Sit Down Comedy … November 8th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4222)

Sit Down Comedy

 I felt the need for some caution.

When the Mogelthorpe family invited us over for a discussion, I was bewildered. First, I did not know the Mogelthorpes—only that their teenage daughter was dating our teenage son. Additionally, I didn’t think I had ever participated in an event dubbed “a discussion” that remained discussing and didn’t deteriorate into some sort of verbal standoff.

But I went.

As it turned out, the Mogelthorpes were very concerned that their daughter was getting too serious about our son, and that their high school dating experience was progressing at a frightening pace.

I listened. But I must admit, I find folks who attempt to curtail sexual activity somewhat comical. They, themselves, historically did not “cur their tail,” and most of the time when we try to keep young humans from doing things, they just do it sooner and faster.

I tried to talk like a responsible, aging, overly anxious parent and take the whole thing seriously.

At length I failed.

After an hour-and-a-half of back-and-forth conversation, which was deteriorating into each set of parents beginning to blame the other set for raising either a “tart” or a “rascal,” I finally concluded, “Folks, this is really simple. Your daughter has a radioactive vagina and my son is toting a Geiger counter.”

They did not find this humorous or even enlightening.

We left on semi-cordial terms—but with no prospects of future interaction or fellowship. It was especially ridiculous when within two weeks the two lovers lost interest in each other.

At this point, you might think the parents would relax and laugh at the failed conference. But no, the whole time I lived in the community, they never spoke to me again. And I imitated them.

Now, I felt the same way yesterday afternoon as I watched the news.

Made-up people are putting together made-up discussions over made-up problems in a world that has been made up by all of us.

The result will not be good. For it has become much more important to score points than to make one.

We are determined to wrestle our opponents to the ground and stand over them, spitting bullets.

We need to understand one fact:

Where there’s an absence, there will be a presence.

And where there is a presence, to make room for such an introduction, something will have to be absent.

Although the Democrats are certain that all the problems in our country are caused by the Republicans, and the Republicans feel they’re on a holy mission to prevent the Democrats from gaining control of the steering wheel to our government, the tactics that have been conjured are now the only things we all share in common.

Republicans aren’t nastier than Democrats. The Donkey Party has pulled even.

The Democrats are not free from scandal. They are completely equivalent to their Republican nemesis.

We believe the best way to settle a Presidential campaign is to insult until we get the desired result.

So the absence of one thing becomes the presence of another. And if you’re not careful, you may not even notice that something beautiful is gone. It is quickly filled in with something ugly. Then people tell you that this ugliness has always been there.

For instance:

The absence of civility is the presence of aggression.

Civility began feeling too “goody-goody” for us, so we attempted to change it to “toleration.” In other words, “I agree to disagree with you.”

Little did we know that in order to maintain this neutrality, we would have to be aggressive to keep our opponent at bay.

Likewise, the absence of truth is the presence of lying.

We didn’t believe that. We thought some matters could be “private,” and an explanation would not be necessary. But with a 24-hour news cycle, the facts always come out—and then, lying must be used to cover up the secret.

The absence of understanding is the presence of confusion.

Parts of our country have attempted to isolate themselves from other parts, pleading ignorance of social, cultural and even spiritual differences. But ignorance is a hard idea to present as a virtue.

And the absence of understanding has become the presence of confusion.

In other words, “How can those people be so stupid?”

Countered with, “How can those people be so arrogant?”

It may be difficult to understand, but:

The absence of good becomes the presence of evil.

We would like to characterize this as free will—but when humans are given liberty, they normally use it for an occasion to gratify their flesh. It’s just in our DNA.

So as Abraham Lincoln suggested, if we are not in pursuit of our better angels, our worst demons start planning the picnic.

I do believe we have good intentions.

But once you want to dominate, you don’t take the time to ruminate.

Yes—to sit and ponder how often we’re wrong, and to allow that to soak in so we don’t have to act like we are always right.

For I can tell you:

The absence of love is the presence of hate.

For the past twenty years, we have tried to achieve a relaxed indifference toward one another.

We have more interest in our personal family than the family of man.

And we have changed our lives to an electoral-college map, which tells us how to act.

Love is more than affection and it is more than commitment.

Love is the certainty that we are wrong often enough that we need to talk a helluva lot less.

Without this admission, hate shows up early, and leaves late.

 

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Not Long Tales … October 29th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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12.

Cam-Pain

The season had arrived for the thirty-first official mayoral race in the little village of Garrettsburg, Oregon, population 4,322 individualists.

Three candidates stepped forward to offer themselves for consideration. As was the custom in the community, these contestants were not identified as Republican or Democrat. They were perused for their ideas, their popularity and whether they maintained a personable profile in all their dealings.

The first was the present mayor, Derrick Collins. He was one of those gentlemen caught somewhere between the barnyard and rock and roll. His favorite wheels—a motorcycle. His favorite beverage was a beer. Home-brewed if possible.

One of the challengers was Maxwell Jones, a slender man who taught history and civics at the high school. He favored classical music, though if you pressed him, would admit some fondness for the Moody Blues. He wore wingtips, polyester pants which desperately tried to reach to his shoe tops, and oversized sweater vests in an attempt to appear hunkier.

The third comer in the race was barely worth mentioning, since she was a woman and there had never been a female mayor in Garrettsburg history. It wasn’t that the community was gender-biased—just that so far, no woman had fancied the position. Her name was Rachel Luxor, and she was of some foreign extraction—and even by Oregonian standards, a bit frumpy.

Each one of these race runners had a different approach.

Maxwell immediately went after the issues. There were four he had in mind: expanding the park, sanitation pickup twice a week, cleaner water and better fireworks on July 4th. At the last minute, he added another one to his list of four, which unfortunately for his symmetrical mind, made it five. But it was important: filling in the potholes.

His strategy was to stay on point with these points to make his point. Matter of fact, that became his slogan: “Maxwell Jones will stay on point with these points to make his point.”

On the other hand, Derrick Collins was not quite so energetic. Already occupying the job, knowing the job and the city having printed business cards with his name on them, he felt very secure in his domain. What Derrick decided to do was, anything that Maxwell brought up to achieve—well, Derrick just took it to the next City Council meeting and proposed it himself. He figured it was perfect. If the proposal passed, it would then be to his credit, and if the Council thumbed their noses at the idea, then it really wasn’t his fault. So no matter how much Maxwell railed on an issue, Derrick just took the issue, put it to a Council vote and removed any potential for Maxwell following through on a campaign promise. So it seemed that Derrick Collins would once again be voted into the Mayor Chair.

Now, the two men and one woman had made a pledge to one another. A vigorous campaign would be waged, but there would be no dirty tricks. No insults. No personal attacks. And no punches below the beltline.

Well, since Derrick cheated—at least that’s the way Maxwell saw it—the promise was negated. A poster was printed with a picture of Derrick Collins drinking a beer at the monster truck extravaganza the previous fall. Underneath it was printed, boldly, “Here’s your man—if you want a redneck.”

The folks of Garrettsburg were not what you would call sophisticated, but they certainly did not want to be considered rednecks. Once this circular circulated through the community, Derrick decided the gloves had come off. He printed his own poster, showing Maxwell reading a book. Beneath the picture was the caption, “Your socialist at work.”

Once again, none of the citizenry were raging political animals, but they were pretty sure they did not want to be socialists.

The buckets were gathered, the lines were drawn, and the mudslinging began.

Maxwell said that Derrick once called an African American a Negro.

Derrick found a book report written by Maxwell back in high school, where he referred to Darwin’s volume, The Origin of the Species, as an “evolving read.”

According to Maxwell, Derrick was sympathetic to terrorists.

According to Derrick, Maxwell just might be one.

They scoured for dirt—back and forth. At first the community watched, pretending to be horrified, while lapping up every word.

On and on it went. It got nasty.

The two men refused to be in the same room with each other, which made things difficult since they ate lunch every day at the only diner in town. Therefore, it was agreed that Derrick Collins would arrive at 11:30 and eat until 12:15, when Maxwell would come from the school and eat from 12:16 to 1:00 P.M. Of course, that one minute in between did create some problems as the two jousters occasionally bumped into each other, like two bulldogs, growling and snorting.

Yet what was particularly aggravating for both camps was the fact that polling was not determining if the attack ads were successful—mainly because the populace was holding out its opinion, wondering what the next accusation might reveal.

There was no longer any discussion about filling potholes, and the quest for cleaner water dribbled away. It was a war of words and the two men were trying to put poison into each syllable.

Election Day rolled around. A gray cloud hung over the town—and not just emotionally. Since it was Oregon, and there were often gray clouds, the rain came pouring into the village like the wrath of heaven. It curtailed voter turnout.

Matter of fact, by midday, so few people had voted that the candidates decided to drive around town banging on doors, begging people to wade to the polls and cast their choice.

The weather also interfered with the counting of the ballots, so it was the next day, around one o’clock, before the tally was totaled. It was then posted on the window of the Garrettsburg newspaper, for all to read:

Derrick Collins got 32% of the vote.

Maxwell Jones also got 32% of the vote.

A tie.

But Rachel Luxor, from her backseat position, ended up winning with 34% of the vote (two percent of the electorate voted for a combination of Beyoncé, Tom Hanks, the Rock, Kim Kardashian and Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback.)

There was a collective gasp that went through the community—well, maybe not the whole community, but certainly City Hall and the high school, where Derrick and Maxwell joined in a mutual head scratching, trying to figure out the source of their defeat.

It was perplexing.

After all, Rachel Luxor—now, Mayor Rachel—had campaigned on only one issue, with one slogan.

The issue was better school lunches. And the slogan?

“Carrots for Garretts(burg).”

 

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Sit Down Comedy … October 4th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I don’t know if you knew this or not, but there are grown-ups and there are grown-downs. It’s rather simple:

Some people get older in an upward direction and other pilgrims use the passing of time to turn downwards.

You might ask yourself, how can you tell the difference?

1. You might just be a grown-down if you think you’re always busy.

 

2. You might be a grown-up if you consider something funny and laugh to yourself, while simultaneously knowing you can’t exactly share it out loud because the grown-downs would think you were immature.

 

3. You certainly could be a grown-down if you’re constantly finding reasons to avoid doing something that you’re pretty sure would be good but you think it makes you sound more mature if you mull over the choices and decide not to do them.

 

4. You might be a grown-up if you just keep your mouth shut if somebody actually has a good idea before you step forward and try to shoot bullets in it.

 

5. On the other hand, you could be a grown-down if you find yourself spending a lot of time sighing, crying, complaining and disapproving.

 

6. You might be a grown-up if you ignore the difficulty of the opportunities that pop up in front of you and instead, find ways to turn them into adventures in living and giving.

 

7. You really are a grown-down if you believe that politics has a chance of doing something great.

 

8. You might be a grown-up if you stop waiting for politics to solve your problems—and you, yourself, go out and do something great, or at least something that could pass for it.

 

9. You might be a grown-down if you’ve cast your allegiance to a political party.

 

10. You might be a grown-up if you’ve found a good path for yourself and demand that the political parties begin to follow you.

 

11. You might be a grown-down if you know all the diseases, conditions and allergies that just might afflict your young children.

 

12. Or maybe you’re a grown-up if you realize that those kids only remain healthy by being exposed to the life around them and developing immune systems.

 

13. You might be a grown-down if you take God real seriously and become somber whenever serving Him is brought into the conversation.

 

14. You might be a grown-up if you seriously take God into every part of your life and enjoy the hell out of Him.

 

15. You might be a grown-down if you believe that sex and romance are the same thing.

 

16. Welcome to the grown-up world when you realize that sex is for fun and romance is necessary for the heart.

 

17. You might be a grown-down if you’re too concerned about your health.

 

18. You might be a grown-up if you’ve discovered a healthy concern.

 

19. You might be a grown-down if you’re laughing less, arguing, fussing and objecting more.

 

20. You might be a grown-up if you learn to laugh over the limitations of your reasoning power.

Walking around in today’s world is similar to a mine field.

(No—that’s too dramatic.)

It’s more like strolling in a cow pasture, trying to avoid the bullshit.

(No—that’s too dark.)

Actually, it’s almost identical to walking into the room where your kids keep their toys, without your shoes on, in the dark. Because you know that somewhere, there’s something that’s not put away, and if you step on it, it’s gonna give you a nasty ouchy.

It’s kind of like what my friend, Vic, said about it:

Sometimes you know you’re a grown-down because you insist you’re a grown-up.

 

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Sit Down Comedy … September 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The government the forefathers envisioned–being of the people, for the people and by the people—has devolved into a puzzle of political pandering.

Perhaps the worst part of the scenario is that those people the government was supposed to serve have accepted the bastard that’s been birthed and deemed America.

This has primarily been brought about by the assertion that the more complicated a thing is, the greater the chance that it will succeed.

So imitating the worst parts of former kingdoms which had emperors, senators, dignitaries and conquering, we have accumulated a history of pursuing a dream which has gradually left us sleepless.

America has boiled down to three P’s

  1. Party

The political party you identify with, which means you concede to accept the universal platform

  1. Plans

How can we make it seem that we’re addressing the difficulties in our nation and the world around us, without ever explaining step-by-step, how it will be initiated day by day?

  1. Personality

We are obsessed with rooting for our candidate-tainted-with-scandal while condemning your candidate-tainted-with-scandal.

Our leaders should be selected on the following:

A. Could we work side-by-side with them on a job?

B.  Could we work for them if they were our boss?

C.  When problems arise, what demeanor do they take on?

There’s the word: demeanor

The Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives should be voted in based on the demeanor of the candidates who will need to mull great quandaries yet find ways to simplify them for immediate attention.

So what is meant by demeanor? It begins with one simple principle:

Don’t attack

If you feel the need to bring down your adversary in order to make yourself look strong, then you do not possess the demeanor to be part of the leadership of this great country. Therefore, the people with the correct demeanor also:

Refuse to retaliate

For such defensiveness is a sign of avoiding looking foolish instead of persevering with great ideals.

Case in point: Does anyone think we are doing good in the Middle East?

The argument presented is that “bad things will happen if we leave.” We should pose a question: Since we know what we’re doing is foul and we don’t know that leaving will make it worse, why do we continue to stubbornly pursue the inefficient?

We are led by people who first attack and then retaliate.

You should not vote for anyone based on their policies or their political party. Ask yourself if you could work with them, if you could work for them and if he or she carries a pleasant disposition, seeking ways to solve problems instead of losing perspective and exacerbating the situation.

A leader of the United States of America must possess the wisdom and wit to have good cheer.

It was not Thomas Jefferson, John Adams or George Washington that launched our country in the correct direction. What held everything together in the beginning was what we need now:

The congenial cleverness of Benjamin Franklin

Franklin never saw a problem where he didn’t create an invention. He couldn’t even stand to watch lightning without inviting it down to explain itself. This is what we need.

Our candidates are pugnacious.

It is exactly the opposite of what makes good leadership for democracy.

So when I watch the debates or I look at Washington, D. C., I ask myself, could I work side by side with this person? If he or she were promoted, could I enjoy them as my boss? And, are they looking for a simple answer to begin the journey to completion, while maintaining a sense of “all is well” with good cheer?

 

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1 Thing You Can Do to Freshen Your Endurance

 

Take the Garbage Out More Frequently

I suppose it is nearly a family tradition to have one moment of time each day when the garbage is removed from the container, tied off at the top and carried out to the can, to await the arrival of that special man or woman who does us the great service of toting it someplace far away, where we never have to worry about it again.

The only problem with that plan is that sometimes, thrown into the pail, are the remains of a fish dinner, chopped-up onions or any array of discarded items from the kitchen that have no intention of leaving this Earth without stinking up the joint.

If you decide to wait until garbage removal time, these “putrids” can leave a lasting impression on your house for days to come.

Likewise, in our times, the sacred issue not being addressed has nothing to do with lying, politics, school shootings, immigration or climate control, but rather, the question, how can we dispose of these odious issues once they’ve invaded our house through the 24-hour news cycle and then decide to hang around, making everything stinky-poo?

God knows there’s nothing I can do to prevent garbage from coming my way.

But I can certainly bag it up and get it out of my presence as quickly as possible.

This is how, as mature, competent humans, we must survive this era of fantasy and horror.

So for every five-minute news story I hear telling me of doom and gloom, I need to spend ten minutes with my family, enjoying a sweet season of silly.

For every two hours binge-watching an apocalyptic mini-series, I need to allow myself a chance to go in another room and create something—anything except digging a bomb shelter.

Garbage comes.

The trick is knowing when to take it out—how quickly to get it away from your life, so the smell doesn’t linger in your kitchen and cling to your living area.

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Sit Down Comedy … August 30th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The eyes pop open and the feet are heading toward the floor—it’s the beginning of another day. Right there, in this pivoting moment, you get the message.

A feeling sweeps over your body, informing you where you are and threatening to control your whole living space.

Stop rushing.

With your still feet on the floor, ask yourself a question—out loud, if you’re alone:

How do I feel?

Don’t be surprised if the answer comes back, “Shitty.” Or maybe, “Great.” It could be, “I’m not sure.”

Unfortunately, many people believe it is wrong to run your life by how you feel.

Since educational systems are very similar for all of us, our religions don’t differ that much and our politics bluster controversy but don’t render anything unique, what ends up setting us apart are feelings.

Please do not think you can control your existence through “mind over matter.”

You aren’t a goddamn Ninja and you certainly don’t have a sword.

The best and the worst you’ve got are your emotions. Therefore, speak the question, “How do I feel?” Make it your morning drill.

Then, when you get the answer, ask a second question:

Why do I feel this way?

Sometimes it’s because you watched a scary movie before you went to bed, or you have to pay a bill or take a test. Or maybe you spent your nighttime hours eating like a four-year-old in a candy store.

You will be surprised that the physical, psychological and even spiritual can often hijack your feelings. Identify the reasons.

This is what I refer to as a S.O.D.—a sense of dread.

Something is going to come up that you don’t want to come up and you’re frightened about how it’s going to come down.

It won’t be resolved by a good breakfast. You can’t get the shower hot enough. Playing music in the background has limited possibilities.

Make note:

You aren’t living a life—you are learning to masterfully maneuver your emotions.

And by maneuver, I mean find them, identify their source and open yourself up to other people. Yes, never be afraid, when you emerge from your room in the morning, and someone asks you how you feel, to speak the truth out loud.

“Physically I’m pretty good, mentally I’m a little scattered and for some reason I’m a little nervous.”

This statement is for your benefit–because we gain power and healing as human beings when we confess who we are openly.

So let’s review:

First question: How do I feel?

Second question: Why do I feel this way?

Confession: Based upon what I know thus far, these are my beginning sensations today.

Candidly, if you try to ignore your starting feeling, you will fail the day. On the other hand, if you identify the feeling, you will receive a much greater sense of well-being. Once you know how you really feel, have figured out the source of it, and you’ve confessed it out loud—either to yourself or someone else—then you’re ready for the door.

Sometimes it’s a door in, and sometimes a door out.

But many of us ruin our morning, still bleary-eyed and uncertain. We’re not maneuvering our emotions, and we miss the door. But if you know how you feel and you’ve identified where it came from and you’ve confessed your profile, then you’ll see the door in or the door out.

It’s probably one of the most exciting things—and one of the most unexplainable happenings in our lives.

A way is made for us if we are ready to see the door.

Then, once you see the it and you have yourself primed, enter the door. Change, adapt, include, evolve. When you do these things, you find yourself in greater unity with the world around you instead of going into situations kicking and screaming, blaming others and eventually laying it at the doorstep of God.

So find the door in or out, then change—happy that you’ve alerted yourself. And finally you end the day grateful.

There is a much better chance that you will wake up the next morning feeling better if you end your day grateful.

It’s not luck. It’s not chaos. And by the way, God does not have a wonderful plan for your life.

This is your space and your doing. If you want to do it with power, begin each day with, “How do I feel and why do I feel that way?”

Then confess, look for the door in or out, change, and move toward the solution.

And finish it off by giving a big chuckle in gratitude.

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1 Thing Every Political Candidate Fails to Do but You Can Overcome

 

MAKE THE TRANSITION ON YOUR POSITION

Yes, the healthiest way to live life and be current, successful and relevant is to develop the “with and therefore” philosophy:

  1. With the information provided to me
  2. And my understanding of human nature, I
  3. Therefore support the following

Politicians are so afraid of changing their premises that they break their promises.

We constantly evolve through new data. Even human nature is experiencing growth—so therefore, we occasionally have a revision to our provision and a transition to our position.

Without this, we can find ourselves stubbornly ignorant.

After all, the two deadly doors to ignorance are:

A. Refusing to learn

B. Refusing to change

You end up looking just as ridiculous when you won’t change as you do standing in the corner, rejecting learning.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a politician or not—you must prepare for the fact that information is still being gathered.

Likewise, human nature is in flux.

So therefore, what we begin and how we begin it will certainly need to shift as we go.

If we pass laws with the awareness that new amendments, new additions and even sometimes repeal may be necessary, we would be in a mature profile to face the real problems of our times.

It doesn’t matter whether the issue is abortion, capital punishment, war, immigration, or a thousand other matters. Each one has factual information—a reading from the present humans on Earth—and therefore allows us to make a start of things.

If we take this approach of “with and therefore” we keep ourselves in the game and admit that a good part of our journey is about learning how to be a better Earthling.

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