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.

Sit Down Comedy … Juneteenth, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

I don’t like to lose.

Maybe no one does.

There is certainly no celebration going on in the locker room of the vanquished team.

No retelling of dropped balls, missed tackles or fumbles.

Losing is intolerable in its inception but even more lonely in its conclusion.

There will certainly be no fellowship in hell for those who are self-condemned to dwell in the loneliness of ineptitude.

I once walked off a football field having been thoroughly beat up—64 to nothing. And yes—it felt like just me—like I was whipped, dragged and humiliated by eleven bullies. My teammates sat in silence, with an occasional sob.

I don’t like to lose.

I don’t keep old raffle tickets which failed to deliver the prize.

I don’t have video footage of me coming in fourteenth in a talent contest.

Yet today I feel like such a goddam loser.

I’m white.

But the only privilege I seem to garner from this statis is the curse of achieving my rank through vile prejudice and bigotry.

It is Juneteenth.

Yet do I have a right, as a white, to even mention it?

What would be my statement?

“I’m so glad my relatives stopped owning yours. Just for the record, I would never have bought you.”

Yuk.

It’s like working really hard to be at the top of your class and then realizing when you got there, everybody hated you.

I’m white.

I’m sorry.

I don’t mind saying I’m sorry.

I understand why it’s necessary for me to be sorry.

But I don’t feel better after I say it.

It just doesn’t seem enough.

Maybe it’s because racism has never died.

Maybe it’s because there’s a whole region of the country which still thinks the Civil War was a grand cause.

Maybe it’s because I’m part of a race that shoots black people in the street and applauds them when they run in a sports arena or dance on a video.

I don’t know how to be white.

It doesn’t matter—whether I know how to do it, I still get the benefit. Or can we call it a benefit? It’s more like the spoils of a war, where the other side wasn’t even allowed to fight.

I want to say something, but everything comes across as anemic as the color of my skin.

I want to be one of those whites who’s “a dude” instead of one of those whites who’s really just crude.

But the harder I try, the worse I look.

Because this problem is not going to be salvaged from destruction by platitudes or promises.

It’ll take a generation—maybe two—before we can even begin to trust each other.

Because while I listen to the news, which implores me to be more tolerant, evening television is still about murderers and rapists, who are usually “colored in” with dark ink.

I just wanted to let you know that I don’t like being this loser.

And I just wanted to let you know that me complaining about being a loser is really a loser thing to do.

I wanted to say, “Happy Juneteenth,” because I am happy about it. Not happy in the sense that I personally was awarded liberty, but happy because hopefully, we can reach a point when we don’t have to award it.

It’s a given.

I don’t like to lose.

If there’s a way out of this, I will find it.

If there’s an opportunity to remain silent, but still be actively involved in reparations for the sin of our country, I want to discover it.

I don’t want you to listen to me whine.

But I’m also not going to watch “Roots” one more time to make sure I’m aware of what slavery was.

Somehow or another, you and I need to go forward trusting each other—that we got the message.

I don’t know how that can happen.

But it’s a nice thing to write down as a goal on a Friday afternoon.

And belief in it, pursuit of it and faith that it’s possible…

…makes me feel just a little less like a loser.

The B. S. M. G. Report


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Refusing to ever rest

From seeking what is best

BAD

You are not worthy of great opportunity unless you’ve counted the cost and decided you know how to lose.

Someone will lose.

Unlike what your third-grade teacher told you, not all of us are winners.

I saw something bad yesterday. Three or four grown men—college football coaches—turned into whiny, bitchy babies because their teams lost, and the reporters asked them questions they did not want to answer.

I’m sorry, gentlemen. You don’t get to do that. The minute you start taking millions of dollars in salary for running a football team, you lose all privilege of being snotty. If you can’t give a civil answer, cancel the press conference. Please, do not teach the younger generation that it’s perfectly acceptable to be so disappointed that you pour your poison out on everyone around you.

Play to win. Lose and survive.

That’s how it works.

SAD

Great full.

I thought it was a little sad this year that Thanksgiving was not nearly as punctuated with true gratitude as I have seen in the past. Maybe it was just me—perhaps I was at the wrong places. Could I have watched the bogus television shows?

Yet the message I heard was, “It is great that we are full.

Anybody can smile when their belly is satisfied, their house is warm and they’re doing good on their job.

Maybe it’s true that none of us learn how to be grateful until one or more of our wishes is absent and we still have to press on.

Yes, I think that’s it.

Gratitude is always better expressed by the souls who offer their appreciation, and those around them wonder how they can be so happy with so little.

MAD

I heard it again.

Somebody told me they have “faith in their doctor.”

I know why they said this. Medicine portrays itself as a religion. Everything is white, pristine and there are all sorts of gadgets, tons of explanations, and enough pomp and circumstance to march the Pope into the Vatican thirty times.

I don’t know why we can’t just deal with the truth:

Doctors and nurses are fabulous, and also ignorant.

  • We’re still doing more cutting than curing.
  • We still prescribe more medication than offer solutions.
  • We are still wrong much too often.

For instance, medicine has killed tens of thousands of people through opiate addiction and the misapplication of painkillers.

Everyone knows there are more infections in a hospital than there are in your kid’s sandbox.

I’m not asking the medical field to be diminished, nor am I criticizing them.

I am demanding some needful humility.

In the 1790’s, when doctors were treating President George Washington for pneumonia and they bled him with leeches, they were certainly convinced they were giving him expert treatment, and probably discussed among themselves how this particular breed of leech was ground-breaking.

All the chatter did not change the matter. And the matter was, their treatment was counterproductive. They had to learn their way out of it.

I think it’s important to go to the doctor and get checked over as best you can—as long as you realize that part of what you’ll experience is somewhat experimental, making you a temporary guinea pig.

So oink-oink. And let us encourage these people of science to grow instead of crow.

GLAD

I believe I saw it on a YouTube.

It was a little boy, about nine. So maybe not so little, but still young.

He was asked a question in his classroom by a teacher.

“What do you want your life to be?”

They filmed a couple of students talking about money, happiness, marriage, cars and such.

Then they came to this young man. It was as if he was suddenly possessed by an angel from heaven. He explained, “Life doesn’t show up fixed. You gotta put it together.”

I laughed and broke out in tears all at the same time.

Do any of us really believe that?

Even though the boy’s words were eternal, can we realize how powerful this idea truly is?

It makes me glad there is one small member of the human race out there who has it right. Maybe he’ll infect us. Here’s what we need to learn:

Inhale life. Exhale good cheer.

Then repeat the process.

The B. S. M. G. Report


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Overcoming the weak in my week,

I have sought what to seek

BAD

There’s nothing to be achieved by the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

This is not a statement on his innocence or guilt, but rather, the acknowledgement that such an endeavor is beyond us during this time with the unfolding calendar of the United States of America.

The country is weary–its citizens exhausted.

There is too much to discern to maintain any will to continue to reason.

In less than a year, an election proposed by our constitution, will settle the matter.

Although there are those who insist “an awful lot can happen in a year,” or that they wish to “nail the lid” on a coffin that has already been constructed, I contend that the deed is too costly for what might be guaranteed.

For you see, as a young man I purchased an old, green, Bell Telephone van. It was pukey. But the ugliest part of it was the carpet inside, which ran from steering wheel to back door.

I hated it. It was greasy, grimy, stained and filthy. Anyone who got into my van and saw the floor was surely convinced that I was a no-good slob.

One day I took it upon myself to get rid of that damn carpet.

I will tell you—it had been placed in the van with a notion to keep it there until Jesus had his welcome-back party. I cut, I pulled, I tore and I ripped. I probably got a lifetime of carpet fibers and asbestos up my nose.

After about three hours, I finally ripped up the last piece of carpet, though little portions stubbornly remained.

The underneath floor was just as putrid, requiring me to immediately get another carpet put in.

When I arrived at the back door of the carpet store, where I had been promised free c arpet from left-over jobs, the manager looked in my van and said, “Why’d you tear the old carpet out? You should have shampooed it and then put new carpet on top.”

Here are the facts:

Whether you’re a MAGA enthusiast for the President or you believe he’s the anti-Christ, he was duly elected and is part of our bizarre American history.

If you want him gone, wait for the next election.

Clean him out of Washington.

And lay down a new layer of carpet.

Because impeaching is like tearing out carpet—it’s a helluva project and will leave you with a bigger job at the end.

SAD

Sitting in my chair watching television, I teared up.

Maybe I’m an emotional fool, but sometimes I cry because I realize the great potential and am inundated with the present reality.

As I watched, person after person after show after news broadcast conveyed one message:

“You can’t trust anyone.”

Sometimes it was said sadly, sometimes communicated in anger. But in all cases, it was a definitive proclamation that trusting humans is not only foolish but dangerous.

Yet it will certainly be difficult to solve problems when the people we need to help us have become our enemies.

MAD

I don’t want to be a whiner.

I don’t want to be one of those kinds of guys who bitches about things and refuses to leave well enough alone.

And even though I have an abiding joy in watching college football, I am greatly disturbed at how it is gradually becoming America’s modern-day slave market.

57% of the college football athletes are black.

That is compared to 13% of the general population being that color.

Only 2.8% of the students on campuses are African American.

But 70% of the fan base of college football is Caucasian.

On top of that, sports announcers have begun to discuss the athletes as if they’re specimens instead of human beings.

  • “He has a huge, massive chest.”
  • “Look at his rock-hard abs.”
  • “He has thighs twice the size of a normal boy his age.”
  • “He looks like Adonis.”

At first hearing, you might think these are compliments, but actually they are observations—the same kinds of asides spoken by slave-traders as they walked among the young black men, stolen and brought over from Africa.

Granted, some of these young men may be headed for the National Football League, to make much money, unlike their unfortunate ancestors. But this does not rationalize the attitudes, terminology and carelessness with which these human beings are regarded.

Meanwhile, not many people are concerned about their education, integration into human life or even their communication skills.

It is racist.

It may be a gentle racism, or even an entertaining one—but it is racist.

Let’s not get rid of college football, but please—let us cease and desist with the plantation talk.

GLAD

There are three outstanding statements that must be honored for the human race to continue to run well.

1. All humans are created equal.

2. In the kingdom of God, there is neither male nor female.

3. Don’t judge unless you want to be judged.

Every time one, two or dare I say, all three of these, link up to form a circle of understanding, my soul rejoices.

So when “Black Lives Matters” arrived along with the “Me Too Movement,” complete with a new awakening of patriotism in this nation, I didn’t see campaigns at war with one another.

We are gradually beginning to grasp that these ideas, along with many others scattered out there, are like the yarn of understanding that must be knit together, to help us endorse our equality, our genders uniting, and the removal of prejudice.

May they create the circle of understanding that is unbroken.

Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sitting Forty-One

Three days passed.

Karin found it difficult to sleep. She nibbled like a rabbit, trying to sustain her energy. Although she watched all the news reports, she heard nothing. It literally seemed that Iz and Pal had vanished from the face of the Earth. She made many phone calls but was unable to get in touch with anyone who knew anything.

Then, on Monday morning, while she was warming up her coffee, a special broadcast came across the television screen from the International News Network. She was brought to a standstill, staring in disbelief. There, being played out before her eyes, in a news conference, was a guy at a podium behind many microphones. He looked like Matthew Bradley, her photographer/suitor. Yet she shook her head, rattling in her own brain. It couldn’t be possible—because this man wore the trappings of a Catholic priest.

She lifted the volume as he stepped toward the microphones, placing a piece of paper on the podium. “I have a brief statement from the IEA. The two boys recently rescued from the desert and carried to a decontamination center to be tested and treated for injuries have unfortunately died from exposure to lethal chemicals. The boys, Jubal and Amir, who became known as Iz and Pal, left a final statement before passing on. And I quote:

We meant no harm. We just loved each other. Isn’t that a good thing? We wish you all holy peace.”

The Bradley doppelganger continued. “Both the boys were given medication to ease their pain and passed away last evening in their sleep. The IEA asked me, as a man of the ministry, to speak to the public. And may I personally add in comfort and closing, it is just blessed to know that Iz and Pal have gone to a better kingdom.”

With this, the priest folded up his sheet of paper, nodded his head and stepped away from the podium as a barrage of questions was shouted at his retreating form.

But there were no answers. He was gone. That was it.

Karin sat in front of her television for a long time. She wondered why she wasn’t crying—then realized it might be because Matthew Bradley was impersonating a priest. In other words, if the priest ain’t really a priest, then maybe, just maybe, the boys ain’t dead.

Trying to be comforted by the possibility of a false report, nevertheless, finally her emotional will broke. Her anguish and fears began to strangle her internally, draining the life from her soul. She couldn’t breathe. She stood to her feet, attempting to regain the simple ability to take in air and release it.

She felt so foolish. She had been part of tragedies before. She had seen men and women mutilated by bullets, and children blown up by bombs. Why in the hell was this striking her so deeply? Why did she let these two boys into her heart? Why hadn’t she been savvy enough to realize that this had no way to have a happy ending? It was doomed by all those doomsayers who spread doom all over the countryside in the name of their Deity of Doom.

She finally was able to sit down and calm herself, on the energy of one possibility. Maybe Iz was with his friend, Pal, and they were both alive. Karin didn’t know if believing such nonsense was optimistic or just dangerous. But she was tired of being cynical.

As she gradually regained her composure, she heard a knock at the door. Startled, she slowly stood, walked over and opened the door. A young Arab man was standing next to Jubal’s mother. She searched her mind to remember the name. Yes. Shelah. That was it.

It was very unusual to see a woman in public during the day with such a young man—one obviously not her husband. Karin was suspicious.

The young man knew he had surprised her, sympathetic to her predicament. “I am Talsan,” he explained quickly. “I am Amir’s…sorry…I am Pal’s older brother.” He turned toward the older woman, then back to Karin. “I suppose you know that this is…”

Karin interrupted. “Yes, this is Iz’s mother. Shelah, am I right?”

The woman nodded her head, continuing the submissive profile she had displayed on Karin’s visit to her. But then, out of nowhere, she spoke up. “Yes,” she stated. “As you say, I am Iz’s mother. May we come in?”

The sudden burst of speech from the silent woman surprised Karin. She welcomed the pair into her house. Karin offered them food and drink, which they both declined as they took seats on the couch.

Talsan said, “There is much I should say but the most important part is to tell you that I love my brother, and I refuse to believe that he’s gone.”

Before Karin could comment, Shelah piped up. “I will go further. My spirit—the mother within me—everything I hold dear—tells me that my son is still alive and breathing.”

Karin looked at Talsan and then at Shelah. She wasn’t certain what to say. She wanted to agree with them because she felt much the same way, but three fools don’t make a majority. The newspaper woman inside her rose up and cited, “You both realize that they don’t normally give out a false report from the IEA—and whether you trust Americans, or anybody from the West, I have worked with them many times, and they’re decent folk who would certainly not harm two little boys.”

Talsan started to speak, but Shelah patted his hand and said, “We are not accusing anyone of harming Iz and Pal.” She glanced over at Talsan. “We are just saying…well, I’m just saying…”

Talsan interjected, “It is me, too.”

Shelah nodded and continued. “We are just saying that we have done very poorly by these children of God and it is we who are believing that God will allow us another chance.”

Karin found it very difficult to object. All the words being spoken were sentimental hogwash, but still, they were the thoughts stirring in her own heart as well. She decided to offer a possibility. “Did you hear the announcement from the priest?”

They both nodded their heads. “Good,” Karin said. “Because his final thought was that the boys had possibly suffered enough and were redeemed to a better kingdom.”

Talsan jumped in. “I know this could be true. I’m not a fool. I’m an educated man. But it does seem ridiculous to accept the words without confirmation.”

“And beyond that,” Shelah emphasized, “Should there not be at least an attempt for us to let God, the authorities, but mostly the boys know that at the end of their journey there were people that loved them? People that sought them out and people that honored their memory?”

Talsan dipped his head as tears filled his eyes.

Karin realized that whatever powers may exist in the universe, Somebody Somewhere had granted her this visit from mother and brother, to restore her faith—and to help her make a decision she certainly yearned to do.

She took Mother Shelah and Brother Talsan by the hands and said, “I want to thank you for being brave enough to come here. But I wonder if you could be just a little braver still. Would you agree with me—no, more than that. Would you join me on a trip to America to make sure that these two great fellows really have gone to a better kingdom?”

Shelah quickly nodded her head, eyes glistening. Talsan thought for a minute, but then realized there was no way to avoid such a journey and ever be certain in his soul.

An unlikely trio of pilgrims made a covenant with one another to travel to the States to learn the truth about two wonderful guys that they all loved.

 

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G-Poppers … November 3rd, 2017

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G-Pop has discovered that flipping through the history pages often provides a wind of discovery.

Even though in 1857 the telegraph was available in major towns throughout the United States, no one had a unit in their home–and certainly not in their children’s bedrooms.

Eventually the telephone became quite popular and was not just located in the midst of the community, but each person had one in their house. But rarely was it placed in any area but the living room or the kitchen.

Likewise, when the radio became the craze, there was a big family unit, usually located near the fireplace, where everyone would gather to listen to the shows, indulge in entertainment and giggle or shiver together. No one even thought about buying a radio just for Jimmy or Sally’s room.

The television set–what an advancement. Certainly there was disagreement among family members about what shows to watch, especially with the limited number of networks. Still, the new box remained in the family room, with very few people being able to afford a second unit elsewhere in the house.

We were locked into one another. Some people might even say “confined.” We were dependent–often inter-dependent with other families and communities. We were forced to have meals together because the possibility of having the instant gratification of fast food or warming something in a microwave was decades away.

And then came the cell phone. At first it was a novelty used for emergencies. But as the Internet came floating into the Cloud, a merger was formed in which the cell phone could become a computer and bring the Web into anybody’s possession who held the magic piece in his or her hands.

At this point, for some reason or another, we made a major decision that it was wrong to prevent any family member from having his or her own communication device. We decided we didn’t need to share anymore. We concluded that being privately entertained or informed was adequate. We have now reached the point that children of seven or eight years just assume they should have their own.

We lament that folks seem to be glued to their tiny screens, never making eye contact with one another. We even have television specials which suggest that we’re losing personal contact with our fellow humans.

But most of us never see those shows or hear the reports. We can quickly tune away from them to something much more intriguing.

G-Pop knows that if he were to suggest that we’ve actually hampered our ability to understand one another through our cell phones, he would be considered an old fogey–except that the term “old fogey” is also out-dated.

G-Pop supposes he could become adamant or evangelical to see cell phone use tamed to such an extent that human communication would once again be possible.

But he realizes there’s no need to fuss about it.

Sooner or later we will need each other, and a text, a YouTube, an Instagram, a Pinterest or a Tweet will just not cut it.

 

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Cracked 5 … August 1st, 2017


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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Creepy Things Your Mom and Dad Say When They Walk Up, Trying to Be Cool, and You’re Hanging Out With Your Friends

A. “Had a bowel dissected last week. Went well, though.”

 

B. “They said the clog in the tube was the largest one they’d ever seen–dark and gritty.”

 

C. “Funny thing–the nurse had the same operation last year, but they had to pump her for an hour.”

 

D. “I watched so much television I finally caught an interview with Kim Kardashian. She really does have a big butt. Smart–but a whopper backside.”

 

E. “Listen, kids–eat more fiber. My doctor said it will save you from walkin’ around with a bag hangin’ off your belt.”

 

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