Sit Down Comedy … August 23rd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4145)


Sit Down Comedy

Carefully selecting the pen name Barton Marshall, he had just received the opportunity to pursue an article for Flog Blog, International: “No more than 5,000 words—a nickel a word (edited).”

He was to do a feature story on a group of young citizens meeting outside San Francisco, California, who referred to themselves as assholics.

He was certainly intrigued. He made some calls and set up a time to come and be “a fly on the wall” at one of their joinings, and interview some of the participants after snacks.

The traffic on the freeway was so heavy that he arrived fifteen minutes late—thinking he was going to make a horrible first impression—only to discover that he was the second person to arrive, and that the folks trickled in at their own whim.

About forty-five minutes later, when there seemed to be a quorum of twenty-five or thirty people, mostly male, the meeting was brought to as much order as was able to be achieved without a gavel.

A young fellow stood to his feet and said, “My name is Henry and I’m an assholic.”

The whole room burst into laughter, shouting. “Ho, Henry!”

He continued. “I’ve spent the better part of my younger years trying to tolerate the bitter taste in my mouth from being forced to expel thank you’s and vomit excuse me’s.”

(Uproarious laughter.)

He pushed on. “Unlike the alcoholics, we are not anonymous. We are proud. For us it is not one day at a time, but rather, the glory of one insult at a time. I have no need to search for a higher power, for no one is higher than me. And though it’s taken me time, I have finally learned how to trample on the weak, while trumping the losers.

“It began one day on a bus—one of those city buses teeming with the wretched refuse. You know what I mean. The bus was full, and I was tired, when a pregnant lady—very pregnant; obtusely large, gross in magnitude…”

(With each insult the laughter increased.)

“Well, she got on the bus and there was no place to sit. My retarded inclination was to stand up and give her my seat. You know what the problem with that is? Then I don’t have a goddamn seat! I did what everybody else did. I stared into my phone and let the prego stand, just glancing over every once in a while to watch her ankles swell. After that first encounter—that glorious elixir—I began cutting in line at concerts, grocery stores and even bravely did it at the DMV.”

(Everybody was hooting and hollering.)

“Nowadays my morning commute is spent counting how many fingers I give to people in traffic en route to my worthless job, where a bunch of no-good foreign workers struggle to keep up with my exceptional, beautiful American ass.”

(Applause, applause, applause.)

For a moment, Barton thought it was merely an impromptu comedy troupe, meeting with a different weekly theme—this week being rudeness. But when Jack, Brian, Sandy and even Sue followed suit, with wild tales and vicious epithets against humanity, it became obvious that the assholics had actually discovered a perfect name.

They seemed to be intoxicated on cruelty and drunk on self-confidence, which was producing a slur against everything and everyone in sight.

There was mocking of the straight line and cursing those heretics who had escaped the club—going out into society with their anemic apologies, detoxing on civility and swearing that the key to escaping assholic is “one thought at a time.”

The meeting rolled on and rolled on, for nearly an hour, until the members began to be so critical of each other that it nearly broke out in a fight. Sensing danger, Barton left the room and climbed into his car, went home and sat behind his computer and typed his article, which he entitled, “Assholic Abominabus.”

He finished it off, put it through word count and discovered it was 3,823 words. One more read-through, a couple of quick changes and he sent it off to Flog Blog, International.

Five days later a note came back, reading, “Although the writing was passable, we felt that your title lacked impartiality. We asked you to write an article about the club—not a review. Better luck next time.”

Barton Marshall sat back in his chair and thought about what he had learned. He considered reacting to the rejection with the same acidity as the assholics. How comforting it would be, for a moment, to be pissed at the whole world and convinced that all the people at Flog Blog were pedophiles.

Yet all that ferocious fussiness would not grant him an opportunity for publication nor a few dollars for his bank account.

So Mertland Michaels sent out a query to a magazine which was looking for someone to write a feature story on the decline of interest in squirrels.

 

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The O Word … May 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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THE

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WORD


There are times that it seems the human race is determined to come up with sneakier, or perhaps less offensive, ways to attack one another. Especially interesting is the way we acquire terms which separate us and allow each individual to feel superior to another without it coming across as bigoted.

This is why I tell you:

The O word that should never be used again is “odd.”

There is no circumstance where the word “odd” is positive.

If we’re attempting to be positive, we use the word “different”—but we all know even the word “different” can be the curse of death. None of us want to be that different. We want to be normal—and have as few people in our club as possible.

  • Odd is an insult.
  • Odd is selfish.
  • Odd is mean.

Odd is purposely setting someone to the side because you have determined that they are just not a good fit. Odd is what civilized people say to avoid the word “queer.” Odd is what bigoted folks proclaim so they don’t have to use racial epithets.

For instance, it’s the assertion that there actually is “a black thing, a white preference, a male predilection or a female intuition.”

Once we can establish that something is odd, we no longer need to deal with it, because ironically the word “odd” rhymes with “God,” and places us in the position to do His work by deciding who are the heads and who are the tails.

Odd has a three-step process:

  1. You are weird to others.
  2. You are peculiar to the Earth.
  3. Therefore, you are unacceptable to me.

Although we may insist that we can point out an oddity without judging its equality, the fact is, any time we assume that the actions of another person are unique, in no time at all we will view them as errant.


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G-Poppers … May 18th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop would like to address two words with his children: constraint and restraint.

Although they have similar definitions, their application is quite opposite.

Constraint is normally a commandment or demand placed on others, and restraint is a restriction we apply to ourselves.

Even though we certainly would love to place many constraints on the world around us and guide it into deeper understanding of what we envision for an excellent planet, the fact of the matter is, no one really listens to anyone else, especially when controlling through instruction.

When constraint is in the air and cultures, religions and political parties are attempting to convert one another, the end result is usually violence. Of course, long before the mayhem, painful discourse ensues, often punctuated with insult.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it is time for good-hearted people of good cheer to take on some selected restraint, with the goal, in so doing, of making it much easier for people to see the vision of the choice–and judge for themselves what they want to do.

Here are G-Pop’s Four Posts of Personal Restraint:

1. I will live and let you live.

2. I will be odd, and not get even.

3. I will make more and take less.

4. I will be kind and ease my mind.

No human being will be able to pull these off every day, or even for the preponderance of a week. But just doing it every once in a while changes the quality of the air we breathe, and lightens the burdens of the load we bear.

You can try to force these on other people, but they will resist you.

Or you can simply take them on as a goal, a mission, a blessing and a great relief to your own brain.

Constraint leaves the world bickering over details and never taking on the “weightier matters” of mercy and love.

Restraint opens the door, showing others what it’s like to clean up your own house before you try to dust the furniture in someone else’s living room.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … December 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man,

I’m tired of being afraid.

I hate fear. It is so uncontrollably fearful.

I’m afraid of being weak and I’m also afraid of not being weak enough to fit in.

Or maybe it’s that I’m tired. Yes, I’m tired of being the weaker sex. How can you call someone the weaker anything and contend it’s not an insult? In what sense is weakness ever a positive? It is one thing and one thing only: weak.

It enables you to relegate me to positions for easy manipulation. I despise it. And then if manipulation doesn’t work, you can become abusive. And since I’m weak, I’m supposed to fall under the spell of your aggression.

I’m supposed to believe that if I have an opinion, it’s a complaint. If I have a complaint, it’s a bitch.

If I have a bitch, it’s an insult to your manhood. And if I insult your manhood, I’m a lousy woman.

How can you define being a woman by how well men think you act your role?

 

Dear Woman:

Don’t you think I’m afraid, too? I’m afraid of failing to be strong.

Who in the hell would I be if I’m not strong? I would risk being a pussy, right? Which simultaneously, by the way, insults you because it attributes weakness to being female.

So I’m supposed to figure out on my own what it means to be strong. Forgive me for assuming that would entail getting rid of anything that resembles weakness–feelings, tears, sensitivity, attention span…should I go on?

So to be a man, in a way I’m told to be a jerk to a woman. And from what you’re telling me, I further complicate your life by treating you as weak so I will appear stronger.

 

Dear Man,

You don’t understand. I don’t want you to work this out for me. I don’t want you to adapt to my fear and my fatigue.

I want to find a way to discover why we share so much in common, yet are taught that we’re so different.

 

Dear Woman:

Aren’t we different? Isn’t that supposed to be the allure of our attraction?

 

Dear Man:

I hope not, because quite honestly, it’s driving me nuts.

The things you think make you strong actually repel me, and then I resent the fact that I’m supposed to be attracted to what I find repulsive.

 

Dear Woman:

Repulsive, huh? Am I supposed to hear that without thinking you’re a bitch?

 

Dear Man:

Am I supposed to feel it without saying it?

 

 

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Ask Jonathots … September 24th, 2015

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It seems to me that you only win in life if you’re aggressive. For instance, Donald Trump, who is extremely defensive and cutting, leads in the Republican polls. I’m not asking you to talk about politics, just answer this question: how can Jesus suggest that we get anywhere by “turning the other cheek?” Or is he just talking about the afterlife?

I think the problem in most people’s thinking is that they like to characterize certain words as positive or negative. Putting it in simpler terms, most folks would consider passive to be the opposite of aggressive.

But the issue is not whether we should be aggressive. The issue is, to whom?

You are absolutely correct–aggression expressed to others as a means of domination or for generating payback is not only non-spiritual, but also generally considered, in the long run, to be a lame choice.

Yet we are certainly supposed to be aggressive to ourselves. Intertwined in the teachings of Jesus is a strong motivational message to go the second mile, be perfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, and take care of the beam in your own eye instead of worrying about the mote in your brother’s eye.

The foible in humans is that we would much rather be aggressive toward other people’s weaknesses than our own.

Donald Trump is characterized as aggressive, but he isn’t alone. There is a general consensus in our society that we can achieve success by–pardon the expression–“trumping” others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After all, insult may be the only word that never requires a period. As long as an insult is hanging in the air, it’s just awaiting the arrival of the next insult.

So what does it mean–to be aggressive to yourself?

1. Take an inventory.

Consider what you actually can do instead of what you want to do, and then work on those talents.

2. Practice what you want to achieve until you reach the point that you don’t have to make excuses for your shortcomings.

There will still be failures but you want to make sure they are not caused by your lack of perseverance.

3. Don’t compare your work to the work of others.

Compare it to your own vision and what you desire to achieve.

The Jesonian life–a life following Jesus–is an aggressive one–but not in relationship to our judgment and critique of others.

Rather, in our own passion to perfect our ways … and learn how to go the second mile.

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ProbOne … November 1, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2053)

its not fairProblems are the difficulties that come our way which tend to deflate us instead of invigorate.

Why?

Because we are convinced that change is both unnecessary and unpleasant. (Matter of fact, it’s good that evolution is a slow, tedious process or we would resist it every step of the way.)

So our reluctance to view problems as vehicles to get us to a better place creates the first wall of resistance.

The second impairment is the persistent belief that our problem is unique.

After many years of travel, family life, counseling and living, I will tell you that all problems break down into three categories, and if you learn how to handle each category, your dilemmas will not seem nearly as problematic, but instead, doorways to new opportunities. Over the next three days I will talk about each one of these individually.

The first problem that faces all humankind is: “It’s not fair.”

Something happens or we find ourselves in a situation which is uncomfortable, unfamiliar or undesirable. Our first inclination is to cry foul. We complain to ourselves, our friends, our spouses or even our God. Our message is clear: “If life was right, I wouldn’t have to deal with this wrong.”

To escape the dark cloud of “it’s not fair,” I suggest you seek the answer to these five questions:

  1. Who am I working with? The success of any project always hinges on personnel.
  2. What needs to be done? Until all the personnel involved agree on the destination, everybody will have a tendency to go in their own willful way and therefore pull against each other.
  3. Where will we need to work? After all, certain climates are more conducive to warming to great ideas. If I go to Antarctica, I will need boots and a coat.
  4. When is the deadline? Is it negotiable? Is it arbitrary? Is it up for discussion? Ninety percent of the disagreements humans have with each other could be resolved by pulling out a calendar.
  5. Why is it being done? Often in the pursuit of trying to resolve a tribulation, we may find that the resolution is not necessary at all, or that the trial we think we’re going through has been misrepresented.

There you are–ProbOne. “It’s not fair.”

Checking out the who, what, where, when and why of your surroundings will take away much of the sting of your oppression and replace it with some realistic ideas or a good laugh over why such a fuss was made in the first place.

So there are some ideas about how to handle ProbOne.  Try them. You might like them.

Which leads us to ProbTwo: “It’s not enough.”

See you tomorrow.

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The Fear Gear… October 31, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2053) 

maskHappy Halloween.

Is that an oxymoron? I mean, is Halloween happy?

I do understand that great fun happens from dressing up, eating candy and having the fellowship of interacting with one another. But is Halloween rooted in the tradition of human warmth, or is it a delivery system for scaring people? And is there a difference between being scared and being fearful? Probably.

Yet fear is such a devastating sensation to the human spirit that sometimes I’m a little anxious to flirt with it by just scaring myself.

Fear is at the root of all of our problems. There’s no doubt about that.

There are seven attributes of great human beings:

  • Love
  • Faith
  • Joy
  • Hope
  • Mercy
  • Passion
  • Creativity

Fear is a toothy monster, nibbling on the corners of each of them.

  1. Love: the absence of fear. When I believe that nothing can separate me from the love of my Father, I don’t have to allow worry to conquer my heart.
  2. Faith: the control of fear. Even though I have doubts, I intelligently branch out my belief in a direction of improvement.
  3. Joy: ignoring fear. It’s a decision to have good cheer without denying circumstances, but instead, changing them by giving ourselves an attitude to succeed.
  4. Hope: the replacement of fear. Yes, fear takes up space. It pushes out any notion that things can get better, and thus, must be evicted by a new idea.
  5. Mercy: the insult to fear. When we step out of ourselves and express kindness to others, we are spitting in the eye of our fear of being rejected.
  6. Passion: the remedy for fear. For after all, fear is when we cease to believe in what we’re doing anymore and start to accept that a certain amount of doom is inevitable. Passion is the only way to chase that demon out of our minds.
  7. Creativity: the opposite of fear. When we continue to contend that we have the talent, ability, energy and initiative to make something out of what we have instead of standing at a distance and mocking it for its lack, we generate a counter-culture in the ruling class of fear.

I don’t have anything against Halloween. Matter of fact, the only thing I’m scared of is fear. Because when fear is perfected inside us, it makes us think that gloom is normal—and we lose the seven powerful precepts listed above.

At that point we are at the mercy of the dark kingdomwe are bled dry by the vampires and eaten alive by the werewolves.

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