Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … November 5th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

The following conversation is a bit of stagecraft conceived in the mind and heart of this author. It was not an actual event, but rather, a speculation on a possibility based upon existing information, tendencies and personalities.

Man: I was surprised you took my call.

 

Woman: Why would you be surprised?

 

Man: I thought you might be a little afraid to talk with me.

 

Woman: Why would that be?

 

Man: Well, since we’ve been at each other’s throats for the past six months, I figured you might be a little terrified to have this private conversation.

 

Woman: You see, that’s your problem. You think I’m a woman and therefore incapable of mustering the courage to handle the everyday situations that come to all of us no matter what our gender may be.

 

Man: No, I don’t feel that. I just see weaknesses in your character, which I plan to exploit to get what I want.

 

Woman: Well, I guess I can say at least you’re honest about your dishonesty.

 

Man: Where am I dishonest?

 

Woman: I wouldn’t know where to start. Your portrayal other humans, your disrespect for women, your bombastic and arrogant approach and your loose handling of the facts.

 

Man: I just believe in winning. Because until you win, you don’t control anything. Losers don’t even get a vote. I see you as a danger to our country. I see the administration you had with your husband as bringing disgrace to the Presidency, and I’m fully aware that most people don’t like you and by the way–no one has hired me to be your public relations agent.

 

Woman: That’s fascinating. Because I see you as dangerous. I see you as having a mouth minus the intuition to know how dangerous words can become–especially when you’re crossing international borders and dealing with grouchy cultures. I have made my mistakes, but at least I’ve been somewhere–where I was able to make the mistakes and learn from them.

 

Man: I don’t like mistakes. I don’t like making them and I certainly don’t like admitting them. But it’s not because I’m prideful–it’s because in the business world–or let us say, the real world–showing weakness is opening the door to disaster. I believe you to be weak. I believe your ideas weaken our nation. And I’m not so certain that you can stand on your own and separate yourself from the crowd, and make quality decisions without being influenced by people who have already proven themselves to be anemic.

 

Woman: Why do you hate women?

 

Man: I don’t hate women. I love women. I just don’t think they’re magical. I don’t want to lift them up, but instead, would love to see them fight back. If they’re equal, then they should have to prove they are. It shouldn’t be a gift. We shouldn’t try to bring down the standards just so women can pretend they can compete. So what I do is I make things strong enough for a man. Then if a woman can measure up, great. If she can’t, she–or in this case, you–need to be exposed for having willingness with no power.

 

Woman: But there is a danger of having the assumption of power without having the willingness to be merciful, kind and tender.

 

Man: We’ve got preachers and nuns to do that. It’s not up to the President of the United States to become a missionary. Your desire to reach out to people may be interesting but if there isn’t a climate of peace, prosperity and strength, it will never be accomplished, because all the bad guys will be whipping your ass.

 

Woman: We just don’t agree on this.

 

Man: No, you just don’t want to accept the way things are. You see, you’ve lied. I lie, too. But what I lie about doesn’t matter that much. When you lied, because you had a position of authority, people got hurt. People got frustrated. And now they’re mad as hell and they’re just not going to take it anymore.

 

Woman: So you think you’re going to win this?

 

Man: No. I think you’re going to lose it. I think you’re going to cling to all your loyalties, to your husband and the President and be swept away because you don’t have one goddamn fresh idea of your own.

 

Woman: You see, ideas are meaningless if they don’t make things better. And those ideas take us back to a time when the status of your bank account and the color of your skin thrust you to the front of the line.

 

Man: There wouldn’t be a front of the line unless we needed a front of the line. Somebody has to lead. If you think there’s racism in this country, you won’t solve the problem simply by putting black people in charge of things. People need to get used to things instead of having them forced on them. Maybe gay people should marry, but you didn’t leave that up to the folks. You would never let them vote on it. You just decided for them. And they will get even with you.

 

Woman: There you go. Threatening. You don’t have a campaign. You have a series of ultimatums and doomsday proclamations. Even if I didn’t want to be President, I’d have to run just to stop you.

 

Man: You can’t stop me because the people don’t want you. They don’t want four more years of the same stuff–where they have no say and are made to feel ignorant because they disagree with a bunch of liberals hanging out in country clubs.

 

Woman: So was this the purpose for your call? Are you trying to get me to give up?

 

Man: No. This is my way of apologizing. It isn’t standard. I’m apologizing because I have to destroy you to do what’s right for this country.

 

Woman: And I suppose that means you expect me to destroy you to win the title.

 

Man: You saw Rocky, didn’t you? That’s the way it’s done.

 

Woman: You see, Donald, that’s your problem. You think all of this is a Hollywood movie instead of the life and death of our future.

 

Man: And you, Hillary, think anyone would really care about any of this stuff if it isn’t entertainment.

 

Woman: Shall I say thanks for the call?

 

Man: You’re welcome. And may the best man win.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 22) Thirty Days Has Remember… September 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

One month passed.

It’s one of those phrases a writer inserts to move the story along. But they don’t really move. Stories must be evicted from the hovel where they huddle to escape progress.

Ten days after the “Old Time Religion Community Church” signed its incorporation papers in the living room of Sammy Collins’ home on a table near the fireplace, he was rushed to the hospital, red lights flashing. He had collapsed at work and everyone was certain it was a heart attack. The town was abuzz with gossip and prayer.

As it turned out, it was a ruptured gall bladder, and while he was having his personal rendition of that organ removed, it was discovered that he also had high blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

It was suggested he slow down.

Also within the month, a crumpled letter arrived in the mail at Matrisse’s house, postmarked Atlantic City, New Jersey. Inside was a note and a ten-dollar bill.

In her own words, Kitty attempted to explain to Matrisse that she was on an odyssey to find herself, which had taken her to the East Coast, and that she had found a job as a bartender at one of the casinos which had managed to escape bankruptcy.

Kitty said she was sorry and happy at the same time–because she missed her little Hapsy, but knew she was well taken care of, and until Kitty could find all her answers, she was probably better off separated from her growing daughter.

Also, about fifteen days into the “month of remember,” an article appeared in the local paper about Patrick Swanson and the church meeting at the Holiday Inn Express, entitled, “A Gathering for the Young Up-and-Coming Conservative.”

It seemed that Patrick had found his target market, as they say in the world of social media. Being interviewed by the local reporter, he explained that the congregation did not believe in gay marriage, government interference, and were certainly strongly against gender blurring. What they were interested in were young families who wanted to see the country return to its original glisten and gleam.

Then, seven days ago, a young boy named Alex Bachman arrived at school early, went into the lower portions of the building to the furnace room, threw a rope over the top of a pipe and hung himself.

He left a suicide proclamation. It read:

They said it would get better. It didn’t.

Reverend Meningsbee was called by the family and asked if he would be willing to conduct a memorial service at the church building, free of godly trappings, since the Bachman family was a non-religious group of people (what the average Nebraskan would call “avowed atheists”).

The family also wanted Meningsbee to be the moderator–yes, that’s the word they used–for the event, and to give a retrospective on the life of young Alex, ending with a positive message of humanity, and everybody departing to walk to the local park to plant three trees.

At first Meningsbee wanted to decline, offering his best wishes and regards, but then, in a moment of clarity, he realized there was no other place in town they could go for such a commemoration–and that opportunity never arrives resembling anything of what we really want.

So on a Saturday afternoon, with memories of a month full of Garsonville life racing through his mind, he drives to the church, on his way to a presentation which denies the importance of everything he believes.

What should he say?

What did he feel?

Maybe he should have studied more.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 10th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: Where have you been? I’ve been trying to get hold of you all morning.

 

Dear Woman: I can see that. Six missed calls. What can I do for you?

 

Dear Man: Listen, I didn’t believe it, but I heard through the grapevine that you went to a Donald Trump rally.

 

Dear Woman: You heard correctly.

 

Dear Man: Why would you do that?

 

Dear Woman: I was curious. I wanted to hear for myself what all the fuss was about.

 

Dear Man: Curious? How can you escape the fuss? It’s on the television twenty-four hours a day.

 

Dear Woman: But that’s their opinions. I wanted to draw my own conclusion.

 

Dear Man: Okay, I guess. Did you learn anything?

 

Dear Woman: I did. What I learned is that Mr. Trump answers a need.

 

Dear Man: A need?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. There are times when things are moving so fast that I just need everything to slow down a bit so my head can catch up. Gay rights, gay marriage, transgender, immigration, Black Lives Matter… It just crowds my brain. It’s not that I want to prevent these people from having a voice. I could just use some time to get accustomed to it.

 

Dear Man: Well, you need to realize, all these people have been waiting decades–sometimes centuries–for the basic rights that you take for granted.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t need your sermon. I get that. But it doesn’t change how I feel. The world seems dangerous, and when you see something dangerous, you want a weapon. You want to protect yourself. I’m sorry. Hillary Clinton just doesn’t seem like a weapon to me.

 

Dear Man: She’s got so much experience! Why can’t you see that? Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about the world.

 

Dear Woman: I agree. But it’s not a geography test. It’s not a civics exam. It’s about leadership. And I just don’t know if Hillary has it.

 

Dear Man: Why do you say that?

 

Dear Woman: Well, first, she can’t even manage her own email.

 

Dear Man: Not that old story! She’s answered that a thousand times.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, but it’s the same answer. “I made a mistake but I didn’t know it was a mistake.” Is that what she’ll do as President? Constantly making mistakes but apologizing to us for fouling up? And speaking of that, the main thing that bothers me is having Bill Clinton in the White House again.

 

Dear Man: He won’t be President.

 

Dear Woman: I got that. But he’ll be back. And the things he did the last time he was there to defile the Oval Office with his immorality were nasty. And the fact that Hillary stuck with him makes me believe she’s kind of … girly.

 

Dear Man: You mean you’re mad at her because she forgave her husband?

 

Dear Woman: I guess so. I would just find it easier to vote for Hillary Rodham than Hillary Clinton.

 

Dear Man: I get it. It’s because she’s a women Answer me three questions, without thinking too much. Number 1, do you think women are weak? Number 2, do you think women are more emotional? Number 3, are men smarter?

 

Dear Woman: Wow. I don’t want to do this.

 

Dear Man: Come on. Be honest.

 

Dear Woman: Okay. Are women weak? They don’t have the same muscle mass as men. Concerning the second question, I was always told women are more emotional, even by women. And concerning men being smarter, well..they do win more often on Jeopardy!

 

Dear Man: What?

 

Dear Woman: I was just kidding about the Jeopardy! thing. I suppose you’re going to say my answers prove I’m a male chauvinist.

 

Dear Man: No, they just prove that you would vote against Hillary because she’s a woman instead of based on her qualifications.

 

Dear Woman: I just don’t want any more Orlandos or San Bernardino terrorist attacks. I would like to scare the shit out of them–the terrorists, I mean. Hillary is more like a queen. She’s stately, polite, on-point, courteous. But here’s the problem–the world is filled with pirates. Pirates take down queens.

 

Dear Man: So what is Donald Trump?

 

Dear Woman: He’s a pirate. So it’s a pirate fighting pirates. See what I mean?

 

Dear Man: No, I don’t. Because with a pirate you get thievery, treachery and the danger that he’s going to make everybody walk the plank.

 

Dear Woman: Well, anyway. Do you remember that story of the man who came across two doors, and behind one was a lady and behind the other was a tiger?

 

Dear Man: I think so.

 

Dear Woman: You see, that’s our choice this time. A lady or a tiger. I just don’t know if the lady can get it done.

 

Dear Man: You know that’s very prejudiced.

 

Dear Woman: Yes. But I don’t think I’ll be the only one thinking about that when I walk into the voting booth.

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Jesonian: The Rule of the School … November 15th, 2015

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empty classroom bigger

The latest piece of pseudo-intellectual drivel seems to be the jaded proclamation, “People don’t change.”

It’s especially disheartening when coming from the mouth of a prison warden, a psychiatrist or a minister.

I suppose we could take this entire essay to discuss the validity or over-simplification of such a decree. Matter of fact, as Christians we could cite that even though the disciples spent at least 38 months with Jesus of Nazareth, the amount of personality and ethical change inside each one of them was questionable.

Peter may have confessed his faith, but he was still prone to over-exaggeration and eventually, denial.

James and John may have ceased to be fishermen, but maintained much of their prejudice, wanting to kill a group of Samaritans.

Thomas certainly had a conversion experience, which he often chose to doubt.

And Judas was elected treasurer, only to betray his position… and his friend.

So it is obvious to me that Jesus was the Christ, but not necessarily able to completely change goats into sheep. No, it seems that we get lost in that process and end up basically being asses.

Yet I must tell you, if I thought that change was impossible, I would not be able to tolerate the mediocrity of the world around me.

So what is the truth?

Actually the truth is a coagulation of two principles. Whatever you are, whatever you were, whatever your inklings or whatever your genetics, you can be transformed by a pair of unchanging and necessary conclusions.

We call the first one the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yet I must tell you, that single concept becomes merely idealistic if you don’t take the “rule to school.”

In other words, if you do not allow the truth of the Golden Rule to enter your daily activities, you will worship the premise as you simultaneously defile it.

There has to be an application for the cleansing power of “love your neighbor.” This is found in John the 8th Chapter, verse 15. Jesus makes a simple statement.

He says, “You judge according to the flesh. I judge no man.”

We do become different people when we realize that “loving our neighbor as ourself” is the survival mode for human interaction, and that the only way to apply it is to never judge anyone.

You may feel an inclination towards a lifestyle, a genetic predisposition, or have just developed habits which seem to cling to you like feathers in the wind, but you can still be completely reborn by realizing that loving your neighbor is refusing to participate in any judgment about him or her.

Are you ready for some truth?

  • Jesus did not believe in adultery, but he forgave an adulterous woman.
  • At no point in the Gospels will you find a situation when Jesus supported gay marriage, yet I guarantee you–he would never condemn a homosexual.
  • It would be difficult to make a case for Jesus being pro-choice, but it would be equally as difficult to think that he would forbid a woman the right to choose.

I am often confused why we think it is necessary to hold a conviction and then force others to comply.

For instance, I do not like alcohol and never have. Yet I would be completely against Prohibition.

I think smoking marijuana is granting yourself a license to be inept in the name of recreational drugs, but by the same nature, I think it’s wrong to condemn and incarcerate those who want to puff.

An obvious way we can all change is to admit that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the essential chemical compound of life, but the only way to take that rule to school is to refuse to judge anyone.

It is never all right, and certainly is never God-ordained.

Even though the Apostle Paul had his experience on the road to Damascus, by the time he got on the road to Corinth, he had somewhat turned back into an officious, overly opinionated Pharisee.

But there is one thing he never lost: the realization that we are to love one another … which means expressing mercy instead of judgment.

 

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G-Poppers… July 17th, 2015

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Jon close up

“After all–we’re all different.”

The words were spoken and the crowd gradually joined in with applause. G-Pop sat and listened carefully.

Something didn’t ring true.

The way to overcome intolerance is not to accentuate our differences. To think that human beings are capable of acknowledging differences among us without secretly holding prejudice against the person who dares to be different is absolutely ridiculous.

We are not divine. We are human. As humans, we are looking for reasons to find commonality.

This holds true in every relationship:

  • If two people are dating and discover they have nothing in common, they don’t continue dating, hoping to build up toleration for one another
  • If two kids are on the playground and one likes to play baseball and the other likes to climb the monkey bars, they quietly separate from one another, seeking out individuals whose taste in play is similar to theirs.

The path to peaceful coexistence is commonality.

How much do I have in common with you in comparison to our differences? Candidly, the word “difference” begins with “differ.”

If we do differ from one another, the process is simple: if we’re civilized, we walk away to avoid an argument. If we aren’t quite so civilized, we stand there and argue.

I do not know when the definition of “toleration” became biting one’s lip and pretending to accept things that don’t make sense. Toleration is finding places of common ground and celebrating them.

The “pendulum do swing.”

In a short period of time, we’ve gone from being a nation that was abusive to the gay community to a nation which now has a plurality which is willing to include gay marriage. But we will never have true openness with one another until we find the linking parts. We can’t fake receptivity.

For I have no intention of taking the social standing of old religion, ISIS and Vladimir Putin and joining with them against the homosexual community. But I came to this conclusion not because I looked at my brothers and sisters as obtuse and unusual, but because they use words that are common to me: freedom, brotherhood, love, relationship and tenderness.

We are not going to become better people by pretending we are tolerant. We become better people when we find common ways that we share in common, accentuating our common values.

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Right or Privilege … May 2, 2013

(1,869)

Model THis name was Henry Ford.

He was one of the early innovators in the gasoline combustible engine, which was referred to as the “horseless carriage.” We now call them cars.

Of course, at one time he had a prototype of such a vehicle and needed to test drive it to see how it worked in a world which was not suited for such activity. There were no paved roads, and on the dusty highways were horses and pedestrians instead of smoky engines from experimental automobiles. So you can imagine, at first he was an annoyance, or even a laughing-stock.

I wonder what his approach was. Did Henry Ford feel he had a right to the roads because he was smart, clever or entitled? Or did he feel it was a privilege to use the roads since they were normally occupied by horses and people?

Another interesting thing about that invention is that it quickly gained popularity–but it also created immense problems. So even though most of us insist that we have a right to drive a car, it was obvious from the first that those rights had to be curtailed for the common good.

For instance, everybody had to drive on the right-hand side or we would run into each other. Roads had to be paved, which meant there had to be taxes. It was agreed that a license was needed to prove that one was actually able to drive one of the contraptions. Tags were put on the vehicles to both identify them and garner some revenue for the state. Policemen issued tickets to those drivers who would not follow the rules and inhibited others from having a safe journey. When you add toll roads, seat belts, safety checks, car insurance and emissions onto the list, what started out as a “right of passage” is now presented as a cautious privilege.

Yet no one objects to this. The addition of demanding seat belts has lessened the death toll on the highways. The careful scrutiny for alcohol-drinking drivers is keeping us from killing off innocents.

So is driving a right–or a privilege?

Let me give you a definition of what I think a right is. You have the right to do almost anything you want if you can answer this question: “Can I do this without hurting anyone else?”

If the answer is “no” you don’t have the right. I don’t care if the Constitution tells you that you do–the Constitution will eventually have to change for the common good.

Here is the definition of a privilege: “Can I do this without hurting myself?”

So you see, driving is not even a privilege. We are not permitted to sit in our vehicles without a restraint because in doing that, we could kill ourselves.

No, driving is an opportunity. And what is an opportunity? “Can I do this with necessary boundaries?”

So as we assess the issues of our day–be it abortion, immigration, gun rights, gay marriage, terrorism or even political gridlock–we need to ask ourselves if we’re dealing with a right, a privilege or an opportunity. Democracy allots for all three–BUT puts restrictions on privileges and opportunities.

Does a woman have a right to an abortion? Go back to the definition: can this be done without hurting anyone else?

Do I have a right to own a gun? Back to the issue of right, privilege or opportunity.

As you can see, when you remove arguments about morality and replace them with more civil discussions of whether in a Republic such as the United States, we are entitled to some aspect of our lives as a right, privilege or opportunity, it puts things in perspective. Of course, there will still be variances of opinion, but if we’re going to make all of our future plans in this country based upon codes of morality or spiritual ethics, we will be at each other’s throats incessantly. There has to be a different yard stick.

Is this thing we are contemplating a right (can I do this without hurting anyone else?) a privilege (can I do this without hurting myself?) or an opportunity (can I do this with necessary boundaries)?

It is a doorway to the kind of compromise that can be grounded in common sense instead of shady backroom deals.

 

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2063… April 10, 2013

(1,847)

America Open for BusinessThe year is 2063.

The earth has changed.

Yet contrary to what the science fiction writers foretold or the doomsday prophets predicted, things are actually better. No longer is there endless debate on gay marriage, gun control, abortion, racial bigotry, global warming and nuclear destruction.

Several decades ago life on this planet came to a crisis. I guess we just grew tired with being weary of ourselves. The expansion of technology, the insufferable debate of politics and the prejudice of race was finally confronted and exposed by a generation of young humans who yearned for intimacy instead of continually jockeying for supremacy.

Ineffective religion and abstract agnosticism, which had battled each other for the minds of our people, were both abandoned in favor of the fervor of faith: faith in a heavenly Father, faith in each other and faith in the power of love.

People left their computers and homes to spend time together. Theater reappeared.  Music was live and organic. Dinner became an experience of eating around a table at home with friends.

To our shock and amazement, we didn’t destroy the world. Instead, we eliminated alienation. We included one another at face value, and let God and nature work out the particulars. We began to laugh at funny things instead of mocking each other. We mourned loss instead of weeping tears over our own insufficiency.

We grew into an understanding of the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind rather than maintaining a mere allegiance to those possessing our DNA.

I did not live to see it.

But my twenty-five-year-old great-grandson still reads my work, because to his delight, fifty years earlier, I believed in the impossible. I shared the vision of a world that pulled up short of Armageddon, and rather than welcoming Christ to the earth in a blood bath between good and evil, we instead invited Jesus to come, sit and enlighten us.

So even though I am gone, the simple words that I penned live on. The dreams thrive in an era when thoughts, considerations and phrases are allowed … to bring hope again.

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