Salient … April 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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We called him “Denny the Dork” because we were twelve-year-old jackasses. He was socially awkward, walking around in a mental fog from the bog.

We could have been nicer, but when you’re twelve years old, nice is something you think people should do to you. It never occurs in your adolescent mind to be the initiator.

Denny was the equipment manager of our seventh-grade football team. If he had just brought water and taken care of the uniforms, he would have been fine. But Denny was inquisitive–what you might refer to as “an experimenter.”

One day Denny decided to replace the pads in the football pants with poster board. For some reason, nobody noticed while donning the uniforms–and after the practice, everybody arrived back in the locker room with extra bruises, and one kid had a dislocated knee.

When Denny’s act was discovered, he quickly explained that he wanted to learn the purpose of the pads, and thought the best way to do so was to remove them.

This made complete sense to him. It did not to the coach. Denny was kicked off the team and spent about six weeks coming to school early, to help the janitor clean the toilets.

Likewise, we have a lot of people in our world today who are determined to extract civility and kindness just to see what happens.

Is it curiosity? Is it a fear that goodness makes us all look weak and simpy? I don’t know. But because that emotional padding has been removed from our society, people are showing up bruised and broken.

Unfortunately, there is not one “Denny the Dork” to blame. All parts of our society–religion, business, politics, entertainment and even education–are permeated with the contention that dominating one another is preferable to accommodating.

We have allowed the jungle to be released, but unfortunately, none of us have the girth of the elephant, the tough hide of the lion, nor the universal survivability of the cockroach.

We are a vulnerable species that needs to be treated tenderly, or we break.

Yet there seems to be a competition to see who can be the “assiest hole” or the “assholiest.” (Yes, I think that second one fits it better, don’t you?People who act like asses but portray it is the holy mission of self-esteem they pursue.)

Yet in a room full of people who are crazy, suggesting mental instability is neither helpful or healthy. So today I stand as one soul speaking to you, saying that we have removed the padding which protects us from bruising each other.

It’s time to call ourselves dorks, and change this pattern.

So here is your salient moment:

You can’t make omelets without eggs, just like you can’t create a beautiful life without courtesy.

 

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G-Poppers… June 26th, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2615)

Jon close up

G-Pop was wondering how much a sixteen-year-old girl could truly understand. Not because she’s unintelligent or devoid of grasping adult concepts–it’s just that all information remains merely data until curiosity soaks it up. It’s hard to be curious about anything but your own life at sixteen.

But on the other hand, there is something going on in the country that is significant and needs to be addressed.

Even though in collective horror we watch foreign renegades parade a prisoner in front of cameras and behead the hapless fellow, we have to realize that it is equally as ignorant and counterproductive to “head” our captors.

We do not cut off the head of the people we arrest. Instead, we give them a “head”–a face, a personality, a back-story, interviews with their friends, and speculate for days on what prompted them to commit their recent atrocity.

The average criminal receives millions and millions of dollars of free publicity when the main reason that the wickedness flowed from him or her was the desire to be known.

It’s like feeding a bear cub in your backyard and wondering why you go out with provision one day and get eaten by the fully grown beast.

Somehow or another we have to stop sensationalizing evil. I understand that most people do not find goodness, joy and praise-worthy deeds nearly as interesting as the vile expose of a murderous act, but in some fashion we need to strip these perpetrators of the trappings they so desire.

G-Pop saw a news report last night where the picture of the person who had just killed his wife was some sort of Photoshopped air-brushed version, making the murderer look like Denzel Washington.

It’s wrong–and not morally wrong, but culturally wrong.

People who do atrocities against their fellow humans should not be granted face, body, story or future.

How would we achieve this? Well, let’s start with a simple thought: Only heroes get stories.

If you decide to kill someone, you become a silhouetted cut-out on the news, without a name–or given a name not your own to further mock the stupidity of the pursuit of notoriety. We certainly have no problem calling people “John or Jane Doe” when they’re a corpse. Therefore, when someone’s a dead man walking due to crimes against humanity, why can’t they be “Jake or Janice Dork?”

If we as a society do not communicate that such behavior is abhorrent and refuse to grant space, then those who are tormented with obscurity will gladly give their last breath and life for seventeen minutes of fame. (The original fifteen minutes seems to be growing.)

I am fully aware that those who work in the news room will object to this line of thought because they make a living off of affording us gory detail. But gory detail could still be provided without granting the one who produced the anguish any photo space.

How could G-Pop share this with a sixteen-year-old girl without coming across as an old man who is out of step with time?

Would she understand that to give people what they want is to encourage them both to continue to want and also to do things that will get it?

Yes, people who behead are truly barbarians.

Yet I must tell you, in our culture, the decision to “head” our villains only encourages the insanity of evil.

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