Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Broaden

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Broaden: (v) to widen

Searching until one finds a moral certainty.

It used to be the goal of the human race. Obviously, we never achieved it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have burned witches, hated people of different colors or put leeches on sick folk to heal them of pneumonia.Dictionary B

Often moral certainty is an interpretation of a code of ethics printed in a book–whether it’s the Bible or “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” We scour the material to find the commandments that assure us that we are on the high ground.

The difficulty with this procedure is that simultaneously, the inclusion of other lifestyles suggests that we broaden our outlook on morality–often to the detriment or even deterioration of some of our certainties.

When I was a boy divorce was bad. Now it ranges from being painful to necessary, but obviously common.

Things like abortion, homosexuality and marijuana smoking were condemned and even prosecuted. Now we have been asked to broaden our definitions of acceptable behavior to counteract what was once considered to be a certainty, and instead, deem it a transition in our understanding.

Because we are broadening ourselves so much, we are definitely yanking at the seams of the moral conscience.

So what is immoral?

Without doubt, the denigration of another human being for the satisfaction of our pleasure or religious fervor is immoral.

The purposeful bullying or intimidation of an individual or group of souls falls into the spectrum of unseemly.

But are there carnal acts or deeds that we consider immoral?

Stealing, for instance, is permissible if done on a corporate level instead of a “pauper” one.

Sexuality has to have justification and mutual adult consent to be given license.

And the immorality of indifference to the plight of others can even be disguised as a political maneuver.

I am not a great advocate of moral certainty–but I will tell you that merely broadening our horizons does not guarantee that we see the truth.

 

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Bravado

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Bravado: (n) a show of boldness intended to impress

After some consideration, using the intelligence I have available, I’ve decided that the word “bravado” really has no context unless modified by the adjective “false.”Dictionary B

Although I believe a certain amount of confidence is necessary to pursue our activities, it must always be saturated in the humility of knowing that the possibility of error is looming.

Bravado is the sensation that by simply bullying the available space around us with our superiority and all-knowing attitude, we gain the attention that will grant us the opportunity to dominate.

But just as in the cartoon, the little fish swallows the guppy and is then eaten by the bigger fish, who goes along for a second or two, and then is consumed by a yet larger member of the watery world, only to have him ultimately swallowed by the whale–such is the destiny of all bravado.

We may screech and scream our prowess–only to be overtaken by one who is more adept at screeching and screaming.

What is the correct profile to maintain an efficient amount of self-esteem?

  1. Find what you can do
  2. Practice it until you can do it in the dark
  3. Look for your opportunity to do it
  4. Be extremely grateful for any appreciation and praise you receive.

In my opinion, this is the definition, full extent and boundary which keeps bravado from becoming … totally obnoxious.

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Bite

Bite: (v) to use the teeth to cut into something

For the solace, comfort and sanity of all humankind, it is very important that we understand that no one is naturally good at parenting.Dictionary B

There are no books you can read which will add any permanent sense of well-being to the practice, but instead, offer divergent theories which may work for a time, and then fall into piles of ridiculous.

I had children. (I still have them–they’re just not quite as childish as they used to be.)

I remember when my two oldest were at their youngest, and only a year-and-a-half apart. The older one decided he liked to bite his little brother.

We explained to him that this was not good etiquette.

We shared how much his bites were painful to his little brother.

With his four-year-old face, he listened intently, only to turn around ten minutes later and go on a “chomp fit.”

I was at a loss.

Finally one day, immediately after he had inflicted a fresh wound on his sibling, I leaned over, grabbed his chubby leg, and bit into his fatty tissue.

He screamed out in pain and continued to holler for about ten more minutes.

After he calmed down, I came very close to his face with mine, and said, “That’s what it feels like when you bite someone.”

Even though for a season he was a little afraid to be around me for fear that I had taken up full-fledged cannibalism, he never bit his brother again.

You see, there was a time in our country when we evaluated the power of a solution by whether it worked. Now we consider if such actions are proper, appropriate, bullying or will leave a lasting neurosis.

Too bad.

Because my solution for having a son who liked to bite was convincing him, through my actions, that he had bitten off more than he could chew.

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Bellicose

Bellicose: (adj) demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight.

Dictionary B

I have seen this word in print a couple of times and had a general idea of what it meant, but am sitting here amazed at how well it describes our present social and political climate.

Somewhere along the line, we have allowed our pundits to convince us that people with a bellicose nature–a pushy, bullying, “picking-a-fight” profile–are the dominant voices, and that those who decide not to participate in such outlandish behavior are relegated to obscurity.

It is remarkable that we simultaneously have programs against bullying in our schools, while tolerating a bellicose attitude in our politicians and leaders.

Which one is it?

Is bullying really the ultimate costume, designed for the weak loser?

Or is bullying the necessary campaign used by those trying to achieve their purposes in order to win the day?

Of all the sins of mankind, the most heinous is hypocrisy.

I, for one, am tired of teaching my small children to be ladies and gentlemen … so they can grow up to be aggressive, adult sons-of-a bitches.

 

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Acid

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acid (n): a chemical substance that neutralizes alkalis, dissolves some metals and turns litmus red, typically, a corrosive of sour-tasting liquid: e.g. the rainwater is a very weak acid.

It burns. It disfigures. It’s pungent.

None of those words are particularly pleasing. I know there’s a purpose for acid. I also know it should not be thrown in somebody’s face nor drip too much into your gut.

When I was a kid, there was a saying: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Somewhere along the line, that slogan has been ridiculed to the extent that we now feel that saying nice things is stupid or pansy and that having an “acid tongue” is what’s necessary to communicate honesty.

I was watching a show yesterday when some unqualified individuals who certainly were beyond their scope in both understanding and righteousness were criticizing Kanye and Kim for naming their baby “North,” giving the young child the entire signature of “North West.”

These pseudo philosophers were distressed that the young parents had placed an undue burden on a child in a season when bullying is common–that they were certainly cursing their offspring to a life of perpetual ridicule. As the audience applauded these intrusive comments, each one of the “interferers” gained intensity and acidity with their observations. By the end, one would have thought that Kanye and Kim had murdered their small baby, throwing her into a duffel bag and dumping her into the East River.

Honestly, folks, I don’t know what the value of acid is. I am sure somebody could enlighten me, but in my understanding, it burns, it disfigures and it’s pungent.

I really don’t need any one of those three things. It may be a little optimistic to think that we can only say good things when observing some nastiness around us. But to purposefully wear the cap of cynicism for entertainment, or worse yet, in order to feel superior, is a curse on our society and will be viewed by future generations as a little piece of insanity that we fortunately escaped.

I do not favor acid. I don’t like it when it comes out of a beaker or slips off a tongue.

And maybe I’m weird–I think having a name like North West gives you a chance to start a conversation in a world that at times ping-pongs between acidity … and mute.