Crash and Burn

Crash and burn: (v) to fail utterly

She insists.

Or maybe it’s him.

It’s difficult to tell in the midst of a mayday call, as affections, dreams and hopes careen toward the Earth with no seeming way to avoid the crash and the burn.

She thinks there is something she needs to salvage.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

She believes taking that tiny piece of nothing and waving it in the air like a flag makes her an independent nation. But she isn’t an independent nation.

Or is it him?

He or she signed on to be part of a common effort.

But because the altimeters are sending off confusing readings, the engines are sputtering and the voyage begun so many years ago is now in peril.

She decides in those final moments to protect her pride and declare her innocence in the whole affair.

They crash.

Was it he or was it she? But worst of all, it’s them.

And there is that moment right after the crash before the fuel tanks are ruptured and it bursts into flames that they could escape.

But instead, they pridefully look at one another, standing their ground, and die in the flames of what was once a great affection–and now is just a foolish fire, burning off the refuse.

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Countryfied

Countryfied: (adj) not sophisticated or cosmopolitan; provincial.

Short elections ago, when candidates were desperately searching for a means or an end to guarantee the vote of people of color, there was an abiding premise that the United States was becoming a deeper shade of beige.

Those running for election tried to guarantee the support of the younger crowd who could hip and hop instead of the older ones, who seemed to flip and flop.

Then, in 2016, the notion of the decline of rural America and the urbanization of the nation was startled by the election of the new President. His constituency didn’t seem to know too much about Hollywood, the Oscars or America’s Top 40.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Their musical selection landed somewhere between “the Johns”—Lennon or Cash. Their clothing was simple and bought from a common department store they shared with their neighbors (being careful not to wear the same shirt on the same day).

Their food was country-fried because they, themselves, were countryfied.

Although attempts were made to characterize this voting block as bigoted, prejudiced, ignorant and unwilling to accept new ideas and different people, it turns out that in many cases, they didn’t hate blacks, gays, Hispanics and feminists—just chose not to hang around them.

The reason for this, in their minds, was simple. These countryfied folks were taught to be humble and not pushy, with a stringent fear of God and zealous honoring of the flag. They deemed themselves patriots. Actually, it’s the piece of arrogance they proudly display while trying to suppress any other willfulness that attempts to surface.

So suddenly, in our time, the politicians are trying to find “countryfied” again.


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Bury

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bury: (v) to put or hide under ground.

Everyone loves a good resurrection. No one wants to bury anything, to see if it can be awakened.

Yes, for a resurrection to occur or even for a revival to be plausible, we have to admit something is dead–and bury it.

How do we decide if something is dead?

It doesn’t have a pulse.

There’s a good sign. The lack of a pulse is a pretty clear indication that something should be buried.

It doesn’t have breath.

We find ourselves staring at it instead of experiencing conversation, with enthusiastic ideas spurting forth.

It starts turning gray.

Yes, even when things are valuable, you need to make sure they don’t turn old.

It decays.

And as it starts to fall apart, it stinks. Maturity is when we stop pretending that something isn’t smelling up the joint, and we talk about how bad it reeks.

It’s not responsive.

The world is going on around it, and there is no acceptance, realization, acknowledgment or participation.

It’s in the way.

Because it does not offer contribution, it clutters.

There are many things in our society which are dead and need to be buried, but we keep them around because we have a flag to commemorate them, a sanctuary to revere them or an office building to house them.

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Bask

Bask: (v) to revel in and make the most of something pleasing.Dictionary B

Intimidation enforced for the purpose of demanding imitation:

In other words, if a flag held by a soldier in uniform comes streaming by, there is a certain protocol that is supposed to be enacted by me–and preferably some emotion to go along with those well-rehearsed actions.

  • Take your hat off
  • Bow your head
  • Sprout some tears
  • Put your hand on your heart
  • Mumble a prayer

Only then will you be convinced that I am are a true patriot.

If you pray for peace or work to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way so they can return to their families after their due diligence, you just might be considered anti-American.

I love to bask–but I find it difficult to bask in the glories of the past.

There is so much beauty available. We don’t need to worship a history book, a symbol, a Bible or a creed which can be cold and leave us chilly.

Why can’t we develop a faith that births new blessings every day, and fills our hearts with such hope that removing a hat, bowing a head and speaking a prayer is spontaneous?

Bask in the glory.

I don’t want to bask anymore in the glory of what America once was, but join with my fellow citizens to keep it glorious, so that the memories of our freedom are fresh instead of arranged in the pages of the history books.

I want to bask in the glory of a God who loves me and have that sensation sweep over my soul instead of listening to how some apostle 2000 years ago was impressed enough by his mission to become a martyr.

Yes, it is the responsibility of those who are living to keep beauty vibrant, so it is not a memory that we have to conjure and thrust into prominence, but instead becomes the showers of blessing and the sunshine of our reality. 

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Afoot

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Afoot: (adv.) 1. in preparation or progress, happening or beginning to happen 2. on foot

  • It is illegal to sell your kidney, which is located in your own body, but it is perfectly legal to extract human tissue and throw it away through abortion.

Something’s afoot.

  • We are constantly complaining about the dullness of our youth while actively discussing the legalization of marijuana, to further dull them.

Something’s afoot.

  • We are justifiably enraged over the intransigent nature of politics in this country, as the political parties bring everything to a standstill, while simultaneously waving the flag and insisting on the power of the vote.

Something’s afoot.

  • We become teary-eyed and sentimental over our personal families, shrinking our vision of humanity, while people all over the world are being abused, murdered and stifled.

Something’s afoot.

  • We praise ourselves for progress in the realm of overcoming bigotry, while continually re-creating the sins of our fathers by generating a new prejudice against a weaker segment of our society.

Something’s afoot.

  • We self-righteously discuss the exceptional nature of the American dream and people while settling for mediocre choices, diminished leadership and a rejection of universal excellence.

Again–something’s afoot.

There are two major problems with a foot–if you’re not careful, it either ends up in your mouth or kicking your butt.

 

Absentee Ballot

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absentee ballot: n.  a ballot completed and typically mailed in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present at the polls.

I was just a little kid. (Little kid–that may be a bit of redundancy, except truthfully, I wasn’t really little.)

My parents were staunch Republicans. Every election season, they would brag about walking into the booth and voting a “straight Republican ticket.” Since they were my parents, I assumed that was another piece of nobility to be revered, and only later discovered that it was a proclamation of a bit of preconceived ignorance.

Matter of fact, that particular mindset is so prevalent in our society today that the action of voting may be all absentee–not just ballots sent in from some far-away land by traveling citizens.

No, it appears to me that at times all the American people are absentee during their balloting.

  • They seem to be absentee of allowing their minds to be changed by reason, and instead wave the flag over their particular party of choice.
  • There seems to be an absentee nature in understand the expansive needs of a multi-cultural America, which is mushrooming much faster than its willingness to contemplate.
  • There seems to be an absentee of respect given between candidates campaigning for the same office–a disrespect for the ability of the other person to have gotten that far in the process.
  • There seems to be an absentee of understanding that merely possessing a morality of your own choice does not make it superior to another person’s interpretation.
  • And certainly we are absentee of following through on a conclusion to our political theories, determining whether they actually produce a government “of the people, for the people and by the

people.”

Even though I think voting can be a very good thing, I find it neither regal, virtuous or heavenly when it can be so easily “bedeviled” by stubborn loyalty instead of common sense.
Perhaps THAT’S the problem in America. Like my mother and father so many years ago, all the votes being cast seem to be absentee of the deliberation necessary to honor the traditions that have made this country rich with potential.

For let us be frank. The greatest leaders in our history–George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and any others you might conjure in your mind–if deposited into our time, would all be completely uncomfortable associating themselves with either political party.

Because change is not a party.

It is often a lonely trip in the middle of the night to the local convenience store to pay too much for supplies, desperately needed.