Crucify

Crucify: (v) to nail the hands and feet to a cross

Origins.

The Greeks created gods.

They were empowered with practicality—for war, romance, wine and domination. Gods of convenience.

Buddhism has no god.

Instead, Buddha insisted that our weakness as humans is how human we are through flaunting our emotions.

Judaism is really a journey through a family of Bedouins led by a man named Abraham, who established their uniqueness by cutting off the tip of the foreskin of the penis.

The Muslim religion was formed to counteract the domination of the Jews and establish a people of purity, who spread their message throughout the world, using violence if necessary.

Christianity worships a man who was nailed at the hands and feet as a criminal who allegedly committed sedition against the Roman Empire.

The symbols are not terribly inspiring, are they?

The origins of faith don’t seem to be grounded in inspiration, brotherhood and equality.

The message of Christianity remains disheartening—the Prince of Peace visited the Earth, sharing a message of global unity. Our response was, “Fuck you—take some nails as you leave.”

I’m told that Jesus allowed himself to be crucified.

I’m not very fond of martyrs.

Is it possible that he was killed by the ignorance of all the other religions coming together to protect their financial security, and that God, in His infinite grace and mercy, decided to use the violent act as an opportunity to offer salvation to “whosoever will may come?”

Now, there’s a story I can walk with.

No, there’s a story that makes me run toward hope.

 

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Aryan

Aryan: (adj) a member of ancient Aryan people who speak an Indo-European language and who invaded northern India in the 2nd millennium BC.dictionary with letter A

If you will allow me, may I introduce you to the Practix Scale? It is my own concoction, device and perhaps to some, over-simplification.

It is a meter I use to evaluate the quality, value, intelligence and spirituality of human beings.

Although some people insist the white race is supreme and others plug into “black power,” there are also those who favor Native Americans, Asians and Hispanics.

Quietly, we are taking culture and using it as a club–to thud our neighbors with our own importance.

I’m not so sure we learned very much from Adolph Hitler, who was completely enthralled with the Aryan race and decided to declare war on any other genetic order.

In today’s society, we have exchanged the words “superior race” with “culture appreciation.” After all, why would I want to learn your language or blend with you in a melting pot if I can maintain the beauty of my obviously enlightened ancestry?

So the Practix Scale is a historical look at what nations, peoples, races and even religions have done throughout the unfolding of time to promote or avoid killing, stealing or destroying.

I give them a number between 1 and 100 as the percentage of time that they have decided to devastate instead of build.

I humbly offer my concepts, realizing that yours are probably much better, or at least more merciful:

  • Rome: 75 (Yes, 75% of the time, the Roman Empire killed, stole and destroyed instead of enhanced.)
  • Greeks: 42
  • Jews: 71
  • Muslims: 77
  • England: 53
  • Germany: 70
  • France: 48
  • The United States: 62

Well, I could go on and on.

But as you can see, pandering to pander to certain cultures to make them feel important is not nearly as valuable as Mother Nature determining the death toll.

Even though I come from a Germanic background and would have easily fallen into the category of Aryan, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Because the color of my skin, the cut of my jib and the shape of my chromosome makes little difference to someone when I’m killing them.

 

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Amphitheater

dictionary with letter A

Amphitheater: (n.) a round location for performing events, surrounded by tiers for seating.

I don’t know if the Greeks intended for their amphitheaters to be outside or not, but every amphitheater I’ve ever performed in was ala natural.

And here is the problem: there is nothing creatively hatched, artistically structured, musically composed or theatrically staged which is better when exposed to the mosquitoes.

The only people who actually like having their entertainment performed outside are cruel promoters and idealistic committees who think it would be “really neat.”

Such an event happened to me in Detroit, Michigan, when I was working a supper club and having great fun sharing music and a bit of hilarity with the audience over dried-up pot roast and light green chicken.

It suddenly occurred to the owner of this supper club that it might be a real public relations boost if we did one of the shows outside in the parking lot, creating our own amphitheater of chairs and signage, advertising the establishment for those passing by or willing to come and sit in folding chairs to listen to music that they could hear at home in their recliners.

Not only was there a dearth of attendance but we got a late start, and the dampness of the early evening created humidity in our speakers, so the sound, as we went along, became more and more muffled.

Perhaps the most aggravating part of this little “amphitheater adventure” of our promotional argonaut was when he came up, feeling the need to justify himself, and proclaimed with an unnerving jubilance, “It wasn’t that bad.”

Yes. That’s what every artist wants to hear–of the disasters available, you ended up with a broken paddle in a canoe on the Niagara River instead of bottom bunk on the Titanic.

Did I mention to you that I don’t particularly care for amphitheaters?

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Anno Domini — AD

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Anno Domini A.D. (Abbr.) :In a specified year of the Christian era; “in the year of Our Lord”

I think the closest I ever came was when the town council of my little burg where I was born considered having a day designated to me because the musical I had written was going to be premiering in the capital city.

Unfortunately, the measure was voted down because one of the members of the board was an old rival from high school who always thought I had cheated him out of something or other.

So I, who was unable to get a single day of honor in my city of kin, am greatly enamored–and baffled–by how a rejected carpenter from a tiny village in Mesopotamia, who ended up executed for crimes against the state, managed to get the date of his birth marked as the beginning of modern time.

You have to be honest–there is either something magical about that or this guy hired the best damn Jewish agent around. Am I right here? Even when his name is spoken out loud in anger, it’s still great advertising: Jesus Christ!

I know there are those who cannot believe in a SON of God because they don’t believe in God in the first place–very similar to not wanting to see the movie, Son of Flubber because you were disappointed with the first Flub.

But in thirty-three years of human life, he did something right. Maybe we shouldn’t try to study him so much theologically, but rather, analyzing the chemical reaction of human experience. What did he set off that caused such notice and took him from the tiny, fragmented vision of the Jewish people, to dominate the Greeks, Romans, Angles, Saxons and even the Afrikaans and the Chinese?

His message was simple. That was smart. Even though he never had a car, he realized that anything you want people to remember should fit on a bumper sticker.

  • “Love your neighbor”
  • “Love your enemies”
  • “Blessed are the pure in heart”
  • “You must be born again”
  • “Do unto others”

The list goes on and on. Matter of fact, his famous Sermon on the Mount is merely a hodge-podge of many, many sound bites and slogans, glued together by a devotion to mankind and God. The message was so simple that even those who were considered foolish could grasp it, even if they didn’t embrace it.

And for some reason, a hundred and twenty of the remaining followers of this teacher, who survived the horror of his crucifixion, were not only willing to dedicate the rest of their lives to spreading the message, but sacrificed their lives in a belief about his resurrection.

In other words, I think it’s safe to say that most human beings might pursue a hoax if all it meant was that you had to travel and stay in cheap hotels. But when you’re standing in front of a judge and he offers you clemency, if you deny the message and then you choose death, it’s difficult to believe that there is not some credence to the original experience.

So I shall not lament the failure of my local city council–to grant me a day of recognition in my home town. But I will use the awareness of that slight to be in awe–that as I mark my calendar today, I honor the person with the message of love … who got the ball rolling.