Covert Action

Covert action: (n) a secret action undertaken to influence the course of political events, as a government intelligence operation.

Stubborn doesn’t work.

Oh, we think it does. Somehow or another we believe that “sticking to our guns” empowers us to win the day.

Think about that phrase: “sticking to your guns.”

May I point out that if you’ve had to introduce a gun into a situation, maybe arbitration has failed.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We live in a time when people are impressed with the ability to stubbornly hold on to their politics and their beliefs. It makes it very difficult to have the kind of intelligent conversation which allows for everyone to walk away, head out the door, and on their way home, change their minds just a little.

Maybe that’s the best we can do—just change ourselves a teeny bit, so we don’t come across too predictable or too obnoxious.

Yet I will tell you—it is fruitless to approach a stubborn person with a stubborn profile. You will never argue down someone who’s argumentative. And for those who believe they have found the secret of God, you are wasting your time blurting out a piece of theological insight that might enhance their profile and journey.

Those who still give a damn, wish to see some change and are yearning for a humanity that is as humane to humans as it is to animals, well…

If that’s what you want, you’re going to have to be covert.

You’re going to need to be humorous when others are blatantly serious.

You’re going to be required to bring some gravitas when the world seems to have gone tipsy on an alcoholic binge.

And you’re going to have to find ways to say good things in a better way, in order to convince anyone to honor the best.

You will not be able to speak to Republicans if they smell “donkey” on you.

Likewise, those Democrats can see an “elephant” coming a mile away.

What is needed is a covert action, if we’re going to change the politics, the spirituality, the manners, the integrity, the ethics and the temperament of our time.

We will have to cease to punch their conscience and instead, create new ways to tickle their fancy.

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Covered-Dish Supper

Covered-dish supper: (n) meal to which guests contribute food, as casseroles.

 When I was nineteen years old I had no job, but I had a music group.

It was constantly brought to my attention that I could have a job and still sing and play with my combo on weekends.

I did not favor that idea.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I thought the only way to be a professional musician was to insist it was your profession, long before your bank account confirmed it. Money was infrequent and when it arrived, we were so hungry for it that often we blew it on a desire rather than what the bills might require.

Because music groups were plentiful in that time, no one wanted to offer hard, cold cash for playing songs—even if it stimulated great enthusiasm, joy and clapping. What was offered—and may I say, even touted by a sponsor desiring to schedule our musical abilities—was a covered-dish supper.

In other words, after we got done singing, we would go down into the basement of the church and eat the food that had been brought by the concert attendees for just such an occasion.

Certain dishes were pretty well guaranteed:

There was always fried chicken (even if you were sure it came out of a bucket instead of a frying pan.)

Macaroni and potato salads were plentiful.

Someone always experimented with a rice dish, putting in some teriyaki sauce to give it “flare.”

Brownies, cakes of all sorts, pies, garlic bread, four or five concoctions with spaghetti, and once in a while some grilled hot dogs or hamburgers would appear.

By the time we got done singing, we were hungry. Also, we were starved because during the week we had not necessarily been able to procure grocery money to satisfy our growling innards.

So we learned two very important procedures:

First of all, you get more food when you compliment the food. If we found out who cooked what, we could center our appreciation in on that person and pretty soon they would bring their pot over and dump the contents onto our plates to “make sure we got our share.”

The second thing we put into practice, which took some trial and error, was to ask the smallest (and usually feminine) member of our band to walk over and chat with the ladies, asking for recipes. Well, these fine women looked at the dainty, somewhat underfed waif of a girl and loaded her down—not only with index cards containing the ingredients for their delicacies, but also boxes of leftover everything.

So even though nobody ever gave us money, we walked out of covered dish suppers with full bellies and enough food to last for two or three days thereafter.

Now, some people might think this is a terrible way to live, and I certainly can appreciate their point of view.

But I, for one, think it is quite charming to have a remembrance in my life when I literally did live hand to mouth.

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Coverage


Coverage: (n) the reporting, publishing and broadcasting of news:

 Pretty Nancy is a reporter

Not too tall, but never shorter

Had a microphone in her hand

Journeyed all across the land

Looking for the latest story

One with glory, maybe gory

Painted face looks just right

Working on into the night

Coverage is the game

Finding the blame

Bringing the truth

Without much proof

Deciding in committee

Who we should pity

Steering the report

To escape the retort

Pretty Nancy tells us the news

And tries real hard to steer our views

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Cover-up

Cover-up: (n) any action, stratagem, or other means of concealing or preventing investigation or exposure.

 Let me give you an example.

Let’s say we’re talking about the electric bill. Yes—that’s good. A common situation which we all certainly share in common.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

If you’re trying to find out whether your friend, your wife or your roommate has paid the electric bill, it is necessary to phrase the question in such a way that they will not choose to lie because they already feel intimidated by your approach.

Now, you may totally disagree with this, but I have found if you want people to tell you the truth, be prepared that there’s a greater chance that they will lie. So don’t set them up to fib by making them feel stupid or guilty if they tell you the truth.

Back to the electric bill. Here is a terrible approach if you’re trying to find out if your partner has paid the bill:

“You DID pay the electric bill, right?”

You see, for them to tell you that they haven’t, they would have to be willing to be truthful and also survive a wave of anger you have already told them is ready to hit their beach.  Not a good approach if you’re going to avoid cover-up.

A second bad angle is:

“What day did you pay the electric bill?”

Although not as intense, it still connotes that a normal, intelligent person would have already paid, and if they want to come across normal and intelligent but have not paid, they just might have to lie.

I must give you a third, horrible choice:

“The electric bill—that’s your department, isn’t it?”

The demons of being defensive will immediately rise and choke the truth out of your friend, making it impossible for him or her to tell you that it completely slipped their mind.

The only way you can guarantee that someone is going to tell you the truth is:

“I think I forgot to pay the electric bill. Did you pay it?”

You see, now if they didn’t pay it, they join you in being a fellow-delinquent. The pressure is off to shoulder the blame. There’s no need to provide an excuse, since you have already admitted that it was probably your responsibility.

I guess it all boils down to whether you want to find out if the electric bill has been paid, or if you would prefer to listen to cover-up after cover-up.

Until the house goes dark. 

 

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Cover

Cover: (v) to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.

 “I’ll be fine.”

This is what I said to my hostess when she asked me if I might need a blanket. In that moment, I felt that I might be bothering her too much by requesting one—and the room seemed to be a really good temperature and I thought I could lay on the bed without the need of any kind of cover. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

After all, I was just going to sleep. How much do you really need to protect you when you’re just heading for Sleeper Land?

She gave me a quizzical look when I refused additional “warmage,” as if to question my judgment on the matter, but wanting to be an ideal lady of the house, she honored my wishes, left the room and disappeared into her home, which was an unknown castle to me.

I brushed my teeth, I went to bed, and as I reached over to turn off the lamp on the nearby stand, I realized that I didn’t have a cover.

It was my fault. I had explained that I didn’t need one—but now that I was in my room and darkness was falling around me, I wanted a cover.

I nearly cried.

I didn’t know the house well enough to creep around looking in cabinets, searching for blankets, so I lay on the bed, very still, trying to convince myself that I would be content without being embraced by my cover.

I do not want to be overly dramatic…

Yes, I do. It was hell.

I found I could not sleep without having something over me. I felt naked, even though I was wearing pajamas. My shoulders were hanging out there to be seen by the night spirits, without apology. My legs were lonely.

I did not know what to do. I wanted to sleep but that didn’t seem covered.

So I got up, opened up my suitcase, began to pull out all my clothing, and tied pant legs onto shirt arms, with attached socks, until I eventually put together a really weird quilt.

It worked so well that after experimenting on four or five different combinations, I had everything covered, from my toes up to my chest.

I felt powerful again.

Yet as I lay down to go to sleep, I realized the top of my chest was unsheltered. Not wanting to get up to disrupt my makeshift blanket, I reached down into my suitcase, grabbed a pair of underwear and stuffed them under my chin.

At last…

Thank God Almighty.

Covered at last.

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Covenant

Covenant: (n) an agreement between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.

 I have neither the time nor the patience to seek out another person to agree with me to seal the deal. So I guess I cannot officially call my rant a covenant.

But I will anyway—because no one is here to stop me.

I do have a covenant with myself. Bluntly:

I’m sick of the shit.

I’m sick of people making a livelihood off stirring up trouble.

I’m sick of politics being given a free pass to be disingenuous and evil.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I’m sick of the shit put out by a religious system that hides behind two or three verses of scripture, to attack and destroy two or three billion people.

I’m sick of the shit inside me—which causes me to want to hold back the true essence of my soul for fear that I’ll be found unworthy. Hell—I am unworthy, and so far, still alive.

I’m sick of the shit that makes us believe we can be prejudiced against half of the population simply because they nurture a vagina. Many times we’re grateful for that vagina, so for us to declare it insipid, weak and lesser might be considered hypocritical.

I’m sick of the shit that I was taught as a boy which kept me away from the simplicity of loving my neighbor as myself, but instead, checking skin tone first.

I’m sick of this shit.

And I don’t think I’m alone.

The only problem is, the people who might have enough heart and spirit to be sick of the shit won’t use the word shit. And the folks who are reveling in the shit don’t really think it’s stinky, just historical. (Sometimes historical is hysterical…)

So I may be more alone than I think. But if you’re sick of the shit, just like me, do me a favor and join me in this covenant.

According to the definition, I only need to win over one of you.   Donate Button


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Coven

Coven: (n) an assembly of witches

In the tapestry of experiences I have quilted together to call my life, I spent some time in Shreveport, Louisiana, starting a work that was kind of a combination of an artist’s guild, a church and a food bank.

Now, any one of those three things could stand on its own as a formidable effort, but in my youthful arrogance, I felt it was necessary for me to tackle all three to adequately represent the entire girth of the message that was sitting on top of my heart.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We were not large, but the people we drew were very artistic, spiritually seeking, and often in need of some help with groceries. So as you see, we were right on point.

This Southern community I lived in thought that artists should stay downtown with the theater, churches should piously place themselves on Church Street, and food banks were better situated across town, where people’s skin had a deeper hue.

So when white, young me—with long hair—started to march about the community, putting on plays, performing music, teaching a little Gospel here and there, and passing out food in grocery carts near the projects, our city did not deem this to be a positive, but rather, decided it must be born of some sort of “dark spirit.”

They were especially concerned because we named this little gathering “The Haven.” Feeling no need to question their own assumptions, or even pick up a dictionary for definition, several of them insisted that the word “haven” was the term used for the Church of Satan. They were convinced we were a cult of witches with accompanying warlocks, who were doing good deeds to mask our real adventure, which was to pervert and smear true Christianity.

Several times I pointed out to them that the word “haven” actually came from an old hymn entitled “Haven of Rest,” and that the word they were seeking, which described a witch’s congregation, was “coven.” However, they refused to change their minds and accepted the rumor they had so carefully and perniciously put together.

Fortunately for us, those involved in the arts, the souls that were seeking answers, and people who were hungry didn’t give a shit whether the aid came from the Prince of Peace or the Prince of Darkness.

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