PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 7th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Call My Child

Clever saying

Dry tongue praying

Children wait

Impatiently

Reject the goat

Get the vote

Feeling the need

Empty box

See the prize

Behind the lies

Laugh at jokes

Stale saltines

Hurt so much

When we touch

See me run

To simpler paths

Finding the true

Out of the blue

Requiring magic

Run the limp

If he’s the way

Where’s the truth

In a lifeless room

Filled with doubt

Call my child

From the wild

Bring my spoon

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G-Poppers … October 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3094)

Jon close up

Seduced by a warming sun, G-Pop drifts into the arms of a gentle sleep. He dreams–a vision of a scantily clad, ragged man, racing from a burning woodlands–frantic, screaming as he nears.

Follow the angry man

He seems to have a plan

“Who is he?” demanded G-Pop.

Like a burning star

He’ll take you very far

“What’s the plan?”

The frenetic announcer arrives, stopping short of overtaking G-Pop. He nervously bounces from one foot to another, continuing his proclamation.

Listen to his voice

Make the raging choice

She is a liar

Send her to the fire

“Who is she?” inquired G-Pop.

Trust his common way

Listen to what they say

What the hell

He lets us yell

Oh heavenly elation

He can save our nation

But boys need toys

To get their joys

“Who are the boys?”

The man grows weaker, slumping to his knees, but continues his speech.

He isn’t the son of meek

He is what you seek

“Where does he come from?” pleaded G-Pop.

He laughs at the truth

Offering no lasting proof

“I need truth.”

You are his child

Needy and so mild

“I am not a child,” objected G-Pop.

Counting your vote

Not the sheep, choose the goat

The stranger collapsed into a heap of exhaustion. G-Pop knelt by his side and said, “I am so confused.”

Breathlessly the depleted soul answered.

He is more exciting

He is ready for fighting

“I hate war.”

You need his power

For such an hour

Come join him in his tower

Suddenly the intruder melted into a puddle of oily slime. G-Pop lurched back in horror and said:

“I have to go.

This scares me.

I want to feel good.

I want to do good.

I want to love again.”

All at once, G-Pop was released from his dream … to awaken to the nightmare.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: I’ve decided to write a blog.

 

Man: Oh, really? Well, I’ll read it.

 

Woman: You don’t even know what I’m gonna write about.

 

Man: I still can be supportive.

 

Woman: That’s my point. I’m going to write about the fact that minorities in this country will not receive the respect they desire until they learn how to give equality and honor to women.

 

Man: Wow. That’s strong.

 

Woman: It probably is. And like most strong ideas, it certainly needs to be tempered by reason. But I would rather start off with a bold statement and trim it back than take a trimmed statement and say it boldly.

 

Man: I suppose. But when you say minorities, what are you talking about?

 

Woman: Well, let’s say Blacks, Latinos and Muslims. Jesus made an important statement. He declared that “the measure we put out to other people will be measured back to us.”

 

Man: That he did. So what you’re saying is that you believe the Black, Latino and Muslim communities fail to give women the status they deserve, and therefore end up suffering themselves.

 

Woman: Exactly. Even though there are many strong humans who are women in the Black and Latino communities, there is still an underlying message that to some degree, women are subordinate.

 

Man: I notice you left out the Muslims.

 

Woman: I didn’t leave them out–but in the Muslim community, it is even more pronounced that women are supposed to take a role rather than having an equal place.

 

Man: What do you mean by “taking a role?”

 

Woman: I’ll give you an example. During the Victorian era, it was considered that women would stay in the home and men would do the work–breadwinner, as it were. Simultaneously, in the world we were struggling with prejudice against immigrants and also the evil and indignity of slavery. So because we did not know how to treat women, the other aspects of human interaction were also stalled.

 

Man: I can see your point, but you certainly know that the Black, Latino and Muslim communities will cite many examples where the females in their cultures are revered.

 

Woman: There’s a difference between being equal and being revered. Matter of fact, you can revere someone so you don’t have to give them a voice. You can say, “Doesn’t she make a great mother? Isn’t she a wonderful cook? What would we do without her organizational skills?” But you’re still withholding her God-given privilege of even footing.

 

Man: I see that. But I still think you’re going to meet a lot of resistance from these communities with your blog.

 

Woman: As well I should. Making a statement is not establishing a truth. The truth is a quest that is fulfilled after we’re confronted with many statements.

 

Man: So what do you think they should do in these communities?

 

Woman: Question themselves. It’s the very best we can ask of anyone. Stop being so sure you have your own natural order that works, and instead, realize that women are more than “baby mamas,” spitfires and humans who have to wear head coverings to establish their submission.

 

Man: Do you think that’s even possible?

 

Woman: If you had told a man in 1874 that a woman would be on her way to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, he would have called you a ridiculous liar.

 

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G-Poppers … February 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2856)

Jon close up

Even though G-Pop knows that his children are smart and sharp enough to make good decisions for themselves, he is a bit concerned that the recent redefining of leadership is quite confusing.

Leadership is not an accumulation of stats and facts to place on your resume, or the ability to get people to vote for you to confirm your prowess.

Leadership is very simply an awareness. It is a two-part principle.

Anyone who is going to be a great leader:

  1. Tells the truth.
  2. Hears the truth.

Yes, there is a truth we know. It is our treasure-house, holding the contents of our understanding.

Telling the truth is essential. And even though lying has jokingly become a national pastime, everyone eventually becomes weary of a liar and unceremoniously boots the scoundrel out the door.

But we can’t stop with our truth. We can’t halt in the middle of the road, build a fort and say, “We need go no further.”

Telling the truth has to give way to hearing the truth. A leader must be submissive to listening to what he or she does not know. It requires a stillness in the soul, remaining silent for a season in order for personal truth to grow from acquiring new information.

If you cannot tell the truth and hear the truth, you will never be a good leader.

So G-Pop hopes that his children will ask four very important questions when they consider what leaders to honor:

1. Do they tell the truth?

2. Do they honor the truth?

3. Do they know there is more truth beyond themselves?

4. Are they searching for that unknown truth?

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G-Poppers … January 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Every now and then, one of the older sons asks G-Pop what he thinks about the present political fray.

G-Pop smiles to himself, wondering if Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison are giggling somewhere in their heavenly mansions (even though the quartet may not have actually believed in such a lofty destination.)

The truth is, our forefathers devised a system grounded in idealism and absent needful guidelines on implementation.

“All men are created equal.” A great idea–until you try to dole out the equality.

“A government of the people, by the people and for the people.” A moving notion–except for the fact that many of our founding patriarchs thought the electorate were ignorant and incapable of ruling themselves.

And of course, the precept of “liberty and justice for all.” How can you give liberty to everyone and still manifest justice? And isn’t the application of justice often the tempering of liberty?

Let’s look at some simple facts:

  • Freedom without common sense is anarchy.
  • Common sense minus freedom is tyranny.

It is only with the blending of freedom and common sense that “liberty and justice for all” is achieved.

So how do we balance it?

We don’t.

We have to go no further than the mind of God to see that freedom preempts justice.

For instance, the will of the Jewish San Hedrin–to crucify Jesus–supplanted the prevention of such a heinous act.

How about Abraham Lincoln? He decided to participate in a war with the South, because granting freedom to the slaves was cosmically essential.

So in choosing leaders, we must select those who honor freedom, and then gently and tenderly temper it with the common sense that brings justice.

Without this, we hamper the process of a democracy by introducing laws, restrictions and even morals that don’t necessarily fit all the participants.

Even in the case of raising children, inhibiting their freedom is a dangerous thing to do because it invites rebellion. Yet granting freedom with no respect for the history of humankind is an invitation to disaster.

So G-Pop feels that the best place for us to begin to grant freedom is to remove adjectives from in front of the word “people.”

There are not “black people, gay people or disabled people.” Just people.

There are not even women and men. Just people.

When we even the playing field to “people,” then we can address the common sense of what we all need.

We, the people. That’s what makes our system work.

Whenever we change it, segmenting ourselves into little groups, we start restricting freedom and destroy the process.

So G-Pop says to his son: “Vote for candidates who believe we’re all people on a journey together … to find common sense.”

 

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Two Out of Three… June 5, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Two out of three people met with each other before the vote.F-A25A2T

Two out of three portions of the Holy Trinity are not ghostly.

Two out of three times have no charm.

Two out of three of the Musketeers actually prefer the costume.

Two out of three people in a threesome wish you weren’t there.

Two out of three blind mice insist they have contacts.

Two out of three wise men are glad they didn’t get stuck with the frankincense.

Two out of three rings in the circus are in the dark.

Two out of three wishes are blown by nerves.

Two out of three days before Easter are spent in the grave.

Two out of three words in “I love you” are glad they aren’t egotistical.

Two out of three insist they ain’t bad.

Two out of three wrong answers means you will be back next semester to retake the course.

Two out of three excuses given are recycled.

Two out of three Apollo astronauts wanted to be Gemini.

Two out of three are glad they are not a crowd.

Two out of three members of Nirvana didn’t kill themselves.

Two out of three guys hanging on crosses are guilty.

Two out of three people reading this think that the bit is funny.

Of course, I exaggerate 66.67 % of the time.

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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.

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Amos ‘n Angie… March 8, 2013

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Amos and AndyTwo out of work white actors–veterans of minstrel shows–came up with an idea to present a pair of Negro characters who were shiftless, rather ignorant, clumsy and ill-suited for everyday life, and dubbed them Amos  ‘n Andy. Spanning four decades and being translated from radio to television, this twosome created great comedy among the predominately white community in America, and laughs aplenty.

The only difficulty is that when issues of civil rights, human respect and equality came to the forefront, Amos ‘n Andy needed to be shoved to the back of the bus. It was.

Today nearly all Americans would be embarrassed to watch or listen to an episode of the repugnant spoof. They would be shocked at the underlying meanness and condescension in the scripts. But not so–for four decades. It was a staple of American life, and along with minstrel shows, in its own way attempted to keep the darker-skinned portions of our society at bay–from ever considering themselves toe-to-toe with the white community.

I don’t think anyone would disagree with what I just wrote. Most folks would nod their heads or “amen” such a denouncement of obvious racial bigotry and the process of limiting one group of people from ascending to their rightful position.

Yet every single night of the week on TV, and in most of our movies, we continue the same assault, merely changing the characters from Amos ‘n Andy to Amos ‘n Angie. We portray the battle between men and women to be a natural phenomenon, ordained by God, a conflict with no resolution and only worthy of cynical satire, not ever to be considered a resolvable stand-off.

Sometimes the dialogue favors women, making men look dull, stupid and Neanderthal. Other times, the humor is testosterone-driven, with women appearing bitchy, unreasonable, and of course in the end, vulnerable and desperately in need of a hug.

The parallel is there–and it is rather doubtful that we will ever have civil rights, social rights or national rights for all people as long as we tolerate an ongoing squabble between half the people against the other half. Yes, as long as we insist that men and women are so adverse to one another,  the only way to handle the imbalance will be to laugh at it.

How is the old Amos ‘n Andy minstrel show like the present Amos ‘n Angie square-off between the sexes? It works on the same four principles:

1. “They are so different from us that they’re just funny.” As in the case of Amos ‘n Andy, the new portrayal of men and women being cosmically ill-suited is just a way of hiding prejudice.

2. “They don’t make sense.” The two white actors who played Amos and Andy worked very hard to make their accents almost unintelligible, portraying the deep-rooted ignorance of their characters. Likewise, nowadays tirades of either men or women on TV shows and in movies lead the audience to believe that one or the other of the sexes is stupid.

3. They are always bickering. It was a hallmark of Amos ‘n Andy. Nowadays, the way to get people to chuckle is to portray that men and women can not find any common humanity, but instead, must bicker and fuss with each other until they fall into bed and resolve their problems between the sheets.

4. Finally–and probably most dastardly–watching one of these bigoted spoofs makes the viewer walk out thinking, “They are not like us.” The best way to keep the black man from the vote and civil rights was to stand on stage and portray him as the numskull. As long as that was permitted, all the marches from Selma to Montgomery were just walks in the park. And as long as we have entertainment which insists there is an evolutionary gap between the male and female that cannot be spanned, we will continue to have unnecessary conflict which will reflect on our society as permission to segregate.

Just as it took brave people to stand up and declare Amos ‘n Andy a dangerous attack on human beings, we are going to need some very insightful folks to refuse to participate in the Amos and Angie presentations permeating our culture.

Ironically, many of the black comedians who would be appalled at Amos ‘n Andy are now jumping on the bandwagon of Amos ‘n Angie, making a quick buck off of sarcasm and cheap shots at the genders.

You can still write a funny piece based upon a man and woman discovering how to become more like one another, thus signing an eternal peace treaty of the soul. But no one wants to do that as long as Amos ‘n Angie is selling. It’s just like no one wanted to stop Amos ‘n Andy when there were advertisers lined up to support it.

I will guarantee you, in thirty years many or most of the television shows we now extol as comedic wonders will be viewed as cultural bigotry. The issue is–will YOU be one of the ones to notice before it becomes so obvious that even the common riff-raff of Hollywood has to give up the ignoble cause?

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