Current

Current: (adj) new; present; most recent

I have never gone lockstep with the obvious.

I’m also quite reluctant to be in awe of the over-produced or exaggeratedly promoted.

I smile when people tell me that “the current position on something or other is as follows”—considering the fact that human beings change their minds more often than they change the batteries in their smoke detectors (by far).

Yet I know there are many individuals who are greatly impressed that something has been thrust forward for popular consumption, therefore making it the current fad.

Actually, one of the easier ways to make an immoral decision is to give heed and credence to what has the loudest promoter.

I’m not telling you that silence is golden, or obscurity invites purity.

I’m just saying that the easiest thing to do in life is advertise.

It doesn’t involve creativity, doesn’t require honesty and can change its emphasis in mid-campaign.

When I sit down and decide whether a practice is worthy of my support—one which has become current with the times—I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it encourage people to accept one another and also challenge them to be better?
  2. Is it honest enough to admit there may be error?
  3. Is it open to revision—or closed off because those who are pushing it want to guarantee the reaction they desire?

If it passes those three questions, I’m prepared to accept any current movement, spirituality, kindness, politics, music or interaction.

If not, I quietly walk away, let everyone play with their toy for a while, and then warmly welcome them back, helping them overcome the instinct to be jaded.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cranny

Cranny: (n) small, narrow opening in a wall, rock, etc.; a chink

 Some people just get better advertising.

This is also true for words.

And on that occasion when we create a phrase, one of the elements of that thought often gets more attention than the other.

Never was this more evident than in the case of “nook and cranny.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Can you explain to me why “cranny,” which got second billing, is also totally ignored and misunderstood?

We know what a nook is. Matter of fact, we’ve even created one for breakfast.

But do we have a cranny in our home that stands by itself—without the aid of its overbearing nook?

Matter of fact, when the word was brought up to me today I nearly passed over it, thinking it to be so obscure that it was unworthy of my comment—and that it might cause the reader to bustle away, perplexed,  wondering why anyone would tarry to give a passing insight on such a loser.

But would there be “nook” without “cranny?”

Would “nook” have ever gained any attention if it had not hooked up with its traveling partner?

Would people have adopted the phrase, “I searched every nook of the house…” if they also didn’t pursue the “cranny?”

As is often the case in the human journey, it is one that carries the weight, and another which takes the bows.

 

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Cocaine

Cocaine: (n) an addictive drug derived from coca

Some folks might find me very interesting if I talked about my use of cocaine or my addiction. But even though it was plentiful in Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1970s, and I was offered the white dust frequently, I passed.

Now, I did not decline because I was self-righteous or anti-drugs. I passed because of the reasons I was given to snort.

“You’ve gotta try it, man. It makes you more creative, it makes you more horny and it makes sex feel twice as good.”

That’s some pretty heavy-duty advertising. But I went down the list:

I did not want to be creative because a drug expanded the walls of my arteries and forced blood to my brain. I wanted creativity to come from a different place in me. I wanted it to be real. I wanted it to be mine. I was jealous. I didn’t want cocaine taking credit for my writing.

I didn’t want to be more horny. The danger of being more horny is that you start screwing people you don’t care for all that much. I like a little romance with my sex, if you don’t mind. I did not want cocaine picking out my sex partners.

And you can call me conventional, or too well-satisfied, but I have found that the big bang available at the culmination of the sex act is quite enough for me.

Of course, the danger is that if you convince yourself that you need cocaine to have good sex, the intercourse, which would be very beneficial to your health, might be greatly diminished by the cocaine, which is similar to setting off a hand-grenade near your heart.

Beware of those who always want more.

Honestly, I don’t settle for anything–but I do have the capability of “gettin’ my own” without taking a hit from anyone or anything.

 

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Church

Church: (n) a building used for public Christian worship.

Sometimes I need to laugh. I require a place for that.

Tears are often demanded. Once again, having a location where I can share them with others would be beneficial.

I need to go somewhere and know that I’m not the most important thing in the world. Where’s the address?

I like good music. I’m a little bit country; I’m a little bit rock and roll.

I need to see that I’m not alone. Difficult to do if you don’t gather somewhere.

Over and over and over again, I must be reminded to “love my neighbor as myself.” There should be some sort of joint that advertises that.

I know my money is to cover bills, but every once in a while, I need to think about the “Bill” that’s on the street. Any group of people willing to teach that?

I need to find agreement in the midst of a disagreeable world. Let the conversation begin.

In my moments of clarity, I do understand that I’m lost–in need of a Savior. Any candidates?

Even if I find out after I die that there is no heaven and no hell, I need to live my life as if heaven is available.

We sure could use church if church were what it’s supposed to be. If it’s merely an overblown expression of appreciation for some particular definition of God, then basically, it’s more of an annoyance than a bounty.

Let’s find the church.

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Bulletin

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Bulletin: (n) a regular newsletter or printed report issued by an organization

After twenty years of doing some of my sharing and proclaiming in the church, I will tell you that the bulletin that many of them print each week as an order of service speaks volumes about the congregation.

It basically falls into three categories:

  1. A very short document which minimally lists the elements of the day’s worship experience, communicating great reverence and solemnity.
  2. A tri-fold piece of paper stuffed with all sorts of envelopes and notices, which is like a hand-held Facebook account. It is encompassed with announcements, pictures, and hopes and dreams for the future.
  3. A well-crafted piece of art put together by a staff member who is meticulous, perhaps to a fault, and contends that one of the better ways to communicate the quality of the church is in the distinction of the graphics.

The fascinating part of this is the life expectancy of a church bulletin–which is no more than four days, and except for two hours, languishes in a pile, waiting to be appreciated.

A case could be made that nobody really reads anymore, but that does not mean we should give up on good things with good intentions, which might prove, over time, to once again become the new rage.

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Build-Up

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Build-up: (n) a gradual accumulation or increase

When the project fails, in retrospect, we call it “hype.”

When we’re trying to promote the project we refer to it as “build-up.”Dictionary B

How much advertising is really necessary to propel a good idea?

How much money do we need to spend to advertise quality?

How much recognition is achieved by shouting things from the housetops?

It is the nature of the human race to be picky and to appear disappointed.

So if you advertise the “best tacos in San Antone, Texas,” very few people will agree and admit, “That was the best taco I ever ate.”

Instead, you will be inundated with descriptions of other tacos they’ve enjoyed, or worse, suggestions on how you could make your taco better, so your advertising would coincide with the product.

For instance, I think we would have a more successful democracy in America if we had less build-up.

  • Why do we have to be the “greatest nation on Earth?”
  • Why do we have to be superior in every way?
  • Why do our missiles have to be more powerful?
  • Why do we think our athletes are more attractive or healthier?
  • Why do we think our women are fairer than those in the Middle East?

What have we really achieved as a nation, a people or even as individuals, through build-up?

Because just as soon as you try to convince someone that you’ve found the best … they will start looking for better.

 

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Brochure

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Brochure: (n) a small book or magazine containing information or pictures about a product or service.

Dino-words.

These are words which are extinct from the lexicon because they’ve been replaced by other terms and inventions, rendering them useless to the common man or woman.Dictionary B

Two that quickly come to my mind are “tri-fold” and “rubber cement.”

Come listen, my children, and you will hear…

Of what it was like to advertise in fear.

What were we afraid of? Putting together a tri-fold brochure that needed to be typed or, God forbid, type-set, and then cut out and rubber cemented in perfect symmetry onto panels, hoping that when it was shot with a printer’s camera, it would look somewhat like what you originally envisioned.

It was so easy to get things crooked.

The rubber cement was so messy.

And once you glued something down twice, to pull it up and glue it again created wrinkles, bumps and missing pieces of black ink from the letters.

Printers would encourage you by saying, “It’s nearly as good as the original…”

The idea of digital, which allows you to duplicate the original in perfection, was decades in the future, as you took your tiny knife and trimmed the paper down to just the right size, hoping that the corners you glued would not print off shadows. Of course, to achieve that, you had to make sure you didn’t shoot it too dark–or your original layout of printing would appear as a box instead of just words.

The brochure seemed necessary. It was a way of communicating that you were a prosperous organization which had the time and money to put together a pamphlet which explained who you were and therefore gave you credibility.

Now such a simple little task can be achieved in five or ten minutes on a computer and zonked out through your printer–with machines that will even fold it for you.

Progress is a beautiful thing–as long as you remember what you did before progress, and never lose the childlike sense of appreciation for being freed from monotony and meticulous, meaningless maneuvers.

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Brassy

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Brassy: (adj) tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner

How much is enough?

That may be the central concern to human life.Dictionary B

Because in hours of reflection, when opportunity is long gone, the question raised in our soul is either “did we do enough?” or “did we do too much?”

  • In a world of indifference, how much flash does it take for someone to notice your pan?
  • How many cherries before you actually have a bowl?
  • And how many sunrises before someone grabs a camera?

What does it take to draw enough attention to goodness that evil pales in comparison?

I am convinced that the promotion of a great idea is not achieved through a deluge of advertising, screaming, yelling and promotion.

Goodness, gentleness, kindness, righteousness, beauty are all required to maintain a consistency while the world overlooks them until such a time that the planet is prepared to be aware.

Therefore, the quandary is not whether there’s anything good in the world. The issue is whether goodness can survive all of the brassy critique and dark representations to finally get its chance to inherit the Earth.

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Ad man

Words from Dic(tionary)

Ad man (n): a person who works in advertising. It is the classic “love-hate” relationship. Basically, capitalism loves it and humanity despises it.

In our society, we require that products be produced, and once manufactured, they must be marketed in the most competitive way possible. Simultaneously, the nervous, apprehensive and often bored consumer becomes the target for all sorts of chicanery, albeit speckled with a bit of cleverness.

Advertising. It is one of those great annoyances that will not go away, similar to the embarrassment one feels on being a grown-up and needing to put baby powder on a summer heat rash. You wish you didn’t, but you guess you’d better.

How can you advertise something without coming across as the classic over-sales-pitching boob?

I experience it myself. Obviously as I travel on the road, I would like people to participate in my writing, my music, my endeavors and even to purchase some of this stuff so that I can continue to my odyssey and perpetuate my childhood whims.

But how can you be an ad man (or an ad woman, for that matter) without appearing callous to those around you, merely concerned about unloading inventory?

Well, there IS the truth. That means that every once in a while, when making your spiel, you realize that what you have to offer is not a perfect fit for the person in front of you, and you might just gain a soul by backing away and letting them know of your product’s limitations for their need.

This was demonstrated beautifully in the movie, Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street. The Santa Claus character acknowledges that Macy’s does not have a certain toy and recommends other locations for acquiring it. Management was in an uproar … until they realized that it worked.

Yes, I guess that IS the key. If you can tell the truth about your product in an enthusiastic way, and then allow the patron to make his or her own decision on whether it fits in to their requirements without insisting that they are either short-sighted or “don’t yet understand the full range of your offer,” then you can be a decent ad man instead of an obnoxious one.

Advertising. It won’t go away.

Actually, it shouldn’t go away. But what we CAN require is our American right … to hear and decide for ourselves.