Appendix

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pen·dix (n.): a tube-shaped sac attached to and opening into the lower end of the large intestine in humans and some other mammals.

They tell me that no one knows exactly what the appendix does. That got me thinking.

What is the appendix of other things in life?

The appendix of politics is all the negative ads put on the air to try to prove the rottenness of the competition.

The appendix of entertainment is all the remakes which discuss the beauty of the cinematography instead of offering insight, gentleness and possibility to human beings.

The appendix of marriage is the belief that commitment is enough to sustain a relationship between two people without an ongoing lustful affection.

The appendix of weight loss is the notion that fat people want to be fat and therefore should be ridiculed and punished into submission.

The appendix of education lies in the contention that the more you spend for it, the smarter you become.

The appendix of shopping is very similar–the thought that name brands always have more quality than knock-offs.

The appendix of humanity is the belief that we’re “all different” instead of seeking our similarities.

The appendix of the relationship between men and women is the abiding presumption that they are so ill-suited that peaceful co-existence seems unlikely.

The appendix of self-esteem it that it can be achieved by bolstering ego instead of offering opportunity.

The appendix of lying is the misconception that we can actually pull it off.

And the appendix of religion is that it tries to please God by hurting people when God made it clear that loving people is the only way to please Him.

 

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Antipsychotic

dictionary with letter A

Antipsychotic: (n) a type of drug used to treat psychotic disorders.

I believe the old saying is that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

I don’t know if that means that fools are careless, or angels are chicken shit.

But I do know that ever once in a while, it’s important to risk appearing foolish in an attempt to focus on something that’s important.

So playing the part of the fool, let me state bluntly that America is nuts.

I know that’s not a clinical word normally used by psychiatrists, but it does describe the mishap of activity that is being presently performed under adult supervision.

Religion, politics, entertainment and corporations have lost all sense of morality and even any compass for productivity, chasing down either imaginary dragons or unicorns in the enchanted forest.

There seems to be a national sense of neurotic.

Now, what is the difference between being neurotic and psychotic?

  • Neurotic is when you’re afraid that you’re going to go out on the street and get robbed, so you end up staying at home.
  • Psychotic is when you stay at home and have a visceral experience of being robbed by imaginary thieves named Imogene and Darnell.

Here’s my concern: neurotic people can become psychotic if their neurosis is not talked out.

I believe we’re already on the verge of finding imaginary enemies that are chasing us down instead of having the good cheer and wisdom to tackle simple problems in our everyday lives. So more than ever, people are being prescribed medication for conditions that should be handled among our peers with comedy and conversation.

Yes, if we stop talking to each other, only texting and posting on Facebook, the little demons will start crawling out of the closet and begin to gnaw on our ankles.

So let me be foolhardy and tell you that social networking, the Internet and cynicism are tempting us as a nation to leap from neurotic to psychotic. Then we scratch our heads and wonder why somebody would ever go into a school and shoot a couple dozen little kids.

I know we’re concerned about tragedies like this, but I’m much more worried about the loss of humanity, the missing link in our species that creates brotherhood instead of culture wars, and the rejection of a gregarious nature, forcing us back into our caves, where we scrawl on the walls, admiring only our own artwork.

We will become psychotic, and then will probably become so alarmed that we’ll prescribe a national antipsychotic for the water system if we don’t learn to deal with the neurotic notions that make us feel superior to each other and afraid to merely use our abilities the best we can.

 

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Answer

dictionary with letter A

Answer: (n) 1. a response to a question. 2. a solution to a problem or dilemma.

“I want answers.”

I’ve said it. And I have certainly heard it fall from the lips of friends and human beings passing before me.

It sounds noble, doesn’t it?

I’ve even made the mistake of trying to provide some insight or guidance to those who have proclaimed they require wisdom.

Yet I’m careful not to speak on things I haven’t experienced myself. As tempted as we are to pass on stories we have read on the Internet, they could be fostered by fools like me.

But now, since I have a bit of dust on my chaps from the journey, I pause when people ask for answers, and wait to see what follows.

It usually comes in one of three forms:

  1. “We want answers because we sure don’t think this is going to work.”
  2. “We want answers because the ones that have been provided for us are not very pleasant.”
  3. “We want answers because we want to be the first ones to come up with the answer.”

As you can see:

  • #1 is already discouraged.
  • #2 is pissed off.
  • And #3 is driving a huge Cadillac of ego.

So what am I listening for? What would I like to hear in my own inner voice?

“I want answers and I’m willing to be wrong and even learn something new to get them.”

Because let’s be candid with one another–if what we’re doing isn’t working, it probably won’t work any better if we polish it up. Something has to change.

Politics won’t improve until it ceases to be a party contest. Religion must find a balance between the depravity of man and the all-blessed goodness of humans. And entertainment must consider the responsibility to inspire and not just alarm.

So I ask myself, do I want answers?

On some things.

On others … I need time to shed my stupidity.

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Anodyne

dictionary with letter A

Anodyne: (adj) a manner of communicating unlikely to provoke dissent or offense, deliberately uncontentious

I have never used this word before, nor have I heard it. But I certainly have encountered the spirit of it everywhere I go.

Even though I am often invited to speak and share my thoughts in front of audiences, at the very last moment the sponsor often approaches me in a kindly, smiling profile, trying to gently determine if I plan on being offensive or controversial.

Everyone on Earth knows that nothing is ever achieved by spreading the banquet table of the status quo and offering it for general consumption. The status quo has already had a season of being the status, and its quo is so well-known that there’s very little interest in it.

So the goal is to try to find something that has a bit of edge and transition in its nature, but at the same time, is edifying to the human soul.

The other option is to purposely startle people under the guise of entertainment, hiding behind the religion of the First Amendment, which allows for free speech, no matter how stupid and useless it may be.

So what are the guidelines? I can only speak for myself.

1. Don’t share anything you haven’t tried and found to be successful in your own life.

Fad philosophy is just like fad dieting–for a little while it seems to work and then when it falls apart, you end up weighted down worse than before.

2. It should be understandable.

I’m tired of people expressing superiority by complicating life. If you can’t make it easier for folks, shut your damn mouth.

3. The goal should be to edify and exhort other human beings, even if they choose not to receive the benefits.

  • My heart is more important to me than the conclusion.
  • My motivation is more essential than success.

I have no intention of saying things that are safe, because in the long run, our world becomes dangerous when either goodness doesn’t take evil seriously, or when evil can prove that goodness is way too serious.

 

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Anarchy

dictionary with letter A

Anarchy: (n) a state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.

Is there really order if the people or the powers that be in control have created emotional anarchy in those around them?

In other words, if people aren’t discovering freedom or contentment, is there any order? Or is the general disorder of being insensitive to humanity leaving the door open for necessary dissent?

And if that’s too difficult to understand, let me simplify it: if it ain’t workin’, why work it?

A certain amount of anarchy is necessary to create change.

As long as we are satisfied, lining up in straight columns to follow the existing standards, what chance is there for an inkling of insight to wiggle its way into the conversation?

  • Where is there injustice?
  • Where are there platitudes without purpose?
  • Where is there practice without reason?
  • Where do commandments get proclaimed without commanding us to improve our lives?

I think anarchy is one of those words created by people who love to maintain the status quo, making anyone who disagrees look like a renegade.

Actually, there’s no such thing as anarchy. There is legitimate change and illegitimate stupidity.

If we need it, it is not anarchy. If it is counter-productive to the human race, then it’s just dumb.

By this definition I would call myself an anarchist when it comes to organized religion.

I am an anarchist about the two-party system in our country.

I think the electoral college itself is anarchy.

I think the way men and women have allowed themselves to be segregated is anarchy manufactured by religion, politics and entertainment in order to plump up each existing demographic.

George Washington was an anarchist.

Abraham Lincoln certainly promoted anarchy.

Franklin Roosevelt’s work programs, were pure anarchy.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is anarchy born of spirit.

Nothing is going to happen in this country until anarchy has a chance to speak up without being cut off at the legs for being radical.

It’s time to review what we call “holy”… and see if it actually is making people whole.

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Amphitheater

dictionary with letter A

Amphitheater: (n.) a round location for performing events, surrounded by tiers for seating.

I don’t know if the Greeks intended for their amphitheaters to be outside or not, but every amphitheater I’ve ever performed in was ala natural.

And here is the problem: there is nothing creatively hatched, artistically structured, musically composed or theatrically staged which is better when exposed to the mosquitoes.

The only people who actually like having their entertainment performed outside are cruel promoters and idealistic committees who think it would be “really neat.”

Such an event happened to me in Detroit, Michigan, when I was working a supper club and having great fun sharing music and a bit of hilarity with the audience over dried-up pot roast and light green chicken.

It suddenly occurred to the owner of this supper club that it might be a real public relations boost if we did one of the shows outside in the parking lot, creating our own amphitheater of chairs and signage, advertising the establishment for those passing by or willing to come and sit in folding chairs to listen to music that they could hear at home in their recliners.

Not only was there a dearth of attendance but we got a late start, and the dampness of the early evening created humidity in our speakers, so the sound, as we went along, became more and more muffled.

Perhaps the most aggravating part of this little “amphitheater adventure” of our promotional argonaut was when he came up, feeling the need to justify himself, and proclaimed with an unnerving jubilance, “It wasn’t that bad.”

Yes. That’s what every artist wants to hear–of the disasters available, you ended up with a broken paddle in a canoe on the Niagara River instead of bottom bunk on the Titanic.

Did I mention to you that I don’t particularly care for amphitheaters?

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Amiss

dictionary with letter A

Amiss: (adj.) not quite right, inappropriate or out of place

Something is amiss.

1. Calling arguing debate.

2. Believing our egos don’t need any adjustment.

3. Insisting that men and women are natural enemies.

4. A two-party system where nobody’s having a good time.

5. A religious grammar school playground that has nothing to do with spirituality.

6. Entertainment that thinks darkness is reality.

7. Trying to find new ways to intoxicate the already-dull public.

8. Being afraid to say “I’m sorry.”

9. Being likewise frightened of “thank you.”

10. Exalting culture over cooperation.

11. Pursuing the ridiculous while desiring to appear enlightened.

12. Failing to balance tears and laughter and forgetting when to use each.

I could go on. Something’s amiss.

But I’m certain of one truth: the only thing that can be done about it is happening inside me.

 

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