Cracked 5 … August 22nd, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Things God Thought About Creating Instead of Humans

A.   Computers–could have skipped one million years of murder, adultery and bad sitcoms

B.   Carb-free pasta. Certainly a better choice.

C.   Talking monkeys. Washington, D. C.??

D.   Paint with a brain–artsy-craftsy

E.   Grass that makes music, instead of musicians making music using grass

 

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Ask Jonathots … June 9th, 2016

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What do you think about the legalization of recreational marijuana? How do you think this will affect American society?

Clarity.

It is the action of clarifying the facts we possess, trying to ascertain how we should proceed. Clarity is a good thing.

So what is the clarity on the issue of marijuana?

First of all, I think we have to get rid of the term “recreational.” We tried to add an adjective to alcohol by calling it “social drinking,” but unfortunately, many of those who felt they were “socially drinking” got in their cars, drove tipsy and ended up killing. It is doubtful that any human being, on their own, can determine their limits.

So once you remove the adjective, you end up with marijuana.

In the pursuit of clarity, let’s not study marijuana from the mindset of those who oppose it, but rather, carefully look at the assessment of the individuals who have or are participating in using the substance.

In every movie I’ve seen, marijuana leaves people listless, uncaring, silly, non-functioning and certainly incapable of performing their best rendition of themselves.

That’s not my assessment. I’ve never seen a film in which someone smokes marijuana and then goes out and saves the life of a child through heart surgery. So if those who are imbibing in marijuana feel that it’s an intoxicant which incapacitates them for normal human participation, then we immediately have to factor this in when talking about legalization.

Are we going to develop Breathalyzers for marijuana use?

Are we prepared to add traffic deaths due to driving under the influence of grass?

Yet on the other hand, marijuana has proven to be a source of relief for pain and discomfort.

So what is the purpose of this plant that has been placed on the earth?

And how can we know that a pain-killer is for killing real pain, not for “recreational” use by those who have no pain?

How can we use marijuana in a productive way without taking our generation, which already has difficulty with comprehension, and making it more bland?

First, if someone wants to smoke marijuana in his or her own home, it should not be illegal.

But we already have laws against public smoking, and we have laws against participating in human activities while intoxicated. Even if marijuana were legalized, it would fall under the same restrictions as smoking and drinking.

You could go to a marijuana bar and smoke with your friends, but when you left there would need to be a designated driver to take you home. Unfortunately, unlike alcohol, your driver might be suffering from a contact high.

So I think the most important thing is for us to clarify the facts instead of stomping around, discussing “freedom and privilege.”

Case in point: I am a fat man. I have the absolute right to go out and eat three pizzas. But if I do, there are ramifications. Perhaps I should understand the boundaries before I eat the three pizzas.

So in conclusion:

1. Marijuana has a purpose because it’s on Earth.

2. It brings relief to those who are suffering.

3. It is an intoxicant.

4. It is mind-altering.

5. Therefore, it will have to be regulated in our society in some way, otherwise we will be endangering the lives of others.

6. It should no longer be criminal when used properly and privately by a person of acceptable age.

There you go.

Never look at a problem as if it’s an issue of freedom, but rather, clarify how that freedom affects the rights of others.

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Untotaled: Stepping 36 (June 12th, 1967) Trimmings… October 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

All of our neighbors had already mowed their lawns twice.

I kept insisting that our grass was not in need of such a precaution or I was able to check the weather forecast and cite that there was rain coming and therefore dangerous to be out in the storm.

For you see, in my house it was my job to be the caretaker of “the green.”

I hated it.

I avoided it.

I even pretended I was sick to escape the arduous chore of pushing our power mower around the yard to guarantee my one dollar a week allowance.

Part of it was teenage rebellion. There is certainly a misunderstanding about the condition. Teenage rebellion is not a choice, like whether to wear a hat to the beach. It’s more like an emotional diarrhea, which attacks you when you least expect it, causing you to run out of the room screaming. And in addition, I was a fat boy, and the idea of walking around, back and forth, to simply receive the payoff which pleases your family for only about eight days, was not enough to motivate me to fire up the old “growler”–to give the yard a haircut.

I even listened to people’s suggestions on how to cut the lawn and make it enjoyable. I was never able to recapture their ecstasy.

But worst of all, my dad expected me to use the hand-trimmers after I finished mowing, and caretake the areas that were not able to be reached by the blades.

I refused.

Matter of fact, I can’t remember doing it more than two or three times–because it demanded two actions that every fat boy dreads.

Bend over or kneel down.

(My body type was more suited for standing, sitting or reclining.)

After a while, my dad was content when I actually did mow the lawn before a machete was needed–so much so that he completely dropped the trimming issue. He got tired of hearing me claim that the blades were too rusty to cut through the overgrowth.

Because my dad did not force me, it was a good ten years before I learned the importance of straining my will to do a little bit more than my whim dictated.

So when I raised sons, I learned that there are three purposes for discipline:

  1. To get your kid to confront his or her weakness.
  2. In the process, to address their fear.
  3. And maybe most important of all, to trap them into doing something they really don’t want to do.

If you consider this discipline to be cruel or unusual, you will probably give your children a pardon which will later haunt them as they continue the crime of laziness.

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Stepping Away… October 19, 2013

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church popscicleElder Ralph was working on a crossword puzzle he had hidden in his Bible.

Deacon Dan was dozing on the third row.

Martha, the church piano player, was thumbing through a Life magazine.

The teenagers sitting around me were passing notes, giggling and trying to time their levity with the jokes infrequently being offered from the pulpit, as Pastor Norm continued to preach on a subject matter which no one seemed to care about.

Suddenly in the midst of this ongoing Sunday night antipathy, it struck me. It was so phony, so contrived and so meaningless to my sixteen-year-old mind.

I quietly rose to my feet, moved past a few of my friends and headed toward the back of the church. Everyone thought I was going to the bathroom. Some people probably thought I was headed to the fellowship hall to see if there were any treats to eat after the service. But actually, I passed on both of those opportunities, headed out the door and walked home. Even though I still believed in God, I had lost confidence in the system that was arranged to represent Him.

For three months, I stepped away.

  • I didn’t go to church.
  • I didn’t stay in contact with the people.
  • I also didn’t go out, get drunk, smoke grass and curse the heavens because of my disillusioned condition.

Various emissaries from the conclave of the righteous were sent to me during the ninety days to tell me how I was missed or what I was missing or how it was absolutely necessary for me to be there–otherwise I would fall into iniquity.

I joyously ignored them.Up the Down Staircase

Instead I took my stepping away hiatus to accept a role in a play at the high school, as Joe Ferrone in Up the Down Staircase. I also worked on my piano playing, which had become as rusty as my Grandpa Ford’s barn door latches, and I practiced singing. (I had convinced myself I was a bass, but actually had enough range to be a tenor. Why not both?)

During my stepping away period I discovered I could do things–yet realized they were more fun when I was tapping the mind and spirit of God to achieve them.

Eventually one of my friends from the youth group came to see me and said, “Jonathan, you may not need us, but we need you.”

Those were the magic words.

It wasn’t an issue of ego–it was the fact that I could no longer attend church because I was afraid not to. I couldn’t go to church because it “made me a better person.” And I didn’t want to go to church to fake it, in order to get heavenly tickets.

I took my newfound drama talent, my expanded singing and my better piano playing back to the “house of people”–to simply enjoy my heavenly Father.

I stopped looking around the room to see what Elder Ralph, Deacon Dan, pianist Martha and all the other kids were doing.

When I disagreed, I chose to simply live differently. And if it got boring, I challenged the ideas.

That three months of stepping away sowed the seed of the man I have become. It was a season of time when I realized that I don’t need to be in church to find God.

But the church needs me ,,, to make sure we don’t lose Him.

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Freedom Part 1: GRASSHOLES… July 1, 2013

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FastSkewed.

All statistics can be twisted and turned to meet the specifications of anyone who wants to present a particular case for his or her cause. This is undeniable.

Case in point: on the day before last year’s Presidential election, there was one polling organization which was absolutely guaranteeing that the contender for the election was going to win.

If you spend enough time collecting information favorable for your conclusion, your conclusion will confirm the information.

So when it comes to the issues surrounding marijuana, it is absolutely useless to listen to the pundits submit their statistics. What I choose to reflect upon is the evidence. And I’m not talking about the evidence put out by the organizations which are against the product. I’m talking about the evidence promoted, advertised and shared by those who seemingly would love to see weed legalized.

There is no movie made which shows people smoking grass and portrays them as having generosity, intelligence, faithfulness, productivity, basic human interaction–or even know how to get to White Castle. As in the flick, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, marijuana smoking is portrayed as a practice which makes one “high” by making one dull and low.

This is not MY contention–this is the image given by those who are partakers of the herb–the GRASSHOLES.

Now let’s look at what we know:

  • Marijuana is used as a medicine to dull pain, discomfort and nausea during chemotherapy treatment.
  • Second-hand smoke from marijuana can intoxicate someone else–so therefore it can never be smoked in public (even though we don’t allow people to smoke at all in public anymore because of the effects of second-hand smoke.)
  • It is questionable that with the many deaths brought about on the highways due to alcohol, whether marijuana could be used by people operating vehicles without putting others in danger. By the time we could accumulate such data, multitudes of people could be killed.
  • What is the effect of marijuana smoke on the lungs and respiratory system? Still being studied.

So if the main use of this product by the GRASSHOLES is going to be done privately in their own homes, what’s the point of legalizing it? Are we merely trying to get revenue from yet another intoxicant to fill our coffers, even as we siphon off that profit to pay for rehab?

Are we positive enough about the lasting effects of the hemp plant to release it for common consumption to the public without fear of harm?

Is it really a positive argument–to insist that marijuana is “no worse than alcohol,” when we know that alcohol destroys tens of thousands of lives every single year?

And do we really want another reason for our teenagers to become more distant? Have you had a recent conversation with humans in their teens? Would you really want that to be any less interactive?

Just because we can rally does not mean it’s a legitimate party. And just because people may want the freedom to do something of their own choice does not mean it provides for the common good.

Yes, the Preamble of the Constitution says that our nation was constructed to provide for the common good.

Marijuana may be excellent as a relief for those suffering from cancer and terminal illness. But to indiscriminately give it to the public under the guise of freedom–or even finance–is to negate the evidence presented by users, who in their more candid moments, admit that it dulls the senses and causes people to “check out” from human discovery.

Be careful. Freedom is a wonderful thing–unless it robs us of more valuable freedoms.

And our most precious freedom is the ability to interact with one another with a clear mind, clear conscience, clear soul … and full awareness.

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Guns, Grass and Whipped Cream … July 30, 2012

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Walking through a poorly lit parking lot one evening, I happened upon three young fellows sprawled out on the hood of their car, smoking marijuana. Now, I assumed it was marijuana because there was only one cigarette which they passed back and forth. I suppose it could have been a lean financial week, and we were dealing with a Winston-Salem product, but for the sake of my story, allow me the assumption.

As I neared their location, I noticed that laying on the car hood in the midst of them was a hand gun. I did not know why. Perhaps later on, they planned on going out into the woods and hunting for game to take home to their lovely wives and dear children. It could be that they were afraid that some fat, aging, traveling author would come along and accost them and they would need to defend themselves. Maybe they had taken it out to clean it in preparation for going to the local shooting range to hone up their skills and make themselves better prepared for an upcoming tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Handgun

Handgun (Photo credit: brendonjford)

I suppose all of these are possibilities, but not what immediately leaped into my mind. What came to my thinking was that I was about to pass by three individuals who were under the influence of grass and had a hand gun, ironically, very close to their hands. Thoughts of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and whether legalizing marijuana would alleviate cartel activity in South America did not come to play in my reasoning. I was wondering if I was going to be able to get to my car with my wallet, watch, health and well-being uninterrupted.What profile should I take? I chose to address them before they looked at me, and fortunately for this traveling journeyman, they peered at me through bleary, bloodshot eyes, nodded in my direction and let me pass.Likewise, just the other night, I was watching television and a commercial came on for whipped cream-flavored vodka.  Honestly, since I’m not a drinker, notions of “yum-yum” did not come to my “tum-tum.” But I wondered, as a businessman, what the target market was for this product?

For instance, when I watch re-runs of Bonanza on TV Land, all of the commercials are about Depends diapers and Medic Alert, which makes sure that if you fall down and can’t get up, somebody will find you before you begin to decay. I immediately understand that I am watching a show being viewed mostly by people who are even older than I am.

But what IS the market for whipped cream-flavored vodka? Could it be a Green Bay Packer fan? I dismissed that. My understanding is that they take even their hot chocolate straight. Then I thought about NASCAR. But it’s only the people who win the Indianapolis 500 who indulge in milk products. Who could they be targeting with whipped cream-flavored vodka?

All at once, fearing that I was a bit jaded, I considered that it seems like the individuals who would be interested in such a product would be young women between the ages of fifteen and thirty. I immediately rebuked myself for such negative projection. Certainly the makers of this product wouldn’t be trying to get young girls to drink more and more vodka because “…well, golly, it tastes like whipped cream.”

You see, I understand what it means to be an adult. I am thoroughly in favor of the Bill of Rights. It would never be my desire to take a gun out of anybody’s hand.

It’s just the arguments that bother me. When the National Rifle Association says, “If you ban guns, then only criminals will have them,” if you will forgive me, I followed that premise through to a conclusion. So therefore, if everyone has guns in order to keep the criminals from possessing an “exclusive,” then EVERYONE is armed and prepared, with the right amount of provocation, to use that weapon to at least threaten someone else. Do we REALLY want a nation where everyone is armed to the teeth, with the capability of intimidating one another at the drop of a hat or the stealing of a lane on the freeway–even if there is never an exchange of fire? As I told you, the young men sitting on the hood of the car did not grab the gun. The existence of the gun threatened me. I could feel the bullets tearing through my vulnerable flesh.

In like manner, if we go ahead and legalize marijuana so that the criminals will not be in charge of marketing it, we may alleviate the economic problem and maybe even the policing of the situation, but don’t we open up the door to a nation with people walking around in a purple haze? Are we really prepared to have our young men and women not only stupefied by video games, but further incapacitated by marijuana? Do we really want to say it’s all right for Charlie Sheen to legally believe he has tiger’s blood?

Freedom is a necessary profile–as long as it’s accompanied by responsibility. Do you want your teenaged daughter, or granddaughter, for that matter, to finally break down and try vodka because it tastes like whipped cream? Is that creating products that are suited for adults? Or is it trying to force immature people into an adult world with the use of a vice–or even a potentially deadly weapon?

Please allow me five question:

1. Does freedom come with adult responsibility?

2. If it does come with adult responsibility, should it be monitored, or even forbidden, for children?

3. If forbidden to children, how do we meter the effects of its existence in a world inhabited by these younger ones?

4. If we’re metering the effects, how can we avoid some sort of regulation?

5. If regulated, how do we protect the adult freedom to partake?

Therein lies the debate. If we were sincerely talking about mature, intelligent adults having a realistic discussion on how to be responsible for their activities, I would say “yea and amen.” But when guns, marijuana and whipped cream vodka are basically being marketed to non-adults as proficiently or even more effectively than they are to their alleged target audience, there seems to be some insincerity, if not hypocrisy.

Please do not tell me that part of humanity is criminal and the other part is Polly Purebread. For I will tell you, when you give people the freedom to use something destructive, no matter how many Sunday School classes they attend, they will eventually use that destructive force. If you don’t believe me, think about the intelligent scientists, the well-educated politicians and the culturally grounded generals who built a bomb in 1940, and by 1945, set it off …. twice.

We can trust ourselves with freedom as long as it is not a weapon, a drug or a tease for us to slide into our more demented parts.

Oh and by the way… I don’t see the makers of the vodka offering the sensible and healthy choice of broccoli-flavored.

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