Crime Against Humanity

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crime against humanity: (n) a crime, such as genocide, directed against a large group

I am going to suggest six crimes against humanity which possibly should be considered as legitimate statutes. I am not suggesting there be prison sentences for them—but perhaps reminders to one another on how these six things perpetuate great pain on the human race.

  1. Every human being is better than an animal. To suggest, even jokingly, that somehow the animal kingdom has equivalency, is a crime. (We are worth many sparrows.)
  1. Insisting that every human has a destiny which they should try to locate, is cruel, when we all know that free will is the law of the Universe, and we make our own future.
  2. Flattering people because you don’t know what else to say is a crime against humanity because eventually the factual representation of their abilities will play out.
  3. Any assumption that gender, color, culture, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation has anything to do with the virtue of a person is the definition of bigotry. This would be a crime.
  4. Anything that we cannot say to someone’s face should never be said behind their back.
  5. And finally, being sure of yourself is the surest way to make sure that no one else can be sure about you.

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Contrarian

Contrarian: (n) a person who takes an opposing view

The contrarians of one generation are the high school teachers of the next.

It was a contrarian who stood up in 1847 and said slavery was wrong. Move ahead forty or fifty years and the whole country has fought a great war (if such a thing as a “great” war is possible) to confirm the point of the contrarian.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Contrarians are people like you and me who affix themselves to a notion they believe is universal or perhaps even divinely inspired, and rather than giving into the pressure to be average or common, they persist in pursuing their train of thought.

I have spent most of my life being a contrarian and have dwelt on this planet long enough to see many of the things that troubled me get worked out, discussed and now everyone assumes they were never issues.

I lived through the civil rights movement, and though I grew up in a white-bread-mayonnaise community, I decided to support equality.

While people were screaming about patriotism and Viet Nam, I listened carefully and gradually decided I agreed with the contrarian position—that the skirmish in Indochina was ill-conceived.

I was there to remind those from the Moral Majority that they were neither moral nor really a majority.

I have been a blessed man.

There’s nothing special about me except for the fact that I am not afraid to be a contrarian.

I am not terrified when the plurality of my society frowns at my outlandish contentions.

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Contraption

Contraption: (n) a mechanical contrivance; gadget; device.

Getting older changes my opinion on many things.

When I was much younger, I viewed myself as a discovery—a unique human being placed on Earth for some divine cause or mission. Such an idea was immature, short-sighted and arrogant simultaneously.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Getting a little more experience under my belt, I thought I might be an invention. In other words, the creative forces in the universe stumbled upon my attributes and decided to use me to make something else.

Yet as time marched on, I realized that although I was happy and did possess some ability, the combination was not unique to my person.

Pressing on, I now realize I’m a contraption, and like any such device, I’m about as usable as I am willing to be flexible.

For instance, a tire iron is a contraption. It can function to work on tires. You can use it to get something from underneath a couch. Or if an attacker decided to bother you, you might be able to scare him or her away with by brandishing it.

Yes—I am a contraption. I’m just about as functional as I’m willing to evolve myself to be.

I used to be prideful and say I would never do certain things. Once I abandoned the pride, I suddenly discovered there were many more inventive things I could do.

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Cloak-and-Dagger

Cloak-and-dagger: (adj) characteristic of mystery

I suppose if I saw someone walking toward me wearing a cloak, I might be curious enough about their fashion choice to wonder what they were hiding beneath the bulky garment. I’m not so sure I would assume it was a dagger–more likely twenty unwanted pounds.

But maybe it’s the same thing. Since we don’t live in a time when people are stabbing one another with stilettos over grievances, a redefining of “cloak-and-dagger” for our period might be in order.

I contend that the cloak-and-dagger of our generation is the hiding the real truth of our abilities behind self-promotion. And the dagger which follows is an inadequate performance, leaving our fellow-travelers unimpressed.

Then too often violence ensues.

Because we should never have claimed to be more than who we are, we are inevitably going to fail, which will make us defensive and therefore volatile.

What would happen if we stopped lying about our abilities?

What if we decided not to chase big dreams?

What if we judged our talent on the response to our performance rather than what we think the response should be “if people weren’t stupid?”

Our society is still menaced with the “cloak-and-dagger,” because unless we praise the misguided claims of those around us, they just might turn on us and stab us with whatever is available.

So let me be the first one to take my cloak off and cast aside my dagger. I will do my best to tell you of the gifts I have, mingled with my weaknesses. If you find additional flaws, I thank you for saving me from the embarrassment of humiliating over-assessment.

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A cappella

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

A cappella: (adj. or adv.) {with regard to choral music} without instrumental accompaniment.

I was sixteen years old and had a musical group. We thought we were great, which is the necessary profile to maintaining the immaturity of being sixteen years of age. We had recently won a talent contest at our school, so we were over-pumped with our abilities and found other people’s instruction repugnant.

A gentleman asked us if we would like to record the song we had sung at the talent contest for his local radio station, to be played the following Sunday for the vast “tens of listeners” tuning in.

Of course, we agreed, fully aware of how fortunate this man was to have such a talented group of young people coming in to his little station to share their unique abilities. We arrived at the studio and found that there was no piano. We required one, so it seemed like we were stumped, with no recourse. The radio station owner ran from the room and quickly returned, holding in his hand–a pitch-pipe.

He said, “Why don’t you sing it a cappella, and I’ll give you the note to start on, and we can record it?”

Well, we had never sung our song without accompaniment, but after all, being the best singers in Delaware County, it seemed like something we could take in stride and accomplish with no difficulty whatsoever.

So he blew a C on his pitch-pipe and we began to sing, as he recorded. We struggled a bit. None of us realized how dependent we were on the strands flowing from the keyboard for our sense of self-confidence. Yet we persevered.

When we reached the end of the song, I looked over and noticed that our recording engineer had a grimace on his face. He paused and said, “Would you like to try that again?”

Fully inflated with arrogance, I replied, “Why? It sounded good to me.”

So he blew the pitch-pipe and played back the last note we sang, and explained that we had fallen a full tone in the process of singing our song. Still fueled with immaturity and impudence, I said, “What difference does it make–as long as we ended up together?”

I added, “Perhaps your pitch-pipe is broken.”

This last assertion was quickly disproven when he played back the entire recording and it became obvious where we lost our way. Yet because we were young, impetuous and just damned lazy, we refused to record it again, insisting that “it sounded fine.”

Faithful to his word, he played our a cappella version the following Sunday morning on the radio, and amazingly enough, no one commented to us about it–good or bad.

That was the day that I gained great respect for singing a cappella–and also for the value of honoring the pitch.

In all facets of life, if you don’t stay in key, you will end up with a whole lot of sour notes.

Absonent

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absonent: (adj.) discordant or unreasonable.

Actually, my “discordant brothers and sisters” in music thought I was the unreasonable one. Almost universally, they decided to pursue a life of making absonent compositions that were completely atonal and vacant melodic and harmonic tenderness. They contended that all the possible linkage of notes had already been achieved, and anything done now would simply be a rehashing of former inspiration.

I just found it sad. It’s very similar to going to a meeting and having the moderator inform all those attending that it was decided not to do much of anything because everything that was brought up seemed to be either impossible or just a remake of old ideas.

When did we become so cynical? When did we discover we lacked faith in the abilities that pulsate through our bodies–so much so that we can’t take the chance that something original could spring through our gray matter? Why do people feel intelligent nowadays by finding reasons that things should not work instead of taking the time to champion a cause and risk trying something that could be beneficial?:

I don’t know.

But in a six-year period, I sat down and wrote twelve symphonies. I did. I don’t know if they’re great. I don’t know if someone would listen to them and insist they heard hints of “this and that” and garnishes of “whatever.” In the moment I composed them, they were original to me, and they thrust my soul light-years ahead in awareness and jubilation. That can’t be bad, right?

So the next time you get around someone who insists that the intellectual approach to any situation is to be discordant or nasty, just quietly slip away to your room, write a melody that comes from your heart, and sing it with the confidence that it is yours and yours alone.

For after all, in that moment … it truly is.