Sit Down Comedy … January 18th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sometime back, but still in my retainable memory, I was invited to speak at a youth convention.

It started out slow, as those kinds of gigs often do until the audience realizes you are acceptable and hearable. It ended beautifully, with enthusiasm, passion and even a few tears. I was feeling so inspired that I turned to the gathered and said, “God, you guys look great.”

Afterward, I was greeted by the sponsor of the event, who seemed to lack my joy. He shared that he was greatly uplifted by the message I imparted to the students, but found the use of the word “God” in my closing to be a classic case of using the Lord’s name in vain.

OMG.

Move ahead a little while and it is such a common phrase that we have an Internet abbreviation for it.

I ran across the same problem over the years when I appeared in front of pristine-thinking audiences, using the word “crap.” Once again, move ahead, and I’ve even heard “crap” used in prayers: “Lord, save us from all this crap.”

We get nowhere with language by thinking that certain words are perverse, others are acceptable and a chosen few are supreme.

Let me give you an example:

I have a bottom. I don’t call it a bottom very often, because the occasion to use that word doesn’t arise, and I don’t feel the need to ever be that formal. So instead, I may say, “I’m going to sit on my backside.”

That’s about as vanilla as I can get. I refuse to use the word “tush.” Sometimes when I’m trying to motivate myself, I will say, “I got off my butt and finished dinner.” (“Butt” in this case is required to express to the hearer that a process was necessary to change my stationary position to an active one.)

I would never say, “I got off my derriere and finished dinner.”

Moving along, if I were referring to a woman’s attractive backside today, I might call it a “booty,” only to be playful. But I don’t think I would get the same reaction from her or anyone else by saying, “She certainly has an attractive gluteus maximus.”

Words justify us—meaning they make us come across clearly—or they condemn us—causing us to sound foul or overly cautious.

I have to be honest with you—if I were discussing the government of the United States in its present stand-off, I would certainly put forth this sentence: “The government should get off its ass and fix some things.”

I wouldn’t use “bottom” and I wouldn’t use “butt.” In this case, the word “ass” has a double meaning. It refers both to their languishing position as well as their attitudes, which prevent them from being proactive.

Do you see what I mean?

We need to stop this foolish, politically correct mindset regarding the American language. If a word communicates, it communicates.

For instance, I never say, “I’m going to have a bowel movement,” but I might say, “The baby did a poop.”

If I run across something that’s plain bull, I will call it crap.

If someone is being mistreated and bigotry is being fostered, I might spout, “What the shit is going on?”

If you feel that I should say, “What the potty is going on?” I think you’re either being insincere or you should find a time machine and join us here in the twenty-first century.

Stop looking for whether words are perverse, righteous, foul or sacred. Start noticing how they fit into sentences or questions that communicate the depth of our passion.


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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I want to see people healed–not make them sick of me.

 

Dear Woman: I want to learn, not just repeat what I think I know.

 

Dear Man: I want to give a dollar to a poor man–not wonder what he’s going to do with it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to pray with people, not at them.

 

Dear Man: I want to look in people’s eyes instead of thinking about who they are sleeping with.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be remembered for laughing instead of remembering the past.

 

Dear Man: I want to love my country instead of hoping the President or Congress fail.

 

Dear Woman: I want to have God come out of my actions instead of my mouth.

 

Dear Man: I want to crap in the toilet instead of on people.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy a colorful person instead of noticing colorful skin.

 

Dear Man: I want to shut up rather than being a know-it-all.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy the money I’ve got instead of bitching about money.

 

Dear Man: I want to find a better me instead of constantly explaining myself.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be sorry instead of proud.

 

Dear Man: I want to see need instead of creating it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be a human instead of a phony god.

 

Dear Man: Sir, we have much in common.

 

Dear Woman: My lady, we certainly do.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

(He takes the television remote, punches pause, sighs and leans back in his chair)

Dear Man: What’s wrong? I thought you wanted to watch a movie.

 

Dear Woman: I did.
Dear Man: So what’s going on? Why the pause?

 

Dear Woman: I just get tired of these flicks portraying men and women at odds, always fussing with each other–acting like “pretend fighting” is funny, and even flirtatious.

 

Dear Man: Oh, I just don’t take it seriously. It’s just entertainment.

 

Dear Woman: But isn’t entertainment supposed to entertain you instead of annoy you? And by the way, without being mean-spirited here, it does affect you.

 

Dear Man: In what way?

 

Dear Woman: Sometimes–I’m not saying all the time–both you and I play the little game we see in the movies of poking at each other, thinking it’s funny.

 

Dear Man: Oh, you’re thinking too much.

 

Dear Woman: That’s probably the first time you’ve ever said that to me. But truthfully, what comes through our eyes and ears does penetrate us. Aren’t movies supposed to do that?

 

Dear Man: I never thought of it that way. So what is it that troubles you the most?

 

Dear Woman: It’s the bickering. The “pretend fighting.” The ongoing idea that men and women can’t peacefully co-exist until they decide to get along by having make-up sex.

 

Dear Man: Wow. Is it that serious?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. I think it’s worse than that. I think there is a sensation that if men and women don’t fume, romance can’t bloom.

 

Dear Man: So how do you think it should be? Are there conflicts?

 

Dear Woman: Let’s look at it this way. Both of us eat. Both of us sleep. Both of us pee. Both of us crap. Both of us think. Both of us laugh. Both of us cry. I could go on and on. The similarities we possess are enormous, but we decide to focus on a tiny list of differences.

 

Dear Man: Such as…?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I can’t have a baby. And you probably can’t lift a hundred and fifty pounds. I can’t nurse my child. Yet you don’t have the seed to make an offspring. Those should be enhancements.

 

Dear Man: I still believe you’re over-thinking it.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But I have to tell you, the white people in America came out to minstrel shows and laughed their heads off over actors in black face who were fussing, arguing, doing dumb things and generating what was considered comedic pratfalls. As long as the black race was the butt of a joke, there was no chance for equality.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t humor a release?

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But it’s also a weapon, to keep real feelings at bay so we can insert prejudices.

 

Dear Man: So what do you suggest?

 

Dear Woman: A really simple solution. If it’s important enough to feel, it’s important enough to say, instead of hiding behind some frustration by using a lame joke.

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Cracked 5 … May 31st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

The First Word or Phrase a Baby Might Say If He or She Were Not Coerced by Parents to Speak “Ma-ma” or “Da-da”

A. Oh, crap

 

B. What’s wrong with my legs?

 

C. Breasts!!

 

D. Food with taste, please?

 

E. Donald Trump?!??!

Cracked 5 baby

 

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Surprise … April 7, 2014

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car van grillMy itinerary and the front end of my van took me this morning to a time of fellowship and celebration in Surprise, Arizona.

They were lovely folk.

I suppose if you’re a continual, or even occasional, reader of my column, you may get a little weary of the general application of the word “lovely” that I use in describing human beings. I should clarify. When I say I met lovely folk, I mean that they surprised me.

Some of them surprised me with how clinging they are. Others surprised me with their reaching aspect. Both groups are intriguing.

Those who are clinging often find that my simple sharing and homespun ideas fail to confirm their ongoing desire for complexity.

They would much rather cling to their tradition, which I would classify as religion minus a true understanding of humanity. (I don’t know what good it does to believe in a God who doesn’t know crap about people.) Yet some people cling to aspects of practice and precepts that bring very little satisfaction to either body or soul.

They are also clinging to fear. Following suit, I would define fear as replacing understanding with a purposeful choice to remain ignorant.

And finally, they seem to be completely fulfilled with inadequacy. If they don’t have enough money it’s “God’s will” or “the devil’s doing.” If they’re sick, it’s “the Lord testing them” or “the devil chasing them.”

Clinging is not a very attractive attribute. So I’m surprised when I run across those people who continue to pursue such an unfulfilling path–and will project their disapproval of my liberty by snubbing any of my thoughts.

But likewise, I’m surprised when I run across people who are reaching. They’re reaching for a message. It will be difficult to propel a spiritual awakening in this country by using symbolism instead of hardcore ideas. The cross may be an emblem of our faith, but it is the Sermon on the Mount that truly personifies the heart of Jesus.

They’re also reaching for a chance:

  • A chance to become something.
  • A chance to do something.
  • A chance to use their talent instead of complaining about absence or rustiness.

AND FINALLY

They’re reaching for repentance. Nothing happens on earth if you’re not willing to evolve towards the source of greater wisdom. This requires that we admit our frailty and embrace our solution.

Clinging is the opposite of reaching, which is the process for discovering a better use for your hands.

So Surprise, Arizona, was like every other place I am so blessed to infiltrate during my pilgrimage. There were clinging people and reaching people.

And both of them I find lovely–simply because those who are reaching benefit from my philosophy and those who are clinging are blessed by my mercy. 

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UNTOTALED: Stepping 7–Tackling Laziness (September 4th, 1965) … March 22, 2014

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(Transcript)

Starting the seventh grade scared the crap out of me.

Actually, that particular cliché doesn’t fit very well because when you’re entering junior high school in a new building, the idea of any sound or bodily fluid coming out of your being is completely terrifying.

You want to simultaneously be invisible and also appreciated, which of course, is not only socially impossible, but scientifically implausible.

I had spent the week before school began begging my mother to allow me to go out for the football team. She was afraid I would get injured. This was a maternal prophetic sensation, long before the recent onslaught of concussions and head injuries. What was comical, though, about this assertion on her part was that I was nearly six feet tall and weighed three hundred pounds. The coach joked with her, when trying to solicit her support, that it would be more likely that I would hurt other children.

I whined, cajoled, pleaded, promised, praised, complimented and cleaned my room up enough to get her to agree to allow me to try out for the team.

So September 4th, 1965, was not just the first day of horror in the new junior high school. It was also my first day to go out after school and practice with the football team.

The trials continued when they were unable to find a pair of football pants to fit me.  (This was the era when men’s sizes stopped at extra-large, and anyone who needed anything bigger must order it from the sheep herders of Tibet.) So I wore a pair of tennis shoes and blue Dickey work pants to work out with the other guys, who were in suitable apparel. (They did find a helmet that fit my head, since the term fat-head is merely an urban legend.)

It became obvious to me immediately, on that small practice field, what I liked and what I didn’t.

  • I loved the game.
  • I loved tackling.
  • I loved thinking about what was going to happen next.

On the other hand, I hated exercise in all of its contorted, convoluted and fastidiously constructed forms. After all, every exercise program is really geared to skinny people–even the ones which insist they are trying to appeal to the obese. Their speculations always exceed our limitations.

I hated sprints, calisthenics, too much running of any type, and all the drills which they insisted were essential for becoming a great football player.

I endured the sport for three years, but finally my laziness regarding exercise overtook my love of the gridiron.

Maybe if I’d had the right kick in the pants from an authority figure, or perhaps mercy at the right moments and toughness at others, I might have continued playing the game. I don’t know.

But because I didn’t tackle laziness on the football field, it took me too many years to overcome that gooey, drippy vice that drags one down, draining off potential.

So the next time you run across a kid who has ability, but not much drive, please don’t assume that you should leave him alone.

I was left alone. And fascinatingly enough–it was just lonely.

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Rebirth Certificate… December 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2096)

birthdayJonI was born.

Although present, I retain no memory. Apparently there were people who were excited about the idea, who later became overwhelmed with the duties and responsibility and eventually settled into a nearly comical profile, blending pride and disappointment. Funny thing about family–it is often touted as our greatest benefactor. But truthfully, it’s more like investors grumbling over the return.

They gave me a certificate at my birth to confirm that the appearance actually happened–that I was not an alien and therefore was qualified, or at least permitted, to be President of the United States if I reached such an arrogant and ridiculous conclusion.

As wonderful as it is to be born of the wife of my father, I have found this year that to be born of Mother Nature and honoring my Father in heaven to be an even greater transformation.

Yes, this year I feel like I have received a “Rebirth Certificate.” It was really quite simple to procure. After all my years of earth travel, I have finally surrendered to a pair of principles that make everything work together to the good:

  1. Don’t expect too much.
  2. Don’t get offended.

That’s it.

If you can remind yourself of these two ideas every day, you can finish out with the setting of the sun having a joyous resignation to reality.

Of course, the society I live in denies these two precepts and replaces them with “dream big and don’t take crap off of anyone.” Matter of fact, you can get a cheer in almost any gathering by proclaiming your uniqueness, individuality and determination that you will not be overcome.

Not me.

Today is my birthday, so I’m going to tell you what I’m celebrating:

  • I have taken this year to lessen my need and increase my gift.
  • I have used these 365 days to find a way to accept my surroundings as the available climate for my next endeavor.
  • I have reached inside myself to find the Kingdom of God instead of demanding that others adhere to my theology or moral code.
  • I have challenged the only person I am able to affect: the one who stares back at me in the mirror.
  • I have realized that the treatment I receive from strangers has nothing to do with me, but rather, their ongoing struggle with understanding their own birth.
  • And those people who are determined to hurt me waste valuable time that they could be using to pursue their own personal excellence.

It is a “Rebirth Certificate.” I don’t expect too much and I try real hard not to get offended.

Since I have no recollection of my initial forthcoming from my mother’s womb, if you don’t mind, I will celebrate this new experience.

Born again.

Yes, I think I finally get it.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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