G-Poppers … August 17th, 2018

Today G-Pop wants to talk to his children about slippage.

In olden times they referred to it as “backsliding”–allowing oneself to retreat from principles once held dear–because the temptation of the times changes the atmosphere and weakens the faith.

In the past ten years, because we’ve allowed a streak of meanness to become acceptable behavior, there has been a slippage in the attitudes of the populace toward one another and in the passion for life.

It’s really quite simple.

Those who were once merciful have slipped into being merely open-minded, leaving mercy practically abandoned.

The open-minded people have slipped to being generous–and that normally only to people they know well or who are related to them.

The generous folks have backslidden to kind–hoping that flashing a smile and expressing a willingness to be helpful will be enough without having to commit to action.

And kind people, who used to think up ways to be contributors, have slipped to nice. If at all possible they will offer a pleasant countenance to the world around them–that is, unless something odd happens. At that point, nice people become careful. They will swear that the reason they become careful is because the world is screwed up and “you can’t trust anybody.”

And of course, careful people drop down a degree into suspicious. This is where you start to hear about folks loving their dogs more than people.

And those who were naturally suspicious before degrade to downright grouchy. They don’t even pretend to lead with a sweetness of spirit. It’s too risky.

Of course, there were people who were grouchy to begin with. They have become edgy–ready for a fight, and the edgy people usually find that fight, and end up being bullies.

Bullies have become fighters; fighters are more violent. Much of the violence has led to murder, and now murder has deteriorated to mass killing.

The political parties will blame each other for the problem, but long before there was a President Donald Trump, there was a President Obama, with all of the fussing, arguing and struggling that occurred during his two terms of administration.

G-Pop realizes that you may consider it a “conservative” problem, or perhaps an outgrowth of the liberal media. Since you can’t do anything to change either one of those organizations, G-Pop thinks it might be a good idea for his children to just work on themselves.

Where have you slipped to?

Where have you fallen?

If even 10% of the population would raise their human effort up one notch, to the position they occupied before 2008, there would be such an improvement in the climate of this country that the other 90% would have to take note.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it’s time to stop backsliding.

There are no signs that the leadership in government, business, education or the church is going to lead a resurgence in civil behavior.

No–it’ll be up to us.

It’ll be up to G-Pop…and all his children.

 

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G-Poppers … October 23rd, 2015

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Jon close up

G-Pop is a wee bit concerned.

His children are once again choosing up sides, sniffing out the dogma of their favorite political party and barking out beliefs.

Issue by issue, debates are offering a collage of opinions with no real respect for the central issue that should permeate the hearts of all humanity:

Are we killing people?

Nothing progresses until we stop killing:

  • No financial campaign is worthwhile if there’s a death toll.
  • No honoring of traditions or regaling of the Constitution is noble if we’re filling up body bags.
  • The central issue of the human race is learning how to talk to one another instead of pulling a knife, citing some righteous motivation.

For 16 years, two Presidents from two different parties have ruled and reigned in this country.

Even though G-Pop is sure that each one could present a resume of his efforts, in the long run, one of these men began a sermon of death and the other has trailed behind with his own chorus of “amens.”

President Bush and President Obama have both pursued a fruitless campaign of irreconcilable mayhem in the Middle East, which has paralyzed this country with the preoccupation that we are a superior military power–as we continue to lose battles. Not since World War II has the United States been part of a full-fledged victory through military conflict.

So we must cease to believe that the Republicans are good because they stand for God and the Democrats are evil because they allow for atheism. And we also must realize that merely taking stands on social issues or giving health care to the masses is of little use if we’re taking the children of the poor and placing them in harm’s way in a foreign land.

G-Pop will tell you why he believes in Jesus: Jesus angers both Republicans and Democrats.

In one moment, Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery, infuriating the right.

In the next moment, he refuses to give money to the poor, insisting that it’s a never-ending process which should be pursued with wisdom rather than wild abandon, causing every liberal to object tearfully.

Jesus had one central theme: “I have not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

So the same Jesus who believed that “those who live by the gun will die by the gun” also contends that children are sacred and reflect the beauty of heaven.

Just as little ones should not be killed at their elementary schools, we should also find a way not to kill them in the womb.

Obviously, this approach pisses off both campaigns.

So G-Pop challenges his children to escape the futility of joining a side to instead pursue a purpose:

1. Is there any way to consider all the facts before we start following the fad?

2. Is there any way to favor one side in this particular case without offending the other permanently?

3. Can we move forward without rejecting what we know is true for the human family?

There is only one issue in the next presidential campaign: what is the best way to stop killing?

As long as we’re killing, no matter how noble we may feel our mission, we have become the enemy of the One who created us.

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G-Poppers… February 27, 2015

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G-Popper

G-Pop couldn’t find his grandson.

The birthday party for the little fella had been over for nearly an hour and the boy was nowhere in sight. Slipping into the garage to throw away a bag of trash, G-Pop spotted the birthday kid squished against the wall, tucked in behind a garbage can .

He was crying.

“What’s wrong?” asked G-Pop.

Grandson: Nothing. Just want to be alone.

G-Pop: On your birthday?

Grandson: (releasing a heaving sob) The kids are dumb!

(Fresh tears)

G-Pop: They gave you great gifts.

Grandson: I don’t care. They are dumb.

(G-Pop paused, giving the lad some time to think and space to breathe.)

G-Pop: They must be pretty smart. They like you.

Grandson: I don’t want to talk about it.

G-Pop: Well…how long are you going to live out here behind the trash? I’m only asking because I’m wondering if I should bring your toys and toothbrush.

(The grandson smiled and then giggled.)

G-Pop: Can you tell me what’s wrong?

Grandson: G-Pop, they called you fat.

G-Pop: Your friends?

Grandson: Yeah. The dummies.

G-Pop: They’re right. I am fat.

Grandson: No, you’re not!

G-Pop: Fatter than you.

Grandson: Well…yeah.

G-Pop: Fatter than your dad.

Grandson: I guess.

G-Pop: Fatter than President Obama.

Grandson: Yeah, he’s real thin.

G-Pop: I’m not.

Grandson: It’s still mean.

G-Pop: Well, it’s not a compliment. It could be an insult. But then again, it just might be the truth. You see, son, if I get a compliment, it’s nice but it doesn’t last very long. If I’m insulted it only means something if the person saying it matters to me. But the truth–it can make me free.

(G-Pop gave his grandson a big hug.)

G-Pop: I hope my weakness didn’t embarrass you with your friends.

Grandson: You never embarrass me. You are G-Pop.

The two buddies headed back into the house.

It was going to be just fine.

 

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Apologies All the Way Around … October 20, 2013

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I need one fromFalwell Jerry Falwell, Liberty University and all those people who participated in the Moral Majority, who inundated our society with vicious insults and threats.Bill Clinton

I would certainly like one from Bill Clinton for his part in making politics scandalous, phony and treacherous through his affair with the little girl.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get one from Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart for taking the precious gospel of Jesus and turning it into a beach ball, which they batted around through greed, sexual exploitation?

I burning crosswould love to hear a bit of repentance from the American church, which remained silent while segregation raged for decades.

I also would welcome some reflection from the Tea Party, which thinks it has the right to stifle any ideas contrary to what they deem to be their common good.obama

And I certainly think we are due a bit of contrition from President Obama for biting off more than he could actually chew, and so anemically launching a campaign intended to relieve the suffering of the poor, only to further confound them.

Without an apology, we have a series of assumptions:

1. “You know that I know I’m a little bit wrong, so why do we need to talk about it?”

2. “It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be, and if I admit too much, I open myself up for my critics to disembowel me.”

3. “Get over it. Let’s move on. What benefit is there in focusing on our mistakes?”

4. “Nobody’s perfect. So why should we waste time examining our imperfections?”

These excuses have prevented us from being a nation that purges itself from stupidity but instead, keeps souveniers which we later display to our children–for them to pick up and resell.

We need apologies all around, if for no other reason than to make sure that the cursed attitudes that kept us repeating the same ridiculous processes can finally be buried in a grave with a tombstone warning us of the deadly results.

Since I don’t know if these individuals will ever come forward with contrition, let me start:

  • I want to apologize to all the people I spoke against in my past because I was ignorant of the freedom God gives to human beings to find their own path, without interruption from my scrutiny.
  • I apologize to my children for being overwrought, too lenient or just not available.
  • I apologize to my wife for being a less-than-adequate husband while trying to become a consummate artist.
  • And I apologize to myself for being a morbidly obese man my whole life, and so far never being able to find a way to unlock my fleshly prison.

You see? It’s not that hard.

And even after the apology is given, it’s a good thing, every once in a while, to remind people that those errors not only disrupted the natural order, but must never be repeated again.

How ’bout it, my friends?

Apologies all around?

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Ooey-Gooey… December 15, 2012

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Jon Signing

I don’t care that President Obama cried.

I don’t care that the Governor of Connecticut desired people to reflect on their own families and children during this crisis.

I certainly am not interested in all the gory details of the merciless, meaningless actions performed by a narcissistic madman at Sandy Point Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

I just think that taking this “ooey-gooey” approach, where we try to handle such a fiasco by hugging our own children and thinking about the blessedness and contentment of our own family’s security is utter hogwash.

Pardon me if I don’t take time to reflect. I am weary of the self-indulgence in this nation, to lick our wounds until they partially scab over, only to have the scab quickly ripped away, once again exposing our bleeding sores. We are barely getting enough time to take the newspaper from one tragedy and wrap up our abandoned fish bones and coffee grounds before the next piece of insanity splashes across the pages.

Ooey-gooey is not going to solve this problem. Doing another special CNN report on the heroes of the moment is not only infuriating to me, but makes me want to open my window and scream out, “We are all mad as hatters–and I’m not going to take this hell anymore!”

When I heard about the tragedy, this is what crossed my mind: Would I be willing to trade my life for ten of those children?

It’s easy to talk about emotion in the abstract. It’s self-centered to try to equate the devastation that has occurred to these families into some sort of trivial, little piece of silliness about “hugging our own children.” Let’s get right down to it–if I had the opportunity, and God was in a bargaining mood, would I be willing to lay on the slab, dead, so that these ten children could rise from their bullet wounds, to live on? Would I do it for eight? How about six? What if it was just four?

You see, the lower the number gets, the more difficult it is to answer. And since this arrangement can not be negotiated with the Divine, what do I really plan on doing about the senseless slaughter of the innocent?

Because during this Christmas season, as we hear the tale about King Herod killing the babies of Bethlehem to eliminate competition, we, who consider ourselves much more civilized than this maniacal monarch, have now had innocent children slaughtered in our midst. What are we going to do about it?

Well, we might want to start with those who are against abortion–the destruction of a human fetus–having the consistency to also be against the wholesale distribution of guns which also, as we saw yesterday, not only kill womb-oriented children, but those who have actually learned to read, write and express themselves.

Guns should have three purposes:

  1. For the awful possibility of war
  2. To be in the hands of sober-minded law-enforcement officials, who rarely use them and when they do, needfully give a thorough account
  3. And, in much smaller calibre, for sportsmen who like to go hunting and plan on using that meat to feed the poor

That’s it.

If criminals want to have guns, then criminals will have guns. We can not arm the entire United States to protect ourselves against a projected or imaginary enemy.

It is costing us too much.

I am tired of having my friend–Almighty God–who is generally shelved by the dozing masses, suddenly blamed because we are just too damned lazy and uncaring to take responsibility for our crazies and the destination of ammunition.

I did not think about my children last night. I did not weep because it happened, wondering why God was absent. I am angry that I live in a nation of childish politicians with an inert population which is incapable of thinking of anything deeper than its next Twitter.

I am angry.

I am tired of concern for human beings and the life we live being deemed by the conservatives to be liberal and by the liberals, because of my stance against abortion, to be ignorant.

Here it is: I am against killing, period.

  • I do not believe in abortion.
  • I did not favor the Iraq War.
  • I think capital punishment is cruel and unusual.
  • And I think referring to our handling of weapons as gun control is the problem with solving the dilemma. We don’t need gun control. We need extraordinarily limited access to anything that can propel a bullet and hurt anyone.

In doing so, we will put ourselves in minor jeopardy during infrequent robberies for the purpose of freeing ourselves from the possibility of macarbre murders made simpler by unfeeling politicians.

President Obama, don’t weep. Care.

Politicians, stop being afraid of the NRA and decide what would be best for you if you were given the premonition that your children were going to be gunned down by a madman next week, and what stood in the way of that happening were restrictions that stopped the villain’s possibility of getting weapons.

Democrats, stop pretending that our nation is filled with pioneers who periodically need to go out and hunt buffalo so that they might stockpile meat in the root cellar for the winter months.

And to the National Rifle Association–hat’s off to you for allowing people to have guns for the purpose of sport and hunting, but don’t allow yourself to become the eventual victims of your own paradox.

I don’t want “ooey and gooey.” I am not impressed with the flags being at half-staff. I want to see people who are against the killing of babies to also have a concern about the killing of children. I want to see each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own crazies. We must learn how to get in the faces of our loved ones when they are nuts. I do it all the time. Sometimes my family members don’t talk to me for a few days because I see them going down a path less desirable than their dreams and I throw a roadblock in their way.

Take responsibility … or be prepared to build many tiny caskets.

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It’s Time for a New Year… January 1, 2012

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Jonathan in Miami

PRNDL.

Most people over the age of 35 will know what those letters stand for. It harkens back to a time when cars had the gear shift mounted on the steering column, and there before your eyes was PRNDLpark, reverse, neutral, drive and low.

This came to my mind as I thought about the arrival of 2012. Although many people are concerned about the Mayan calendar failing to provide a 2013 and whether the Kardashians are going to find true happiness soon, my thoughts are on whether we can create a climate that will allow us to progress as human beings instead of merely acting out animal instincts or insisting we are divinely anointed and inspired.

The P stands for PARK — and the thing that has us in park right now is politics (also another “P”). As the Republicans wade through a series of candidates, almost tongue-in-cheek, knowing deep in their heart of hearts that they’re going to end up with Mitt Romney, and the Democrats prepare to defend the administration of President Obama by trying to explain how much worse it would be if Mitt Romney were President, it seems that we’ve parked our country’s future, maturity and goals in a political garage of ignorance and stubbornness.

It doesn’t take a terribly intelligent person to understand that some solutions are going to be conservative and others, liberal. No one profile ever fits the needs of the human experience. Being conservative on one issue may prove to be vital and essential but detrimental on the very next subject. Trying to be liberal on some occasions renders you almost comical, while in other circumstances it is the key to understanding the next vista of possibility. But instead we park. Yes, our country is parked in an abandoned lot somewhere, completely stalled in politics.

The only greater danger is that we will go into REVERSE due to religion. The problem is logical. If you’re going to spend all of your time telling little anecdotes about what Moses did thousands of years ago, you may find it difficult to relate to the people directly in front of you right now. Religion, by its nature, takes us in reverse, trying to regain an assumed righteousness from the past, which, as you study history, you find was not really righteous at all. Our forefathers were as much liars as the politicians today, peppered with scandals and guided by their prejudices. Religion wants to go in reverse–and of course, as you know, the problem with backing up is that you’re much more likely to run into something.

Then there’s NEUTRAL–if you will, a neutering of our society, removing our true impact as men and women. Yes, the thing I feel needs to change in the coming year is the continual onslaught of nonsense. I have never in my life seen a time when nonsense is given so much attention. At one time we had Entertainment Tonight, which supposedly explored the storylines behind the entertainment industry. Now there are twenty to twenty-five of those shows, probing into the lives of people who do very little more than nonsense. I don’t care what people do. I just have a problem with it being broadcast in a twenty-four-hour news cycle incessantly.

For instance, what we did with this Casey Anthony trial this year was one of the most abominable experiences I have ever seen in my time as an American citizen. Whatever that young girl did with her small child should not have been placed in a public forum. We are people who need to be edified, not constantly ratifying our negative natures and piss-poor outlooks on life. The young woman should have been put on trial quietly, we should have found the truth and either given her adequate punishment or mental health care, accordingly. But instead, we pursued the nonsense of continual rattle-trap conversations and stumping about her actions.

Politics has parked us. Religion wants to put us in reverse, and the nonsense of news stories has jammed us into a neutral position, where we are susceptible to being pushed in all the wrong directions.

What remains is D and L. What is the down-low? What is the answer to 2012? I would like to encourage you in joining me in avoiding being parked in politics, reversed in religion and neutralized by nonsense. Instead, why don’t we DO and LOVE?

Every day of your life this year, just do something and love somebody. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. Because most of us don’t want to do anything because we’re afraid of failure. But failure is the backbone and the true intelligence of genius. Without it we never discover what’s better; we only settle for what’s available.

And loving somebody requires two very important emotions in our being: (1) I will open up to you; and (2) I will not reject you even if I don’t agree. We have begun to make our love conditional on whether we pass the test or not.

Yes, let’s take 2012 and DO and LOVE. Every day of your life, just do something and love somebody. If at first it’s just doing your job better, then that’s great. If your love only goes out to those who are in your family, it’s a good beginning. But if we don’t get rid of the politics that’s parked us, the religion that has us in reverse and the nonsense that neutralizes us, then we won’t have any energy left to do and love.

It’s up to you and me. I will not join in the political fray. I will not pretend there’s a distinction between Mitt and Barry. I will not participate in religion that thrusts us back to former times, pretending that era was better. And I certainly am not going to jump into the nonsense of stories that show the futility of human ego.

I am going to quietly do something and love somebody.

And if at the end of 2012, I have successfully done that, it will be a good year.

What do you think?

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