Sit Down Comedy … June 5th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan.

A triple threat in alliteration.

She is forty-six years old, the mother of three children who range in age from twenty-one down to a precocious ten.

She is the assistant manager at the local Nordstroms, where she has been employed for twenty years, ascending in the ranks, and well-respected.

The date is November 8th, 2016.

Mary was awake early that morning. She had lost her battle with insomnia hours earlier, trying to remain still as a mouse, hoping that sleep would be merciful to her fatigue. Giving up, she rose, made coffee and cinnamon toast—one of her favorites—and prepared for the day in the quiet of a very chilly pre-dawn kitchen.

She had one thought on her mind: should she go vote before work, or wait until afterwards and possibly face long lines?

Actually, that wasn’t the primary question. What had been haunting her mind for weeks was whether she could cast a vote in good conscience either way.

Politically, Mary was a moderate.

At least, moderate for Michigan.

She had voted for her share of Democrats and a similar array of Republicans. She felt she was informed and believed herself to be open-minded to opportunities offered by both parties. But the past few months had left her in a whirl, dizzy from disjointed facts and accusations.

Donald Trump seemed unqualified to be President, but his journey as a mature man of business seemed respectable.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, seemed more prepared for the position, but less sure-footed in the midst of entanglements.

But still, that wasn’t the real problem.

Deep in her heart, Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, felt that everything was just moving too fast.

She wasn’t against progress–she was upset about the speed being used to achieve it.

So many issues.

Abortion, for instance.

Mary believed a woman should have the right to choose the conclusions of her life, but she was uncomfortable about how the subject of abortion—the termination of a fetus—had become so cavalier. She especially hated the phrase, “abortion on demand.”

Wasn’t a little more humility in order?

Mary also knew she didn’t hate gay people. She was one of the first ones in her local church to rally behind the idea of civil unions.

But lickety-split, she was expected to not only honor gay marriage, but to be supportive of it whenever it was brought up, so she wouldn’t come across as a homophobe.

It felt unfair.

After all, the world of psychology and psychiatry had, for decades if not centuries, contended that homosexuality was aberrant behavior which required treatment.

Now, since that diagnosis had been recently abandoned, they expected Mary and all the American people to quickly shed several generation’s worth of comprehension and join the parade.

It was fast.

Mary wanted equal pay for women in the workplace, but when she rallied with those struggling to achieve this worthy goal, she found herself in the midst of some who decried motherhood and made fun of the simpler values Mary held dear.

Mary was especially troubled by the spiritual indifference, which seemed to reject any soul who believed in God, deeming such a person irrational or uneducated.

Everything was so quick.

Marijuana becoming legal. If marijuana was so safe, why did the people who smoked it always portray it in their movies as a brain-staller—and a pathway leading to no motivation?

And then—the candidates themselves.

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, was very worried about a man who mocked women, weaker folks and other nationalities with a sneer. But on the other hand, how could she support a woman like Hillary Clinton, who defended her husband’s mistreatment of a twenty-one-year-old intern in the White House, and even to this day, joined into the attacks against poor Monica?

As Mary sipped her coffee in the kitchen, she heard rumblings from the bedrooms above.

Soon her family would join her. Her thoughts would be blended with their desires.

Realizing how important her decision was, she scurried around, deciding to leave for work, going to the polls early to beat the rush.

She called out her good-byes and best wishes for the day, jogged to her car, got in and drove off.

She was nearly to the polling station when she veered off at a graveyard. She sat, staring at the frosty granite stones. Still they were—and at peace.

In a moment of deep reflection, she asked herself what all these people who had once lived would want her to do.

Who would they want her to vote for?

Mary just wished that one of those who wanted to be President of the United States would acknowledge that affairs, nations, wars and social revisions were happening at such a rapid pace that we all needed a deep breath—just to appreciate where we are, who we are and what we’re about to undertake.

Was there an order in it?

Did civil rights come before women’s rights or abortion rights?

It all seemed to be happening at the same time.

Was she supposed to feel some beckoning or even a requirement to vote for a woman since she was a woman herself? Maybe she would have felt differently if Hillary had even visited Michigan—instead of assuming that the unions and the black vote “had it in the bag.”

The Democrats took too much for granted, and the Republicans granted so very little.

Time was passing.

She had a tiny window—about twenty minutes—to go vote and still get to Nordstroms for her shift.

But after weeks—perhaps months—of deliberation, she was no further along.

So she made a very quick decision in her troubled mind.

That night, as Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, watched the election returns, she was so troubled that she felt a chill go down her spine.

Donald Trump was winning. Would he rise to the occasion and be a great President?

Should Hillary have been the one?

Even though the campaign had drug on for more than a year-and-a-half, now it all seemed to be too quick. Too speedy.

Mary was not a bigot.

Mary was not conservative.

Mary was certainly not liberal either—not by present standards.

Mary didn’t hate anyone.

But Mary also didn’t favor people just because they were of a certain color or even just because they were victimized.

As the night wore on, it gradually became more obvious and then official.

Donald J. Trump would be the President of the United States.

Mary didn’t know what to feel.

Maybe she was a little relieved that there wouldn’t be any more Clintons in Washington, but also a bit frightened that a real estate developer would be leading the greatest nation on Earth.

But most of all, she was in turmoil about herself.

For she had gone to work—and didn’t vote.

Populie: Vox Populi … July 30, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2307)

The Thinker

The term is Latin for “the voice of the people.”

So today we will discuss the populie of vox populi.

I, for one, would find it fascinating to actually hear the voice of the people. Instead I am inundated in a news cycle which has a simple philosophy: “Who’s screaming the loudest? And please put a camera on them.”

Even though I would not call myself an authority on the American public, having traveled across this country for decades, interacting with hundreds of thousands of people, I do feel confident to advance the following:

  • America is not conservative.
  • America is not liberal.
  • America is not Republican.
  • America is not Democrat.
  • America is not religious.
  • America is not secular.
  • America is not intellectual.
  • America is not ignorant.

All the extremes pushed to the forefront in the pursuit of gaining ratings and pleasing advertisers have absolutely nothing to do with the actual vox populi.

The average American of every race and intellect has two desires:

A.  Give me a climate in which I can be financially solvent and pusue my interests and goals.

B.  Let me do this pursuing with as little interferance and as peacably as possible.

If you have a name for that philosophical stance, you can probably capsulize the American spirit.

But religion, politics and entertainment feel the need to generate a national angst which they feel either fills pews, jams the voting box or sells cinema tickets.

Honestly, when you get out there in the middle of humanity, these issues, ideas, conflicts and even preferences don’t register.

Truthfully, we often tune in the news, watch a movie or listen to some pundit rally for his or her cause at our own peril.

If you’re going to run a wise course through this raging gauntlet of screaming extremes, please take a look at three principles which will aid you in negotiating the obstacles of fury:

1. See how something feels in silence.

Never respond immediately to a fiery sermon.. Never read something on the Internet, assume it’s true and pass the gossip along. Find a quiet place, run it over in your mind and realize that if your spirit doubts the validity of the extreme statement, then your spirit is probably right.

Silence is the environment where ideas can be segregated off into those inspirations that benefit us from the clamor that feed on our prejudices.

2. Can this idea being trumpeted be accomplished without hurting people?

We have become too cavalier in our treatment of human life and the feelings of others. I have never believed that the end justifies the means, but I will go so far as to say that the end does not even justify the bad attitudes. If you find yourself angry enough that you lose civility, you have probably swallowed a devilish glob of nonsense.

3. Has this concept worked in the past, is it able to be applied now and does it have a future?

If you cannot find a grandfather to your idea, then fathering it is not terribly intelligent. And if you feel led to father an idea, understand that your grandchildren will be left to pick up the results–and the bill.

There are things in the past that certainly needed to be changed. But there are truths that endure from the past which cannot be thrown aside just so we can call ourselves progressive.

The voice of the people is not determined by the loudest screamer. We will never convince the media to stop pointing the camera at the most outlandish sight.

But we can listen for the voice of the people in the whisper of common sense in our own soul, telling us to pursue excellence … and pass up really obnoxious ideas.

 

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