Community

Community: (n) a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

Our little village was filled with community pride.

It was cute–a little bigger than a postage stamp, yet you could walk around the entire downtown area in less than ten minutes.

Growing up there, I was taught that community is not so much sharing a location, but rather, absorbing a basic ideology.

I’m not sure who came up with the standards or the principles which were passed down among the locals and inhaled like air, but generally speaking, you could do well in my community if you understood the mindset and the dress code.

If for some reason, you wanted to vary from the common universal brain, or clothe yourself in such a way as to gain too much attention, then you were initially viewed as comical.

If you persisted, you went from comical to being deemed confused.

And if confusion was maintained, then you would be considered dangerous and need to be dealt with by the negative approaches established by our community.

It was a very successful system.

We were able, through this system, to keep all blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians and long-haired rock and rollers far from our borders–without ever firing a shot.

The teeny tiny handful of those who remained were simply ostracized–or maybe just received really poor mail service.

None of the people in our community considered themselves prejudiced–just enamored by a preference. After all, if you wanted varying behaviors, you could drive twenty miles down the road to the Big City, where there were all sorts of options available, complete with rape, murder and a variety of other crimes. We were thoroughly frightened of the outside world, without ever being officially indoctrinated into a cult.

But our community was a cult.

I found this out when I wanted to stray from the daily routine and pursue my own ideas. No one struck me, no one physically attacked me, and no one even openly rebuked me. They just left me out of everything.

The system works to this day. All across America little towns have a network of gossipers who warn of suspicious arrivals, allowing the community a chance to provide the inconsideration to drive good folks away.

 

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Colloquialism

Colloquialism: (n) a word or phrase that is not formal, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

When did “fuck” become a colloquialism?

I apparently was out to dinner, and came back and there it was–all over my answering machine, Internet and television.

Was there a meeting?

Did anyone consider that trivializing such a powerful word was taking away the ability to use it when describing murders, mayhem, evil wars and genocide?

If everything is fucked then nothing is truly fucked, am I right?

If you discover that your hard-boiled egg is really soft-boiled, “fucking” that situation removes the potency to rail against some dictator who murders children.

Some words should not be colloquial. They should be saved up for special occasions when we need to rally with just the right word to rattle the room.

And it’s not just the word “fuck.”

I don’t like it when “sensitivity” is overused. Sensitivity is special. It shouldn’t be used when somebody brings you a second napkin.

And how about love? Yes, the word “love” has become a two-bit whore giving a blow job in an alley, or people explaining that even though they beat their children, they really do “love them.”

What? Did I take a really long nap? Am I Rip-van-Something-or-Other, waking up to the world going insane for no particular reason?

If I say “I love you” I want it to mean something.

If I discuss sensitivity, I want you to sense my heart and deep-rooted commitment.

And if I say “fuck,” I damn well want it to be fucked.

 

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Cloven Hoof

Cloven hoof: (n) a divided hoof ascribed to the Devil

I refer to it as “descending theology.”

It begins with a plausible notion and ends in the deepest dumpster of superstition. Let me give you an example:

There is a Creator who made the Universe.

Now, you may not agree with this, but at least the concept itself has some plausibility. In other words, if there were an eternal force, this
Unit would be able to hatch a Universe.

Yet from that point on come descending assertions, affirmations and doctrines about this Creative Force. For instance:

He had a son.

He decided to kill his son on a cross.

He believes in witches.

He had little children murdered because they laughed at a prophet.

You see what I mean? Whereas the original idea may have been feasible, when more and more tales of the bizarre are added, the theology descends into the graveyard of Mount Olympus.

Let me try another one:

There is evil in the world. (All right, I’m with you)

That evil appears to be organized. (Sometimes certainly feels that way.)

The mob boss of evil is named Satan. (You’re losing me…)

Satan is not really human or angelic, but rather, a creature. (Okay. I’m backing out of the room.)

Word has it, he walks on cloven hoofs. (Now I’ve turned and I’m running away very fast.)

If we were able to believe in God without the deterioration of descending theology, which turns everything into R-rated nursery rhymes, we might be able to take the better nature of our Deity and find it inside ourselves–and love one another.

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Cigarette

Cigarette: (n) a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking.

If you live long enough you will see nearly everything in your life go through the natural Earth cycle.

It begins with “interesting.”

Then it becomes “cool.”

It passes through a phase of being “plagued with some difficulty.”

Following that comes “seems dangerous.”

And of course, the final step is “lethal.”

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Why don’t we take something that would seem unlikely to apply to this category–like politics?

When the idea of starting a democracy in the New World was tossed on the table for discussion, it was deemed very interesting–so much so that we wrote several documents and put together a club.

After the club got together for a few meetings over some “brews and snuff,” we were enamored with the possibility–just jazzed with its coolness.

So we started political parties. The consensus was there should be at least two so there could be discussion. But immediately each party desired to be the predominant one, which led to some nasty exchanges, false accusations, and the introduction of cheating. Election after election began to prove out that winning was more important than truth, justice and the American Way. Difficulty arrived like a “plague of congress.”

So laws had to be passed because we were in danger of losing the freedom we had hoped to achieve because we allowed the politics to steer policy.

And then, all at once, with one cracky voice, the people proclaimed, “Politics is damn lethal.”

I bring this up because the same thing happened in my lifetime–and yours–with cigarettes.

At first they were interesting. Then cool. Next, plagued with some difficulty, proclaimed dangerous, and now seen as a nasty piece of our social sappiness, murdering people with tar and nicotine.

I often wonder if it’s possible to stop, while musing over something being interesting–and jump ahead to find out if it’s deadly.

 

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Cheek

Cheek: (n) either side of the face below the eye.

To write or not to write–there is the question.

As a scribbler of ideas, my “ham” needs to be “let” out at just the right time. Should I talk about butt cheeks? Or take the higher road and
turn to the other cheek?

I could do both. Perhaps the concept the Sermon on the Mount intended us to employ was to moon people, and then allow them to smack our ass. Unlikely possibility, but certainly tickles my innards.

“Yes, my children, when you run across people who mistreat you, pull down your pants and show them your gluteus maximus. And if they decide to slap it, turn the other one to them.”

Of course, I don’t really feel this was the original meaning.

No, there was once a person who walked the Earth who thought it was better to offer the soft tissue of the face, to be bruised, rather than striking out with mayhem and murder.

You can’t break a cheek. It just bruises.

And in that split second–when you decide to turn the other cheek–you let people know that you continue to take the stance of being non-violent, buying time for reason to enter the soul of your adversary. Therefore he or she might give up the attack.

It is risky.

But it certainly is not as risky as reaching up quickly to remove the eye from your enemy, trying to see through your bleeding socket.

 

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Brutal

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Brutal: (adj.) savagely violent.

On occasion, I comically refer to human beings as “monkey angels.”

A little bit of jungle, a little bit of heaven.

Because of this mixed breeding, the climate for our species requires a careful mingling of tough and tender.

I get in discussions with my sons about this all the time. They are convinced they can watch Dictionary Bmurder and mayhem in the movies and experience brutal treatment of God’s children, and be no worse the wear.

But the true diet for our spirit is an enduring toughness about complications and a tender empathy for our fellow-travelers.

In other words, celebrating, commemorating and being challenged by those who overcome difficulty through their determination, while emotionally impacted by gentleness among all brothers and sisters.

We’ve flipped it.

I think we try to be tough with our dealings with each other as we tenderize ourselves with decapitation, devastation and depravity.

It screws us up.

So I, for one, have no desire to become stronger by watching brutal acts.

Brutal is for brutes.

And “brute” is the part of our monkey that wants to act like a gorilla.

 

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Broken

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broken: (adj) damaged and no longer in one piece

I walk with heavy hooves.

So recently, when I was passing through a lobby, I felt some of the tiles creak under my feet.Dictionary B

It was a bit embarrassing.

I looked down and there was no evidence of damage. In other words, nothing was broken.

But because I felt that “take from my give,” and heard that sound, I had to believe there was a weakness in those tiles. In other words, somewhere along the line, one of them was going to break because I passed by.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps that particular tile was just too tight or had some unnecessary stiffness which was merely relieved by my passing.

How do you know when something’s broken? How can you be sure that it requires repair?

Because I have been sick and performed at a top-notch rate.

I have sprained my ankle and still gotten around from place to place.

So I guess the definition is pretty simple: something is truly broken when it stops working. It ceases to perform the function it was intended to achieve.

There are many things in our society that have been broken for decades, which we continue to pretend are just fine–free of the need for repair.

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Marriage
  • Child custody
  • Abortion
  • Murder

Well, I could go on and on.

These are things that are obviously broken, but because we have people hold them in great regard, we promote their strength.

Sometimes it’s good to admit something’s broken.

Because I am often astounded … how quick the fix.

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