Cynosure

Cynosure: (n) something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.:

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had a meeting with a fellow who dubbed himself “Bundy Boy.”

I don’t know why he selected this handle since it was nowhere near his name. But he was young, energetic, and full of what the old folks used to call “piss and vinegar.”

He agreed to have a meeting with me because he was thinking about promoting our little music group and taking over management of us—thereby assisting us in getting national attention, a recording contract and, well, just something far away from our poverty.

I remember it so well because he had a spiel. He called it “The Five Thingalings.”

I wanted to laugh, but after all, I was in a subordinate position, sitting in the office of a guy who might be able to throw some light in the direction of my shade.

It was the first time I ever heard this word: cynosure.

He asked me if I knew what it meant. I didn’t. So he explained, “It’s about what’s bright and shiny. Humans are human, but they’re also beings—and as beings, they’re attracted to… are you ready?” he asked me.

I was. He continued, “They’re attracted to sex, silliness, a sad story, beauty and money.”

I thought about it, had no reason to disagree, and so I nodded my head.

Confident that I was on his wavelength, he proceeded. “Cynosure is when you turn the lights up so people can see more clearly what you have to offer. That’s why you’ve got to be sexy. Everybody likes sexy. Even religious people like sexy. They don’t talk about it—but they think about it. And everybody likes to be silly. They pretend to be serious, but after a short time, they’re ready for a good giggle.”

“But,” he went on, “we do like a sad story. It cleans us out—makes us feel we’re really sensitive because we care about what happened to somebody on the rocky road of life. And that story—that story I’m telling you about—it’s much more powerful if it’s being shared from a beautiful package. Just as people like sexy, they like pretty. In their minds, sexy and pretty go together. Nobody feels sexy if they don’t feel pretty, or handsome. And of course, money. Even the Bible says that money answers everything. If you think about it, any problem that comes up in your mind—well, a nice stack of cash will go a long way to solving it.”

After Bundy Boy finished his speech, he sat and looked at me.

It was time for him to offer his evaluation of my “package.”

He was kind, merciful, but truthful.

“My friend,” he said, “you aren’t sexy. Now you might be silly, but if you’re silly and not sexy, it comes off goofy. I suppose you do have a sad story, but when you’re not sexy and not silly, and you have a sad story, people think to themselves, ‘well, of course. He’s a loser.’ And if you’re not sexy, the chance that you’re beautiful is small. And even though we pretend we like beauty on the inside, it’s only something your mother actually feels. And,” he concluded, “by looking at your clothes—especially your shoes—I can tell. You’ve got no money.”

He concluded, “So even though I like your music and I do like you, I can’t work with you. I can’t bring the magic. I can’t cynosure you.”

He stood to his feet and walked toward the door, which I assumed meant that I was also to stand and depart. He patted me on the back and offered a lame, “If there’s anything I can ever do, let me know.”

So I have gone through the majority of my life with no cynosure.

It’s been painful—but I have managed to eke out an existence.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Customer

Customer: (n) a buyer; patron

I have settled an age-old conflict in my well-traveled mind.

I am weary of philosophy, bored with theology, lack the “self” to give to “help”—and I’m allergic to politics.

I have decided life is not nearly as complicated as pundits, theologians and Madison Avenue may wish to portray. You just have to decide one quandary:

Am I the customer and God the store owner?

Or am I running a little storefront and God is the customer?

Am I trying to impress God with my wares, my righteousness, my worship and my Bible study? Or is God running a pretty magnificent manufacturing plant, and merely wants me to come in and enjoy the process, learn the assembly line, pick a car of my choice which will propel me in life—and be thrilled with the quality?

You do see the difference, don’t you?

In one scenario, I am a sniveling shopkeeper, certain that the customer is going to show up, despise my ambiance and find my products inferior.

In the other case, I arrive with great anticipation to a well-oiled operation, and it’s my job to enjoy the good stuff and admire the hell out of it.

If heaven is going to be about God and me discussing my attempts at purity and goodness on Earth, it’s gonna be a snoozer.

But if I show up as a satisfied customer from one of his plants to the Central location to be further wowed by the Boss’s management skills and ingenuity?

Then, gee.

It’s almost worth dying.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Administration

Words from Dic(tionary)

Administration (n); the process or activity of running a business or organization.

My stomach always churns a little bit when I am told that I need to “speak to the administrator.”

It’s not that I’m afraid of management or people in authority. It’s just that I like to be able to make a good case, be heard, be considered rationally and then have a decision rendered, free of prejudice.

Honestly, I don’t think any administrator has that scope.

I would never consider myself to be an administrator because formulating policy grinds my gears.

Why? Because I know if you’re going to be successful, your stance, mission statement and approach will HAVE to be altered to adjust to either changing markets or human behavior. The fact is, everything that has ever been “written in stone” crushes the human spirit instead of lightening the load.

Here’s the problem: when I talk to an administrator of a company, a college, a church or even a publishing house, I feel I am hearing from their mouths what they have decided is best “for THEM.” I never sense that I’m getting any consideration for what might be best “for US.”

In other words, it is being explained to me that whatever I wish to do to participate in their system will require the conformity of my thinking in entirety before they can even open the door six inches to peer at me to determine possible entrance.

This is the problem with government. People wait around for solutions, relief, medical aid, financial assistance, business loans and just their day in court, while the government acts out a drama of its own creation, asking these needy people to participate in it, usually wasting their time.

The church requires that any penitent soul discover all the oracles before receiving the blessings.

Even in the entertainment industry we must endure the agenda of those who deem themselves to be ingenious and creative before arriving at a piece of inspiration or enjoyment that is really beneficial to our being.

Yes, I’m afraid the minute you are given the title of “administrator” you are required to honor THEM and ignore US.

Is it possible to have an organization and still maintain some humanity? I don’t think so.

But I DO think you can have an organism that is a well-put-together ant hill–constantly evolving toward greater understanding and efficiency, based on making the lives of the ants easier