Craft

Craft: (n) an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill

It is a chilling sensation of frightening proportions that sometimes the word “craft” appears by itself.

Normally it travels with its friend, “art.”

“Art and craft” are much easier to comprehend—at least for me. Art is something I understand. It stirs in my soul. Thank you, God, or whoever is in charge today.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But every once in a while, someone will suggest that we all “do crafts.” I break out in a cold sweat.

Because as much as I enjoy the “art” part of arts and crafts—in other words, coming up with new ideas, angles and possibilities, when it comes to taking something in my hands, and well—let us say, crafting it—I become a fumbling elephant with four feet and a cumbersome trunk.

I don’t know what it is.

When I was in kindergarten, paste, crayons, construction paper and staples made me develop hives. Mainly it was because some of the kids in my class were so good at it. They made birthday cards for their parents that actually looked like Hallmark might approve it. Mine, on the other hand, greatly resembled a Hallmark card that had already spent time on the floor, been crunched in the corner and stepped on by thirty people.

So I tried to offer ideas and pay off my classmates to do the work for me by giving them my bag of Doritos at lunch. I got caught by the teacher in the midst of one of my transactions, and she tender-heartedly (but obnoxiously) said, “Come on, Johnny, you can do it. And whatever you come up with will be just fine.”

I took her at her word. I dipped into the paste, scribbled with the crayons and stapled everything in sight. Even though my teacher was an extraordinarily generous and kind person, when I presented my craft, I am pretty sure she had to swallow a gag reflex.

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Copernicus

Copernicus: (n) Polish astronomer

I wonder what people would say about Ludwig von Beethoven if he’d never written music.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Absent being able to consider his art, any relatives who passed along an impression of him would be offering trivial details:

“He belched a lot—he always had a problem with gas.”

“I think he heard better than he pretended.”

“He had a bad temper.”

“He disrespected women.”

“He was kind of crazy.”

“But overall, a nice guy.”

You see, if you don’t create an entity separate from your everyday life that can be set apart as evidence that you thought about something other than yourself, then the memories of you end up being whether those who knew you were inconvenienced by your personality.

Beethoven wrote symphonies—so people don’t talk much about how grumpy he was.

Abraham Lincoln helped free the slaves, so if he ended up being a little bit gay, who in the hell cares?

John Kennedy helped us come through the Cuban Missile Crisis, preventing World War III. We will allow him a couple of boinks with Marilyn Monroe.

Copernicus pissed people off because he told them that if you looked through a telescope, you would discover that the Earth and planets in our solar system actually revolve around the sun, instead of everything circling the Earth.

It made people angry.

Was it because they wanted the Earth to be important?

Was it because they hated the sun?

Or were they aggravated because they couldn’t afford a telescope?

We may never know—but Copernicus was right. And even though he may have made an amazing goulash, we will never know—because he will forever be known as one of the first dudes to tell us the truth about our little Universe.


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Cajole

Cajole: (v) to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing.

Debate is a debacle.

We certainly should have learned that over the past few years. It is permission to insult without embarrassment.

Conversation seems to lend itself to insincerity, mainly because the truth required on the inward parts of the human being to create excellent fellowship is reluctantly provided.

Preaching is preachy.

Teaching is tedious.

Entertainment is crippled with the need to be commercial.

There is much that needs to be said. Deep in our hearts we all know that humility is not an option, yet we continue to tolerate the boastful and proud being given overuse of the stage.

There are many things we know to be true which seem to slink to the rear for fear of being called “old-fashioned.”

So it is the job of sane souls everywhere to use art, puns, humor and silliness to cajole brothers and sisters who walk among us to begin to think and feel again instead of settling for inadequacy.

Cajoling is when we realize we need to be merciful to the ignorant. Ignorance is not a sin unless it persists and gains power.

We need to catch it when it is still in a childish position–to be gently cajoled into repentance.

 

 

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Budge

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Budge: (v) to move slightly

I am an oxymoron.

For I will tell you of a certainty, I am a domesticated gypsy.

Or a gypsy, domesticated.

Half of my journey has been raising a family of fine sons, who now hDictionary Bave lives of their own.

But intermingled was a series of travels to share my art and heart with hundreds of thousands of people across the United States of America.

It was a precariously divine mission, one which I had to spark up in my soul daily, to guarantee enough pistons in the engine to propel me forward.

So I was often amused when I finished my show, which included music, humor and dialogue, and the sponsor nervously came to my side, twitching and relieved, and said, “It sure seems like everybody enjoyed it.”

I do think this individual usually believed if he or she had shared some problem or preference that the audience expressed, that I would leap at the opportunity to amend my approach or add a different angle to my presentation.

Here’s the truth–and you’ll just have to believe that it’s the truth since you’re not that familiar with my soul.

You can change your cologne but not your face.

What I mean by that is, if somebody wants you to smell different, it’s really no big deal.

But when somebody wants to change your look–or your outlook–they’ve landed on sacred ground.

I’m always willing to change things that don’t matter, but I won’t budge if I believe they have eternal consequences.

 

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Boob Tube

Boob tube: (n) television or a television set.

You probably won’t believe me but his name was actually Uncle Bebo.Dictionary B

He was a small, elf-like man with a mischievous grin who used to love to tease me with various tricks and little lies he’d tell to produce astonishment, which brought him great levity when seeing my bewildered face.

I remember telling him one day that I liked Milky Way candy bars. The next time he came to see me, he brought me black licorice. He said, “If you like Milky Ways, you’re really going to like black licorice.”

To this day I don’t know whether he was joking with me or if he really thought that black licorice tasted like Milky Ways.

It doesn’t.

This is the same thing I feel about television. In an attempt to pulse the marketplace to become more realistic, the producers try to convince us that their exaggeration is reality. In other words, they pass off black licorice as Milky Ways.

I’m not so sure they mean harm, but I’m quite positive they do not understand that the purpose of art is to both evoke and invoke–evoke a response, but invoke more of the beautiful attributes of human behavior.

An evening of watching the boob tube makes me feel that the world is filled with boobs–idiots who think they achieve their purposes by resorting to violence.

Of course, this is ridiculous. The laws of our land forbid us from even laying a finger on another person without being accused of assault. But we are led to believe that revenge, getting even, cheating, lying, expressing great frustration and being childish are acceptable forms of behavior.

Television is not dangerous, it’s just irresponsible.

It is fully aware that we need Milky Ways, but for some reason it has over-purchased black licorice and is trying to get rid of it.

 

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Art

 Art: (n) the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.dictionary with letter A

Probably one of the more pretentious things a mere mortal can speak aloud is the proclamation: “I am an artist.”

Even though it is said more often than comfortability allows, it is a presumptuous thought. Why?

Well, first of all–art is in the eye of the beholder, not in the mind of the “presumer.” In other words, if someone wants to call me an artist, I can humbly deflect the praise, but blame them for the event.

Even though I have written, recorded, sung, performed and gyrated my talents in many different ways over the years, I daily realize that to create art requires three very distinct purposes, uniting as one:

1. Inspire.

It is my firm belief that art should inspire us. I know this will meet with some disagreement, but I do not think that movies, books and songs which are depressing, fatalistic and portray humanity as worthless are art. They are intriguing diversions for those who are looking for a reason to confirm their depression.

2. Entertaining.

Yes, I think art should make our minds dance with new ideas while either tickling our funny bone or massaging our heart. I will even say that I’ve been entertained by things that have aggravated my emotions.

3. And finally, I think art should make us hunger and thirst.

Preferably, for righteousness, but at least, an appetite should be developed for more than the bland diet that the status quo often offers in the great cafeteria line of life.

I do not want to become disheartened or faithless by peering into the disgruntled by-product of the souls who insist they are artists.

Life is too short to be pissed off … and it is certainly much too brief to spend all of your creative energy merely trying to piss off others.

 

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