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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Costar

Costar: (n) a performer, especially an actor or actress, who shares star billing with another.

That’s always been my problem with the concept of the Trinity.

Who gets the star billing?

After all, you have three characters who are supposed to be one, so trying to make any personality more important than the other might be shunning the funny wisdom on words that begin with a Csignificance of the others.

I suppose we think God should have top billing—and then Jesus would be the costar. And then they would do one of those things they do in movies with calligraphy, which reads, “And introducing The Holy Spirit!”

That’s probably the way Hollywood would do it. Hollywood believes whoever has the most money or can make the most money is the star.

But still, it’s hard for me to believe that in the Trinity, Jesus would be a costar. And since the Holy Spirit has hung around to do the clean-up work, we have to at least consider him (or is it her?) for significant placement in the credits.

And by the way, is there really such a thing as a costar?

We certainly would not want two suns. They’re stars, you know. Can you imagine them trying to outshine each other, and ending up burning us to a crisp?

Yeah, I have heard people say that in Hollywood: “Share the billing.”

I suppose it’s possible.

But there is one thing for certain. It cannot be denied.

You can’t be a costar in your own life.


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Colossal

Colossal: (adj) extremely large

When do things become so colossal that small starts looking big?

Think about it.

If you keep growing expectation and projects to outdo previous endeavors, not only are you making the marketplace insensitive to the joy of simplicity, but you’re also taking immense amounts of money and energy to trump others, when in the long run, the population is unimpressed.

One of the perfect examples of this is that Hollywood may make a movie for a hundred million dollars and sell a million tickets at the box office, while Sandy in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, will grab her phone and shoot her cat playing with a ball of string and have two million views.

Somewhere along the line, we have to get back to the notion that human beings need quality experiences, not quantity that’s pawned off as significant.

There was an old song from long ago that had a lyric which proclaimed, “Little is much.”

I find that if I can simplify the beauty of life down to the germ of an idea and present its purity, it has a much better chance of being well-received than some over-blown, colossal effort which hides the intimacy behind singing, dancing, explosions and Transformers.

 

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Chauvinism

Chauvinism: (n) prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender.

Chauvinism is an actual condition when the insecurity of one group of people forces them to usurp their authority by using domination.

It is not a “safe word” that women can use when they’ve lost an argument and want to change the subject to make it seem that they are being
attacked by some sort of Neanderthal.

Chauvinism is an actual predicament.

It is not a return to the past, but instead, a maintaining of the worst. For after all, there are many things from the past that we’ve abandoned just to make sure we don’t die.

For instance, it used to be avant garde to smoke cigarettes, and now it’s limited to Hollywood bad guys and white trash.

We do have the common sense to reject certain things of the past, like smallpox, measles and even the flu, which used to kill off thousands.

So the contention that we want to return to the “good old days” means that we want to go back to days that were not that good and nobody was really allowed to get old.

So what is chauvinism?

It is anyone who believes he or she is exceptional for any reason whatsoever. If you happen to be exceptional in some field, just do your work and let other people proclaim your excellence.

If you find yourself tooting your own horn, be prepared for folks to find you brassy.

There’s a danger even when referring to America as an “exceptional nation”–for the things that make us exceptional have absolutely nothing to do with the populace. They are the freedoms we purposely grant to those who are not always exceptional.

I must come back to my standard mantra: no one is better than anyone else.

You don’t achieve much by trying to contradict it, and the pursuit of believing it grants you the purity of heart to actually see God in the world around you.

 

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Boulevard

Boulevard: (n) a wide street in a town or city

Los Angeles, California.Dictionary B

I was thirty years old before I got there. I tried many times. My failed attempts made it seem even more charming.

I had an old beat-up van, so when I drove to Hollywood to see the sights, it was really quite comical to spot my vehicle in the midst of such sunshine and splendor–especially when we pulled into the parking lot across from the Chinese Theater where they have all the footprints of the stars, and my brood of children poured out of the side doors to explore. I’m sure the natives thought they were being invaded by the “Bluegrass Brigade.”

Los Angeles is full of boulevards and reminders of its opulence and place in American folklore.

When my feet finally got tired and I went back to the van before the rest of the kin, I was studying a map to the stars’ homes. As I read, I considered that most of these supernovas were dead.

I looked around at the wealth and prosperity and realized that these individuals, who were so revered from the silver screen, were once living, breathing human beings, walking the streets, and now seemed to haunt the region.

It gave me a chill down my spine.

Life is short.

Find your boulevard.

Travel well.

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Blurb

Blurb: (n) a short description for promotional purposes

Dictionary B Production bigger, promotion smaller.

It is the philosophy of Hollywood.

The explosions, action, mayhem and murder need to be huge–nearly beyond comprehension. But the title, description of the plot and dialogue should be as tiny as possible.

Anyone who is trying to interact with the American public must comprehend that the first step to being able to connect with the populace is to realize that they don’t want to read. An argument could be made that they don’t want to think. But certainly, limiting the number of words on a piece of paper to describe a massive idea is considered to be “Madison Avenue genius.”

I’m not even going to speculate on what these words should be, because as each week passes in this great country, which touts the value of education, we actually surrender more and more to a common stupidity.

  • Don’t use big words.
  • Don’t use unknown words.
  • Matter of fact, don’t use any words that were conceived before ten years ago.

In doing this, you will be able to write a blurb which explains your intentions to those who are intentionally acting dumbfounded by anything that isn’t recently posted on Facebook, Instagram or can be discerned through watching a YouTube.

 

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Blockbuster

Blockbuster: (n) a movie, book, or other product that is a great commercial success.

Dictionary B

“Tell me a story.”

This may be one of the first complete sentences that each of us uttered to our parental figures to delay our bedtime, but also procure an interesting tale.

What is it we like about a story?

  • We have to be able to relate to it in some way.
  • We have to feel something.
  • There has to be a surprise.
  • Maybe a conflict.
  • But the resolution needs to satisfy us–even if sometimes it is basically an unsatisfying conclusion.

Movies are made in Hollywood all the time. I can always tell when a movie is going to make lots of money but fall by the wayside and never be mentioned again–the word “blockbuster” is always assigned to it.

So even though hundreds of blockbusters have been made, garnered profit and slithered into the shadows, it is the simple flick that retains our interest and keeps us coming back for more.

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched The Princess Bride.

How about Shawshank Redemption?

I’m a sucker for Forrest Gump.

Meanwhile, the blockbusters don’t seem to carry the intrigue–because they ask me to watch instead of feel. I’m a human. If I don’t feel, I move on until I find something to feel.

So I completely understand Hollywood–they have worked out a system to make expensive movies minus some heart, which have great opening weekends and procure tons of money.

But even though it won many awards and was a blockbuster, Ben Hur just does not have the lasting appeal of It’s a Wonderful Life.

 

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Bandit

Bandit: (n) a robber or outlaw belonging to a gangDictionary B

“Bandit” is normally a word that would appear in the narrative of a novelist who has already used the terms “crook, hoodlum, robber and renegade” and finally resorts to “bandit.”

But “bandit” is an important word, even if I didn’t have to write about it.

Very simply, a bandit is someone who steals from you.

I can honestly apply the term to many Hollywood producers who have certainly been bandits by robbing me of precious hours of time with their inane offerings.

I have also run across bandits in the clergy–who have sucked my life out with some sort of sermon or homily, going down a gospel trail to end up at the cave of misunderstanding.

Let us not forget the politicians, who are bandits not only in their misuse of money, but also by crapping on the honor of representing “we, the people.”

But what really struck me as I looked at this word is how often I might be a bandit.

  • How many times have I quietly taken something that was not mine because no one was looking?
  • How many times have I robbed the needful respect and dignity of other human beings so as to make myself look superior?
  • Can I count the occasions when I have purposefully dominated the conversation for fear that someone else might actually gain a breath of appreciation?

Bandits steal.

Perhaps one of the worst attributes of terrorism is the fact that they disengage us from our sense of well-being and turn us into defensive weaklings, hiding behind our fear.

Bandits are robbers–and as robbers, they are crooked.

And from their crookedness they try to scare us away … from straightening the paths.

 

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Axle

Axle: (n) a rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the center of a wheel or group of wheels.dictionary with letter A

If I weren’t stupid, I would have no stories to tell. Smart people have a list of accomplishments instead of tales of mayhem.

I was a mere 24 years old and driving along in an airport limousine that looked like it should have been used in a 1940 Clark Gable movie. It had six seats in it, dual air conditioning units, and even had a metal cage in the rear to protect the luggage.

It was the most unpredictable vehicle I have ever driven.

First and foremost, you could not drive over 55 miles per hour because of some sort of “governor” they had placed on the engine.

But I was grateful to have it so that my singing group could travel across the country and annoy people with our increasing prowess.

One night as we were leaving Jacksonville, Florida, we noticed that the back passenger-side wheel was wobbling a bit. These are things a normal adult would be concerned about, but not a 24-year-old vagabond.

To counteract the wobbly wheel, I tried to drive faster. Suddenly I looked in my rear-view mirror and noticed that the back of the limousine was lighting up.

This seemed unusual.

So I pulled over and discovered that the rear of the vehicle was on fire.

I did have enough mechanical understanding to recognize that this fire was very near the gas tank, so I got the members of the group out, and we ran about a hundred yards away and watched it burn.

I thought about doing something brave, like taking off my shirt and beating out the flames, or trying to acquire some water from a nearby ditch to extinguish the blaze–but I didn’t.

We watched it like it was the latest release from Hollywood.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “The axle of my limousine is on fire…”

This was the end of my reasoning.

Fortunately for us, a truck driver arrived with a fire extinguisher and put out the flames as we gradually, but bravely, inched forward.

He was also kind enough to take his “breaker-breaker” radio and get us a tow truck.

The whole back axle was destroyed.

I guess someone felt sorry for us, and the man who worked on the vehicle replaced the whole axle, put on a new tire and only charged us $150. We even found a family to stay with while it was being repaired.

It was a remarkable event.

But still, every time I hear the word “axle,” I have the instinct to run like a little schoolgirl.

 

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Alphabet

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alphabet: (n) a set of letters or symbols in a fixed order, used to represent the basic sounds of a language

Sometimes I understand a concept and can even put into the works a plan of action, but become completely baffled during implementation.

Do you do that too?

Such was the case with a cereal called “Alphabets.”

As a kid, when I watched the commercial on television I saw children much like myself (except made more gaunt due to Hollywood’s requirements) sitting at a breakfast table, taking their little pieces of cereal and laying letters out on the table in front of them to make words.

It was perfect.

It was like going to school, feeling a sense of accomplishment upon completing an assignment–but then being able to eat it.

I was so impressed with what I saw during this advertisement that I begged my mother to buy me a box of Alphabets so that I, too, could sit in my nook and build my own personal dictionary made out of overly sweetened cereal product.

The only trouble was that every letter I pulled out seemed to be either an X or an O. Apparently the manufacturer found it easier to make those particular letters, so the box was not adequately stocked with all twenty-six representations used to form the English language.

They failed to share this in the commercial.

So by the end of breakfast I had dumped the entire box of cereal on the table in the quest of forming language, only to have my mother walk in and think that I was goofing around instead of pursuing the Rosetta Stone.

I can tell you of a certainty–there are absolutely no P’s, R’s or T’s in a box of Alphabets. I think I found two A’s, one E and four U’s.

I was vowelless.

So what I came up with were a bunch of Eastern-European-style words, a table covered with cereal and the dust that accompanies it, and an angry mother, who swore never to buy me another box of Alphabets.

The next week I found myself back to eating oatmeal, which, by the way, doesn’t evoke any other words than Y-U-C-K.