing over the garbage can, which obviously had something in it that was rotten and wanted the whole house to know. Even though the garbage bag was only a quarter filled, I yanked it out, tied it up and took it and threw it in the trash. It might have seemed rash and the waste of a still-productive garbage bag, but the odor made me do it.

The Christian faith must be prepared, along with its gospel of grace and kindly parables of Jesus, to understand that when humanity assesses the faith, the nasty deeds of the faltering fingertips of offending Catholic priests and the racial bigotry and violence of white supremacists who will swear on a stack of Bibles that “they did it all in Jesus’ name” will certainly need to be stirred in.

When we march around on July 4th, remembering the founding of our country, no truthful telling of the United States can be made without strolling through the back alley of our treatment of the Native Americans, the African-Americans and also a look into the rancid nature of our politics.

Dare I say that I will gladly join you on a quest to find the “good Muslims” if you will freely admit to me that the “bad Muslims” seem to have grabbed the microphone and are doing most of the talking for Mohamed’s children.

There are leaders, missions, governments, and faiths. They are led by human beings who make mistakes. This is not terminal. It’s not even deadly. But when those errors are hidden beneath a campaign to extol only the goodness of the endeavor, then Jesus warns us that it’s like splatting a coat of white paint on the outside of a grave.

We must all understand that the truth about us is what we believe minus what we do, with who we really are being the sum that remains.

 

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The E Word … March 5th, 2019

THE

WORD

 

There are words that are so vile with violence and bedeviled by bigotry that they should never be written or spoken again. But there are also words, shrouded with sinister self-righteousness, which are equally poisoned.

Such is the case with our E word this week:

EXCEPTIONAL

From the Greeks feeling philosophically elevated to the Romans commanding allegiance through their powerful armies, to the Jews believing they were “the Chosen Ones,” to the touting of a Holy Roman Empire, there have always been cultures, races and faiths that have attempted to establish their dominance over fellow-humans.

I must be candid. My skin crawls whenever I hear my American brothers and sisters bolstering our national ego by referring to the United States as “exceptional.” It is the kind of blatant arrogance that made us pursue “manifest destiny,” stealing land from a native people, while simultaneously shipping in souls from Africa to become our slaves.

It is evil—not just because it is pompous and misrepresents reality, but because it works hand in hand with two other failing thoughts.

For you see, people who think they are exceptional eventually believe they are superior. And those who proclaim they are superior eventually insist they are supreme.

After World War I, the German people were devastated in morale and financially destitute. A little man came with a huge idea. He told the German people they didn’t need to be the doormat of the world. He raised the consciousness of their Germanic roots. He told them they were exceptional.

In doing so, he stirred the pride of the nation. They began to rebuild.

Once they contended that they were exceptional, the evil little fellow then told them that they were superior.

He gave them a common enemy. By the end of the 1930’s, nearly every German, in some capacity, believed that he or she was superior to a Jew.

But to go to war, the small man, who in the meantime had become their dictator, needed to convince them they were supreme—a Super Race. This became something worth dying for—at least tens of thousands of them believed so. Unfortunately, it was not a suicide mission, but also took the lives of hundreds of thousands of other people who had to break the hypnotic spell.

Yet I will tell you, preaching “exceptionalism” is not different just because it is hatched in America. The notion is already beginning to make us contend that certain individuals are superior to others, and if we’re not careful, we will start reacting as if we are supreme.

Exceptional is a word that not even God will use. The Good Book makes it clear that He is no “respecter of persons.” If God makes no distinctions among His creation, why in the hell do we think we can?

“Exceptional” is our E word—a misguided attempt to build patriotism or national pride by ignoring the beauty of commonality and the glory of “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”


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The A Word … February 5th, 2019

THE

WORD


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3945)

My assumption is that it began with “the f word.”

Feeling that we were very proper, members of our society began refusing to even say the word f-u-c-k, but instead referred to it as “that f word.” The immediate foolishness of this approach is that every time you say “the f word,” everyone listening sounds out the word “fuck” in their minds.

When we added “the n word” to it, thinking we were sparing an entire race of people anger and humiliation, we just gave bigots a way to promote the word.

Likewise with “the c word.”

So I am doing a series on every letter of the alphabet—how each one has a naughty word that most people think should not be spoken aloud, due to its severity or profanity.

Using my recollection of the alphabet from my kindergarten class, I think that takes us to the letter A.

THE A WORD IS ASSHOLE

The “a word” falling into this category is asshole.

The word is a game changer.

For instance, you can say to someone, “I am disgusted with you.” They may be slightly offended by your observation but not devastated.

You could even say, “I can’t stand your attitude.” It’s stinging, but not a mortal wound.

But when you add onto those thoughts a closing remark of, “you are an asshole,” the whole temperature and intensity of the event changes. The reason for your original objection gets buried under an avalanche of offense. Why?

You will discover over these twenty-six weeks, as we investigate each of these words, that they convey a hidden meaning.

Calling someone an asshole says that you believe their actions, lifestyle and motivations are located at the place in the ass where shit comes out.

Therefore, you’re saying the following three things:

  1. “You are less than me.” (That in itself could be fighting words)
  2. “You don’t have rights.” (Now the person you offended is ready for a fight)
  3. “You are worthless.” (Let the punching begin.)

Words that have proven themselves to be so poisonous that they have to be referred to by a single letter always find their birthing in human bigotry. Over the years, they have been portrayed comically and even presented off-handedly. But at their root is the notion of superiority.

This is how Hitler was able to convince the German people that the Jews were rats. In other words, “they are less than us, they don’t have rights and therefore, they’re worthless.”

So rather than presenting this word as immoral, or a term that “good people just don’t use,” we need to realize that “asshole” is still being used—because bigotry has not been adequately exposed.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Overcome Bigotry)


DON’T LOOK FOR DIFFERENCES

We’re still living in a comical society which believes that human beings are tinted black, red, yellow and white.

It’s totally ridiculous.

The extent of the color of human skin lands somewhere between brown and cream. There may be a few people that are actually black, and scientifically it is proven that there are albinos, who are completely white. But most of us have skin color which is somewhere between brown and cream.

Based upon this philosophy of hue we have developed cultures which supposedly separate us—either by evolution or the natural design of a Creator.

This contention is not only errant, it is not only evil, it is not only appalling, but it is flat-out a crock of shit.

HUMAN HARMONY

The greatest thing you can do to create human harmony is to spend your life finding the similarities you have with all your Earthly cousins who live North, South, East and West. Stop buying into the idea that little differences in taste, clothing and mannerisms have any lasting effect on who we really are.

There is one race and always will be—the human race.

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3924)

Sitting Two

Weeks passed.

A friendship was forged.

Dreams were discussed.

Such sweet relationship—made possible when both souls are not afraid to share their hearts.

Somewhere along the way, Jubal and Amir forgot that they were supposed to be enemies. Unfortunately, this caused them to be careless and brought the scrutiny of overly concerned friends and anxious parents.

It was bizarre.

No one was exactly willing to forbid the relationship, nor was anyone ready to verbalize his or her own bigotry. It was assessed, and therefore assumed, that the friendship between the two lads was impractical and taking up too much time.

“Are you saying I cannot see Amir?” Jubal demanded.

“I am saying that Amir’s family, like ours, probably has many duties for their own son that cannot be shirked for playtime,” Jubal’s father stated.

“Did you answer my question?” Jubal stood defiantly.

“I would like you to stop seeing the little Palestinian boy. It is too dangerous,” he replied frankly.

“Dangerous?” asked Jubal.

Jubal’s father rose, striking a threatening pose. “I do not have time to explain to my son the ways of the world, which he should already understand by now.”

“Well, I don’t understand,” said Jubal, hand on his hip, stomping his foot.

What should have been the beginning of a good discussion was ended abruptly, the patriarch leaving Jubal to mope.

But this time, the boy didn’t. Instead, he reasoned. A plan was devised. Perhaps not really a plan—more a notion. One of those fledgling ideas absent a body of detail.

It was simple in its way. In the minds of young Amir and Jubal, it was more important to be together, having fun, than it was to accept what was considered to be “the reasonable way.”

Or was it just one threat too many?

At any rate, each fellow gathered his provisions and scouted out a location.

“It must be far from the village on a small rise, so visitors can be viewed in the distance,” said Amir.

“And be shaded by some trees,” Jubal contributed.

For Jubal and Amir were planning on running away. They had their reasons. What they needed was a place to go. They would not stay away forever—an afternoon, a day, a week—who can tell such things? Yet a statement needed to be made, and in the meantime they could be joined as one.

Jubal brought a small tent, some bread, water, a collection of games and a few pictures. Amir brought food and water, too, along with a partially deflated soccer ball and extra clothing.

Having selected their location and planned their escape, one morning two households awoke, each absent a son. Amir and Jubal were together—at least for now.

And when you’re twelve, now is all that matters.

 

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Jonathots … December 11th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3883)

handbook for touching

The light of the body is the eye

If the eye is evil, then the whole body is filled with darkness. But if the eye is clear, then the whole being can be illuminated.

Honestly, these words can sound like a bunch of gibberish if they’re not understood. This is the trouble with a lot of deep philosophy and passages that insist they are “spiritual.”

Let me phrase it this way:

Your eyes belong to you, but what you see was programmed by others.

Even though you may insist that you are the master of your own thinking and the manipulator of your vision, there is so much programming that’s gone into you–from childhood, schooling, experiences, defeats, failures and pain–which clouds your vision and only presents the images that memory will offer.

We are very critical of prejudice, but the fact of the matter is, nearly all of our preconceived ideas are deeply ingrained within our consciousness long before we have a chance to vote on whether to accept them or not.

This affects our touch.

If we don’t like what we see, we don’t want to get near it. If we don’t want to get near it, we avoid it and fear it. And once we’ve decided that someone or some group is foreign, then it becomes necessary for us to rationalize our choice by attempting to prove that the forbidden topic, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is hampered by evil.

Thus, white people who grow up in a bigoted environment really do think the black race looks a bit like monkeys. That’s how they were taught to see them. Therefore, that’s how they view them. The end result is, they decide not to be around them and the unity brought on by touch is forsaken.

Likewise, black parents who teach their children that Latinos are lazy and not to be trusted raise children that purposely avoid anyone with light brown skin, unless there’s enough pigment to welcome them as black brothers and sisters.

Also, the Latinos do it with the Asians, and within their own culture, assuming that Cubans are better than Dominicans, and Asians assuming that Chinese are superior to Japanese.

Once our eyes have been fitted with a pair of glasses by our upbringing, making us see the world in a certain way, then our bigotry becomes a spectacle.

Because once we’re afraid–once our “eyeballing” of other human beings promotes darkness in our minds, we are certainly not going to want to be near them, to shop with them, to go to church with them or to ever risk touching them.

Without touch there is no fellowship. Without fellowship there is no commonality, and without commonality, there is alienation.

Take some time during this Christmas season to consider the vision you have of life–the way you see those around you.

Are you controlling your own perception? Or do you have people you were taught were “untouchables?”

Because if you’re not willing to touch people with the tenderness of your hands, you will certainly end up fighting them with your fists.

 

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