The C Word … February 19th, 2019

THE

WORD


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3959)

When I sat down to consider “the C word,” many grotesque possibilities came to mind. I will not go into the ones I rejected. They are obviously repugnant or too controversial to even give utterance.

Instead, I chose a peculiar one because it is subtle and might even seem to be positive until you carefully study the history of its drastic devastation.

So the C word—the word that should never be used again or even spoken—is CULTURE.

For eighty-five years in this nation, we fostered, promoted, advertised, argued and finally fought over a fictitious cultural difference.

Here was the contention:

Mason liked fried potatoes. Dixon preferred grits.

Yankee Doodle drank beer and brandy, while Johnny Reb preferred whiskey and moonshine.

The North favored a Union. The South touted states’ rights.

Missy, a woman living north of the line, spent time working in the fields with her husband, planting, while the Dixie chicks pretended to be more fragile, appearing dainty.

Mason didn’t have slaves. Dixon did.

But Dixon didn’t call it “slave labor.”  Working under the guise of business, these folks who were shipped in from Africa were addressed as “field hands,” for it was the commerce of the South—and King Cotton required serfs to work, and black ones seemed to be more suited for the heat and the burden.

For eighty-five years, we pretended it was a “cultural difference.”

Men we extol as the founders of our nation, ignorantly hid behind debate, hoping it would disguise the atrocity.

It came down to a simple question:

You say slave, I say worker—almost a member of my family.

You say a person and I claim property.

You interrupt my culture and I wail and squeal about states’ rights.

We thought we could compromise, tolerate, negotiate and even appease one another. There were so many compromises that we started naming them after states, like Missouri. There were so many times we thought we had it worked out on paper, negotiating a deal or producing a favorable agreement, that many people were shocked when this “culture problem” created a Civil War which killed three-quarters of a million people.

And the fires of that conflict still smolder to this day.

We thought we could handle cultural difference. We believed we could let bygones be bygones.

But a cultural crisis was brought on by the crisis of culturing.

The truth is, human beings become viable to one another when they insist on similarities and pursue commonality.

You can eat your potatoes and drink your liquor any way you want.

But free will, justice and equality cannot be negotiated.


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Cracked 5 … July 17th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3736)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Things the Queen of England was Overheard Saying

A. “Crowns make my face look fat”

 

B. “How does one get promoted from here?”

 

C. “I have castle but I’m not allowed to behead serfs.”

 

D. “I have a large boat and a rock group named after me. Eat that.”

 

E. “Met Donald something or other…”

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Catchy (Sitting 56) The Quintets…. July 8th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3720)

Jip, Cho, Bo, Jack and Sam were five young men from all over the world who got together, tried to learn each other’s full names, failed miserably, and so settled for shorter handles.

They shared two things in common.

Each member of the quintet was a trusted intern for an Ambassador to the United Nations.

Jip was from Japan; Cho, China; Bo, Russia; Jack, England, and Sam, the United States.

Their other commonality was a deep-rooted faith in Jesus, especially fresh since the recent awakening sweeping the world. Realizing they were just interns, they focused on what they could do to make a difference.

So every morning, a half-hour before going to work with their Ambassadors, they met in the pantry of the kitchen of the Bruxbury Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where they lodged while in the Big Apple.

The purpose for the meeting was simple: the five young men chatted and conversed–calling it prayer and hoping their heavenly Father would give them insights on how to impact the more traditional and often vicious side of the United Nations.

They decided on kindness. Rituals were begun:

Jip walked into his boss every morning with fresh flowers.

Cho brought in an array of new teas from China to allure his superior.

Bo slipped a little vodka into the coffee, with a wink.

Jack ordered very expensive marmalade from England.

And Sam always stopped off to pick up a Nathan’s hot dog from down the street, which made his boss beam.

At the end of every session in the pantry, the gentlemen closed with a single thought:

“In kindness, beget kindness.”

They believed their purpose was to create a comfortable, gentle and merciful environment for their employer which just might cause him or her to go into the United Nations with a warmer heart.

It is difficult to know whether it was the vodka in the coffee or the ever-changing climate in the world, but matters of statehood were becoming more civil and less sectarian.

The quintet of interns took no credit for it. They just gave the glory to the Father.

*****

Matthew was dismissed from the hospital feeling a decade older and looking two. He sensed that he was becoming an old man before he had ever been an adequate young man. He felt sick. He looked sick. His skin was yellow from the liver infection and his eyes drooped, as if they were desperately preparing to leap from the perch on his face.

Matthew finally came to the conclusion that alcohol was a problem. In his crude way, he had decided that it was coming down to a choice between Jack Daniels or Jane Pussy. Knowing that he was not going to leave the latter alone, he chose to break his covenant of life-long affection for Mr. Daniels.

He sought some counseling and joined a couple of programs, and after a few weeks, he was a shaky non-drunk.

Refinement.

Yes, Matthew decided he needed some refinement to escape the smear of liquor, and also the goodness of the infernal revival.

So he went to a grand opening of an art display in one of the larger casinos. He was unaccustomed to attending such gala events and always felt lonely because it was required that he step forward and introduce himself, and he would rather frequent the darker corner.

So he found himself strolling around behind the displays when he heard a horrific sound–like a wounded animal. He followed it, turned and discovered a young woman with dark-brown hair adorned in a cocktail dress. She had her back to him and was holding some sort of horn. She was blowing into a reed.

“That was you?” he asked.

Without turning around, she responded, “I suppose you’re referring to the sound.”

Matthew stepped around so he could see her face. It was a sturdy, but beautiful one. “Are you calling ducks?”

She blew her reed again and replied, “No. Just any barnyard animal. And considering the pile of food on your plate, looks like I got me a hog.”

She looked up, her eyes twinkling. Matthew was instantly in love. He had forgotten he was carrying a plate full of food, favoring the shrimp puffs. But here was a woman with a biting sense of humor, unafraid of his advances.

She continued, “What I’m blowing is my reed, because I play the oboe. I play the oboe with a string quartet, which makes us a quintet. And you might think to yourself that being the only reed instrument in a quintet of strings, there would be a measure of alienation. And if by alienation, you mean incrimination, jealousy, anger, disdain and misery–well then, you would be right.”

Matthew eyed her for a moment, and then inquired, “You don’t like to play the oboe?”

“Uh, no,” she replied flatly. “No one likes to play the oboe. The oboe is like William the Conqueror going out to find a few innocent serfs who have not yet signed up for the clarinet. He captures them and imprisons them in double-reed bars.”

Matthew squinted. “Do you always talk this way?”

She paused as if in deep thought. “Yes, come to think of it. I do. Do you enjoy it? Or were you intending to be mean?”

Matthew held out his hand and said, “My name is Matthew Ransley.”

She reached across the short distance and shook only his fingers. “My name is Leonora Fenzi. But just go ahead and call me Leonora Fenzi.”

Matthew smirked. “But that’s your whole name.”

“No, there’s a middle one. Juniper. As a courtesy to you, I left that one out.”

“Fenzi,” said Matthew. “Is that… Well, I don’t know what to ask. What nationality is that?”

Leonora laughed. “Well, presently I’m attending a conservatory in Paris, but my nationality is Uncle Sam’s House. I grew up in Kewanee, Illinois.”

“I’ve never heard of that,” said Matthew.

“Oh, Paris? it’s right there in the middle of France,” mugged Leonora.

Matthew laughed out loud. “Paris I knew. It was the Illinois city that threw me.”

Leonora stood to her feet, blew a couple of notes on the oboe, and then said, “Do you know that I was the best oboe player in Kewanee, Illinois?”

“I know this one,” responded Matthew quickly. “You were the only player in Kewanee, Illinois, right?”

“No. There were two,” replied Leonora seriously.

“Really?” said Matthew.

“Yes,” Leonora responded. “The second player was a young girl with Down Syndrome, whose mother bought her a horn because the girl thought the keys were much shinier than on other instruments.”

“So…was she a close second?” asked Matthew, with a wry smile.

Leonora walked across the room to Matthew. “What brings you to this opening? You don’t look the type.”

“Is there a type that comes here?” asked Matthew.

“Yes,” said Leonora, reaching over and taking one of the shrimp puffs off his plate and popping it into her mouth. “Gay and rich. You’re not either one, are you?”

“Well, I’m not gay,” said Matthew. “I applied for years, but never got accepted to the club.”

He waited for her to laugh but she didn’t. “Anyway,” he continued, “I am fairly rich. Well… let me put it this way. I have money at my disposal.”

“Disposal?” questioned Leonora. “An interesting term for money.”

Matthew changed the subject. “What are you doing after you get done playing here?”

“Let me see,” she mused. “I’ll be going off with the string quartet to complain that the patrons didn’t listen to the music, and discuss how the shrimp puffs tasted like they were swimming on the bottom of the creek. And we’ll probably have a long discussion about how Wilhelm’s violin needs a new bridge. Yeah. That’s pretty much it.”

“Any of that you could avoid?” Matthew pursued.

“Only if I can get away.”

He steadied himself. “Would you like to go out to dinner with me?”

Leonora looked him up and down, glanced to her right and left, and posed. “Honestly, if you look at it from my perspective, you could be a serial killer. Many of them are quite charming, at least I hear. But you know, I’m going to say yes to the invitation–mainly because you’re so goofy, I don’t think you would know how to dispose of a body.”

Matthew furrowed his brow. “That was the most unusual yes I’ve ever heard, but I’m gonna take it. I thought we would go to an actual restaurant in Vegas instead of a buffet. What do you think?”

She suddenly turned and marched across the room quickly, speaking over her shoulder. “I think that would be fine because I don’t really care right now. I have to go play more Mozart.”

“I like Mozart,” shouted Matthew to her retreating frame.

Without turning, Leonora replied, “Oh, shut up. It’s the only name you know.”

Matthew stood and laughed. He threw aside his plate in a nearby trash can and thought to himself, “This could be good. This could be really good…”

 

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G-45: Dark Pages … October 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2376)

What made you think I would tolerate your religion?

What caused you to believe that you were given permission to rustle up rules and regulations and herd spirituality into some stinky-hole corral of repetition?

Did you forget how I mocked the traditions of men when I walked among the Jews? I ridiculed their ceremony and chided them for their elaborate clothing, flaunting their position.

Therefore, will I accept your garb of garbled expression, touting sacrifice, or worse, supremacy?

  • Wash your hands? No, thank you
  • Fast? I am a glutton.
  • Pray? Only in my closet of privacy.
  • Stone that harlot? I do not condemn her.
  • Worship the temple? I shall tear it down.

I am nauseated by your praise without heart. They are words of explanation without meaning, droned in somber tones to establish solemnity.

Blind from your eyes plucked by bouts with vengeance.

Toothless, pleading for your mother’s milk.

Calling one another Master, Reverend, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope.

Yes, Pope.

Did you forget it was the Jewish Pope, Caiaphas, who condemned me to death, using the Roman puppet to act out the violent, fool-hardy charade?

It is as if the Pharisees have hijacked my work instead of the mission being heralded by cleansed lepers, freed whores and liberated Gentiles, dancing for joy.

You have taken the pages of my words and turned off the light, to revere the book and ignore the context.

When you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are cannibals because you ignore my mind and reject my heart.

There are no kings.

There are no serfs.

You are drunk on your own swill of piety.

As I told the daughters of Jerusalem, your house is left desolate. It is a tomb, displaying silence as the evidence of a slaughtered hope.

I was here.

Did you fail to learn of my actions?

I despise those who feel they are better than others, even if they can recite a litany of their righteous deeds.

I never knew you.

I don’t want to know you.

You cannot imprison my healing virtue in the torture chamber of your tiny vision and narrow mind.

I am the wind. I will blow where I desire.

I will find liberty and immerse my efforts in the waters of freedom.

You have found the heaviest burdens and laid them on the shoulders of broken travelers.

You have made my name weary when it was meant to produce rest.

I hate your religion.

I shall create again, calling new souls … and bring your efforts to nought. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Populie: It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe… August 13, 2014

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2321)

Canyon edge

“It doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you believe.”

I grew up with that statement. What I mean is, that sentiment was the poster child for tolerance. Of course, the idea has become less popular as unbelief has taken its position of power in the great struggle of human philosophy.

Religion, politics and entertainment thrive in this environment of “give that takes” and “taking that rarely gives” because it offers conflict which gets people to the voting booth, plot lines which are often dreary and glum and religious conflicts which make both warring parties puff up with their own supremacy.

The trouble with the whole concept of toleration is that it means to tolerate–and candidly, my dear friends, there are some things that cannot be tolerated. Sooner or later, we have to conclude that you are entitled to believe what you want only as long as it does not hurt other people or as long as it’s sensitive to the principles which cause Planet Earth to prosper.

  • For instance, I do not know why we continue to tolerate anyone who contends that “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is a viable precept.
  • I do not know why we insist on promoting the idea of culture, which is often just a disguise for prejudice.
  • I am baffled why we allow political candidates to plunder the character of their opponent all within the framework of “good politics.”

It does matter what we believe. It is life and death.

It determines whether we have ruling classes and serfs, rejected races and preferential ones and bigotry based upon race, color, creed or sex.

I will tell you bluntly, what you believe must:

1. Bolster your creativity.

Any philosophy, idea, religion or government that stifles the human ability to use their gifts freely has to be identified for its short-sighted, insane propagation of stupidity.

2. Help you avoid cynicism.

If what you believe causes you to become more cynical about human beings, life on earth, science, nature or God, then it is a road block to progress.

3. Endure to the end.

I, for one, am tired of belief systems that vaporize whenever difficulty comes on the scene, escaping to the corners of the room like cockroaches to avoid the truth of the moment.

Without a sense of endurance, we are at the mercy of circumstance, which is meant to change based upon our ongoing input.

4. Create a judgment-free zone.

If your belief makes you so proud of your own personal excellence that you begin to look down on fellow travelers with a nagging spirit of disapproval, then quite candidly, your belief has lost its privilege.

And finally, what you believe must:

5. Be of good cheer.

Good cheer is not always being happy, but it is the acknowledgment that happiness is still the goal, even though we may have hit a rough patch.

When we become agnostic to the idea of finding peace of mind and joy in our lives, we also become belligerent to those around us who are content.

I will say it boldly: I am not tolerant of any belief system that does not foster these five holy principles. And what makes them holy is that they make whole people, who continue to pursue promise instead of spitting on the grave of faith to express their intellectual superiority.

It does matter.

And until we have enough spunk to realize that tolerating intolerable ideas is the certain way to destroy our planet, we will be walking on the edge of the Grand Canyon thinking we’re safe … because no breeze will ever blow.

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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