Cracked 5 … August 24th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Cracked 5

Answers to the question, “Why Are We Here?”

A.  Why are we here? Really horny chimpanzees

 

B.  Why are we here? Needed a place for mentally retarded angels

 

C.  Why are we here? God is playing again

 

D.  Why are we here? ‘Over there’ didn’t allow fat, homely people

 

E.  Why are we here? To divide up in colors and kill each other

 

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Catchy (Sitting 21) ‘Why’ Is a Nasty One … November 5th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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“So what brought you here?” asked Carlos, as he eased his way up to find a more comfortable spot on the bunk.

Matthew glanced around at the stark confinement of the cell and laughed. “I wonder how many times that question’s been asked in this jail.”

Jubal laughed very loudly, the way a man does when he’s nervous and doesn’t exactly know what to talk about and is grateful for a joke to fill the space.

Matthew said, “As I was telling you, we have this plan on how to use the money…”

Jubal interrupted. “No, I figure we’ve got more time than that. I already understand that story line. I was talking about what brought you to the point in your life where you want to take on some crazy idea to advertise Jesus of Nazareth.”

Matthew quickly fired back. “Money.”

“Nothing else?” inquired Jubal.

Matthew smiled. “We all keep pretending there is something else, don’t we? We discuss high-sounding values, which end up smashed to smithereens by the time they get through a budget meeting. Or somebody runs for President, promising a chicken in every pot, when actually they’re trying to figure out how much money they can make off of legalizing pot. My friend, it’s all about money, because without money, we can’t pay the light bill to sit in a room and argue about high-sounding ideals.”

Jubal tilted his head, frowning. “I guess I would be surprised with your answer–might even call it cynical–except, well, I live in Las Vegas. If they could, they’d wallpaper the casinos with money, just to tempt the tourists to come in and gamble to get it.”

“I know there are things that are important,” Matthew continued. “I know you have to have values you treasure. Otherwise, when you close your doors at night, you’d be terrified, with a gun in your hand, because the world is so screwed up.”

“The world is a screwed-up place, but we’re part of the screw-up, right?” inserted Jubal.

“I don’t like to think of myself as screwed-up,” said Matthew. “Imbalanced, a little greedy. Maybe sometimes I drink too much alcohol. But I can tell you–there are more times I don’t drink enough.”

Jubal laughed–this time, just a little. “So is it hypocritical to advertise a God that you don’t necessarily believe in?”

Matthew objected. “I didn’t say I didn’t believe. Goddamnit, you can’t live in this country without believing. You can’t do business. and expect to get customers if you’re going to deny their God. I just place God where he belongs.”

“And where would that be?” challenged Jubal.

“Watching,” replied Matthew calmly.

“Let me go with that,” said Jubal. “So let’s say I’m walking down the strip, and I see two men fighting and they’re really hurting each other–and I decide to watch. Who in the hell am I?”

“Smart,” replied Matthew quickly. “Look at you. You’re not a big fellow. What in the hell do you think you’re gonna do? You’re gonna get tied up in the mix-up and you’re gonna get hurt. And truthfully, every time we start believing that God cares or that God loves the world, all we do is start blaming Him for every little piece of shit we’ve come up with. I guess maybe I love God more than other people. I don’t want to believe in Him so much that I blame Him for everything.”

Jubal sat quietly for a moment. He decided to change the subject. “In about an hour, they’re going to give you the choice between a bologna and American cheese sandwich and a turkey pot pie.”

Matthew, grateful for a different topic, leaped in. “Well, I personally love a turkey pot pie.”

Jubal shook his head. “No. You loved the turkey pot pie your mother made when you were a kid. This variety comes in two forms–burned on the top or raw.”

Matthew laughed. “No, you’re wrong. It’s just like my mother’s.”

He sat for a second and then asked, “Why aren’t you eating?”

Jubal replied, “I don’t know. It seemed like a noble idea. I mean, I’ve heard of people fasting to make their point. I didn’t make any point–I just got hungry. And now, every time I shift my legs I can smell myself. Honestly, Matthew…that is your name, right?”

Matthew acted affronted. “How can you ever play the son of God if you can’t remember my name?”

“Play the son of God…” Jubal reflected. “Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?”

Matthew stormed. “No. What’s wrong, my friend, is for you to be in jail, smellin’ like my old dog, Bogo, because you were out helping the homeless.”

Carlos squinted. “What do you mean, smellin’ like your dog, Bogo?”

“When I was a kid, my dad found an abandoned sheep dog, and decided to bring him home. He was adorable and loving, but he had so much hair that every time he took a dump, some of it would stick to his fur. Being a good pup, he tried to clean it off himself, which was gross beyond all measure. But every few weeks my dad would point to Bogo, and I knew that meant I had to go and wash his behind and trim his fur. I remember that smell. I have not inhaled it since I was a kid–until I walked into this cell today.”

Carlos smelled his shirt. “Are you saying I smell like the back side of your crappy sheep dog?”

“Identical,” panned Matthew.

Jubal lifted his hand as if making a pledge. “I promise, the next time they offer soap and water I will participate.”

Matthew gave him a thumbs up and said, “Even though I’m not a religious man, I can say amen to that.”

“I’m not a religious man,” said Jubal. “When I’m working in the casinos and I see the pretty titties on the showgirls or some groupie who thought my drumming was particularly divine and tempts me with her entirety, I’m just as horny as the next guy. No, Matthew–I would make a terrible religious person. That’s why I decided to follow Jesus.”

Matthew quarreled, “Jesus was religious.”

“No, he wasn’t,” said Jubal. “If he had been, religious people would have really dug him and sinners would have run away in terror. Instead, sinners cuddled up to him, ate with him, drank with him, slept by the fire with him. It was the religious people who were terrorized.”

“Yeah, I get that,” said Matthew. “I’ve heard that old song and dance. But you see, move ahead and he’s nothing but an emaciated Jew hanging on a cross. Look at it this way. When we were kids we studied Zeus, Apollo, Mars, and Athena in class.”

Jubal nodded. “Yeah, we did. Except you mixed Greek and Roman gods.”

Matthew stood to his feet to accentuate his point. “You see, that’s what I mean. Nobody cares anymore. Even when we studied them in school, we didn’t study them as a religion. It was called mythology. They were myths–even though any Greek or Roman of the time would have vehemently objected to term. It’s all just a bunch of crap. The only reason the stories still exist is because they’re so childish and dumb.”

Jubal interrupted. “So I guess what you’re trying to say is that just as Poseidon and all the other gods disappeared and became part of an old culture, that the same thing will happen to Jesus?”

Matthew shrugged, easing back down onto the bunk. “Not for a while. It’ll start with Jonah and the whale, Noah and the ark. But eventually all these stories that have been called sacred will become mythology.”

“It’s been two thousand years,” Jubal noted.

Matthew considered the thought. “Yeah, I know. I’ve even had some moments when I thought having a God would be a good thing. Honestly, my friend, being around you has made me doubt some of my doubts. But we’ve already eaten away at a lot of the stuff. Because after all, what’s the difference between an emperor who thought he was a god, living in Rome, and the Pope?”

“Let me make something clear,” said Jubal. “I’m not asking you these questions because I’m trying to convert you.”

“Good luck if you are,” punctuated Matthew.

Jubal resumed. “No, I’m just trying to figure out who I’m working with. I’m just trying to decide if I should work with it. I’m just trying to clear my head about what parts of the story I believe and what parts are myth to me. Mostly, I’m trying to learn about you without asking ‘why.’ Matthew, I hate the word ‘why.’ It’s usually mean-spiritied, challenging, ferocious…”

Matthew chuckled. “I never thought of it that way, Jubal. ‘Why’ is the nasty one, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Jubal agreed. “But unfortunately, it’s the one that always demands to be answered first.”

 

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The Best of the Story… December 21, 2012

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He was fifteen years old…and horny.

He was my son, and extraordinarily girl-crazy. May I point out to you that he was interested in the female of the species, not in the sense of being a great anthropologist, but mainly for sexual reasons. I had already had the first “talk” with him, where I explained the parts, purposes and precepts of human sexuality, but now it was time for the second talk. Yes, I do believe there’s a need for a second “talk”–otherwise girls and boys grow up to be men and women with a complete sense of disconnect. Here’s what I told him:

“Don’t try to get inside a woman until you’ve found the woman inside you.”

He sprouted one of those adolescent expressions, blending perplexity and antagonism with a side of rebellion. So I explained. Yes, I explained to him the best of the story. It is actually the true tale of Christmas. So I thought that since we are in this season, it would be righteous to share it with you.

God made man because He wanted a companion–an extension of Himself. He always wanted to be a Father instead of just a deity. He breathed into man the breath of life. Man became a living soul, the best of both worlds–spiritually enlightened, physically enticed. There was one thing missing–companionship.

You see, an attempt at righteous living without having a confidante and a fellow-pilgrim is tedious, if not impossible. Thus the true value of church–when the religious system is at its best, it offers a delightful container wherein we might rub shoulders with those who share our journey and faith.

Meanwhile, man wanted more. Because he was created in God’s image, he also desired to have partnership of his own–and also a sense of fathering. God went inside man to find woman. Even though man was created from an external source–dust of the earth–woman was extracted from the internal portions of an existing comrade. So all the ingredients of woman were already inside of man.

So you see, all attempts to try to get the sexes to converse and agree will fail miserably until we teach our young men that all the portions–tenderness, compassion and emotion–of their desired coupler already dwells within.

Woman emerged from man–she, part of him and he part of her. The centuries roll on. There came a point where the redemption of the entire world becomes necessary, not just the Jewish race. The local prophets had predicted that this redeemer would emerge from among the ranks of their own lineage. The difficulty with that proposal was the question of how this salvation for the world could be solely Jewish, but universally applied.

So God went inside woman to make the man, Jesus. He was the perfect man, not because he was mistake-free, but because he was the manifestation of what every man and woman is meant to be–a complement to each other.

So you can see, it’s because we accept Jesus as the great gift and conclusion of the human creative process that brings salvation to men and women, north and south, east and west.

The experience is no longer limited to one race of people and certainly, because it was the seed of the woman that brought forth Jesus, we are not exclusive to gender. That is why the Bible says that in the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female. There is Jesus.

  • God created man.
  • God created woman by removing her from within man.
  • God birthed Jesus by going inside a woman to find the treasure of mankind.
  • We come to Jesus to find the best of our story.

It’s why we celebrate Christmas. It isn’t a holiday–it is who we are.

Yes … we are Christmas.

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Confluence … July 12, 2012

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It was an odd sensation. Not odd in the sense of bizarre, but rather, intriguing, invigorating–spine-tingling, if you will.

He stopped off at my motel room before he headed off to be in Chicago with his wife. He’s a full-grown man but he calls me Pop. The reason for that lovely addressing is that when he was just about ten years old, a rocky storm of a family in peril deposited him on my shore. I took him in as a son. He gradually took me in as a possibility.

We sat and talked yesterday for what ended up being much longer than a traditional farewell. What made this situation particularly unique was that thirty-four years earlier, I sat in a room with his father when he was exactly the same age, discussing many of the same dilemmas, coming to mostly identical conclusions.

But this time it was different.

When I talked to his father, I was only five years his senior–and he was deeply engrained in a culture which possessed too much macho and not enough tenderness for discovery. His father was frightened, nervous, incriminated, worried, horny and broke. It is not a particularly appealing buffet of possibilities. His father was driving around in a beat-up yellow Ford Pinto with a burnt valve, which only started on mornings when there was absolutely no moisture in the air. His father was wounded, but not seeking treatment. His father was angry, but content with the rage. His father was ignorant, while adding the unnecessary and unseemly addition of being arrogant. I worked with his father for a long time, and although there were occasional hints of progress, he always returned to his roots instead of honoring his new sprouts.

So yesterday, when this fine, young man came to my motel room, talking about his life, he lamented that he was a little nervous that he might end up being like his dad.

I laughed. I wasn’t trying to be scornful or disrespectful to this fine fellow; it just seemed humorous to me that this particular insecurity was plaguing him. For you see, something had changed. The curse of repetition of father to son had been broken by the power of a confluence.

It is impossible for two things to remain identical if one insists on changing the level of experience. It is the reason that our society is not moving forward–because we are not admitting our frailties to our children and sending them to places where they can learn how to be stronger than we were. Some folks who tout the name of Mother and Father even feel great pride that their children are exactly like them.

God forbid.

The greatest love you can have for your son or daughter is to wish that they will take the better parts of you, reject the worst and go out and experience more than you did, so that in their souls there can be a confluence of newness.

What is a confluence? It is when the combined streams of many rivers join together to form a heart.  And that is what we’re supposed to be.

The young man sitting in my room could never be his father because:

  • he traveled to China to learn more about our world
  • he met a young woman there, fell in love with her, married her and has a son
  • he walked the streets among the poor in that country, learning their ways, their language and their customs
  • he dealt with his temper by seeking ways to find peace in his soul and harmony with those around him
  • he learned a craft of making movies instead of complaining about his lack of ability
  • he made friends with his wife’s family and has their support instead of their disdain
  • he keeps in contact with his brothers and family here in the United States, letting them know of his love and concern
  • he drives a car that starts with a key instead of needing the will of God
  • he came to the United States with his dear lady to aid her in continuing her education and dreams

Do you see what I mean? He created new rivers from the waters of his soul, to generate a confluence that was guaranteed to be different from that of his hapless father.

It is what we need. Every conservative should have to spend three weeks of his life living in poverty in the inner city. Every liberal who blithely contends that abortion is a choice should take their turn counseling and listening at a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Every Republican should work in a food stamp office and every Democrat should go deer hunting with some of the good folks down in Rome, Georgia. Every religious person should go out and see some of the injustice and pain in the world before they produce the silly piping of “God is good–all the time.” And every atheist should sit in the hospital room of a soul of faith, dying of cancer, and sense the angels entering the room to retrieve a friend.

America suffers because we have one stream of thinking instead of a confluence of many rivers of reason. No one ever became a worse person by opening up to learn about how other human beings feel. It is why we celebrate Jesus–because he insisted that the whole world was to be loved, not just Jew or Arab–and he picked up some boxes and moved God and Allah out of Mesopotamia to a home on the entire planet.

Jesus created a confluence. So did the young man who sat in my room yesterday. I was touched because he was concerned about his destiny, but he has already determined the power of his journey by sending in more water.

It’s a confluence–a decision to let fresh streams into our thinking, which will make us realize that the world is not quite as simple as Mom and Dad made it, and not nearly as complicated as we fear it to be.

   

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