Culottes

Culottes: (n) women’s trousers, usually knee-length or calf-length, cut full to resemble a skirt.

I have seen enough things come and go, enough rules altered–opinions ransacked by reality—that I can no longer abide just accepting a set of regulations without asking why.

In my lifetime, I was informed that long hair was effeminate.

I was told that divorce was forbidden.

Masturbation was considered to be a sin.

Dating between the races was anti-Christ.

And one summer, Camp Jesus Something-Or-Other refused to allow the girls to wear culottes.

It was absolutely ridiculous.

None of the boys objected to the restriction, because girls in skirts would be running, sitting oddly and the fellows would get a great vision of their panties, which would last until the next time they were alone in their sleeping bags.

Everybody—and I mean, everybody—knew the rule was bullshit.

Even when the counselors were asked why the stipulation was in place, they parroted off some answer given to them by the founders of the camp (which they didn’t believe).

I comprehend the process. For instance, for ten years we had to whisper that we “passed gas” instead of bluntly saying we farted.

You could talk about dating and love, but you weren’t allowed to mention sex. That is, until you suddenly were permitted.

Can we shorten this agonizing delay?

Matter of fact, let us decide that if there isn’t a legitimate health, well-being or realistic moral reason for a guideline to exist, we will call it meaningless and request that it be reviewed.

Once and for all, can we come to a conclusion that sanctifying our race by trying to corral human emotions is fruitless?

Culottes look good on girls. They make girls more comfortable. And the only time a girl wears pants and looks like a man is if she decides she wants to go for the whole butch persona.

 

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Counterculture

Counterculture: (n) the culture and lifestyle of those people who reject or oppose the dominant values and behavior of society.

Take any thirty years.

Yes—look back in your history book and isolate off a thirty year period and you will realize that every group of people who was deemed to be “counterculture” was ignored for ten years, rejected for the next ten, but by the third decade had gained position, if not predominance.

It also holds true for our common values. Case in point:

Divorce used to be never spoken of—ignored, if you will. Then for a while it was rejected as unacceptable. And now, it’s not only a part of our society, but it is generally assumed that any human being over the age of thirty-five has divorced at least once.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

An obvious example is the gay community, which was at first ignored, then heavily rejected, and now appears deeply rooted in the fabric of our culture.

Yet there are two outstanding exceptions to this theory—black people and women.

Our American citizens who happen to have black skin seem to have stalled somewhere between rejection and inclusion.

And women continue to be bandied about as sexual objects instead of living, breathing sisters in our fight for sanity.

’Tis perplexing. It certainly gives some food for thought.

For when I was a young man, the war in Vietnam was a symbol of courage and American will to fight communism. Enter the counterculture of anti-war. Now, the Indochina conflict is basically a very dark joke.

I, for one, am going to be very careful to reject to anything as counterculture—because even the faith I hold dear, which proudly meets in churches every Sunday, was once condemned to be a counterculture, secretly fellowshipping in the tombs.


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Convert

Convert: (v) to change; transform.

All my life, I’ve been asked to convert.

As a young boy, I was threatened that we would soon convert to the metric system. Still waiting.

I had to convert to being color-blind. I wasn’t raised that way, nor was anyone else under the age of twenty.

I was told to convert to the idea of divorce, and then to the concept that dividing children between households was wise, even though Solomon passed on the idea.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Each time it has been explained to me that for the sake of tolerance and mercy it is good that I allow for other people to have their choices.

I had to convert to the practicality of pro-choice, even though I find abortion enigmatic.

But now I’m being asked to convert to sexuality. I have always believed that sexuality is having an orgasm. I do not care how you reach that climax, nor should you be interested in my path.

But we were told to convert because of the stigma, prejudice and animosity toward homosexuality. Excellent. This made me more open, congenial and kind to lesbians and gays. Then I was told this was insufficient.

I was informed that even though lesbians and gays were “born that way,” there is another group—bisexuals—which should be included, even though their existence brings to question the assertion of being born gay. Not satisfied with the LGB community, transgenders were thrown in. Transgender actually has nothing to do with sexuality but is a processing in the lives of a few people to discover in what gender they truly find themselves.

Then, this was no longer sufficient. Even though for years it was the LGBT community, a Q has been added—for “questioning.” This is apparently for people who were not born in any particular way, who are deciding who they want to be, even though we originally said this was not something you determined.

What is obviously missing from the acronym is an H—for heterosexual.

Why would that be?

I guess if I want to convert to something, I would like to see a consistency in thought rather than trying to jump on at the amoeba stage and hang around for the entire evolution… to being human.


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Condone

Condone: (v) to approve or sanction something,

Life is a perpetual pursuit to discover the boundaries, borders and limitations of what is just none of my goddamn business.

If I become exhausted in this worthy quest, I will soon start objecting to things that other people are doing simply because I do not want funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
anyone to think that I condone such irregularities.

This is why governments release well-worded rebukes to other governments about their comings and goings, so as to make sure the history books will note their disapproval.

For years we did this over the subject of divorce. It was so looked down upon in our society that people were ashamed to admit they had marital problems for fear of being ostracized–for even thinking about calling it quits.

Those in the gay community were repeatedly informed by the righteous rabble that they were loved as people, but hated for their sin. (However, since that sin was considered to be homosexuality, it was a little bit difficult to separate it from their lives, to receive the love instead of being stung by the hate.)

I don’t think Facebook could exist if people weren’t condoning one thing while condemning another, to make sure it appeared they were not in a condoning mood.

To read what people write in criticizing one another, you would assume they have removed all beams from their own eye, and are clear-sighted to evaluate and critique the world around them.

Not me.

I will run from any instinct to judge another person, which also gives me license to not be present to condone.

Matter of fact, that running may be the only exercise I’m getting.

 

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Commune

Commune: (n) a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities.

Many good ideas would work well if we could keep them out of human hands.

There’s something about the greasy palms of the human race that make noble intentions slip from our grasp and crash to the floor, breaking
into a million pieces.

I have been a guest at five communes in my lifetime. They all shared certain attributes:

  1. A discovery of a separate and simpler life so as not to have too many moving parts.
  2. A realization that it was important to share common values, goals, tastes in food, and entertainment preferences.
  3. For some reason, an emphasis on male dominance and female subservience was thrust to the forefront.
  4. Children in the commune were normally very well-behaved, but looked a bit as if they had just gone through shock treatments.
  5. Money was eschewed as meaningless except that the surroundings were so sparse of frills that it was obvious that someone in the commune was lusting for a Snickers bar.
  6. There was a fear in the air that they would be exposed as unhappy, so they were overly careful about what they said.

The reason communes don’t work is the same reason that half the marriages in the country end up in divorce: we don’t always clump well.

We are too intelligent, too independent and too selfish from our jungle roots to be totally trusted to evenly slice the loaf of bread among four souls.

 

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Broaden

j-r-practix-with-border-2

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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Blunt

Blunt: (adj) uncompromisingly forthright

Dictionary B

I am recommending a divorce.

I think it is time to create a Splitsville between the words “blunt” and “honest.”

No human being has the authority, integrity or history to be blunt.

We can’t afford it. It’s too easy for other folks to find the skeletons in our closets–which, by the way, are still so fresh they’re covered with rotting skin.

And “honest,” although an improvement in temperament, is subject to our present comprehension.

So when people tell me they want to be blunt and honest with me, I request that they refrain. I am not confident that my burgeoning human spirit of consolation has grown enough to endure the “hard rain” of their critique.

I prefer honesty tempered with mercy. How would that manifest itself? I will give an example.

Blunt–“You are way too fat.”

Honest–“Don’t you think your obesity is hurting your health?”

Merciful–“I’m thinking about losing a few pounds myself. Have you ever tried and do you have any suggestions?”

Some individuals would consider this misleading or disingenuous.

I just consider it the only acceptable way to affect the world around you without crumbling it.

 

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