Sit Down Comedy … May 10th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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“But know this—that if the good man of the house had known when the thief would come, he would have watched and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” *

We weren’t watching.

Maybe it’s because there isn’t a good man among us. I don’t know.

Maybe we thought there weren’t any real thieves out there.

Perhaps we were bewitched into believing that a Republican or a Democrat possessed any spirit to follow through on basic human integrity.

Maybe it’s because we were afraid to admit that the whole political system is evil, and nobody can exist within its parameters without absorbing the filth.

Again—I don’t know.

The thieves have come in and broken up our house.

We could get angry.

We could call all the politicians “sons-of-a-bitches.”

We can insist the ones who wear red hats are righteous or the ones with the blue hats are benevolent.

But we’d be missing the point.

The tree is corrupt, so the fruit will be rotten.

Moving forward, if we’re going to protect the American house, we need to make sure we’re not allowing thieves to come in and handle the national jewels.

This will require that we stop prancing around the room, talking about voting, civic responsibility and checks and balances, but instead, ask more internal, piercing questions of those who would desire to lead us.

I only want to know four things about anybody.

I don’t care if he mows my lawn, distributes my groceries or is the President of the United States. And the answers to these questions tell me whether I can trust him or her and therefore grant my support.

Just four questions—and if you agree, you can stop concerning yourself with immigration, the economy, health insurance and social standards. The answers to the questions tell you whether an individual running for office truly gives a damn about anybody.

So here are the questions I want to ask anybody I ever meet, to inform me where he or she is coming from and where they’re going:

  1. Can you tell the truth?
  2. Can you confess your faults?
  3. Can you learn?
  4. Can you love your neighbor as yourself?

After I ask them, I listen to the answers. I don’t accept, “I’ll try,” or “Everybody tells a fib now and then,” or “Who do you think I should confess to?” or “I’m pretty smart the way I am but I could probably learn,” or the classic—“Who’s my neighbor?”

The answers are actually easy:

  1. I not only can tell the truth, I want you to hold me to the truth, and when you catch me, I want you to stop me.
  2. I will confess my faults, because I know you will find them eventually anyway, and if I confess them, I have a better chance of being healed.
  3. I don’t work on being smart. I work on increasing my capacity and hunger to learn. There are too many angles for any one person to figure out.
  4. I will love my neighbor as myself because it’s the only way I can guarantee a positive ending to any situation.

You can go ahead and believe in politics if you want to—but as the “good man of the house,” I see the thieves coming around again, and I, for one, am going to do everything I can to make sure they don’t come in and break up our house anymore.

*Matthew 24:43


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Catchy (Sitting 18) Clippings … October 15th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Michael Hinston sat back in a leather chair which had been a gift from a Congressman from Mississippi who had recently remodeled his office, had no need for the extra furniture piece and “saw no reason for it to go to waste.”

In Michael’s hand was a plain manila envelope–the kind you would buy at a dollar store. There was no writing on the outside, except in the lower right hand corner, in small letters, was the name, Milford Hayes.

It did not take Michael any time at all to recollect who Milford Hayes was. Ever since the visit in his office, when he was given the fifty thousand dollars from Caine Industries, he had recalled the conversation with the stranger many, many times.

He hated himself because he hadn’t kicked the bastard out the door.

He hated himself for being part of a political system that allowed such corruption.

He hated himself because corporations thought they could buy and sell politicians like sides of beef.

He also hated himself because he had already spent some of the money.

And unlike more noble souls who could suddenly possess a fit of conscience and give the money back, he had no such resource.

He was in.

Whatever “in” meant.

And apparently, with the arrival of this envelope, he was about to find out.

He picked up the phone and asked his secretary to hold all calls, though nobody was actually phoning him. This was another troubling part of his journey in Washington. He had been elected by rural hometown folks in Ohio, but nobody in the Capitol even knew he was alive.

He had thought he was going to be invited to dinner with the President, but when it turned out that his vote was not needed for an upcoming piece of legislation, apologies were offered and he ended up eating pepperoni pizza with his family.

So now, sitting in his cast-off chair, in his uncomfortable office, with the knowledge in his mind that his wife and children despised their new home, he slowly opened the envelope.

Pulling out the contents, he found a clump of press clippings held together with a paper clip, and a white business envelope with the words “For the Kids” written on the outside.

He set the white envelope to the side and thumbed through the articles. They had one central theme–they were tiny news announcements, reports, opinions and press releases about his friend, Matthew, taking on the Harts fortune to popularize Jesus.

Included was an 8 X 10 glossy picture of a young man with long hair. Scrawled in magic marker across the photo was the name, Jubal Carlos.

Satisfied that he had discovered the essence of the newspaper clippings, he moved toward the business envelope. He opened it. Inside was a note written on 20-pound typing paper, along with ten one hundred-dollar bills. The note read:

It’s time to do something. It’s time for you to earn your money. Your nosy friend has decided to take on the challenge and we must do what is necessary to stall his efforts. The picture is of Jubal Carlos, a freelance musician from Las Vegas who lives on the street with the homeless and the indigent. Your buddy from college plans on using him. Don’t you think it would be a good idea for you to use your congressional clout to have the local authorities investigate him? It couldn’t hurt, right?

I have enclosed some “pin money” for little Alisa and Bernice. Stay faithful. Milford Hayes.

Michael put the letter down and stared at the picture of Jubal Carlos. He didn’t know what to do. The young man in the photograph certainly seemed likeable–a bright countenance.

Why would he want to trouble someone causing no trouble?

Why would he allow himself to be part of some plot against an old friend?

Why should he care what a dead, old billionaire wanted to do with the rest of his money?

But what truly haunted Michael was the thousand dollars. Just twenty minutes earlier, his wife, Barbara, had called to tell him that the school was launching a field trip to New York City. There would be additional expense. The secretary from the school said it would cost $500 for each daughter. Barbara apologized for laying a thousand-dollar burden on his mind while he was at work.

Michael paused, shaking his head. Now, twenty minutes later, he was staring at a thousand dollars in cash. A coincidence? A miracle? A blessing?

Or did Milford Hayes and Caine Industries know too much about his daughters?

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G-Poppers … November 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

It doesn’t have to be my “ism” to create a schism.

A schism is a split–usually between people.

G-Pop was rolling into his motel when a young man crossed his path. There was an immediate tension. Three years ago it may have been different, but the chasm among people has grown as the anger, malice and dissension have mounted in our country.

For you see, what the young man saw in G-Pop was a fat, 60-year-old white man with Nordic features. He, being a young fellow of color, felt disdain for such a creature, assuming that a Caucasian elderly gentleman must certainly carry the opinions promoted in the marketplace, which look down on him.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yet likewise, to some degree a woman in this country must assume that the men she meets are guilty of chauvinism because of the reinstitution of male superiority.

Also, somebody wearing an American flag on his or her lapel is no longer viewed as a patriotic person, but rather, a potential radical who might be a proponent of “America, love it or leave it.”

Unbridled prejudice has made us suspicious of one another.

It is the casualty of the 2016 election. The campaign was more than a “rocky transition” in our political system. We legitimized the “isms”–chauvinism, racism, ageism, sexism and nationalism, placing the American populace back into armed camps.

Before the campaign, we had the appearance of inching our way to the table of negotiation. Now we are back to rejecting one another.

So in that brief moment when G-Pop came across the young man, he realized it was important to tear down those walls and try to restore some sense of reconciliation.

It requires a combination of “greet” and “meet,” establishing a friendly invitation and following it up with a piece of self-deprecation.

“Hello, my friend,” initiated G-Pop.

The young man gave a quick nod.

“You would think at my age that I should have figured out how to do things, but would you believe I still stumble around, making tons of mistakes?”

This second statement caused the young fellow to pause and turn. So G-Pop offered a third.

“Aren’t you blessed that you’ve still got time to learn stuff and be smarter than me?”

He smiled and replied, “Oh, you’re plenty smart, I’m sure.”

G-Pop concluded, “Some days it’s just hard for me to prove it. Have a great day, my friend.”

The young man laughed.

There had been a greeting, followed by a meeting of the souls. Months and months of aggravated verbal assaults, televised through the media, had been addressed but not conquered.

The work of those who believe in faith, hope and charity has increased but not changed. In a world of tribulation, it is up to us to be of good cheer.

We have increased the schism in this country by allowing errant ideas to be given breath, and therefore a life of their own.

Getting offended or proclaiming it unfair will not change the situation. We will need to bridge the schism by exposing the nasty “isms.”

 

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Acada-not me … March 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Academy AwardsThomas Jefferson was a fascinating gent. Attributed with the main authorship of the Declaration of Independence, he established a precept–“all men are created equal.”

Although he did not follow this philosophy through by freeing his slaves, he did contend that elitism and segregation by the hierarchy from the average man was anti-American.

So after I finished having a wonderful evening with fine folks in Chino Valley, Arizona, I arrived home just in time to see the last hour of the Academy Awards.

I nearly gagged through the whole experience. The presumption, pomp and circumstance and “holier-than-thou” attitudes expressed by Hollywood are so contrary to the Jeffersonian approach to freedom that this institution of the Academy of Arts and Sciences is more suited for the court of King George.

Let’s look at the basic premises.

Hollywood makes movies because they are artistic. So in the first premise is the notion that most people aren’t as gifted and talented as those living on “the coast with the most.”

Secondly, Hollywood makes a certain type of movie because they are superior to the masses, who may require some inspiration with their entertainment, but those wishes must be ignored in favor of more high-minded goals.

And finally, the masses are so ignorant and unable to assess quality that those in the Academy vote on their own material within their own ranks–because certainly John Q. Public is too dense to comprehend the subtle nuances of art.

Would you explain how this is any different from our two-party political system, which nowadays only marches to platform ideals, rather than to the heart of the people, or the religious system, which proclaims that the people’s desires to be ministered to in a certain way is childish, and therefore more pious avenues must be pursued?

Candidly, anytime a committee gets together and decides what anybody else thinks–other than the people on the committee–you are dealing with an arrogance which will certainly turn around and bite you in the ass.

And even though the same Hollywood that criticizes the National Rifle Association for being backwoods in their philosophy about guns takes those same guns and put them in their movies, with violent and bloody conclusions, under the guise of “realistic entertainment.”

I, for one, am weary of such hypocrisy.

I know it is considered to be intellectual and open-minded to view the movie “Twelve Years a Slave” as an exposition of the debauchery of slavery in this country, but here’s the problem: the subject is not new and we are not any less racially divided because these movies are made. The people who are already angry over slavery become angrier and the people who are defensive over the issue just become more defensive.

Hollywood continues to make movies they like without asking me–or you, for that matter. We are supposed to sit at home in our underwear watching the show, submitting to the supposed supremacy of the tuxedo-clad crowd, knowing that we have no business challenging their predilections.

I am against elitism in all of its forms. It turns our country into arrogant, bratty children, who stand across the playground from one another behind their makeshift forts, hurling snowballs.

  • The Academy is not for me. It is a self-indulgent buffet for fat cats.
  • The religious system is not for me. It is a cloister of over-educated religionists who have lost contact with the congregation.
  • And the political system is not for me. It is a conglomeration of competitive children trying to get voted into a club that doesn’t do anything but make s’mores in the treehouse.

Can we do better?

Not until we admit to ourselves that we are not great. It is not necessary to be great. It is only wise to realize what Thomas Jefferson shared–that no one is better than anyone else.

 

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