Con Man

Con man: (n) a man who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true

Every once in a while I take a stroll through the Ten Commandments to take an inventory on how many I’ve broken.

That is one of the more ridiculous aspects of that top ten list–it does not serve as a guide to our lives, but rather, a reminder of how futile ourfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
attempts often are when we pursue self-righteousness or any form of superiority that makes us feel that we’re near to the heart of God.

For instance, I’ve been a con man.

I didn’t do it for a living. That’s probably good. Otherwise, I might be writing you from Folsom Prison, with the blues, or from Sing-Sing without a song.

But I have presented claims as facts, trying to impress people around me, when in actuality the legitimate information was far less than my boast.

Here’s the only difference between me and the standard con man: I actually believed my own bullshit.

I did.

I had thoroughly saturated myself in fictitious notions that twisted my brain to such an extent that they squeezed out common sense and replaced them with Thanksgiving stuffing.

So not only was I a con man to those around me, but I did a remarkable job promoting it to myself.

This is why self-awareness is probably one of the greatest virtues that a human being can pursue–it makes you stop off every once in a while and read the Ten Commandments and realize how far you have fallen short–as you chuckle over your own inadequacy.

 

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Coarse

Coarse: (adj) rude, crude, or vulgar.

Fortunately for the human race, if for some reason they do not want to deal with your message or the impact of your words, they can either critique your style or claim that your language is coarse and profane.

I have spent the major part of my professional career trying to determine the words that best describe what I’m trying to communicate, and then attempting to slide those cherished words into the body of my work, without being shunned for foul usage.

Honestly, when describing an atrocity and the need for change, the word “darn” does not replace “damn.”

For many years I was critiqued for saying “crap”–but “bullcrap” is not as energetic as “bullshit.”

The purpose of speech is to communicate. The goal of the written word is to impact. And the mission of the visual is to enlighten.

They must be permitted to do their jobs without being censored, or even-tempered.

I happen to agree that the word f-u-c-k is rarely necessary to communicate and certainly should not be overused as an adjective or an adverb.

But even that stipulation carries a bit of fuddy-duddy, which is not necessarily applicable in the pursuit of waking up the sleepy masses.

Having survived a lifetime which has included living in a society where the word “pregnant” could not be uttered on television, to now living in an Internet generation, where temperance is disdained, I am more than happy to put guidelines on my own soul–using an economy of words to justify the heart of the story, without coarsely tainting it with unnecessary emotions which threaten to condemn it.

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Cautionary

Cautionary: (adj) serving as a warning.

The word “cautionary” usually travels with a tale but often does not have the brains to fill a head. Most of the things I have been warned about in my life have proven to be false, or at the very least, exaggerated.

When I was twelve years old, a sociologist came to our school to discuss race. Actually, her function was to explain to our dull but fertile
minds why it was important for the races not to mix.

It was a slide show.

So we observed that when a black person and a white person get together and create children, the results are uncertain and often catastrophic. She provided pictures of children with splotchy skin, tumors and obviously suffering in some sort of miserable configuration.

She was so official–so well-studied. She explained that “it was just not good for the children.”

There are two comical things about this story. First, we lived in a community where the nearest black person was 25 miles away. And secondly, everything this well-educated and maybe even well-intentioned woman told us was bullshit.

Yet if you had been there to hear the cautionary tale, you would have been totally convinced you should avoid all contact with “Negroids”. (I believe that’s the word she used.)

When is a cautionary tale really of value?

When it asks us to mind our own P’s and Q’s instead of trying to change the ABC’s of life.

 

 

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Bullshit

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Bullshit: (n) stupid or untrue talk

Not everything is bullshit.

Matter of fact, one great step toward maturity is realizing that many of the things we believe today will change in the future, and maybe even disappear.

After all, ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but rather, the refusal to accept it.

All of us are ignorant in the sense that there are things we don’t know, but we will not be deemed ignorant in the future if we’re willing to step away from piles of bullshit and find the truth that has been proven.

Whether it’s our politics, our education, our profession or our faith, each one should be able to endure the evolution of new data, which further clarifies life on Planet Earth.

If your beliefs or your convictions need to ridicule an educated revelation, you are no longer a follower of truth, but a shoveler of bullshit.

Each one of us needs to acknowledge this, or we become either dangerous or obnoxious, or an annoying blending of the pair.

Many good folk in 1491, who were well-schooled and religious, were convinced that the world was flat. Several years later, when it was proven to be round, the truly intelligent rolled with the punches and realized that science was not destroyed by the revelation, nor was God shrunk.

The ones who continued to contend that the Earth was shaped like a cracker had to promote their bullshit ad nauseam.

How can you tell if you’ve become a bullshitter?

There is a tiny little bell that rings in the human soul when we hear something that resounds with the truth.

Stop muffling the bell.

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Blank

Blank: (n) a space left to be filled in a document.

Dictionary B

Do you remember the various types of tests?

There was the true or false.

Fifty-fifty chance.

Multiple choice.

I prayed there would be at least two ridiculous answers which could easily be eliminated.

Essay question.

For people like me, who felt I could bullshit my way through the procedure.

But then there was fill in the blank.

A sentence constructed with empty spaces, where it was dependent upon the student to provide legitimate knowledge.

Terrifying.

It was nearly impossible to guess.

There were no choices provided.

And of course, there was no room for verbosity to save the day. What was needed was an answer.

Actually, I wish they had offered more tests like that, though I’m sure I would have objected.

For real life is rarely true of false, and honestly, multiple choice is not readily available.

Sometimes much speaking can eradicate a problem, but usually it merely delays the verdict.

But there are always blanks to be filled–and they require real data grounded in truth instead of speculation or the feeling that we can argue with the teacher later, and at least get some credit. 

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Arse

Arse: (n) British spelling of ass.dictionary with letter A

As a writer–and I use that occupational name humbly–I am constantly confronted with the more confounding and contradictory nature of the English language.

There are those who insist that sentence structure is what determines the quality and talent of anyone who composes an essay. Yet honestly, in everyday life, nobody is very concerned about the placement of subjects and predicates.

Other folks believe that intelligence and integrity are procured through using language which is acceptable to your grandmother and rejecting any wording that might make your sixteen-year-old son giggle.

Matter of fact, I have lived through times where using phrases like “my God,” “crap,” or “Oh, my Lord” were deemed by some to be inappropriate.

So imagine my delight when I found out that I merely have to go back to the King’s English to acquire the word “arse” if I want to refer to someone as an “arsehole.”

It frees me of objections and makes me seem quite continental at the same time! And also, while people figure out what it means, I can be the mischievous little boy who got away from the garden toting the watermelon.

Seriously, I will tell you–there are a few words which should never be considered profane because they are so on-point with real life, and describe human emotion better than their more gentle counterparts.

For instance:

  • I’m not going to write that my character was upset when I can say that he was pissed off.
  • When I’m establishing the fact that something is horribly wrong, I am not going to call it bullpoop. It shall be bullshit.
  • When I’m relating a story in which I confess my fault and let you know of my error, I will not call myself mistaken, but rather, an ass.
  • And there are simply some times when a defiant stand demands a “Butlerian” reply: Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Feel free to disagree with me, and if you do, I offer you some wonderful news. You can send me a note which reads, “You are so wrong…you arse.

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Applicable

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pli·ca·ble (adj): relevant or appropriate.

Sometimes I feel like a helpless city with no defenses, being bombarded by a society which senses no responsibility for viciously attacking in the pursuit of gaining its will.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is–every advocacy group is obsessed with its own form of tunnel vision, and contends that if you do not agree with them in every principle, that somehow or another you are suffering from a phobia against their cause.

No one is stopping to ask an important question: what principle is really applicable to the ongoing sanity and peaceful coexistence of human beings?

Let me explain.

I have lots of foibles. I suppose some people would even consider them sins. I am fat, bald, somewhat lazy and silly. There are individuals who would take any one of those and isolate me off in a box for direct FedEx shipment to hell. I have no malice toward them. I do not wish that they, too, would experience a fiery end. I just think their cause is overwrought and is trumped by a greater good which is often ignored in the pursuit of these pundits proving their point.

I just believe that the only applicable statement for those dwelling on Earth and confined by mortality is “no one is better than anyone else.”

  • So on the issue of abortion, I have empathy for both mother and child, so I grant freedom for choice and discovery of restraint.
  • How about racial issues? Since no one is better than anyone else, having God color you in with a different hue doesn’t seem very important.
  • Homosexuality? Since I probably will not be joining you in your bedroom, I would rather appreciate your company in the fellowship hall.

Life is not nearly as complicated as angry pollsters and protesting advocates try to make it out to be. I cannot judge you because if I were judged by the same standard, I would be weighed in the balances and found wanting.

Therefore what is applicable becomes that which is relevant. And what is relevant is that I have no control over your happiness–only the ability to hurt you and take away your joy.

So I shall not.

“No one is better than anyone else. ”

That is applicable.

Everything else is merely conversational, aggravating bullshit.

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