Sit Down Comedy … November 8th, 2019

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Sit Down Comedy

 I felt the need for some caution.

When the Mogelthorpe family invited us over for a discussion, I was bewildered. First, I did not know the Mogelthorpes—only that their teenage daughter was dating our teenage son. Additionally, I didn’t think I had ever participated in an event dubbed “a discussion” that remained discussing and didn’t deteriorate into some sort of verbal standoff.

But I went.

As it turned out, the Mogelthorpes were very concerned that their daughter was getting too serious about our son, and that their high school dating experience was progressing at a frightening pace.

I listened. But I must admit, I find folks who attempt to curtail sexual activity somewhat comical. They, themselves, historically did not “cur their tail,” and most of the time when we try to keep young humans from doing things, they just do it sooner and faster.

I tried to talk like a responsible, aging, overly anxious parent and take the whole thing seriously.

At length I failed.

After an hour-and-a-half of back-and-forth conversation, which was deteriorating into each set of parents beginning to blame the other set for raising either a “tart” or a “rascal,” I finally concluded, “Folks, this is really simple. Your daughter has a radioactive vagina and my son is toting a Geiger counter.”

They did not find this humorous or even enlightening.

We left on semi-cordial terms—but with no prospects of future interaction or fellowship. It was especially ridiculous when within two weeks the two lovers lost interest in each other.

At this point, you might think the parents would relax and laugh at the failed conference. But no, the whole time I lived in the community, they never spoke to me again. And I imitated them.

Now, I felt the same way yesterday afternoon as I watched the news.

Made-up people are putting together made-up discussions over made-up problems in a world that has been made up by all of us.

The result will not be good. For it has become much more important to score points than to make one.

We are determined to wrestle our opponents to the ground and stand over them, spitting bullets.

We need to understand one fact:

Where there’s an absence, there will be a presence.

And where there is a presence, to make room for such an introduction, something will have to be absent.

Although the Democrats are certain that all the problems in our country are caused by the Republicans, and the Republicans feel they’re on a holy mission to prevent the Democrats from gaining control of the steering wheel to our government, the tactics that have been conjured are now the only things we all share in common.

Republicans aren’t nastier than Democrats. The Donkey Party has pulled even.

The Democrats are not free from scandal. They are completely equivalent to their Republican nemesis.

We believe the best way to settle a Presidential campaign is to insult until we get the desired result.

So the absence of one thing becomes the presence of another. And if you’re not careful, you may not even notice that something beautiful is gone. It is quickly filled in with something ugly. Then people tell you that this ugliness has always been there.

For instance:

The absence of civility is the presence of aggression.

Civility began feeling too “goody-goody” for us, so we attempted to change it to “toleration.” In other words, “I agree to disagree with you.”

Little did we know that in order to maintain this neutrality, we would have to be aggressive to keep our opponent at bay.

Likewise, the absence of truth is the presence of lying.

We didn’t believe that. We thought some matters could be “private,” and an explanation would not be necessary. But with a 24-hour news cycle, the facts always come out—and then, lying must be used to cover up the secret.

The absence of understanding is the presence of confusion.

Parts of our country have attempted to isolate themselves from other parts, pleading ignorance of social, cultural and even spiritual differences. But ignorance is a hard idea to present as a virtue.

And the absence of understanding has become the presence of confusion.

In other words, “How can those people be so stupid?”

Countered with, “How can those people be so arrogant?”

It may be difficult to understand, but:

The absence of good becomes the presence of evil.

We would like to characterize this as free will—but when humans are given liberty, they normally use it for an occasion to gratify their flesh. It’s just in our DNA.

So as Abraham Lincoln suggested, if we are not in pursuit of our better angels, our worst demons start planning the picnic.

I do believe we have good intentions.

But once you want to dominate, you don’t take the time to ruminate.

Yes—to sit and ponder how often we’re wrong, and to allow that to soak in so we don’t have to act like we are always right.

For I can tell you:

The absence of love is the presence of hate.

For the past twenty years, we have tried to achieve a relaxed indifference toward one another.

We have more interest in our personal family than the family of man.

And we have changed our lives to an electoral-college map, which tells us how to act.

Love is more than affection and it is more than commitment.

Love is the certainty that we are wrong often enough that we need to talk a helluva lot less.

Without this admission, hate shows up early, and leaves late.

 

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Sit Down Comedy … September 27th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

Today I would like to use my pulpit of potential—my moment in minutia—to give tribute to the most truthful man in Washington, D.C.:

President Donald J. Trump

For certainly, there’s no way to call a man a liar who has already bragged about how much he enjoys lying.

You will never convict him of his mistruths when he let you know from the very beginning that he missed out on truth some time ago and selected a different path. Matter of fact, in his 1985 book, “Art of the Deal,” he contended (and I quote), “I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts.”

He has made clear what he means by “hyperbole.”

And if you aren’t sure, his consort, Kelly Ann Conway, named the practice “Alternative Facts.” Alternative Facts is merely offering a different rendition of the information provided—one that better suits your own purposes. After people hear the Alternative Facts, they begin to blend them with other reports, which eventually becomes what we call a “news story.” Then folks like us come along and pick out our favorite rendition from the buffet of possibilities.

In 2016, Donald Trump’s competitor was Hillary Clinton, who on the other hand, proclaimed herself squeaky clean.

When it was discovered she wasn’t quite as cleansed as reported, she chose to follow the philosophy of her husband, Bill, who insisted that when accusations are made against you, “always deny.”

So the God-fearing, hardworking American people were given a choice between an accomplished liar and a proficient denier.

So the situation is, for every three hundred alternative facts that President Trump may offer, there can always be found ten missteps, mistakes and misrepresentations from an opponent. The only difference is, the pronounced liar doesn’t have to repent because he’s already warned. But the one who has done the missteps—who has proclaimed him or herself pure and truthful—must decide whether to come clean or pick up a copy of “Art of the Deal” and apply his or her application of “hyperbole.”

Actually, we should be ashamed of ourselves for impeaching a man who is so obvious with us that he came down the escalator calling Mexicans rapists, explaining how simple it was to grab unwilling pussy and was fully capable of multiplying the attendance numbers at any event.

After all, Secretary Clinton continued to stand by her man—who denied his sins against the nation—placing the blame on Monica Lewinsky, a twenty-one-year-old impressionable internist crawling under his desk, trying to do her part for the country.

Who should be impeached is simple: the American voter.

Since the founding of the country, we have well known that the common person has no right, privilege or sense to select the uncommon leader of the Free World.

No intelligent corporation allows the rank and file to choose the CEO.

President of the United States is a job, not a position.

It requires a willingness to learn, savvy, personality, gentleness, intensity and above all, a passion to hear the ideas of other people and sift through them until logic emerges.

But since we are determined to extol the beauty of the vote—and then worse, place the final responsibility on the Electoral College (which is similar to a Milton Bradley board game) we are stuck with winners who are alluring instead of enduring.

I want each and every liberal to stop calling Donald Trump a liar and instead, refer to him as a “fulfiller.” He has fulfilled exactly what he set out to do, which is make himself the sole spokesman for our country.

And I want the right wing to be candid—the interest they have in Donald Trump is similar to how each and every one of us wanted to goof around with the “really bad kid” in high school, even though our parents warned us against him. But even though we appreciated goodness (kind of) but were convinced that Bad Boy was more fun.

To summarize:

God has not called Donald Trump to lead our nation.

God has not called any of the other twenty-two candidates from the Democratic Party to lead our nation.

God is not calling anyone.

God has provided science, a beautiful planet, and great human beings around us, hoping that we can use these elements to start making positive choices and value the currency of our words.

So please, stop believing that those who say they always tell the truth actually do.

And cease getting angry with a man who is comfortable in his own skin—being deceptive.

So I will close this by saying, we must cease attempting to impeach a man who thinks he is doing what he considers the best thing possible.

If you don’t want someone who shares Alternative Facts, vote him out next election.

If you’re worried that he’s going to win the country over again with his Alternative Facts, then you need to work on the conscience of your brothers and sisters instead of trying to make all the little pigs frightened of the Big Bad Wolf.

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Cracked 5 … May 18th, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Cracked 5

Some Very Unnecessary Political Insults (But Curious)

A.  Demobrats

B.  The Congrossman

C.  Repukelicans

D.  Fixed News

 E.  Electoral Kindergarten

 

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Cracked 5 … November 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Other Practical Names Given for Thanksgiving

A.  Turkey Slaughter Day

 

B. “Why Don’t You Get a Job, Loser?” Day

 

C. “We Will Take Your Corn and Land” Day

 

D. “Does Anyone Really Like Green Beans and Mushroom Soup?” Day

 

E. “Thanks for the Electoral College” Day (only at the Trump home)

 

cracked-5-pilgrim

 

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Populie: Good People Vote … November 5, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is quite possible for something to be good but handled so poorly that it becomes bad.

This is how ideas that are popular can be infested with a lie, and end up being a populie that brings dissension and even destruction.

This is obvious to me on the issue of voting.

Entertainment, which has something good to work with and often handles it poorly, ending up with mediocre or bad results, loves the issue of voting because it’s so easily twisted into either a civil responsibility or a sense of frustration over horrible elected officials.

Politics, which takes something good–governing and taking care of people–and handles it so poorly that it becomes something bad–loves voting because it gives the illusion of giving power to the voter, while stealing the real decision-making away from them.

And religion, which is something good to bless the hearts of people, and is poorly handled as mere ritual and greed, loves voting because it gives us another way of expressing supremacy and proving that we’re patriotic.

I will become a firm believer in voting when it actually begins to matter, and is not the victim of the electoral college, gerrymandering, the 24-hour news cycle intrusion, PACs, and incessant polls elections by smearing manure on opposing candidates.

I refuse to accept something which has become evil through the cheating and lying of manipulative individuals and call it good, simply to fall in line with some holy patriotic march to commonality.

Right now my vote does not matter.

That makes me mad.

Even if we could take one or two of these perversions and demand that they be changed so that the vote of each individual American IS counted as valuable, I would be pleased.

If we would just do away with the electoral college and forbid polls to be taken daily during elections, this country would be stronger and the politicians would be responding to the people instead of their parties and the pundits.

I won’t even deal with the gerrymandering which segments districts based on demographics or the intolerable negative ads which permeate the television screen in an attempt to prove that “my political dog is better than your political dog.”

Stop stumping for the power of the vote. There are simply too many interferences in the democratic system.

  • Voting is good.
  • The way it is handled in this country is horrible.
  • Therefore the result is bad.

Take your vote and use it to change the voting process in this country, and you will really achieve something rather than goose-stepping your way to the polls at the bequest of the system.

People are not avoiding the movie theaters because they hate movies. Their emotions and spirits are starved by entertainment which is both repetitious and uses too much sensationalism.

People are not leaving the church because they hate goodness. They are departing because form has overtaken reason and intolerance has been thrust forward instead of the love of God.

And people are not indifferent to good government–but they do feel they’ve lost the power to initiate change.

Good people vote–if good people have secured the path to make sure their vote is not interrupted by corruption.

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But Not Now … January 22, 2014

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jigsaw puzzle

On Monday our nation commemorated the life, mission and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while continuing to be racially, culturally and emotionally disconnected, scattered like a 1001-piece jigsaw puzzle.

The reason? We avoid solutions by replacing them with discussions.

I wish I could tell you that merely conversing on a given subject brings about change but actually, it’s a way to dodge the impact of transforming ourselves into truth by merely debating the particulars.

colored water fountainsIn 1959 in the United States, the average white person would tell you that equality for the black man was inevitable. Most did not contend that segregation was ideal–merely practical. And the reason they found it to be so useful was that the alternatives that came to the forefront were so frightening that it seemed better to cling to something that was incomplete and unfulfilling. In other words, “black Americans should be equal. But not now.”

It continues today.executive woman

Women should be equal and have a pay scale identical to that of a man, but not now. “We need more studies by learned experts before we take such a drastic step.”

It is obvious that the minimum wage is not sufficient for a human to be able to live, eat and prosper, and something will have to be done. But not now. It could wreck the economy by forcing small business to incur expenses they are not prepared to undertake.

homelessSomething should be done for the homeless and disenfranchised in this country–to put them to work or offer alternatives to their present condition. But not now. It is much easier to have an argument over whether their condition is caused by lack of opportunity or by laziness.

It is historically demonstrated that the gays in our society will be required to have complete equivalence with everyone else if we want to maintain the integrity of our concept of liberty and justice for all. But not now. What we want them to do is acquire moral acceptance before they are granted civil rights.

Obviously, the political gridlock in our country initiated a two-party system that gains power by maintaining power, and that we would be better off if this two-faced monster were beheaded, and many more candidates were offered to the electorate. But not now. Too disruptive to consider many alternatives for leadership from different parties.two-party system

Likewise, the electoral college is antiquated and needs to be replaced with the popular vote which determines elections. But not now. What would we do with all the people who have been assigned positions and the folks who make their livelihood by honoring its cumbersome inner workings?

You understand, it is not that we lack the intelligence, or even the integrity to know what to do. Instead, we are stalled in a lethargic fear of change when it comes in any of its forms.

You will know that you have become a mature human being when what is truthful is more important to you than what is convenient.

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Effective … August 23, 2012

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There are things I like and there are things that work. Sometimes, blessedly, they’re the same, but many times they aren’t. I have discovered that maturity is being able to distinguish between them. For after all, to continue to do something that is not effective simply because you like it may be the accurate definition of senility.

So I don’t think that getting old begins at fifty, but actually initiates its death-hold on us whenever we insist that our particular preference should be pursued even though it isn’t practical to the need. I think we have to take a good hard look at many things in our society with regard to this dilemma.

Certainly the way we elect a President in this country is not effective. The campaign is too long, the issues are generalized and the attacks are personal–and ultimately, we elect individuals who immediately have to prepare for the next election instead of considering the better options for the people.

Likewise, the distribution and sale of food in this country is inequitable and ineffective. Although we insist we want Americans to be healthier, the foods that would benefit the populace are over-priced and often unavailable at the local markets in the poorer neighborhoods. Meanwhile, we have dollar menus in fast food restaurants offering all the delicacies that lend themselves to heart disease.

“Ineffective” also shows up in our religious system. We have become intently involved in the pursuit of a worship service, when Jesus, himself, made it clear that “man was not created for the Sabbath.” In other words, God doesn’t need church. The Sabbath was created for man. Human beings are the ones who need fellowship, confirmation, exhortation and direction.

So we tiptoe through the tulips to get into the sanctuary to listen to a prelude written by some dead German three hundred years ago and then quietly wrangle ourselves through a series of hymns with language that, although beautiful, is a bit arcane. In the last ten to twenty minutes we insert some homily with a point to reinforce the value of the Bible and the religious experience and close off to race to coffee, cookies and Danish and talk about everything but our lives and our Heavenly Father.

I suppose if it was just an organization that we started on our own, built to our specifications, it would be just fine. But it was Jesus who started the church and it should be Jesus who is harkened to as to the operation of his organism. What IS effective? If you’re going to minister to people, the meeting together on a weekly basis should have something in it that is people-friendly and meeting the needs of the people.

What was a “Jesus church service like? It isn’t hard to discover. All you have to do is read the gospels and ascertain his approach to an audience of humans.

1. He always started off by telling stories. We call them parables. They were just little tales applicable to life and drew parallels to how much simpler God is than we make Him out to be–how He has already placed snapshots of His style in the everyday world. (Without practical application, religion quickly veers towards ritual. When ritual arrives, HOW we do something becomes more important than WHY we’re doing it. And when HOW becomes the most important part of spirituality, we not only become picky over our processes, but critical of others who don’t revere our version.) Jesus told stories. It’s how he started off his worship services.

2. A time for healing. The stories stimulated the imagination and willingness of the people. They felt the liberty to express their needs for healing and direction. I don’t know whether you would call it Q and A, or just an opening for people to be emotionally vulnerable instead of merely reciting a call to worship. But there was a time for healing–getting down to business. If people are leaving church the same way that they came, they can eventually skip that step, stay home, read the newspaper and have pancakes. That’s how simple it is. If church is not a place for us to discover both inner and outer healing, then how would it be any different from clogging your mind with a morning of viewing Meet the Press? After Jesus told stories, he allowed a time for people to receive healing and express their faith, so that he could agree with them for newness. Let’s be honest–healing is exciting, even if it’s just an emotional exhilaration someone experiences just by being prayed for by those who care for them. It brings joy.

3. This leads to the third step–a time for rejoicing. In the Jesus church service, there was always celebration after the healings. There was always a time to give glory to God and to appreciate the benefit. Jesus often used this energy from the healings to attract others who were curious, but uncertain of the format. Rejoicing is a powerful draw to those who are living a life floating in the doldrums. (The absence of rejoicing seems to be the presence of complacency. Truthfully, complacency is what causes people to divert their attention to the next shiny object.)

So Jesus tells stories, allowing people to express their need for healing. He agrees with them, their faith makes them whole and the exuberance lends itself to rejoicing.

4. Singing. It is at this point that I believe we can insert our ecclesiastical obsession for singing. Singing should never be used unless it is the by-product of joy. Even if a song is tender and heartfelt, it still sounds better coming from a being enraptured by joy.

After the singing, it’s time to go out the door to eat those Danish, but this time, to discuss how beautiful it was to be together rather than to determine whether we prefer cheese over prune. It’s called being effective.

Politically, we need a sixty-day election cycle culminating with debates that are only allowed to center in on the issues, with no television advertising permitted at all, removing the electoral college–and whoever gets the most votes wins.

As far as the food supply is concerned, we should encourage farmers to grow more and more produce instead of paying them off to keep their land fallow, and get those fresh fruits and vegetables into smaller and smaller markets, so people will have choices.

And when it comes to the church, we need to cease contending that we are worshipping God, but instead, do honor to His name by helping human beings live better lives. We need to be effective. Jesus had a very simple four-step formula:

  • Tell
  • Heal
  • Rejoice
  • Sing

This is the order that touches human hearts instead of asking the emotional part of people to step out of the way in an attempt to expose the spirit. It’s impossible to do. Our emotions and spirit are linked together and must be ministered to simultaneously.

We don’t need to be effective; we can continue to follow our own particular likes and dislikes to no productive conclusion. But if you want to be like Jesus, you’re going to set your sights towards ministering to humans instead of trying to impress God. In doing so, your Father in Heaven will deem you effective.

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