Catchy (Sitting 64) One Year Persisted… September 2nd, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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365.

An odd number–a peculiar collection of time to signify the passing of one year of human life.

Matthew got well.

Not better. Not what a physician would call a “marked improvement.” Rather, Matthew took the little piece of liver from the life of Michael Hinston and generated it into a new human form. He was grateful–especially at first.

At Michael’s funeral, he wept like a baby, testifying as Lazarus, who had risen from the dead, of his appreciation and humility over being afforded such a gift.

He mourned. In the process of mourning, he found comfort in his old friends, who he once believed to be adversaries trapped in a religious fervor which frightened him.

But as time passed, and it did, he was less and less concerned about the past and more and more curious about what might lie in the future.

He was unable to find Leonora. She had done the impossible–disappeared. He checked musicians unions, concert halls and even companies that sold oboe reeds, to see if they had any information on his Leonora. She was gone–and if her goal was to make her retreat clean and complete, she had been successful.

Matthew tried to bury himself in the work. Even though his thankfulness had an air of spirituality to it, his human doubts had grown even stronger with the death of Michael and the loss of Leonora.

He feigned appreciation. He imitated faith. It wasn’t completely absent from his soul–just waiting in line behind hundreds and hundreds of unanswered questions.

Carlin became his good friend. The work of Terrance Eldridge, with his book, “Amerikin,” had spread into the Hispanic community, and also the Asians. There was a move to see Mr. Eldridge run for President, and rather than taking on the mantle of either party, he began “the Lincoln Party,” with the slogan, “Ameri-Can when Amerikin.”

He was rising in the polls daily, but more importantly, at least to Carlin, a true dialogue on the roots of racism had spread across the country, producing both solace, and at times, violent reactions.

Terrence Eldridge’s nephew was assassinated at one of the rallies. The act was caught on film by the networks. The shooter was a member of an emerging and marauding group of citizens who called themselves “The Migrators.” They were unashamedly advocating for an Anglo-Saxon, white America, and were gradually moving their families to Montana to escape the insanity of “racial blurring.” Thus, the name, “Migrators.”

Jubal took his meeting with Milton, and began to market the word Jesonian like a new cereal from Kellogg. Everyone seemed to love a term that described belief in Jesus without an allegiance to the religious system. Matter of fact, many of the Protestant denominations began to advertise themselves as “Jesonian Baptists” or “Jesonian Methodists” or “Jesonian Pentecostals.”

Jubal tried to visit Milton once a week to get a burst of inspiration, clarity and enthusiasm, to take out into his Jesonian rallies, which now offered a definition for what once had been a frat party with a Bible.

Soos mourned Michael Hinston. Matter of fact, money was provided for a permanent memorial in Salisbury, North Carolina, called “Soulsbury USA,” dedicated to Michael Hinston. Since no charges were filed against him before his death, those pursuing the indictment quickly faded away, figuring that any incrimination cast on the man would only create a backlash for them.

Jasper labored with Mickey Kohlberg at the Sinai Club. It was not easy. Gradually, comedians from America and even pop stars made the pilgrimage to the site, under heavy guard, to share their talents and add their agreement. It was one of those things that was popular for a few months, until things went back to normal.

Mickey continued to hold nightly comedy routines at the club. There were threats and occasional bombings, but he persevered. Finally, both the governments of Israel and Syria condemned the project and made it illegal to participate. For a few weeks, some faithful Arabs and Jews persisted, but eventually it was just Mickey.

One night in June, with the stars and the moon as witnesses, he walked into the club, which was empty, stood on the stage, and he launched into his routine.

Jasper was due to arrive the next day to discuss future plans on how to transform the seeds of the idea into an international movement. But Mickey decided to go to the club one more time, faithfully, as he had done every night since its inception.

He was standing onstage, talking to an empty room with a microphone in his hand, when a young fellow–no more than a teenager, clad in black robes and a black hood–stepped into the back. He lifted up an assault rifle, aimed it at Mickey and began to recite prayers.

Mickey, knowing there was no escape, said loudly into the microphone, “So now I will know what it’s like to die onstage.”

The young man fired and fired again, and fired a third time, even though Mickey had fallen to the ground dead.

In happier news, the movement of Careless, with the billionaire donors and the E.I.O. farms, had sprouted great victories. Careless had succeeded in putting together what he referred to as “The Faithful Five,” a quintet of billionaires determined to change the world with their dollars. Not only did they use their money to fund great ideas, which offered cures, answers, plans and relief, but they also pooled together to quietly, behind the scenes, purchase the two largest providers of medicine in the United States and the free world.

Upon gaining controlling interest of the companies, they immediately lowered the cost of the drugs necessary to keep people alive and thriving. They challenged hospitals to stop being profit-making machines and return to the position of sanctuaries for the sick.

It was a drastic transition. Everybody in every corner of the world felt the impact, both in their pocketbook and their sense of well-being.

There was a split in the Catholic Church. Sister Rolinda becoming a priest had created such great havoc that those of the ancient ways felt the need to separate themselves from the apostate.

It was very simply dubbed, “Old World Catholic” and “New World Catholic,” divided rather evenly geographically between East and West, and poor and solvent.

The Old Church kept the old world with the old problems of old destitution.

The New World Catholics rejected the need for a Pope, maintained the cardinals and bishops, but made it permissible for priests to be married. They ushered in forty days of fasting and prayer to repent over the atrocities which had been committed against women and children over the decades. It was an amazing vision of the world giving up its power in order to produce lamentation and the first fruits of joy arriving in the morning.

Carlin was catching Matthew up on many of the happenings across the world, while also reporting that of the 250 million dollars provided by the deceased billionaire, there was still 73 million left. Although Carlin admitted a lot of money had been spent, so very much had been accomplished.

They were in the middle of their fellowship, sipping on fruit juice and seltzer (Matthew’s new drink of choice) when there was a knock at the door.

Matthew, who was very comfortable on his couch, motioned to Carlin to see who it was. Opening the door, there stood Jo-Jay, Soos, Jubal and Jasper, smiling and carrying trays of food and drink.

Jo-Jay pushed past Carlin and the others trailed behind her, dropping off their goodies onto any available surface. Once the clatter ceased, Jo-Jay turned to the room and spoke.

“I don’t mean to interrupt what’s going on, but interrupt I shall.”

Everybody laughed, found seats and prepared for one of Jo-Jay’s comedic, but often long, dissertations.

“I will not take long this morning,” she said with a giggle, “because I shouldn’t. And the reason I shouldn’t is that too many speeches at a wake makes it hard to stay awake.”

The room groaned. Jo-Jay scratched her chin.

“I thought that would be funnier,” she said.

“Who’s the wake for?” asked Carlin.

Jo-Jay stepped over, grabbed a glass and poured some champagne, freshly popped by Jubal. She held the glass up and said, “This wake is for me.”

She confused the entire room, because no one in the world seemed more alive than Jo-Jay. It appeared to be a rather sick joke. She continued quickly.

“I have just received a diagnosis from my doctor. So to dispel all suspense, let me just say, I have bone cancer. I am dying. They gave me six months to live if I chose to go through agonizing chemotherapy, and six weeks if I choose the short way to get home. I decided that I don’t want a few extra months of vomiting, so I’m here to conduct my own wake–because I know you damn losers could never come up with a good one. You’d cry, get sentimental, question God and say stuff about me that I’m sure would be mostly true, but certainly exaggerated due to the circumstances.”

Matthew stood to his feet and moved toward her. She lifted a hand to stop him.

“Don’t you try to keep me from dying, Matthew. You have an overly emphasized sense of importance, but not even you can take the grim out of the reaper.”

Matthew’s eyes filled with tears. “There’s got to be something we can do.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Jo-Jay. “I want you to sit, I want you to eat and I want you to listen to me rattle on about how excited I’ve been to be alive, and how damn angry I am about checking out. If you can’t do that, leave me the hell alone. If you can, let’s have a party–a salute to me before I no longer am me anymore.”

Everybody in the room was on the verge of tears, but laughed anyway. Jasper grabbed a crab leg and bit into the shell without cracking it. “I’m up for it,” he said.

The gathered grabbed plates and glasses, shaking their heads and trembling over the notion of losing such a dynamic package. Matthew gently grabbed Jo-Jay by the arm and pulled her into the bedroom, where they could be alone.

Matthew looked deeply into her eyes. “You can’t die,” he insisted. “We never screwed.”

Jo-Jay glanced over at the bed. “There’s a bed, boy,” she observed. “What doth hinder you?”

Matthew broke down and cried like a little boy who failed to receive his promised bicycle from Santa. Jo-Jay held him, comforted him and stared off in the distance–uncertain of what her brief future might hold.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: I’ve decided to write a blog.

 

Man: Oh, really? Well, I’ll read it.

 

Woman: You don’t even know what I’m gonna write about.

 

Man: I still can be supportive.

 

Woman: That’s my point. I’m going to write about the fact that minorities in this country will not receive the respect they desire until they learn how to give equality and honor to women.

 

Man: Wow. That’s strong.

 

Woman: It probably is. And like most strong ideas, it certainly needs to be tempered by reason. But I would rather start off with a bold statement and trim it back than take a trimmed statement and say it boldly.

 

Man: I suppose. But when you say minorities, what are you talking about?

 

Woman: Well, let’s say Blacks, Latinos and Muslims. Jesus made an important statement. He declared that “the measure we put out to other people will be measured back to us.”

 

Man: That he did. So what you’re saying is that you believe the Black, Latino and Muslim communities fail to give women the status they deserve, and therefore end up suffering themselves.

 

Woman: Exactly. Even though there are many strong humans who are women in the Black and Latino communities, there is still an underlying message that to some degree, women are subordinate.

 

Man: I notice you left out the Muslims.

 

Woman: I didn’t leave them out–but in the Muslim community, it is even more pronounced that women are supposed to take a role rather than having an equal place.

 

Man: What do you mean by “taking a role?”

 

Woman: I’ll give you an example. During the Victorian era, it was considered that women would stay in the home and men would do the work–breadwinner, as it were. Simultaneously, in the world we were struggling with prejudice against immigrants and also the evil and indignity of slavery. So because we did not know how to treat women, the other aspects of human interaction were also stalled.

 

Man: I can see your point, but you certainly know that the Black, Latino and Muslim communities will cite many examples where the females in their cultures are revered.

 

Woman: There’s a difference between being equal and being revered. Matter of fact, you can revere someone so you don’t have to give them a voice. You can say, “Doesn’t she make a great mother? Isn’t she a wonderful cook? What would we do without her organizational skills?” But you’re still withholding her God-given privilege of even footing.

 

Man: I see that. But I still think you’re going to meet a lot of resistance from these communities with your blog.

 

Woman: As well I should. Making a statement is not establishing a truth. The truth is a quest that is fulfilled after we’re confronted with many statements.

 

Man: So what do you think they should do in these communities?

 

Woman: Question themselves. It’s the very best we can ask of anyone. Stop being so sure you have your own natural order that works, and instead, realize that women are more than “baby mamas,” spitfires and humans who have to wear head coverings to establish their submission.

 

Man: Do you think that’s even possible?

 

Woman: If you had told a man in 1874 that a woman would be on her way to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, he would have called you a ridiculous liar.

 

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G-Poppers … January 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop had a rare moment.

He asked his grandson, “What do you think about your classmates at school?”

“Most of them don’t like me,” said the young man, dipping his head in disappointment.

“How many kids are there?” asked G-Pop.

“About twenty-five,” said the grandson.

G-Pop continued. “So is it thirteen? Sixteen? Or all twenty-five who don’t like you?”

The young boy squinted at G-Pop. “I don’t know how many,” he replied, a little aggravated.

“So how do you know it’s most?” G-Pop posed.

In a country that runs its programs by polls, the word “most” becomes overly important and eliminates the discovery of truth.

  • Most women are…
  • Most blacks do…
  • Most Mexicans come to our country for…
  • Most men think…
  • Most Christians believe…
  • Most Muslims pursue…
  • Most Wall Street executives are…
  • Most politicians…
  • Most girls…
  • Most boys…
  • Most countries…
  • Most vegetables…
  • Most meat…

Most of the most.

The word “most” is used as a safe way of being prejudiced, while falling back on data which is often tampered with by bigots who want to prove their point.

“Most” is probably the most dangerous word that has come into our society, even though calling it the most dangerous might be part of the problem.

Here is a fact:

Human beings don’t do anything predictable. They are basically content to leave well enough alone, even if they find that status to be unsatisfying.

Yes, stagnancy is always preferable to both goodness and evil.

So the reason we introduce the word “most” into our dialogue is to convince the crowd around us that we are part of the plurality, not tied into a minority, which is obviously wrong as seen by their weak numbers.

G-Pop points out that this presidential election is more concerned with polls than ever before. And the polls never agree because the polls never ask the right question of the right people at the right time.

If we are going to be people of vision, faith and creativity, we have to eliminate the word “most” from our daily conversation, or we will terminate the flexibility of races, religions and personal effort.

Most gay people aren’t anything.

Most Christians are not locked up in a box.

And most Muslims don’t blow up buildings, as most Mexicans don’t rape.

But if you can convince people that “most” of the subject at hand is a threat, then you can also mob them together to attack all.

G-Pop waited for his grandson to produce the number of kids in his class who did not like the little fella. He could never come up with an actual count, because it was just easier to assume that most of them were against him.

The only way to live as a human being and be successful is to admit to yourself that the next encounter and the next experience is mercurial–because it’s controlled by human beings, who are “mostly” individuals.

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Populie: Good People Vote … November 5, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is quite possible for something to be good but handled so poorly that it becomes bad.

This is how ideas that are popular can be infested with a lie, and end up being a populie that brings dissension and even destruction.

This is obvious to me on the issue of voting.

Entertainment, which has something good to work with and often handles it poorly, ending up with mediocre or bad results, loves the issue of voting because it’s so easily twisted into either a civil responsibility or a sense of frustration over horrible elected officials.

Politics, which takes something good–governing and taking care of people–and handles it so poorly that it becomes something bad–loves voting because it gives the illusion of giving power to the voter, while stealing the real decision-making away from them.

And religion, which is something good to bless the hearts of people, and is poorly handled as mere ritual and greed, loves voting because it gives us another way of expressing supremacy and proving that we’re patriotic.

I will become a firm believer in voting when it actually begins to matter, and is not the victim of the electoral college, gerrymandering, the 24-hour news cycle intrusion, PACs, and incessant polls elections by smearing manure on opposing candidates.

I refuse to accept something which has become evil through the cheating and lying of manipulative individuals and call it good, simply to fall in line with some holy patriotic march to commonality.

Right now my vote does not matter.

That makes me mad.

Even if we could take one or two of these perversions and demand that they be changed so that the vote of each individual American IS counted as valuable, I would be pleased.

If we would just do away with the electoral college and forbid polls to be taken daily during elections, this country would be stronger and the politicians would be responding to the people instead of their parties and the pundits.

I won’t even deal with the gerrymandering which segments districts based on demographics or the intolerable negative ads which permeate the television screen in an attempt to prove that “my political dog is better than your political dog.”

Stop stumping for the power of the vote. There are simply too many interferences in the democratic system.

  • Voting is good.
  • The way it is handled in this country is horrible.
  • Therefore the result is bad.

Take your vote and use it to change the voting process in this country, and you will really achieve something rather than goose-stepping your way to the polls at the bequest of the system.

People are not avoiding the movie theaters because they hate movies. Their emotions and spirits are starved by entertainment which is both repetitious and uses too much sensationalism.

People are not leaving the church because they hate goodness. They are departing because form has overtaken reason and intolerance has been thrust forward instead of the love of God.

And people are not indifferent to good government–but they do feel they’ve lost the power to initiate change.

Good people vote–if good people have secured the path to make sure their vote is not interrupted by corruption.

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Primarily… January 10, 2012

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Sixty-three per cent.

I am told by those who schedule me for engagements across the United States that sixty-three per cent of those who are contacted about the possibility immediately say no. That leaves thirty-seven per cent who express some interest.  I am further informed that about half of them eventually choose to decline, bringing it down to about eighteen per cent who actually welcome me into their environs. Eighteen per cent. I don’t think I could win ANY election with that, do you? I don’t think eighteen per cent would impress any pundit pouring over the numbers from New Hampshire today. Matter of fact, someone from the outside might look at those numbers and say, “Gee whiz. Maybe you ought’a find something else to do. It sure looks like you’re not very popular.”

Popular. What an interesting word. From the first day I stepped into kindergarten, popularity and how it worked was very clear to me. It had something to do with giving people what they think they want. Of course, humans, being fairly fickle, have to constantly revise themselves to the ever-changing demands. So the “popular people” in high school did not necessarily go out and change the world, invent something or cure a disease. No, they married their popular counterpart, had children and tried to teach their off-spring to be popular.

I do not understand how we elect and vote for a President in this country. If I were running for office (you can stop giggling now), I would immediately do three things:

1. I would make two videos–one on the best of my accomplishments, entitled The Best and a second video of my faults and bloopers in life and surname it The Worst. I would play both of them equally so as to make it clear to the constituency that I am capable of good AND bad, with a greater inclination to discover the good because I’m not afraid of admitting that I’ve done bad.

2. After making those two demonstrations of the equality of my actions, I would challenge the competition by asking them to do the same. Anyone who’s afraid to deal with his or her bloopers is never going to be a good leader. Anyone who feels the need to qualify his or her mistakes in some lengthy explanation is going to try to justify future bumbles. I would even the playing field by making us all human–or let us all realize that nothing of any human good will come of it.

3. And finally, the third thing I would do is put out a daily report on how I would choose, as President, to handle the situations facing our present administrator. If I believe it’s a serious job, I should not fault the man or woman holding it for having some difficulty. But if I cannot offer solutions to the problems that exist now, and only project what I might do in the future, I probably am not only worthless, but also potentially a liar. Offering a plan, day by day, of how one would handle being President of the United States is the only real way to let the public know what they’re getting with the deal.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? There is what the public wants, what they require and what they need. Politics, religion and entertainment continue to pander to a confused populace materials which they are guessing are adequate to the desires of the current whining. A few bolder souls might make suggestions on doing things better, but the minute those are rejected as impractical–or worse, un-American–those brave adventurers quickly retreat back to advertising the status quo.

What people NEED demands that we look at the history of the human race, the hearts of our species and both the spiritual and physical needs of each other. At times it means being out of step with the current trends and perhaps even at odds with what seems to be the “taking the poll” way of doing things.

But what people need is, after all, what they need. So I continue to travel across the country with an eighteen per cent approval rating because my message is not borne of popular opinion, hatched from a voting booth or manufactured in a Madison Avenue board room. No, my message is, “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It seems simple until you sit down and realize how many different ways we express our superiority to others. But when we abandon that foolishness–to be better than others–we allow mercy, tenderness and humor to return to our lives.

So let them hold the primary today in New Hampshire, and let America once again believe it can vote in the favorite flavor. I will continue to travel around the country and joyously share my little piece of heaven. I may not ever become President, but by the grace of God … I don’t ever have to lie.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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