Sit Down Comedy … January 24th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

“Summarize that.”

“Make it shorter.”

“Fewer words, please.”

“No one will read anything that long.”

“How about just a tweet?”

I, for one, believe there’s a certain amount of charm in finding fewer words to express ideas. But sometimes, we just want less because we don’t want to hear more.

I smile when I hear writers begin articles with, “There’s so much to say…”

There may be much to say, but there’s a great need to scrunch it together and pitch it to the American public in a way that mingles thoughtfulness and good cheer.

You may or may not agree. But even though I realize great books have taken hundreds of chapters and billions of words to express eternal ideas, I must tell you, the appetite is gone for such mental munching.

So I need to be concise. Like:

“Take care of things and things will take care of you.”

The minute I start adding an explanation to this, I will probably lose my audience.

Another example:

“If you’re gonna to be mean, you’re gonna get mean, if you know what I mean.”

Once your head stops spinning from the overuse of the word “mean,” maybe you’ll get a good chuckle. But will it inspire you to stop being nasty to the world around you?

How about this?

“Don’t start a war if you aren’t willing to die.”

That may get a few “oohs and ahhs” from readers. But absent the recitation of the history of war’s futility, it might fall on deaf ears.

I did find one exception. It’s a premise that needs no explanation—an idea that does not require a series of verified testimonials.

Of all the things that have ever been said and all the things that have ever been written, this is the only principle that really needs to be followed.

“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”

For the sake of our discussion today, let us transform it:

To get mercy, give mercy.

We all need mercy. It’s why we invented the phrase, “unconditional love.” But you see, love without mercy is not only conditional, but is doomed to be temporary.

Mercy is what love becomes when we find out the truth about each other.

I love the definition of mercy:

A decision to become compassionate when it is in our power to do harm.

No word sums up the basic daily, fluid need of the human race more than mercy.

Love works beautifully when mercy is honored.

But love becomes discontented, frustrated and wounded if judgment is used instead of mercy.

It disappeared for a while during the Dark Ages.

Inkles of it sprouted to the surface, welcoming in the Renaissance.

Rephrased, it showed up in a document proposing freedom: “All men are created equal.”

Another hundred years and it’s found in an inauguration speech: “With malice toward none and charity for all.”

Unfortunately, in our time, mercy is deemed weakness.

But only mercy has the power to open the world to the freedom of living a lifespan without being killed in a war.

Isn’t that amazing?

Throughout the entire history of humankind, there were always wars to interrupt the lifespan of young men who might have lived to be old and wise but perished in combat.

War is foolishness when mercy is available.

Mercy does not allow our enemies to walk over the top of us—but mercy is fully aware that in defeating them, we more than likely will have to live with them afterwards. We should act accordingly.

There is no statement that is better suited to the human race: “give mercy, get mercy.”

Give mercy to the Earth and protect Mother Nature. You will get mercy.

Give mercy to your husband or wife and you will get mercy.

Give mercy to the animal kingdom and only deplete their ranks by what you absolutely need. You will get mercy.

Give mercy to your enemies for their clumsy attempts to frighten you. You will get mercy.

This is our universal slogan: Give mercy, get mercy.

Having the ability to inflict pain and harm, we choose mercy.

And because we choose mercy, when pain and harm come our way and we are due punishment, she has permission to step in and save us.

Sit Down Comedy … January 17th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

There are many ways to win the immediate approval of an audience.

You can:

  • Compliment their city.
  • Tell them how beautiful they look.
  • Inform them you have two children, but parenting seems to “escape you.”
  • Say “God bless America.”
  • Make sure they know you support the troops.
  • Tell them how much you love your wife, and you know that she’s “the boss.”
  • And of course, you can always call them exceptional.

Or you can say “America is exceptional.”

Most of these methods work real well because they feed on a common misconception: We’re happier when someone panders to us. Actually, in the long run we’re happier when someone alerts us to our obvious flaws.

I, for one, have no problem saying that America is exceptional as long as we determine the definition of “exceptional.” At the heart of the word is another word, which is “except.”

Except means to leave something out, to delete or to rid yourself of it—making sure it is not attached to you in any way, shape or form.

Exceptional is when you live around “crazy” but insist on removing that temptation from your mission.

To be exceptional, you have to accept what needs to be excepted.

If you don’t, you just end up being mediocre.

I agree that America has flirted with being exceptional. There have been times when we have made a stand as a nation—against barbarism, fanaticism and bigotry.

Then again, there are times when we stood in line to imitate the insanity of the world around us.

But let us presume that we actually want to be exceptional.

Then we must realize that we can only have freedom of speech when those words do not attack the freedom of another.

We can worship—but we have no right whatsoever to hate people. We must decide that hating people, disincluding people and despising people has no religious profundity.

If we’re going to be exceptional, we have to state loud and clear that it’s okay to be a politician—except you can’t lie.

You can be a parent–except you can’t be a hypocrite.

You can be a man–except you can’t hurt women.

You can be a woman–except you can’t hate men.

You can be in business–except you can’t cheat your customers or fail to take care of your employees.

If we truly want to be an exceptional nation, we must accept what we have to except from our conduct.

You can be a leader, except you must not act like a master.

You can be intelligent, except you must use it and therefore prove it.

Let’s work on being exceptional.

Let’s find out what is causing this world to be so uncertain and filled with tribulation and use our good cheer to overcome that imbalance by being the exception, and therefore becoming exceptional.

Truly, may the exception prove the rule.

Sit Down Comedy … January 10th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

About a week ago I woke up grumpy.

I don’t do it often, but every once in a while I set aside the time, just to stay in practice.

Usually during these grumpy mornings I am well out of my mood by the time I enter into the actual work of the day. But on this particular occasion, I languished in my self-pity and remained grumpy well past the noon hour.

When I finally emerged from my dark cloud, a thought came to my mind. I realized that I had luxuriated in my vice of “cranky,” never considering that if my reaction—my temperament—were multiplied by eight billion, we would be in a helluva lot of trouble.

What would happen if the entire world woke up grumpy?

Certainly by nightfall—and I do not exaggerate—we would be involved in a thermonuclear war. We would blow everybody’s ass to Kingdom Come for daring to be grumpy on the morning we had reserved for the privilege.

Think about it.

We’re always so critical of life—and even one another—yet fortunately, we don’t all decide to go nutzoid at the same time.

There’s always someone who, when the idea of bungy jumping comes up, frowns and expresses some negative points that eventually bring the room to sense, which prevents us from jumping off a bridge head-first, at the mercy of an exaggerated rubber band.

Moving on from grumpy…

How about hungry?

If every person in the world woke up hungry—all eight billion of us—we’d have a situation.

Because the truth is, everyone in the world does wake up hungry. But fortunately, most of them don’t complain because all they have for their bagel is unflavored cream cheese. If the whole world woke up hungry and fussy over the choices provided, by nightfall the entire face of this planet would be overrun in terrorism.

How about horny?

Would we be dealing with rape and incest, not to mention a proliferation of babies conceived that we might not be prepared for?

Just simply this: if everybody in the world—all eight billion souls—decided next Tuesday to wake up sleepy (as I oft contend to be) how many airplane crashes would there be?

It is fortunate—even divinely inspired—that the human race does not destroy itself merely by sharing common vices at exactly the same moment.

Can you imagine four hundred people going to the DMV on Magnolia Street on the same day, who all arrive in a murderous rage?

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Yield to Oncoming Traffic.”

Don’t you find this significant?

Stop—let this change your life.

We are not alone. If we were alone, we would find a way to line up our bad attitudes in agreement, point them at one another and destroy all that we are.

In the midst of every grumpy, hungry, horny and sleepy human gathering, there are some souls who have have chosen to wake up

…kind.

Yay-yay!

Sometimes it’s a choice. There are special occasions when the pillow is exceptionally soft, and the mercy of a good night’s sleep turns us almost angelic.

But every single day, if four billion people wake up nasty, then, in order to balance things out, we are required to have four billion waking up kind.

And these kind people provide three essential gifts:

  1. They water down the hate so it’s not so poisonous.
  2. They spice up the boredom, so it doesn’t cause us to have a cranial meltdown.
  3. And they sweeten the disposition, so we do not aggravate one another.

The world is not without hope.

Every day, it is basically a numbers game.

Sit Down Comedy … December 27th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

There’s that split second right before the reveal.

The last little piece of tape is peeled back, and the gift is in our hands.

Let me be clear—no one under the age of ten actually offers an immediate disappointed reaction to a Christmas present.

We have been taught to be cool.  Detached.

Yes—the cool detachment of the Christmas season.

If the present is to our liking, the reaction usually contains some form of profanity

“Oh, shit!”

“Jesus Christ!”

“Oh, my God!”

When you hear these words, though inappropriate, it’s a great response to your selection.

If the gift is not favored, you may hear one of the following:

“Oh, neat. I was curious about these. So this is what it looks like.”

“What a thoughtful gift—certainly something I would never have gotten for myself.”

“After all the morning activities, you’ll have to sit down and explain this to me so I can enjoy it even more.”

“You sure topped yourself this year!”

“What a unique gift!”

These statements fall off our lips when we are confused or distraught with this year’s offering.

Yet we try to maintain our cool detachment.

Truthfully, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is safely put away for making sandwiches, we are already considering to what degree we’ll allow ourselves to become involved in the holiday of newborn kings, elves and magical sleigh-riders.

It’s difficult to overcome the fear.

Like the fear of singing Christmas carols. It seems like a proper idea, and then you get in the middle of the second verse and everybody has a different interpretation of the words, and sometimes it ends up stopping dead while someone Googles the lyrics.

And oh, yes. Part of that cool detachment is the terror over being the person to actually beginning the Christmas carol. Maybe you feel the spirit’s right, or a friend nearby says, “You’re musical. Why don’t you get us started?”

There are so many things that can go wrong. Your voice can crack, or you can pitch the carol too high or too low, leaving all those who joined in trying to change the key in the middle of the chorus.

There is a great consensus with this cool detachment to emphatically insist that “Christmas is for the kids.”

Do we really want to believe that? We may love our children, but why would we sacrifice such an exciting adventure to their often-snotty attitudes—not to mention unwashed hands?

A creepy, cynical false humility can also cause us to cough up the phrase, “I don’t need anything…”

(First and foremost, this response to “What do you want for Christmas?” is unhelpful and annoying. And having watched each and every one of us shop at the store, buying countless items that we do not “need” means that we are open to excess. We’re not fooling anyone.

Next, I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but here I go:

Hanukkah–literally–cannot hold a candle to Christmas.

Jewish people know this.

It’s like going to a National Football League game and talking to the star quarterback about your son beginning Pop Warner Football. There’s no equivalency—therefore, there should be no competition.

Let me see—what’s another part of this cool, adult detachment? Here’s another one. We all must moan about the pressure to “get everything done.”

If America couldn’t bitch about how busy we all think we are, I’m not sure we could even carry on a conversation.

The cool detachment.

The reminder by a sullen friend that we must be careful not to be too rambunctious in our celebration, since “some people find Christmas to be a sad time.”

Or that religious fanatic you know, who insists that “Christmas is too commercial” and want to declare war on the devil.

Or your favorite atheist, who laments the inclusion of religion in our normal commerce.

I just fear that along with our insincerity about the presents we receive, we have developed a grown-up press release, which we offer to limit the joy of Christmas, turning it into a tedious act we perform for the good of family—especially “them young’uns.”

So, hark the herald, angels sing…

Christmas is one month out of the year when “good will toward men” is not a joke, but rather…

A heavenly demand.

 

Sit Down Comedy … December 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The fellow told his buddy that he just saw the fattest guy he had viewed in months.

The lady at the deli remarked that she had met the kindest man.

The woman recalled that forty years earlier she was sexually harassed by a dude who was silly and too flirtatious.

The family on Laurel Street thanked God for the gentleman who helped pay their rent.

The little boys were so excited about meeting the guy at the mall, who they knew must be the real Santa.

The audience gave a standing ovation for the masterful performance.

The mentally ill man lamented the asshole he insisted ruined his life.

The married couple was humbled by the counsel from the man who assisted them in saving their union.

The sister-in-law was bitter because the brother missed his mother’s funeral.

The waitress stared at the huge tip in her hand, which came from the stranger.

The landlord was offended that his tenant skipped out, leaving unpaid rent.

The reader was transformed by the author’s prose.

In all cases, the person lamented and loved…

…is me.

Sit Down Comedy … December 6th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

Now and then I come across someone or something that I believe to be inadequately named by the New Oxford Dictionary.

So I make up a word of my own.

This week I’ve been thinking about “hero.” Everyone has an image in mind when they hear the term, but we do not really have a word for people who are not heroes, but thump their chests, proclaiming themselves to be.

So I would like to offer my word for such a person:

HEGO

Just to clarify:

A hero is an individual who rises to the occasion and is adequately surprised and humbled by the positive results.

A hego is a person who fails to deliver, but still insists that he* did the job.

A hero doesn’t promise, but still provides.

A hego fails and claims he never promised.

A hero considers the responsibility before agreeing to try.

A hego assumes there is nothing he can’t do.

A hero searches for others better qualified than himself.

A hego believes he is the most qualified without ever searching.

A hero demands no reward.

A hego needs the reward to confirm his worth.

A hero carries his cross.

A hego places his cross on another.

A hero tells the truth because he must.

A hego exaggerates because he must be perceived as great.

Whether in politics, business, entertainment or religion, each path requires a certain amount of honor. When this is provided, a hero can emerge. When it’s ignored and shortcuts are sought, a hego is hatched.

A hero gives of himself.

A hego uses others.

A hero fears being a coward and ends up brave.

A hego believes himself brave and ends up a coward.

A hero steps back.

A hego pushes forward.

A hero lays down his life for a friend.

A hego asks the friend to perform the sacrifice.

A hero seeks peace.

A hego yearns for war.

Bluntly, we could consider the hego to be an exercise in foolishness except for the fact that when our enemies know that we no longer respect the role of a hero, they are more likely to attack whomever has become our latest hego.

A hero believes in others.

A hego believes in himself.

It is my heart that America needs a hero, or maybe two. For after all, we are well-staffed with the hego.

 


*he or she

Sit Down Comedy … November 29th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I thought I would sit down and talk to you dear hearts about the It’s Fits. There are three of them.

It is a trio of common phrases uttered to relieve pressure, take away criticism and often to become overly optimistic.

If we begin to believe that these “it’s” have any capacity whatsoever to bring solution, we will certainly find ourselves in fits.

1. “It’s not fair.”

Whining is never attractive. We are completely repulsed by the fussy, teary and defeated profiles of others.

“It’s not fair” is like twirling around in every direction and pointing a finger at all the culprits who have prevented you from receiving your best.

Could it be your children? Maybe it’s your wife plotting. Your husband is nothing but a barking dog. Your company is insensitive to the needs of its employees. Or there must not be a God, because if there were a God, He would never have allowed this atrocity to occur.

Because we’ve been convinced that nurturing one another is the way to say “I love you,” we have babied all the human “house plants” into environments where they cannot stand to actually live outdoors in the sun.

Endurance

This word is necessary for human life: Without endurance, we give up, begin to blame others and become erratically annoying.

The truth is, it may not be fair, but it is learnable. The Earth has its ways and if you study them, you can change your whiny to win.

2. “It’s needing more time.”

Failure arrives to inform us that our direction is not favorable, but instead of learning from the correction, we decide that if more time were given—using the same plan—things would most certainly improve.

Sometimes the Earth speaks.

That’s why we need this second phrase in our journey:

Common sense

In other words, if it didn’t work, it didn’t work. Pressing harder or selling more doesn’t change anything.

The Earth is good to us by telling us quickly when something is shitty.

3. “It’s not my fault.”

Everyone has been in a meeting where a failure is dissected—all participants slicing at one another to be guilt free, punctuating their summary by saying, “It’s not my fault.”

Actually, the more quickly you take responsibility for your part in the failure, the sooner the pain goes away and the healing begins.

It leads us to a third word:

Responsibility

An irresponsible person is unstable in all his or her ways. Ultimately, such a person can get nothing accomplished.

So I realize you want to nurture your husband, your wife, your children and your closest friends, but the best way to do this is to encourage their endurance instead of accepting their excuses.

It is to praise their common sense instead of standing watch while they continue to hit their heads against the walls.

And finally, it is to demand responsibility instead of allowing people to slither away like snakes in the grass to hide in their holes.

  • It’s not fair.
  • It’s needing more time.
  • It’s not my fault.

These are the “It’s Fits”—which keep each one of us from the endurance, common sense and responsibility that allow the second go-round to be drenched in good cheer and fueled by wisdom.

 

 


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