Moratorium… December 18, 2012

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Jon Signing

It worked with littering.

There was a time in our society when it was commonplace to dump your trash exactly where you were, even if it was on the street. It sounds bizarre today, but it’s true. Our country was becoming overridden with all sorts of teeming refuse. So what did we do?

We made it unpopular to litter.crying Indian

In like manner, there was a season in our history when being prejudiced against people with color in their skin was not only deemed normal, but rational. We mock that kind of bigotry in this day and age. But how did we change it? We made hating people of different color stupid.

Take the case of abortion. There are not nearly as many abortions as there were at one time. I attribute that drop in the number of terminated pregnancies to a very simple statement that was uttered about two decades ago. It was a slogan which stated that “abortion should be legal, but rare.”

We are a people of great intuition when we actually decide to call out our foolishness instead of hiding behind civil liberties, individual choices, state’s rights and fear of admitting our wrongs. Here are some easy statements:

  • Littering isn’t good because it makes a mess.
  • Bigotry is a negative force because it alienates people who could be productive.
  • Abortion needs to be guided in such a manner that human life is given the greatest respect possible.

Likewise, guns and violence need to be showcased for what they truly are and not what they are glamorized to be in order to generate the next blockbuster or promote an arcane freedom that is no longer useful to the common man.

I am declaring a moratorium.

For those of you who do not know what a moratorium is, it is a cease and desist order from my soul to the world around me, to proclaim that I will no longer indulge in a certain activity.

And what is that activity? Viewing, playing around with or musing over violence against human beings.

For instance, if we treated the car the same way as the gun, we would raise our children to believe that when they received their driver’s license, they should go out and drive as fast as they could, hit as many people as possible and dramatically crash into the side of a wall, leaping from the vehicle, giggling over surviving the ordeal.

After all, we don’t show guns being used to hunt deer. Nobody’s making a movie about the great fun one has at a target range. There are no documentaries presently being filmed about the various ways to clean a gun to make it look more presentable or work better. Every depiction of the gun in entertainment, news reports, warfare and even literature shows it as an implement to destroy, mutilate and murder human flesh.

Even within my own circle of friends and family, there are people who enjoy shows like Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Dexter, CSI and other programming for which sole purpose is to show the decapitation, destruction and decimation of the human body. I know people who would insist they are peace-loving individuals who sit for hours with a video game, becoming mass murderers via a push of the button.

It’s time for a moratorium How would you enact that? I plan on fasting violence. I have no intentions of watching  shows that are geared to expelling blood from the body of human beings to kill them off for the purpose of entertainment. I am declaring it disgusting. I am tired of having our society littered with the belief that human beings are cattle which can be slaughtered and turned into hamburger Mine will be a three-step process:

  1.  Fast violence. Stop watching death and destruction.
  2. Cease to accept violence as legitimate entertainment, but rather, proclaim it to be what it is: genocide pornography.
  3. Confront those who continue to watch it and ask them for their motivation.

I challenge my own children to join me in this endeavor. We cannot sit around and pretend we are appalled by what happend in our country as our children were gunned down in their school, and then pop in video games and movies that duplicate the same insane butchery.

I am not connoting that limiting violence in entertainment will eliminate these heinous acts. I am just saying that as sane people, when it is in our power to address a portion of the problem simply by dispelling the barbarian actions and irresponsible presentation of bloodshed, that we have a duty to stop littering our own minds and cease to encourage others who are weaker in spirit and character, to be tempted by the visions.

Violence is wrong. If you’ve ever been in a room when somebody cut their finger while dicing onions and you saw the horror on their face over a simple one-inch nick, you will grasp exactly how unnatural it truly feels for blood to leave our bodies.

So how can you watch the foul play as blood is sprayed everywhere across the screen, and think you’re doing anything but promoting a piece of insanity which will certainly eventually have to be tempered–or will be duplicated by the weak-minded.

I am declaring a moratorium. Today is my birthday and I am taking the license as a human being of maturity and experience to declare that I, for one, am going to fast violence. You want a place to begin? There you go.

And I will tell you that if enough people do this, entertainment will change, society will shift and gun use will be legal, but rare.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Painted Pigs … September 20, 2012

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One of the more intriguing chores while traveling on the road is arriving in a new community, establishing a headquarters and locating a grocer who doesn’t charge too much for basic grits and gravy. We used to eat out a lot at restaurants, but that is not only expensive, but much too high in calories and filled with so many unknowns that one feels like a culinary explorer. So we find it much more healthy and wise to eat off of plates instead of styrofoam.

In this pursuit in Marion, Indiana, I was cruising along in my van and was startled to look on one of the corners and see a pig. Now viewing myself as an individual with an open mind, I was willing to accept that in a small farming town, a pig might be allowed to wander at will. But upon careful inspection, I saw that this particular pig was purple, with stripes, and had flowers on his backside. Even though I’m not a farm boy and not very acquainted with the fashion statements of the herd, I was still pretty sure that this was unusual. With a more intense second glance, I realized that this was not a living pig, but rather, a ceramic or tin one, sitting on a street corner, decorated–painted, if you will.

It looked very authentic–so realistic that I was a bit creeped out by the whole experience; because as I turned to the right, there was another one–this particular one, plaid. Straight ahead of me was yet another, adorned in some sort of bonnet.

They were everywhere.

Even though I have lived for many decades on this planet, I suddenly realized that … I don’t like pigs. I don’t know what the source of this disdain for the creature may be. Maybe it’s because I read Animal Farm. Or was it that CSI episode, where they explained that if you threw a dead human  body into a pig pen, that within twenty-four-hours the pigs would eat everything, including the bones. (You have to admit, that’s creepy.)

I kind of think it goes back to the fact that when I was a small child, Porky Pig freaked me out. He was dumb. Or maybe not. But he stuttered. And he was always–pardon the expression–the butt of every joke.

And of course, the Bible doesn’t do anything to help the image of your basic porker. Jesus says not to “cast pearls before swine.” And we also have a gruesome image of hogs running down a hill, possessed by demons, leaping off a cliff and drowning in the water below.

So as I drove through town, I realized that what they were attempting to accomplish was a cute, quaint tipping-of-the-straw-hat to the rural culture that had formed the backbone of their community. And I do have to admit that painted cows on the corners of the street would not have been any more relaxing to this tourist. But there are swans. Ducks. Sheep might even have been better. But pigs … are best “baconed,” ribbed, barbecued, and chopped. And even then, they ultimately get their revenge by hanging around to clog up our arteries and terminate our lives.

I have since been back to the Marion community three times, and have not yet gotten used to the painted pigs. I still fail to remember that they are there and that they’re not really alive, and one time even reflexively slammed on my brakes, thinking that one of them was about to run out in front of me. So if the goal of Marion, Indiana is to present something intriguing or memorable for those individuals passing through their village, they really missed the mark with me. Pigs on the corner of the street do not bring out notions of warmth–fireplaces and farm houses with grain silos filled with provision and goodness. No. Pigs are … piggy.

So in my opinion, it would be better to select some other way to bring coloration to your community. Because honestly, if you’re not supposed to cast your pearls before swine, it probably would be true that putting pearls on swine isn’t any more effective.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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