G-Poppers … July 20th, 2018

G-Pop was nine years old when Bobby moved into the village and started attending the little elementary school.

At first the parents thought he might be a Negro, since he had skin a couple of shades darker, and curly hair. But on careful inspection and tracking down some details, it was confirmed that he was Italian. This allowed him to be suitable for playtime and interaction.

But Bobby was different.

He wasn’t like all the scared children from our burg who were frightened to death to displease the grownups who held the key to play-time and candy. Bobby didn’t care.

When the teacher came into the room, the rest of the students fell silent–like attending a funeral. But Bobby just kept chattering, glancing up at the teacher and smiling back at all the other terrified third-graders.

He was the same way during recess. He played hard, rough and mean. But at the same time, he was sweet-talking to the girls, so they liked him. In no time at all, he developed a reputation among the teachers, staff and some of the parents of being a brat.

Yes. Bobby the Brat.

What concerned them most of all was that there seemed to be a breakdown of discipline across the board–because other students began to feel the liberty to be curt, selfish and overly aggressive.

There was so much pressure on Bobby that when the time to begin fourth grade rolled around, he was gone. His parents left town.

Bobby the Brat had departed, so things went back to being orderly. Even though we all denounce the blandness of being orderly, disorderly comes with a nastiness which spews out poison which has been deposited in our “mad hole.”

Yes. All God’s children got a mad hole.

It’s a space deep inside where we stuff all of our frustration, misgiving and prejudice, thinking it’s a garbage can–but really, it’s just a container where our bigotries decay.

And then one day, we reach a point of rage when this poison is vomited out of our mouths.

It’s a mad hole.

It’s never cleaned out–ignored.

People try to freshen it–try to put a lid on it, so to speak, but as long as it exists, it will eventually erupt.

G-Pop wants his children to know that the truth is, you can’t get provoked unless you’re already pissed.

Nobody pissed you off. They just provoked you until you finally spilled all the putrid contents of your mad hole.

Often all it takes is for Bobby the Brat to come along and tease us with the notion that we aren’t crazy and we should speak out our stupidities loud and clear, for everyone to hear.

So we do.

Civility dies, kindness is mocked, being nice is deemed weak and the only distinction we have seems to be in the horror of our mad hole.

Mad hole

In my soul

Take it in

Make it sin

First the hate

Of your fate

Rots your brain

With things insane

It’s begun

Load your gun

Me against you

Us against them

Don’t wonder if it’s true

Repeat it again

Mad hole

Leaves a space

For me to despise

The human race

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Catchy (Sitting 46) Liary… April 29th, 2018

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Carlin Canaby was the only son of Joshua and Myrtle Mensterhall, itinerant evangelists who toured the south, holding revival meetings in Southern Baptist churches.

Carlin was born in a tiny town in Mississippi and by the time he was two years old, was singing “Jesus Loves Me” to congregations to help promote his father and mother’s ministry. He was as cute as a button, but became more and more unfastened as he got older, and was privy to the hypocrisy of the whole process.

His mother and father were often cheated out of offerings, as churches insisted there was some errancy in the message which caused them to dock the payment. But more often than not, there was no explanation at all–just a paltry sum handed over after fourteen days of work.

This never seemed to hamper Joshua’s enthusiasm to “preach the Gospel to every living creature.” That is, every living creature unless they were black, Hispanic or involved in some untoward practice viewed as heinous by the religious system he revered.

Carlin’s mother, Myrtle, had the personality you would expect from someone named Myrtle. She was nervous, uptight and deathly afraid of anything that resembled a germy speck of dirt. She played just enough piano to accompany Joshua’s incompetent singing.

The pair had very little appeal, and even though revivals were scheduled to last for two weeks, they were often cut short due to lack of attendance.

Still, everything went along reasonably well, with biscuits, grits and gravy provided by the local churches, until Myrtle became involved with Reverend Rudy. Reverend Rudy was a chunk of a man, with a girlish giggle and a prancy walk. He loved to lean down into the faces of young boys and ask them what they wanted to be when they grew up–with a big whiff of tobacco bouncing from his breath.

Carlin didn’t like him. He especially found him distasteful when he walked into the room and discovered that Reverend Rudy was very interested in his mother’s groin. Rudy pretended to be dabbing off some imaginary coffee which had spilled on her lap, but it was obvious to the thirteen-year-old Carlin that there was more going on south of the border than picking cotton.

Sure enough, 24 hours later, Reverend Rudy and Myrtle announced their intentions to pursue a life together, just as soon as a quick divorce could be acquired from Joshua Mensterhall.

Carlin’s dad was devastated. He had lost a wife, a piano player and an accountant to try to keep the wheels of the Gospel somewhere in the middle of the dirt road.

And even though Joshua was not the unfaithful one, word spread that he was “a divorced man,” so the revivals lined up for the future canceled, one at a time.

Myrtle made it clear that she didn’t want the boy, so Joshua took Carlin, and for a season they were homeless, panhandling and street preaching.

One day an old black gentleman named Carlton Canaby happened by while Joshua was pontificating to passers-by on a particularly difficult passage from Jeremiah. The Negro gentleman asked him what he was trying to accomplish. Matter of fact, they decided to have coffee together, careful not to enter any restaurant, but instead, getting styrofoam cups from the local gas station, and heading for a nearby park.

Joshua poured out his heart to Canaby, who ended up being a reverend himself, with the National Baptist Church. (This was the Negro outgrowth from the Southern Baptist.) Pastor Carlton decided to invite the pale preacher in, to hold a meeting. Even though many of the parishioners at Pastor Canaby’s church objected to a white man preaching–especially one teetering in an adultery situation–the friendly pastor insisted, and Joshua and Carlin were scheduled in for a two-week revival, complete with eats.

Joshua was horrible. Being a white man raised in the south, he thought himself superior to those he was teaching. On the third night, a young man in the congregation rose to his feet, interrupting the sermon time and said, “You don’t know much about colored folks, do you?”

Those in attendance burst into laughter and Joshua stood, red-faced and defensive. Canaby came forward, easing the tension, and said, “Our brother is here to learn, to heal, to grow and to be himself without apology.”

For some reason, this touched the heart of Joshua Mensterhall. He burst into tears and fell on his knees, pleading to the heavens with an anguished cry. The congregation surrounded him and the true revival began.

It lasted for two months, until one night, after the service, Pastor Canaby was abducted by some angry white men in a pick-up truck. They did not approve of mixing races, so they took Canaby into the woods and hung him from a tree. Fortunately for Reverend Canaby, they had twisted the rope too tight around his neck. It caught on his shoulder muscle, which sustained his life until others arrived and cut him down.

But he was never the same. Perhaps it was the lack of oxygen from the hanging, or just a good old-fashioned dose of fear. He retired into his own soul, where he seemed to receive some comfort.

Shortly thereafter, Joshua died.

Carlin was made a ward of a missionary family named Richardson. They were traveling on mission to Equador. Carlin hated every minute of it. He nearly burst in anger, waiting for his eighteenth birthday so he could run away and start his own life.

When he did, he rejected the name “Richardson” and “Mensterhall,” and took on the name “Canaby,” in honor of the brave dark man who had befriended a bewildered white minister and his frustrated son.

Since that time, Carlin had made it his life work to expose hypocrites with his organization, “Liary”–which was defined as finding a way to tell the truth in the most pleasant way possible, without flirting with the lie.

Carlin had recently received a phone call from a notable businessman, asking him to intervene in the Jubal Carlos campaign, to assist by softening some of the blows of disapproval that were coming over assumed scandals.

This is what brought him to the hotel, where he found an extremely defeated Matthew Ransley.

Matthew immediately liked Carlin, but Jubal Carlos was quick to express his disfavor. Jubal didn’t like anything associated with lying–even if it was an attempt to prevent its severity.

Matthew found himself in a war: one in his heart, his soul, his mind and the excesses that were gradually eating away at his body.

He thought to himself, I wonder how Carlin would spin my life? What positive things could he find that would sweeten my tale?

It was obvious there was a transition coming. Would it take them deeper into the discovery of Jesus, or just make them another clever organization with a hint of charlatan?

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Pay Me No Mind

Many many years ago

We fought a war in “Koreo”

I’m curious, did anybody win?

Who cares–let’s do it again.

 

Perhaps you did not know

Lincoln freed the Negro

Is he really free?

Hail the Confederacy.

 

Muslims hate the Jews

Over who is the Chosen Fews

It is really very sad

Since they both have the same Dad

 

Women have been here since dust

To make a child she is a must

Is she declared an equal?

Hang around for the sequel.

 

We had a war on drugs

Arrested and jailed many thugs

But children still take the bluff

And overdose on poisonous stuff.

 

All the leaders lie to us

Pushing freedom to the back of the bus

But no one has any real sparks

We sure could use Rosa Parks.

 

If blue lives matter

And black lives shatter

Can you hear the clatter?

Wall Street’s fatter

 

Everything new is old again

Tainted by rickety sin

Or portrayed to be the common good

Considering the could, ignoring the should

 

I am just a goof, you see

A dreamer in search of integrity

So march in step with the blind

And for God’s sake, pay me no mind.

 

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Cracked 5 … June 27th, 2017


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Ways to Celebrate Our Founding Fathers on July 4th Other Than Fireworks

A.  POWDER AND SNUFF

A cavalcade of powdered wigs and various opiates and hallucinogenic drugs inhaled and smoked by the Continental Congress

B.  REACH FOR A LEECH

Bring your family for a once-in-a-lifetime “placing of the leeches”–so they can see how the colonists attempted to cure all disease (paramedics standing by in case of great blood loss)

C.  “TAKE A NEGRO TO WORK” DAY

Call up one of your friends of color and take him to your job as your slave, complete with chains and desperate expression. Yes, you can be Tom Jefferson, and he can be just “Tom.”

D.  ODORATION

Come and experience various chambers with early American body odor sprayed in, to give you the experience of sniffing people who wore too many clothes and did not use deodorant.

E.  MUSKETING

Salute to the Second Amendment–a Revolutionary War Gun Show, complete with unreliable, sometimes exploding flintlocks, and a chart displaying that it would take approximately seventeen straight hours for a mass killer to murder 25 people with a musket. (That’s if everyone agreed to hang around for the re-loading.)

 

 

 

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Patchwork

Patchwork

Oh say, can you see

My country ’tis of thee

Come on, give peace a chance

Disco, tango, square dance

Black, white, red, yellow

Hostile, hippie, hyper, mellow

And the rocket’s red glare

Yet please don’t stop and stare

Brown, tan, beige or pink

Freedom to share what you think

I pledge allegiance to the flag

Redneck, negro, chick or fag

Check your gun with the attendant

So to honor the Second Amendment

All men are created equal

Say it again, we need the sequel

To the oceans, white with foam

Where the deer and antelope freely roam

Go to war, stop the war

Open the gates, slam the door

We don’t care where you piss

Just be kind and never miss

North, south, east and west

Take your pick, which one’s the best?

Yankee Doodle, make your strudel

Uncle Sam, carve the ham

MLK, what do you say?

Crazy Horse, with no remorse

Buy a slave, all the rave

All men free–better, you see

America is a melting pot

So humbly bring what you’ve got.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Amos ‘n Angie… March 8, 2013

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Amos and AndyTwo out of work white actors–veterans of minstrel shows–came up with an idea to present a pair of Negro characters who were shiftless, rather ignorant, clumsy and ill-suited for everyday life, and dubbed them Amos  ‘n Andy. Spanning four decades and being translated from radio to television, this twosome created great comedy among the predominately white community in America, and laughs aplenty.

The only difficulty is that when issues of civil rights, human respect and equality came to the forefront, Amos ‘n Andy needed to be shoved to the back of the bus. It was.

Today nearly all Americans would be embarrassed to watch or listen to an episode of the repugnant spoof. They would be shocked at the underlying meanness and condescension in the scripts. But not so–for four decades. It was a staple of American life, and along with minstrel shows, in its own way attempted to keep the darker-skinned portions of our society at bay–from ever considering themselves toe-to-toe with the white community.

I don’t think anyone would disagree with what I just wrote. Most folks would nod their heads or “amen” such a denouncement of obvious racial bigotry and the process of limiting one group of people from ascending to their rightful position.

Yet every single night of the week on TV, and in most of our movies, we continue the same assault, merely changing the characters from Amos ‘n Andy to Amos ‘n Angie. We portray the battle between men and women to be a natural phenomenon, ordained by God, a conflict with no resolution and only worthy of cynical satire, not ever to be considered a resolvable stand-off.

Sometimes the dialogue favors women, making men look dull, stupid and Neanderthal. Other times, the humor is testosterone-driven, with women appearing bitchy, unreasonable, and of course in the end, vulnerable and desperately in need of a hug.

The parallel is there–and it is rather doubtful that we will ever have civil rights, social rights or national rights for all people as long as we tolerate an ongoing squabble between half the people against the other half. Yes, as long as we insist that men and women are so adverse to one another,  the only way to handle the imbalance will be to laugh at it.

How is the old Amos ‘n Andy minstrel show like the present Amos ‘n Angie square-off between the sexes? It works on the same four principles:

1. “They are so different from us that they’re just funny.” As in the case of Amos ‘n Andy, the new portrayal of men and women being cosmically ill-suited is just a way of hiding prejudice.

2. “They don’t make sense.” The two white actors who played Amos and Andy worked very hard to make their accents almost unintelligible, portraying the deep-rooted ignorance of their characters. Likewise, nowadays tirades of either men or women on TV shows and in movies lead the audience to believe that one or the other of the sexes is stupid.

3. They are always bickering. It was a hallmark of Amos ‘n Andy. Nowadays, the way to get people to chuckle is to portray that men and women can not find any common humanity, but instead, must bicker and fuss with each other until they fall into bed and resolve their problems between the sheets.

4. Finally–and probably most dastardly–watching one of these bigoted spoofs makes the viewer walk out thinking, “They are not like us.” The best way to keep the black man from the vote and civil rights was to stand on stage and portray him as the numskull. As long as that was permitted, all the marches from Selma to Montgomery were just walks in the park. And as long as we have entertainment which insists there is an evolutionary gap between the male and female that cannot be spanned, we will continue to have unnecessary conflict which will reflect on our society as permission to segregate.

Just as it took brave people to stand up and declare Amos ‘n Andy a dangerous attack on human beings, we are going to need some very insightful folks to refuse to participate in the Amos and Angie presentations permeating our culture.

Ironically, many of the black comedians who would be appalled at Amos ‘n Andy are now jumping on the bandwagon of Amos ‘n Angie, making a quick buck off of sarcasm and cheap shots at the genders.

You can still write a funny piece based upon a man and woman discovering how to become more like one another, thus signing an eternal peace treaty of the soul. But no one wants to do that as long as Amos ‘n Angie is selling. It’s just like no one wanted to stop Amos ‘n Andy when there were advertisers lined up to support it.

I will guarantee you, in thirty years many or most of the television shows we now extol as comedic wonders will be viewed as cultural bigotry. The issue is–will YOU be one of the ones to notice before it becomes so obvious that even the common riff-raff of Hollywood has to give up the ignoble cause?

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Stay on the Bus … January 21, 2013

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Martin Luther King Jr.Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a problem. The bus line in his local community had begun to raise a fuss about carrying the colored folks of the town. There were so many reasons for the conflict that it’s difficult to explain–but basically, Rev. King was a Negro minister in a municipality which believed in and practiced “separate but equal.” Racial mixing was frowned on except in the exchange of cordial, but brief, greetings in the marketplace.

The problem the young minister faced was that some of his congregation wanted to rebel and object to the lack of equality and respect given to the Negro community. But most of the folks just wanted to get along. They saw no particular reason, after all these years of struggle and winning significant improvements, to anger the white community over such a silly, little issue as transportation. But he was also aware of the power he possessed among his people as a member of the clergy. They would more than likely move out in any direction he deemed righteous.

He prayed about it. After he prayed, he decided that the true wisdom of God was to use discretion and humility instead of demanding acceptance, which would only be viewed as arrogant. He negotiated a deal with the bus company to allow the colored folks, who sat in the rear, to redecorate that particular portion of the bus to suit their culture and liking. The bus company thought it was an odd request but couldn’t see any reason why allowing the Negroes to do what they wanted to on the bus, within reason, should be denied–since no white person would step back there anyway.

Matter of fact, Rev. King sold the concept to his flock under the banner, “Redecorate Our Lives.” In other words, rather than fighting against society, requiring respect, his suggestion was that the colored community establish their uniqueness and the beauty of their culture, and therefore become a testimony through cooperation. It was a roaring success. The white community was happy because things were let alone, and the Negroes felt they had achieved a compromise, which allowed them to retain some dignity of their own.

Rev. King became so popular that he was asked to head a confluence of black educators who became consultants for Congress in Washington, D.C. Although the body of legislators continued to be predominately white, this gathering of leaders from the Negro community was permitted to input ideas on how to make race relations better across the country. In fact, Rev. King was one of the founders of the NCFL–the National Colored Football League, which he proudly touted often had greater attendance in their stadiums than the nearly all-white National Football League.

Oh, there were some downs with the ups. Martin was not pleased that the music and arts scene, never integrated, failed to blend the sounds of gospel, blues and jazz into the mainstream of the pop music scene. But most of the Negro artists were able to etch out a living among their darker brothers and sisters.

Probably Rev. King’s proudest accomplishment was his “Back to Black” campaign, begun in the late 1970’s, to take American families on pilgrimages to Africa, similar to the Muslims returning to Mecca or the Jews to Jerusalem.

Separate but equal” remained the law of the land but gradually was beginning to resemble equality more than just separation. Race relations were fine unless a few trouble-makers came along rocking the boat, insisting that the forefathers’ concept of all men being created equal was an inclusive concept MEANT to promote integration.

Although Rev. King was sympathetic to their feelings, he warned them that fighting against the general opinion of the population was not going to bring peace and contentment, but rather, a forced situation of interaction, which ultimately would only produce anger and resentment.

He was successful in calming the turmoil. He was well-respected within the black community and considered to be a healing force among the whites.

While attending a convention in Atlanta in 1992, he was preparing to give a speech when he had a heart attack and died. The topic of his last presentation was to be, “Separate but equal–thank God Almighty, at last.”

You see, this very easily could have been the story of the man. He would have lived longer, he would have been more accepted and he would never have had a bullet pierce his neck and bleed out on the balcony of a cheap motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

But everything we are today–all progress we’ve made, every idea of justice and every possibility of interaction, while looking each other directly in the eye, would be pure mythology. Dr. King wrestled with two Presidents to secure the civil rights legislation that steers the ship of social justice.

Yet we live in a generation which advocates “staying on the bus” instead of boycotting the corporation because of its unfair practices. We are civilized; we are rational and we are just … damned boring.

Remember today–one man had to make one choice. Do I find a way to work with the system? Or do I declare that system filthy, evil, and fight against it–willing to give my life?

Think about it.

Then–when it’s your turn–this time, don’t compromise.

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