Cutup

Cutup: (n) a prankster or show-off.

 This simple, humble author lands somewhere between a prankster and a showoff.

My brain has just always thought with a twist of funny.

Usually, this is just fine—unless I’m at a funeral or around people who think the measure of the human race is in the quality of the frown.

But I do know there is a great danger with humor.

Having spoken to many audiences over the years, I have learned that the worst thing you can promote is that you are a comedian.

Matter of fact, I have insisted that the sponsors who have brought me in to perform never, ever place the words “funny, humorous” or especially “side-splitting laughter” in my promo.

Once people are aware that you’re trying to make them laugh—attempting to be tonight’s official cutup—they will do everything in their power to analyze what you’re saying and convince themselves that you’re not clever at all. For I will tell you:

Humor must surprise.

It must come from the least-expected place and land in a region of dullness.

That’s when it’s at its best.

I have offered eulogies and recited an embarrassing incident the deceased performed in my presence, and the room was enlightened with hilarity and a deep sense of gratitude at escaping the doldrums.

No, you can’t advertise yourself as a cutup.

If you do, your hearers will unconsciously cut you up–and put your words, expressions and punchlines under a microscope.

We laugh best when we laugh astonished.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crescendo

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crescendo: (n) a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force.

I do realize there’s a danger in over-analyzing things. It can become tedious, if not obnoxious. Yet I will tell you—life becomes much simpler when you first realize it’s supposed to be simple, and then you start looking for the parallels that dwell behind every experience and lurk beneath each rock.

Over the years I have played my share of music.

Some people have even accused me of being a musician.

I’ve written songs and I’ve composed about eight symphonies (though Mozart and Beethoven shouldn’t be worried about their day jobs.)

Music has taught me a lot.

That’s not a very profound statement, but once again—simple.

Music knows what the key is meant to be in every situation.

It finds a melody, so some sensibility can be mustered for the hearer.

It certainly acknowledges the need for harmony.

And it has a great desire to strike a chord of commonality among us.

But never does music teach us anything more than it does with the crescendo.

Some people live their lives full out, loud, always punctuating their crescendo to the maximum. Then when they need to say something essential or shout out a truth, no one listens because they are always blaring and trumpeting their feelings.

The wisdom of music is to start your piece quietly and build.

Let’s be honest—if the audience doesn’t want to hear the song or doesn’t prefer the tunefulness of it, playing it more loudly does not achieve much of anything. But if you can acquaint all those around you with a theme they really embrace, by the time you get to the finale, you can generate a crescendo that triumphs the message and the music to the climax.

I used to be of a mindset that the louder I said something, the more emphatic and powerful it became. But I just ended up in a room with a bunch of fellow bellowers, shouting over the top of one another.

I shall never forget the night I was playing a concert, and the band that was on right before our troupe closed out with a screaming anthem, leaving the audience leaping to its feet, applauding wildly.

I realized there was no way to top that, so I looked for a bottom. I took the stage with just my guitarist and sang our sweetest, most childlike ballad. By the time I finished, the attention was mine. If I had desired, I could have manufactured my own crescendo. There was no hurry. It wasn’t a competition.

Turn down the noise.

First in your own mind—your own twitter—and then patiently let it all tone down around you.

Take a deep breath, pick your moment, make sure it’s timely…

CRESCENDO.

 


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Buzzword

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Buzzword: (n) fashionable jargon

We must never grow weary in the pursuit of changing the world. Yet the process by which we try to rejuvenate needs to be carefully analyzed.

The most difficult thing to do is to revise people’s habits. You might as well just give up on that one.They are in charge of them, and still find change nearly impossible.

Likewise, you will also fail if you try to alter people’s minds.

And if you look for a revival in the soul, they will tell you immediately if they’ve already arrived at their religion, or if they’re just not fond of spirit.

Sometimes you can change the heart. This can be done by the introduction of emotion, which cleans out the valves.

But I can tell you , if you want to change the world, the most intelligent thing is to introduce good words.

Yes. Create fresh buzzwords.

In a climate where misinformation, fake news, reality TV and cultural differences are being bandied about, leaving us at constant odds with each other, just casually introducing buzzwords of energy and virtue can make a difference.

Let’s welcome back some great standards:

How about passion?

Here’s a good one: brotherhood.

One of my favorites: gentleness

And of course, there is that glorious buzzword phrase of “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Sometimes if you can get people saying the right things, they might just start feeling a spiritual awakening that makes them think about addressing bad attitudes.

 

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Analyze

dictionary with letter A

Analyze: (adj) relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

Perhaps we should print signs.

It may be a bit cumbersome but certainly would be helpful in reminding us what exactly is the right procedure in a given situation.

One sign should read: Analyze

The other sign should warn: Please do not analyze.

Mixing these two up is what creates some of the more awkward and even tense moments in our day.

For instance, if you come home and your ten-year-old is sitting in his soccer uniform, dejected and pouting, and you use your laser insight to realize he must have lost his game, it is probably not the best time to sit down and become analytical about the game of soccer or go outside to practice kicks and moves. It is time for a bowl of popcorn, a hug and a funny video.

Likewise, if you were to return to your abode and your wife asked you to sit down and discuss a problem she was having in the household, it would be unfortunate to decide to launch into a tickle-fest.

Do we analyze or do we just allow ourselves to feel? The right answer brings understanding; the wrong one lends itself to retaliation.

For after all, trying to be flippant over things that need an analytical touch makes us appear calloused and useless to those who are hurt or abused.

  • Waranalytical
  • Kissingnot
  • Abortionanalytical
  • Parentingnot so much
  • Financea little of both

So you can see, the true definition of maturity is knowing when to be analytical and when to allow yourself to escape the prison of logic … and run free as long as you possibly can.

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