From the Stacks … November 13th, 2020

In November of 2016, Jonathan found himself contemplating the initial difficulty that always appears whenever there is talk of “repairing the breach.” His thoughts are oddly applicable today. See if you agree.

 

A great book once alleged that there is great power in “repairing the breach”–finding that break in etiquette or sensibility that can be covered with a multitude of grace.

It is a noble notion.

The difficulty with the mission is that people will often argue with you about whether there’s a breach in the first place. After all, a common conversation with fifty Americans will render much different responses:

  • Is racism a problem in America?
  • Is chauvinism an overpowering issue?
  • Should poverty be addressed or should we just try to motivate people to work harder?
  • Is there a God or are we on our own?
  • Are people of different lifestyles entitled to all equal rights?
  • Should we judge people by the color of their skin?
  • Should we question religions?
  • Is it possible that some people are just better than others?
  • Do the heavens have a “chosen people?”

If we cannot agree that there’s a breach, then the repairing will be considered foolish or intrusive.

What can we agree on about our pain before we seek a relief?

It is not so much that our problems are complicated–it’s more that they’re denied.

 

From the Stacks … November 6th, 2020

This week, most of us are considering the notion that sometimes political outcomes have a stark affect on our lives. So I decided to explore some of Jonathan’s more socio-political ideas. He had a great disdain for politics but also a great hunger for justice–which sometimes required that he speak out on such subjects. Here’s one from January, 2014.

But Not Now

Everybody knows this is true: the main reason that government doesn’t work is that it avoids solutions by replacing them with discussions.

I wish I could tell you that conversing on a given subject brings about change. It does not. It is actually a way to dodge the work of transformation.

It usually shows up in the form of putting off the action.

This is not new. The ineffective nature of our government has been present since the beginning–how else could Adams and Jefferson have been such good friends? They tabled their issues. And how did they do it? What did they say to themselves?

“Something should be done–but not now.”

Here’s a quick list taken from my own memory banks:

1.In 1959 in the United States, the average white person contended that segregation was not ideal, but thought it was practical. In other words, they knew it was wrong–that black Americans should NOT be separate. Something should be done–but not now.”

2. Women should also be equal and have the identical pay scale as men. But not now.

3. Truthfully the minimum wage has never been sufficient for a human to be able to live, eat and prosper. Something should be done–but not now. It could wreck the economy.

4. Something should be done for the homeless–put them to work or offer alternatives to their present condition. But not now. It is much easier to discuss whether their condition is caused by lack of opportunity or by laziness.

5. It is obvious that gays and transgenders in our society must have complete equivalence if we want to maintain our concept of liberty and justice for all. But not now. What we want them to do is acquire moral acceptance before they are granted civil rights.

6. Political gridlock in our country is the result of a two-party system that gains power by maintaining power. We know we would be better off if this two-faced monster were beheaded, and many more candidates were offered to the electorate. But not now. Too disruptive to consider. Someone might lose that power they so enjoy.

7. Likewise, the electoral college is antiquated and needs to be replaced with the popular vote. But not now. What would we do with all the people who make their livelihood by honoring its cumbersome inner workings?

We don’t lack the intelligence or even the integrity to know what to do. But we nevertheless choose to be stalled in a lethargic fear of change.

The American government should take heed:

Americans are tired of discussions.

We are no longer willing to “table” justice and equality, which have been standing in the wings waiting to play their parts for lo, these many years.

It is time for America to grow up.

Maturity is when the truth of what must be done is more important than what is convenient.

Sit Down Comedy … July 3rd, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

Waking up from my nap and sitting on the edge of my bed, I was listening to the muffled booming of the television trying to wiggle its way through my closed door.

After a few moments, I discerned that it was some sort of talk show, since there were two people conversing, and each one spoke too long for it to be a scripted program.

Trying to make out words.

It was a man and a woman speaking. Finally, after a few seconds of listening to the man, I made out what I assumed were three words: “admire a con.”

I winced but then snickered, realizing that this speaker had a bit of a Georgia drawl, and what he was trying to pronounce was “American.”

Almost immediately, the other person, the female, took up the cause and what I thought I heard her say was “a miracle can.”

Evaluating her accent—I guessed Bostonian—I once again had to chuckle, because this was her rendition of “American” also.

“Admire a Con” and “A Miracle Can.”

Remaining perched on the bed, I got to thinkin’.

As we round the corner to another day of Independence, we certainly, in candor, have to admit that our nation is often guilty of admiring a con.

Yes, we live in an environment where “Breaking Bad” is a good thing, where denying the truth is political magic, and refusing to take the blame for anything is deemed clever.

Those in power pretend they are surprised that the populous begins to turn on one another and cheat, lie, and attack. Then pundits comically insist they are trying to reveal both sides of the question.

So in this quagmire—where we “admire a con”—we find ourselves giving out, giving in and finally giving up.

We produce the best we can, only to be told there’s another way to do it which is not quite so expensive or meticulous. Therefore, we’re asked to give in to the common con, and after a while, because are hearts are hungry for some validity, we find ourselves giving up.

I don’t want to live in “Admire a Con,” even though the accent may be warm and fuzzy.

But on the other hand, “A Miracle Can” breathes potential.

As long as we don’t sit around and wait for God, gods and goddesses to perform their magic, miracles can be achieved through our efforts and glorified through celebration.

I could live in “A Miracle Can,” where I’m asked to bring my faith.

For you see, it’s too bad that faith has been associated with religion.

Faith is actually just an enduring belief—an insisting notion—a treasured principle.

So I could muster faith.

And then, with the rest of my brothers and sisters, we could all have a “come to Jesus” moment.

Not a revival, but rather, a renewal. A believing in one another.

Not a church service, but an inspiration to serve.

And once I brought my faith—that enduring belief—and had my “come to Jesus moment,” when time was still available for solutions—then I think I would actually be prepared to want to make things whole.

As long as things are broken, I can bitch.

If I contend that the world is hopeless, I can whimper and play victim.

But if I want to make things whole, I can get together with others, who bring their wit, will and willingness to join in.

I’m tired of living in “Admire a Con,” listening to mumblings through the door.

I need more than the promise of “A Miracle Can.”

Instead, I long to march together with newfound friends, as we bring our faith, have a “come to Jesus” moment and really, really want to make things whole.

Sensitize … (May 30th, 2020)

SENSITIZE 1

Every morning, Mr. Cring takes a personal moment with his audience.

Click the picture below to see the video

 

Sit Down Comedy … May 8th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

They are lying to me again.

Folks tell me I should just accept it. “Everybody lies. Just get used to it.”

I can’t.

There are just some matters that are so important they require the truth.

I’m being lied to about Covid-19.

I know I am.

I’m not paranoid. I’m just observing that all the symptoms of lying have sprouted.

  • Ambiguous answers.
  • Careful explanations.
  • Outlandish attacks.
  • Double-talk.

All these things tell me that the participants involved in this pandemic feel the need to lie in some capacity to support their position.

Even Dr. Fauci seems quite fuzzy.

For we all know, if this gentleman were actually telling the whole truth, his ass would have been fired weeks ago. He’s walking that “fine line” between revelation and deception.

I believe the good of mankind is total transparency. After all, they think you and I can’t handle the truth. Right? We need someone to pander to us. We need to know that God is still blessing America.

They are lying to me again. What should I do about it?

Here are two things we know:

  1. We cannot continue to stay in our homes, waiting for the virus to either scurry away or be cured by research departments that are in the back pocket of Somebody-or-Another, Inc.
  2. We also know that we cannot launch out in ignorance and begin to imitate America circa 2018 and pull off some sort of “Holy Jesus miracle,” which will make everything alright because we’re the good guys.

Whatever we do is going to be messy—but at its core, needs to be initiated through mercy.

So I need three questions answered.

I shall not believe a Republican or a Democrat in an election year.

Unlike millions of Americans, I don’t have faith in the medical field. I know for a fact, they tout more than they deliver.

And in spite of my faith, I do not believe that God is going to intervene, interrupt Science and His own Natural Order—to pinpoint one organism and obliterate it so we can go play football again. So here are my questions:

Question One: Do you have a preference?

Since you’re going to be making decisions about the safety and lifestyle of the American people, do you have a preference?

I mean, have you already decided that one approach is better for your political party? Have you concluded that you’re going to follow the dictates of some organization, where you’ve placed your allegiance in determining what is best to do?

If you are, I can’t listen to you unless I want to be a fool.

Question Two: Are you angry?

Are you preparing to make a decision about the health of 330 million people based upon a fussiness that has settled into your soul?

For I will tell you, the forces of the universe don’t give a shit if you feel put out, and they certainly are not frightened of the prospect of your raging tantrum.

And my final question to anyone who is going to try to offer truthful insight and a solution to this situation is:

Question Three: Who or what do you really care about?

I have to know.

Do you care about the stranger who has blood, heart and brain, just like you? Or do you feel that this stranger can be damned—just as long as the right person ends up in the White House?

So as I’ve asked the questions…

  1. Do you have a preference?
  2. Are you angry?
  3. And what do you really care about?

…the answers so far have been unfulfilling and even disturbing.

Here is what I feel:

Life is messy.

Tell the truth.

It doesn’t get better painted with lies.

Life demands mercy because we require it also.

So whatever you decide to do needs to be drenched in mercy.

I will not continue to be lied to and play the part of a helpless buffoon. Don’t talk to me unless you’re prepared to tell a truth that contradicts what you said before.

Then, and only then, will I be willing to listen.

3 Things … March 12th, 2020

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That Make Good Government

 

1. The people came up with it on their own

 

2. All the people benefit from it directly

 

3. The people are encouraged and also rewarded for being inclusive and interactive with one another

3 Things … February 6th, 2020

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You Need to Know About Black History Month

1.  It makes white people feel “R-E-A-L white.” Look what we did.

 

2.  Skin color doesn’t do shit—people do.

 

3.  It’s all American history.

 

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