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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Bisexual

Bisexual: (n) possessing attributes of both male and female within oneself

Sitting in a coffeehouse when I was only sixteen years old, a long-haired young college student with a cerebral profile and an air of Dictionary Bself-importance asked me, “Are you bisexual?”

Innocently, from my Midwestern naiveté, I replied, “No. I would never pay for a woman.”

Surviving that gentleman’s laughter and growing up in a society where such terms became more prevalently spoken, I now know that “bisexual” refers to a willingness, openness, or even yearning to have sexual relationships with people of both genders.

The opinion on this possibility has changed, even in the gay community.

In the past, those who had a predilection toward sharing romantic interests with the same sex were often annoyed with the concept of bisexuality. And I suppose the case could be made that if you are born heterosexual, or born homosexual, where is the evidence that you could be born bisexual?

But setting aside the nonsense of conflict, let us go back to the purity of the definition: “possessing attributes of both male and female within oneself.”

I personally think that’s a positive.

Even men who insist their masculinity is incapable of being penetrated by any feminine aspect whatsoever will eventually sprout some sort of fear of an “icky-poo” or a threatening spider.

And women, who would appear to be the fairy dust of heaven and the dew on the morning rose, will fart at will, and pull off the most amazing physical feats.

Maybe in the sense of human sexuality there is a great depth of mutuality which we’re all just afraid to consider–because it might make us appear to be too weak or too strong.

I don’t know.

But I will advance the theory that when either men or women are sexually aroused, what has aroused them is not nearly as important as culminating the action.

So what can we learn?

If by bisexual you are referring only to physically desiring carnal pleasure with other people of either gender–well, I will leave that to your imagination.

But if by bisexual you might be inkling to the notion that men and women have more in common than difference, then I would say you have just made a sharp right turn … back to Eden.

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Background

Background (n) the circumstances or situation prevailing at a particular time or underlying a particular event.

“What’s your background?”Dictionary B

A very popular question.

I learned many years ago to dodge all inquiries which attempt to squeeze me into a favorable box.

Once people discover the roots of my nationality, the place of my birth, my chosen occupation and even my favorite color, for some reason, these nosy neighbors determine that they know enough about me to converse with me–or even market a product–in my direction.

I believe this is why we’re so juiced up on the idea of cultures and customs. Because once we determine that somebody is from Jamaica, then we are most assuredly confident that they must love reggae music.

So how difficult is it to be a rock and roll advocate and live in Jamaica?

How absolutely frustrating must it be to live in Wisconsin and have never eaten cheese?

Can you actually dwell in Iowa or Nebraska without having a running dialogue on raising corn?

The thing that makes us most uninteresting is the thing that we seem to pursue with great fervor.

“Let me shrink who you are so that who you are will fit into what I need you to be.”

So even as I watch the phenomenon of the gay community gaining credence in our society, television insists that all gay people speak with a lisp, love theater, cry at the drop of a hat and are basically snarky.

So what are we really achieving when we claim to be accepting of people–but we’re really only accepting of people when they arrive in large, definable clumps?

I will not tell you my background.

What I will share is my present footing and what I dream to be my foreground.

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Await

Await: (v) to wait fordictionary with letter A

There is a contingency of humanity which believes that as long as any issue can receive a majority of approval, then that particular subject in question is proven truthful.

What hogwash.

There are times in our history when chasing witches and killing them, owning slaves, beating women and human sacrifice certainly gained a 51% range of acceptance.

It didn’t make it right.

So I become concerned when religious and secular people agree.

I suppose that sounds odd, but it tells me that the subject matter has some sort of copout, because these two worlds don’t normally coincide.

  • In the religious world, it’s called Calvinism–the contention that our lives are predestined and therefore pretty much out of our control.
  • In the secular community, it is blissfully proclaimed to be destiny. “We were born a certain way, therefore we’re committed to be a certain way, and the more we fight it, the more miserable we become.”

But I happen to be of a school of thought that there is a universal truth from which all founts of blessing pour:

It’s called free will. And when you remove free will, you shake your fist at the sky and insist the Earth is flat.

So I make my decisions about life, spirituality and social change based upon free will.

The removal of free will is the institution of stupidity.

The institution of free will is the only way to fight stupidity.

So even though I am not favorable to abortion, I live in a Republic where a woman has a free-will right to decide that for herself.

Even though I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the gay community, I am thoroughly convinced of their free-will authority to pursue their own path.

So when I saw the word “await” today, it reminded me of a common phrase I’ve always found distasteful: “Await your fate.”

If you don’t mind, I shall not do that.

If it turns out that I was destined to be one way or another, then so be it. But my understanding of God and His universe is that He has granted us the power to will and do … thus opening the door to changing our circumstance.

 

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Aquamarine

dictionary with letter A

Aquamarine (n): a light bluish-green color.

This may sound very selfish, but one of the fringe benefits of the recent civil rights afforded to the gay community (aside from the fact that we live in a free country and it was basically inevitable once the belly-aching ceased) is that we no longer have to be threatened by other men saying “that’s gay.”

It has become a taboo.

It used to be a perpetual, common horror.

I remember many years ago when leisure suits were both leisurely and in fashion, I found one at a discount store, marked down, which happened to be my size. It was aquamarine.

You see, the problem was that even though it was a much more colorful era, certain hues were still looked upon as being suspect of your sexual orientation. Add to the fact that I was a piano player, and you had the makings of a San Francisco gay parade.

Not only did I get an occasional sneer and sidewise comment, like, “Nice color, big boy,” but I also began to envision that I was being stared at by the entire world, viewed as a “man lover.”

So paranoid was I that I started prancing around like John Wayne and using the deepest timbre my voice could muster. When wearing the aquamarine garment, I was always quick to point out that I was married and had fathered children from my own manly source.

It was crazy.

Finally, even though I loved the outfit, I purposefully “accidentally” forgot it at a motel. (What I mean is, I actually did forget it, but remembered it by the time I got to the elevator and decided not to go back for it.)

So somewhere in Yuma, Arizona, there is a big fat man wearing an aquamarine leisure suit … who obviously has much more confidence than I do.

 

 

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Appear

dictionary with letter A

Appear: (v) to seem: ex. it appeared to be true.

  • Appearances are deceiving
  • Things are not as they appear.

It is always fascinating to me that human beings are granted certain gifts which enable us to function in an intelligent way in a topsy-turvy world, and then we are told not to trust these senses.

If it isn’t as it appears, then what is it?

Sometimes I get confused by knowledge which is imparted to me and then retracted so as to leave the door open for future contradictions.

I need the ability to look at what is set before me and make brilliant decisions. There is a danger in second guessing. There certainly is potential for disaster in delaying action.

What does it appear to be?

  1. It appears to me that color of skin makes very little difference in the viability of the humans around of me to interact, procreate and work together.
  2. It appears to me that homosexuality is not my choice and therefore it will take me a while to get used to the idea, but in the meantime it appears to me that I can grant the gay community the dignity I give to myself.
  3. It appears to me that our political system has broken down in its own lavish overstatement and needs to be retooled to meet the needs of the population.
  4. It appears to me that religion has replaced God.
  5. It appears to me that men and women are very much the same 95% of the time, and I am a fool to focus on the trailing number.
  6. It appears to me that if I don’t lose some weight I will die sooner rather than later.
  7. It appears to me that my talent is sufficient to give me room and board for the rest of my life if I don’t freak out.
  8. It appears to me that I am more appealing when I’m not judgmental.
  9. It appears to me that God has given me eyes to see what appears, and have a sound mind to think good and pure thoughts instead of negative and dark ones.

Even though we find ourselves to be a generation of enlightened and knowledgable souls, we often remove the greatest gift we have by rejecting the responsibility that has been given to us: to learn and deal with what appears to be. 

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AIDS

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

AIDS: (n) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a disease in which there is a severe loss of the body’s cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy.

Honestly, when the first reports came out on HIV, I didn’t take it very seriously.

Why? Because there’s always some new disease or bird flu they’re trying to frighten us with, to procure our listenership on some news broadcast.

Even when it was obvious that many people were contracting the disease, and famous folks like Rock Hudson were passing away, I still didn’t quite grasp the concept.

Truthfully, it was a little difficult to get past the “screamers.” You know what I mean by screamers, right?

You had the gay community, which insisted that no one cared because the disease was manifesting itself within their conclave.

And the Moral Majority, proclaiming it to be the “gay plague.”

So I don’t think the brunt of the reality of HIV and AIDS hit me until I received the phone call. It was a young lady who had performed in one of my plays years previously. She was in tears. She explained to me that she was HIV positive and was married to a man who was the same. The reason for her call, though, was that she had discovered she was pregnant and wanted us to pray that the baby would not be born infested with the virus.

Here in the confines of one family was nearly every conceivable way to contract this affliction. The girl had become infected by heterosexual sex, the man, through homosexual contact, and the baby was being threatened by merely exchanging blood with its mother.

Suddenly, the full impact and horror of the infestation was brought home to me. Even though all of these people I mentioned are still alive due to progress made with pharmaceuticals, my heart is always softened to the notion of a person touched by this horrendous condition when I remember the three of them.

Perhaps that’s the way we all are.

Until something jumps over our white picket fence and lands in our yard, we feel we can repel it or ignore it. I guess we can be critical of that, or we can be fully cognizant that God is no respecter of persons:

Just as blessing comes to all b… so does trial and the tribulation.