Centerfold

Centerfold: (n) the two middle pages of a magazine, typically taken up by a single illustration or feature.

Warily, I share. Why? Because I don’t think anyone will believe me.

I have only looked at one Playboy centerfold in my entire life.

I don’t know if this makes me under-sexed or virtuous. Hopefully, it makes me who I am. I just never had an interest in pictures of good
things.

For instance, I’ve also never looked at photographs of the Grand Canyon or gazed at a glossy of the Eiffel Tower.

Although people insist a picture is worth a thousand words, it usually barely gives me a sentence.

I like to experience.

So the one time I did peruse a totally naked woman in a centerfold of Playboy, I had two sensations:

  1. I was intruding.

Even though this lovely young woman signed on the dotted line to have her image splashed throughout the world, I felt it was not my business.

  1. I knew I would never get that image out of my mind for the rest of my life.

I can still bring it up on the old brain screen today.

So when I’m told that pornography does not affect how people think, feel or react, I must gently scoff. Of course it does. It’s why folks look at it–to be affected. To be stimulated. To be seduced by their own thoughts.

So the notion that this “romantic LSD trip” in the mind will not return when we least expect it is ludicrous.

There is a power in purity–not because it is more righteous. It’s just that purity grants us a clear head to have our own “trips”–instead of those which are photoshopped for us.

 

 

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Center

Center: (v) to place in the middle

It’s an old joke, but since there are so many young folks around, I will venture to share it, with the aspiration that it might fall on fresh ears.

The story is that a gentleman from Kentucky found himself in a quandary when the Civil War broke out. He did not want to choose sides. He
discovered that the Union Army was clad in blue and those from Dixie had selected gray. Thinking himself a genius and desiring to place himself in the center, free of conflict, he put on blue pants for the Union, and a gray jacket as a tribute to the South.

When the two armies converged at his doorstep to determine his allegiance, the Union Army shot him in the shoulder and the Confederates shot him in the leg.

There is a belief that a center–a compromise or moderation–can be found in everything. It is an interesting theory which over the years has proven to be flawed.

There are some issues that cannot be mollified. They’re just too important.

  • There can be no “Great Compromise” when it comes to slavery.
  • There cannot be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military for the gay servicemen and women.

Sometimes we have to come down on one side or another.

Because sometimes a center is not a solution, but rather, an attempt to avoid one.

 

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Centenarian

Centenarian: (n) a person who is a hundred years old

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this. Well, maybe not a lot.

But as each birthday comes along, I realize it’s a toss-up.

There’s a thrill in just being alive, but it is far exceeded by the thrill of being alive and productive.

When do we cease to be productive? Perhaps a definition is in order. To me, productive is: to achieve better purposes, I will need to learn how to do different things.

Once you stop having a desire to learn and you begin to settle for whatever is available and provided based upon your willingness, things kind of start going downhill.

The fun in life is being surprised–and rather than acting shocked, imitate invigorated.

There you go.

It doesn’t mean you actually are invigorated. It just means that acting shocked is a waste of time.

So as I thought about the word “centenarian”–a person who has reached a hundred years of age–I considered how marvelous it would be if you could do so, still pursuing a learning path, while being productive and invigorated.

But at any point along the way, if settling for something that is privately unsatisfying is the name of the game, then a lengthy life can end up being a curse.

 

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Census

Census: (n) an official count or survey of a population

Every census is shortly thereafter followed by a tax. This began with Caesar Augustus in the Christmas story and continues today.

We want to find out how many people there are so we have some idea on how we should divide up the horrific amount of expense that’s involved in the process of us being people.

It’s a fussy way of reminding small towns that they’re shrinking and becoming less important.

The government can also determine where to send its money, and where the census tells them there aren’t as many voters, so no need to be nice.

It begins at an early age, when you plan a party at your house. The following Monday morning, after the party, the normal question is, how many people showed up?

Did you do a head count? Was the party successful because people had nothing else to do so they came to it?

No one asks if the chip dip turned out tasty. What flavors of pizza did you select? Was the discussion lively?

No. It all has to do with numbers.

We are a society obsessed with proving the value of our concept by collecting statistics on how many people are aware that we had a concept in the first place. We fear obscurity.

Yet no one enters the tomb with a companion–no census in the grave.

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Censure

Censure: (n) the expression of formal disapproval.

Why is it not illegal to be an asshole?

I’m not speaking about capital punishment or even hard jail time. But certainly a stiff fine would be in order for being such a damn stiff.

We censure everything else. We raise our eyebrows in disapproval over a myriad of common human behaviors. Why is the asshole able to flee the jurisdiction of decency?

Wait. I see your problem. You would like me to define what an asshole is:

  1. An asshole is someone who tries to steal freedoms from other people simply because those folks don’t measure up to the favored code.
  2. An asshole is a person who hurts someone’s feelings and then pretends that it was nothing personal.
  3. An asshole is an individual who blows his or her horn in traffic instead of slowing up just a little bit, to let someone enter.
  4. An asshole is a Bible-thumper who quotes scriptures in a buffet line.
  5. An asshole is a jerk who posts articles on Facebook about other assholes

Honestly, I could go on and on, but then I would be in danger of becoming an asshole myself.

It is time to use the intimidation of censure to achieve some goodness in our society instead of thinking that goodness is achieved by censuring any fresh, new idea.

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Censor

Censor: (v) to examine a book or movie and officially suppress unacceptable parts of it.

The human race is completely devoid of any cohesive code of behavior. This is why we hire people to censor everyday life, trying to bring it into a pleasing mode of operation.

Yet even though various commandments and ethical standards are touted from generation to generation, they are systematically either
ignored or replaced.

So I have decided what is valuable and truthful for my life. The reason? Many things I hold dear have been left for dead as arcane concepts or old-fashioned ideals.

Every time we carve out principles in stone, there are those who come with a sledge hammer and smash them to powder.

The whole thing would seem very bleak, and perhaps even sinister, unless you possessed the wisdom to understand that when it comes to morality, spirituality, ethics and values, each one of us takes a journey of our own, gathering what we hold dear and reaping the rewards for inspired behavior.

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Cemetery

Cemetery: (n) a burial ground; a graveyard

No racial tension.

The same space available for everyone.

No complaints.

No gender bias.

No discussion about sexual preference.

No religious distinction.

No hurry.

No worry.

No flurry to scurry.

No argument.

No political debates.

No special treatment.

No punishment.

No ego.

No money required.

No need to tout your resume.

No disease.

No more death.

Welcome to the cemetery.

Come and spend a spell.

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