Cronkite

Cronkite, Walter: 1916–2009, U.S. newscaster. 

He had the right look to calm our prejudices.

The perfect voice to allay our fears.

A coiffed mustache to parallel favorite uncle.

And a serious tone to let us know he knew the hell what he was talking about.

We never could confirm if he was a Republican or a Democrat. He felt that his political leanings were inconsequential—even detrimental in delivering the news.

He cried once, when a President was shot.

And he beamed like a proud father when he saw American brothers walking on the moon.

His name was Walter Cronkite.

We don’t have anyone like him, basically because we’ve decided that people who bring us the news events from around the world need to be pretty, opinionated, over-bearing, caustic and political.

It would be difficult for the younger generation to imagine a “newsman.” They are accustomed to talking heads, pundits and rating whores.

When there was no 24-hour news cycle, but there was a need to know what was going on in the world, millions of Americans invited one man into their homes, through their singular television set which sat in the living room in a corner, offering three channels.

This man was Walter Cronkite.

We don’t know if he had fetishes, affairs or a history of juvenile delinquency. It wasn’t because he was secretive. It was because Mr. Cronkite did not believe that he mattered—only that he accurately, truthfully, and dispassionately delivered the update of what was going on in our world.

He was a treasure. He is still a treasure.

And through the miracle of video tape, he can be viewed by some of the young news gatherers, who might just gain credence by personally taking on a revival of his spirit.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Commotion

Commotion: (n) a state of confused and noisy disturbance.

“Turn down the noise.”

Wait! You can’t do that–because there is a holy proclamation to “make a joyful noise.”

Those who want things to be quiet and calm, in so doing, quell the spiritual party.

So what noise do we want to silence? Can we censor it?

Can we stop a commotion by hand-picking the sounds that will be allowed to mingle?

Should they be segregated?

Classical music over here, rock and roll over there? An accordion on a hill far away…?

What is a commotion? Commotion is the sound of something I don’t like. It’s a stirring and rumbling that is disconcerting.

It’s Grandma going to hear a rap artist, convinced that the entire atmosphere is a cacophony which could only be resolved by the second coming of Christ.

But it’s also a poor young eight-year-old having to sit in a room with a string quartet playing back-up at an oboe recital. That commotion causes him to create his own commotion.

If we’re going to only respond to needs in life based upon how loudly they scream at us, we will begin to have the mentality of an ambulance chaser … or the 24-hour news cycle.

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Audience

Audience: (n) the assembled spectators or listeners at a public event, such as a play, movie, concert, or meeting.

dictionary with letter A

You may speculate that they are spectators, but the word “audience” literally means that they are there to listen.

As listeners, they are not compelled to feed your ego nor respond to your whim.

If the person sharing is not willing to communicate clearly, or provide a balance of entertainment and inspiration, then he should be prepared for the audience to take its ears elsewhere.

That’s a simple fact.

After many, many years of sharing, performing, presenting, or whatever word you prefer, in front of hundreds of thousands of human souls, I will tell you that I have never come across any gathering that did all the work for me.

Some are friendlier, and some are like a Wells Fargo safe which has to be cracked meticulously in order to find the treasures within.

With the introduction of YouTubes and Internet blogs, there are many fledgling artists who think that having ten thousand “likes” or a million hits is a passage to success.

It is not.

There are three things that tell you that you’ve reached your audience:

  1. Do they get quiet when they’re supposed to get quiet?

Noisy is easy. Getting people quiet is an art.

  1. Do they want more of what you have and are they willing to commit either their time or money to confirm that devotion?

It is a fickle day we live in. The 24-hour news cycle has turned the American attention span and the allegiance of the American audience into the actions of a housefly at a July 4th picnic.

  1. Are they leaving the performance, lecture or interaction a little different than when they came in?

America is desperately searching for answers, while simultaneously pretending that such data is unnecessary.

Solve a problem–save a soul.

It’s really that easy. 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button

 

Atop

Atop: (prep) on the top ofdictionary with letter A

What is atop the consciousness of our society? And should we care?

Are our children really affected by the passing fame and fancy of those who are pushed upward and given prominence?

Here’s what concerns me: Whatever is atop demands that we gaze up at it.

I don’t know how many times we can lift our heads towards the sky and be disappointed before we stop believing.

What is that number?

Can you lift your head to God, asking for help, only to have your hopes dashed by circumstance, without believing it’s a game?

How many heroes are we supposed to look up to, who end up being charlatans or criminals, before we concede that homage is useless?

It would be nice to put something atop our social order that would survive at least 72 hours of viable praise before the 24-hour-news cycle dismantles it.

Otherwise, I think we’ll become a generation of people who are jaded or fakers:

  • The jaded being the souls who once believed and now are agnostic
  • And the fakers being those who once truly believed and now are pretending to do so.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Arbitrary

dictionary with letter A

Arbitrary: (adj) based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

When everything is considered important, nothing truly has value.

Half the time I don’t know whether to burst out laughing or cry as I watch the entanglement of emotions in our society, giving place to things, feelings and problems that really just don’t matter.

I am going to give you a list of those things which I find to be arbitrary, and therefore annoying and useless, generating a traffic jams in our human flow:

1. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat. Pass a damn law.

2. I do not care that Kim Kardashian has a large butt. Perhaps some of it should be transferred to her cranium.

3. I do not care, on The Voice, if you have a family, children, a mother with cancer or are going through a financial hard time. I thought you wanted to be a singer, not a hard case. Shut up and sing.

4. I do not care about church doctrine. I want you to tell me better ways to “love my neighbor as myself.”

5. I certainly am appalled at the views some folks have of women, using religion to punish them, which creates a self-defeating environment where you soon will have nobody to romance.

6. I do not care to hear about every time a celebrity is in a bad mood. After all, since they have financial security, they should probably pursue a traditional form of gratitude to rectify their surly nature.

7. I don’t care if you’re black, white, red, yellow, brown, tan, rose, pink or any particular hue. I would just like you to be nicer.

8. I would like people who are caught in hypocrisy to admit that they were hit by a dumb stick instead of hitting me with a stick and acting like I am dumb for challenging them.

9. I would like to live in a world where truth is still honored and lying is considered to be a negative thing instead of a “natural” thing.

10. I would like the 24-hour news cycle to at least take a daily nap so they don’t have to embellish every little stupid thing that comes along.

And even though I am supposed to end at #10, I will do an 11th, which is:

11. I am tired of the spiritual, political and social correctness which promises the right of free speech, but only as long as you agree with the majority.

If we remain determined to make everything a story … there will soon be no true stories to tell.

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Anti-racism

dictionary with letter AAnti-racism: (n) the policy of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

It is cruel, insane and useless to walk up to a man having a heart attack, lying on a gurney and proffer, “You shouldn’t have eaten so much bacon.”

Warnings have to come at the right time, or they are either petty bitchiness or meaningless babble.

Anti-racism is similar to this. We all grew up in households where preferences were promoted. So it is ridiculous to think that we’re going to ease our way into a world where color doesn’t matter.

We must stop arresting the neighbors who live next door to the Bodega that was vandalized and start looking for the actual perpetrators.

What causes racism?

1. Too much emphasis on culture.

Matter of fact, I’m not comfortable with any emphasis on culture. When I begin to believe that the Chinese, the Africans, the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans have different ways of looking at life, I am setting myself up to feel arrogant over my rendition.

2. Take away the stigma of loving who you want to love.

Even though we are willing to accept that the chimpanzee or ape is our ancestor, we are not able to procreate with one. Yet there is no human being of any color or ethnic origin who cannot pair off and make a baby. What a piece of hypocrisy.

Many people would be more willing to accept a gorilla as a neighbor than they are an Hispanic.

3. Be clean.

Start off on the basis that all of us were taught a certain amount of prejudice, which can explode into full-fledged bigotry.

The misconception in America is the belief that we have racism under control because we elected a black President.

First of all, President Obama may not be any more black than I am, since he had a white mother.

Secondly, what we choose to do publicly does not determine our soul. It is the truth that lies on our inward parts–our private notions–which carry the heart of our true beliefs.

When we realize that racism is just another piece of our immature nature which needs to be addressed and abandoned, we will actually go forward.

As the great writer once said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, but now that I’ve become a man, I have put away childish things.”

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Aeschylus

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aeschylus: (c. 390 – 314 BC) Greek dramatist, best known for his tragedies Agamemnon, Choephoroe and Eumenides. Considered to be the father of the Greek tragedy.

Not only the father of the Greek tragedy, but also seemingly the parent of prime-time television and the movie industry of our present day.

After all, if we don’t insert some tragedy into the stories we tell, we risk some critic dubbing our tale “saccharine, cloying,” or worse yet–“family fare.”

There is a common aversion in today’s social strata against sharing a story with ups, downs, ins and outs, which ends up with a realistic conclusion instead of a Hollywood ending. Matter of fact, I think it would be impossible for the 24-hour news cycle to report anything that isn’t either sensational or able to be sensationalized.

And let me offer a tidbit of opinion which will probably grind the teeth of some of my readers: when there is a shooting at a school or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, and we begin to hear the phrase, “death toll” introduced into the storyline, even though our better selves hope that people will not be killed, we sometimes might be a little disappointed when this running death toll does NOT rise.

We have geared the American public to be thirsty for blood–as long as it’s not their own. If their little angel sons and daughters have a small prick on the finger, they ready to rush them to the emergency room. But we will watch with a mixture of horror and intrigue as the offspring in Haiti wallow in mud, disease and death.

We are a tragic clump of clods, who honor Aeschylus by perusing the Internet for even MORE of the bizarre.

And if anyone such as myself would dare to object to the onslaught of the macabre, we have prepared speeches decrying these idealistic fools as “sappy”–or worse yet, “religious.”

To reach a point where we can stand tall and pursue our dreams, we will need to reject the fallacy of failure as being inevitable in the human experience. Not everything has to come up roses.

But why in the hell would we plant just thorns?