Sit Down Comedy … July 5th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4097)


It is not so much what as it is how.

Knowing what needs to be done may be insightful but discovering how to do it is the essence of wisdom.

In our time, the argument over what our problems are is quickly overthrown by a ferocious debate over how to address them.

I put this to the test.

While working on my latest novel, I came across a scene where two of my characters are embroiled in a disagreement. I sat down and wrote the entire passage with back-and-forth dialogue which was laced with animosity. At no time did I introduce foul language.

So the reader, after finishing this particular interchange, might well be alarmed by the severity of the debate—but certainly not frightened that the two souls involved were going to launch into anything other than aggravation.

Then I sat down and rewrote the scene, except in the midst of the fiery comments I inserted expletives, like “damn, shit, fuck and hell.”  As I moved along from line to line, I realized that the discussion had changed, and was now on the verge of violence. In other words, it would have been very easy to end with a murder.

The what was the same. The standoff was identical.

But how it was implemented changed it from a fussy situation to a dangerous dilemma.

In the pursuit of trying to get attention, gain influence and bring fame and fortune in our direction, we may be guilty of taking situations which could be handled more simply, and complicating them merely for the purpose of making ourselves look righteous.

Consider this:

Is it possible that an aging, well-seasoned politician who earned his stripes decades ago might not know to keep his hands to himself, and that instead of sexual assault, it just might be innocent ignorance?

Could it be that in trying to establish reasonable relationships with notorious dictators we could represent our willingness to sit down and prattle over the issues without jokingly referring to the two parties as being “in love?”

Might we possibly consider the myriad of problems that create gun violence rather than cursing all guns or insisting that the situation is just “the criminal mind?”

It may be admirable to know what a situation is, but it is divinely inspired to find the best way how to manage it.

I think this even goes into our relationships with government and faith.

Is it possible that what John Adams and George Washington considered to be of primary concern in 1790 might be better thought through by more educated souls in 2019?

And suffice it to say that a book that was written before Christ and some that were written after his birth might certainly do well to be mulled over and discussed in more detail before we decide on how to conduct our spirited decisions today.

Knowing what is good. But choosing how to solve it is better.

And of course, the best is knowing that the what and the how always have to be tempered by the why.


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Sit Down Comedy … June 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4076)


I never planned on being a father

I just wanted to have sex

Sex was simple.

Sex was quick.

Sex was pleasurable.

Fatherhood, on the other hand, is neither simple, quick or necessarily pleasurable.

I was eighteen years old, attending my Junior-Senior Prom with my girlfriend, who had recently become my cohort in the exploration of the human body.

We were returning home from the festivities just before dawn, and arriving at her house, we pulled into her driveway. It was a long one. It ran alongside a pasture where her family boarded a horse.

Pulling inside the driveway and far enough from the road to not be seen but also far away enough from the house to be undetected, we got out of the car. I laid my rented tuxedo jacket on the grass. My girlfriend lay down on her back, disengaged herself from her gown and I from my pants, and we indulged in two-and-a-half minutes of sexual mischief, while the horse nearby observed.

After it was over, we restored our clothing, never realizing that the seed of our first son was planted while we were on that grass.

We had become travelers on a rocky journey.

From that night to the present, four sons have come into my life—one deceased. The three remaining boys that I fathered had to put up with a guy who really was more suited to be a vagabond gypsy musician than “Daddy reading books by the fireplace.”

I honestly don’t know whether I did a good job or not.

I know it could have been done better.

I know at times I was torn between my own desires and the needs of my family.

I know sometimes I over-disciplined and other times I slacked off and ignored situations because I was sleepy and wanted to go to bed.

When a friend of mine came out of a horrible marriage and divorce with three children of her own and was looking for a mission in her life, we joined efforts, including her three other children. Likewise, I don’t know if I was suited to be their godparent or not. It certainly seemed like I was better than their biological father, who was abusive.

But I cannot tell you, on this Father’s Day weekend, that I was well-suited for the job of nurturing children or being the guiding light to their galaxy of possibilities.

What I can tell you is that I did not run away.

I did not blame anyone else.

And I learned how to be wrong and apologize to them for messing up.

I know our Creator probably thought He was being very focused and concise by tying sexual intercourse to child conceiving.

Yet He was also intelligent enough to know that getting worked up over a woman’s sexuality has little to do with deciding to join her in a quest, as Mom and Dad, to rear young’uns.

I guess fatherhood demands three things:

1. Stay, don’t run.

2. Think, don’t assume.

3.  And be willing to be wrong without being angry that you are.


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Sit Down Comedy … June 7th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4069)


 

My favorite passage comes from the First Book of Pissed Off, Chapter 13, Verse 1: “Dammit to hell, Amen, what the shit, thank you, Jesus.”

There is no other collection of words that so typifies the balance of my walk in the Spirit. For I can tell you of a certainty:

Faith without frustration is fake

People who think they can cruise along and never want to spit at the heavens nor ever feel the need to praise the same are forgetting how easy it is for us to bounce between “Doctor Saint and Mister Sinner.”

You don’t have to go any further than Jesus of Nazareth to see faith and frustration at work. He constantly marveled at people’s unbelief. He yelled at the disciples, asking them when they were ever going to get some understanding of what he was trying to teach them. He scratched his head and inquired about how they could come up with so much doubt when they had seen so much happen. And on the night he was betrayed he lamented, “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” and noted that he would sure appreciate if this cup of poison could pass from him.

Frustration brings faith

Faith is the only thing that keeps frustration from taking over our whole being.

But faith offers its own banquet of frustration:

  • Who is God?
  • What is God?
  • Where is God?
  • When is God?
  • And why is God?

The five Great W’s that keep us in a constant quandary in the sixth:

  • Wonder

On the other hand, I know that frustration brings out the validity of my faith and makes it easier for people to understand both who I am and why I believe.

Some people are turned off by street language, and others completely repulsed by Biblical words. Yet a careful look at the history of great men and women of the scriptures shows that each of them had a very colorful faith—“faith” in the sense that they believed in something beyond themselves, and colorful because they spoke from their hearts, which included cursing this and sometimes cussing a blue streak.

So stop trying to remove the frustration from your faith or becoming agnostic by refusing faith to allay your frustration.

We will not know all the answers until we no longer need all the answers.

This in itself is enough to create frustration.

But may I say, the possibility that there will be a place to go where answers will be provided is why we require faith.


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Sit Down Comedy … May 24th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4055)


I thought I would send along today the ideas that give me the spine and create the backbone for my faith and human journey.

There happen to be ten of them—but this has nothing to do with the original Commandments, just more or less my relentless respect for the symmetry of a good essay.

  1. Don’t be so shitty.

  2. Create instead of bitch.

  3. My opinion sucks.

  4. Don’t speak in God’s name.

  5. Politics makes assholes. Flee!

  6. Get good enough that you can be humble instead of needy.

  7. No help is coming. Learn to laugh!

  8. No one is better than anyone else.

  9. Pick up your trash.

  10. Don’t try so hard.

That’s about it. I could elaborate, but I think that might be best left to you.

So here it is:

The Ten Principles in “My Heeling Dogma.”


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Sit Down Comedy … April 19th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4020)


It happened two weeks ago.

I yelled at somebody when I should have chatted. I judged instead of questioned him. I attacked instead of approached.

I Could Spin It

I can tell you a thousand reasons why I did. I could even spin it so you would be on my side. Yet at the end of that exertion, you would be deceived, and I would still be wrong. I was overwrought.

I didn’t need a hammer when a toothpick would have been just as effective. It wasn’t necessary to scorch the Earth when no fire was required.

I did it because I could.

I was offended and I wanted to make sure the person who offended me felt as small and insignificant as possible.

Following this indiscretion, I was briefly tempted to be self-righteous. But there is a seed inside me which has grown into a full, blooming Tree of Life, which will not allow me to hide my motivations or make excuses for my iniquity.

Understand, there’s nothing special about me.

I’m an average person—not particularly a great guy. Just a dude.

Yet I found it intolerable to live with my bratty behavior. It bugged the hell out of me and the heaven into me. I had to make it right.

I didn’t want to.

My position, my prowess and my pride screamed that this one little breach of propriety was nothing, and I had a large enough resume that I should be forgiven no matter what.

This is the bullshit that shows up right after the bull does its dance—and the dancing bull always believes he’s right because he’s powerful. So he figures that where he shits shouldn’t matter. Everybody knows he’s a bull anyway.

Where is the Bonfire of Sanity?

I don’t want to live that way. I’ve never wanted to live that way. And since I’m just a “God-loves-me-anyway-piece-of-shit,” it tears at my soul that we live in a nation in which we can’t find two decent people to rub together to ignite the bonfire of sanity.

Our Attorney General has been thrust into an impossible situation—but still squeaks like a mouse.

The Democratic Party seems to be disappointed that there isn’t more filth to parade in front of the American people.

And our President is proud that his lame-brain ideas were not enacted by his staff and is taking a bow for being protected from his pending bloopers.

Is there anyone who could be just as contrite, torn-apart and upset as I am? I, who am the “me”—who am not much of anything?

On a normal day I would say that I am the chief of sinners, but I keep getting voted out of the position as the Tribal Council brings worse candidates forward for consideration.

Is there anyone who will join me in saying that there will be no justice until we finally confess the injustice in all of us?

Is the search for power so intoxicating that our consciences are rendered powerless?

I am tired of watching people who should be more intelligent, more forward-thinking, and more qualified than me act worse than I do. How could anybody find a lower position of character than I often portray?

Yet they do.

America Needs to be Cleansed from All Unrighteousness

But according to tradition, God is only faithful and just to do that once we’re willing to confess our sins.

 


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Sit Down Comedy … April 5th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4006)


Yes, let my opinions begin

I, for one, think the grocer should know what a plum is.

The plumber should be acquainted with his or her way around a toilet.

A toilet should certainly flush.

We should be flushed with excitement just over living.

Living should be easy.

Easy should be like Sunday morning.

And I contend that Sunday morning should be like heaven.

Yet we are observing life as if it is something that happens to us instead of something we control.

Do Not Accept

Even though I, like you, received DNA at birth, the three initials, in my mind, stand for Do Not Accept.

I do not accept that I am the sob-total of all of my molecules, colliding and fussing with one another.

I do not accept that I have to be white just because my skin has a tone, or a dominant male because of how I urinate, and some red-or-blue-state-philosophy due to my politics.

I do not accept that my life is pre-determined by birth, but instead, insist on daily being born again.

For I feel that if mankind can stop making the classic four mistakes, we could become humankind and start assisting one another to break out of the goo of procreation and start generating lives.

What are the classic four mistakes?

  1. We choose things by how attractive they are.
  2. We foolishly follow the crowd, thinking popularity means shit.
  3. Rather than being creative, we are defensive.
  4. We lie because lying is lying around, lying.

So, encrusted with these stale, day-old-bread mannerisms, we struggle to interact with each other in fresh ways and end up with burnt toast.

I think it begins with misconceptions about our “personal space.”

I was thinking about this just yesterday…


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Sit Down Comedy …March 22nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3992)


I bought a loaf of bread. I didn’t eat it all.

So on the eighth or ninth day, I visited the cupboard to see if I could get another slice of life and discovered that the bread had been overtaken by mold.

I paused.

I considered removing the wrapper, cutting the mold off and eating the rest, but the mold also came with a smell—actually, similar to beer. So reluctantly—maybe even a little aggravated—I took my last five or six slices, now moldy, and tossed them into the garbage.

I was a little surprised how fussy I was about it. I don’t know if I just had my heart set on a sandwich or if I felt cheated because my bread gave up.

But I knew this: mold does not get better. I couldn’t do some “treatment” to my bread and return the next day and find it unmoldy. Once mold arrives it takes over. Quite aggressive. And it isn’t pretty—grayish-green with little hairy arms.

It’s a nasty substance and it turns bread into shit. (You can hear by my words that I was really put off.)

Welcome to America.

I’ve heard us called “the breadbasket of the world.” I was told as a youngster that our farmlands could feed the nations. Not much talk about that of late—nowadays farmers are trying to survive and make their beans and corn cover their budgets. No one trying to feed the four corners.

But we once were the breadbasket. Then one day, we reached into our souls, our mind, our heart and into our principles and pulled out moldy bread. Really bad mold.

And as I told you earlier, mold doesn’t get better. You can’t reform mold. You can’t try to find a way to accept it and develop a taste for it. You have to throw the whole damn thing out.

That’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate but it’s necessary.

Truth is, one apple does not spoil the whole bushel—but one little piece of mold does spoil the whole loaf, because the climate necessary to breed that mold permeates all the way to the crust.

Likewise, the insolence, selfishness and meanness that have brought about the present American way of dealing with each other has spoiled many of the treasures we used to hold dear.

Some things have just got to be thrown out. There isn’t a choice. It’s because the mold has taken over the “bread of life” in America and the mold is a simple poison. Here it is:

  • “My ideas are more important than you.”
  • “My faith is more valuable than your freedom.”
  • “My politics are divinely inspired, while yours are evil.”
  • “My lifestyle is superior.”
  • “Even my dog is more human than any of you.”

And,

  • “I and those who came out of my orgasm of procreation are much higher in quality, and it’s difficult to tolerate you anymore.”

There’s the mold. It’s gotta go.

You can try to save some of the stuff, but the arguing that we call politics has to be thrown in the trash, even if we lose some “debate.”

The beliefs we call religion have to be dumped even if we ignore a verse or two of holy writ.

And the definition of family needs to expand to include everybody twenty-five thousand miles in any direction throughout the entire Earth.

If we don’t do this, we’re going to start believing that the worst parts of the bread can be cut off, and the rest will be just fine, even though it tastes a little pukey.

We are permeated with the mold of those who are too old, too bold and too cold. Some things must be thrown away.

I, for one, am going to go into my cabinet, where I keep my soul, and start clearing out the nastiness. Anything that makes me believe that I’m better than you, or that my ideas are more God-like, or that my politics have the touch of grace while yours are imbedded with the sinister, will be dumped into the trash.

Buy fresh bread. Don’t get more than you need.

Matter of fact, start thinking of it this way:

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

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