Commercialize

Commercialize: (v) to manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit.

The Erickson Bread Company is coming out with a new product.

It doesn’t seem unique–it’s a tasty wheat bread fortified with vitamins that has the softness and flavor of white bread.

Everyone at the company and in the board room is ecstatic. They feel they have a good loaf which could quickly be considered great if it were advertised correctly.

A debate rages.

In order to present their creation to the public, they feel they need to find the best way to commercialize it–and by commercialize they mean the most favorable and common vehicle to convey typical life being joyously invaded by the new Erickson bread.

It is concluded that it would be ridiculous to show a family sitting around the dinner table enjoying one another’s company, commenting on the bread.

Old-fashioned.

Out of step with the times.

They also rejected the notion of a man wearing a hard hat, seemingly oblivious to the lunch he’s about to eat until he bites into the sandwich and smiles at the tasty bread.

Too much emphasis on a male figure–and who really wears hard hats anymore?

So it is decided that the best way to commercialize the bread is to have an energetic young mother standing at the kitchen counter making sandwiches for her young son and little daughter, who are completely preoccupied staring at computer screen and phone individually. The mother asks them to taste the bread. Without looking up, they nibble a corner–and suddenly their eyes look away from the screens and move to their mother, still with dead stares, and say, “Umm. That’s not bad.”

The commercial ends with the announcer saying: “Erickson’s new wheat bread–claimed by children who are obsessed by the Internet as ‘Umm. Not bad.'”

Commercialize: a decision to give in to the situation of our time, representing ideas in a fashion which may only be applicable for a few months.

Unfortunately, not everything we do in life can be commercialized.

Amen.

 

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CD

CD: (n) Shortened form of Compact Disc

When I first started recording music, it was 8-tracks, and the process was initiated by releasing a 45 RPM record, followed by an album–33 1/3.

Once I learned how to do this process, and it progressed to 16 and then 24 tracks, suddenly appearing on the horizon was the 8-track tape.

It looked cool. It fit into, of all things, an 8-track player, which began to be standard fare in cars. All my friends encouraged me to start
making 8-track tapes, explaining that vinyl albums were a thing of the past. I held out for a while but eventually agreed to order some 8-track tapes which, by the time they arrived, had already become obsolete in the marketplace.

So I was a little gun-shy when I was told that cassette tapes were the wave of the future. I delayed for a long time, insisting on offering my vinyl album to the public. I liked it for many reasons, one of which was that you could place great art on the cover and also generate profound back-liner notes.

But eventually I had to admit that records were disappearing and cassettes were the thing. I grew accustomed to ordering cassettes, learning how to shrink my album art, when here came the CD.

Now I was really reluctant.

Car manufacturers did not immediately put these CD players into the automobiles–a bad sign. So I clung to my cassette tapes until somebody accused me of being a musical dinosaur. So I finally made the switch. By the time I did so, cassette tapes were so out of fashion that nobody even had a recorder anymore.

So now I travel around with CDs in an era when people consider them to be old-fashioned–since we can now “download.”

I am convinced that no matter what I choose to chase, it’s going to disappear down the rabbit hole. So for the time being, I will continue to pursue my CDs–until little children stand afar, pointing and laughing as I pass down the thoroughfare.

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Cajole

Cajole: (v) to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing.

Debate is a debacle.

We certainly should have learned that over the past few years. It is permission to insult without embarrassment.

Conversation seems to lend itself to insincerity, mainly because the truth required on the inward parts of the human being to create excellent fellowship is reluctantly provided.

Preaching is preachy.

Teaching is tedious.

Entertainment is crippled with the need to be commercial.

There is much that needs to be said. Deep in our hearts we all know that humility is not an option, yet we continue to tolerate the boastful and proud being given overuse of the stage.

There are many things we know to be true which seem to slink to the rear for fear of being called “old-fashioned.”

So it is the job of sane souls everywhere to use art, puns, humor and silliness to cajole brothers and sisters who walk among us to begin to think and feel again instead of settling for inadequacy.

Cajoling is when we realize we need to be merciful to the ignorant. Ignorance is not a sin unless it persists and gains power.

We need to catch it when it is still in a childish position–to be gently cajoled into repentance.

 

 

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Bearing

Bearing: (n) a person’s way of standing or moving.Dictionary B

It’s one of those old-fashioned words that only comes up during a conversation about a period piece in a movie,

“He or she carried himself or herself with great bearing.”

Unfortunately, even though the word is not commonly used, the surrounding fluff and circumstance still exist. Yes, there is an attitude we feel is necessary for human beings to confirm that they are getting their way and being accounted for something.

We believe this to be a balance of conceit and temperance. Therefore, since we’re not very good at temperance, we tolerate conceit in one another until we get sick of it and find a way to tear the conceited fool down, making him or her look stupid.

It seems to be a national pastime.

“Let’s build these people up, let them get conceited, and then criticize them when they get arrogant.”

It may be this generation’s goal to redefine “bearing.” Maybe we could establish that what makes human beings powerful is using their ability without advertising their horsepower.

It’s what we all like.

Damn, we just love someone who comes along and can pull off near-miracles without bragging about walking on water.

Yet simultaneously, we advertise that self-worth is established by waving your flag and insisting you’ve taken the hill.

We are in an odd time. So may I redefine “bearing?”

It is the process of finding something you can do, getting better at it before you advertise yourself, and then being satisfied with the fruits of your labor instead of requiring worship from the mob. 

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Basic

Basic: (adj) forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental.Dictionary B

Occasionally I make the brave journey onto the Web to look at what people are saying, thinking and doing.

I discovered an interesting trend.

We have become a nation which is obsessed with complicating and bitching. Sometimes we blend the two.

We bitch about how complicated things are, or we go into complicated explanations about the source of our bad attitude and bitching.

I saw a blog advertising an article entitled, “28 Ways to Make Your Life Better.”

28??

If someone gave you a recipe and told you there were 28 ingredients, would you prepare it?

Thus the popularity of hot dogs: put dogs in sauce pan with water, turn on heat, boil on high for three minutes, take off the stove, bon appetit!

Perhaps we’re just afraid of going back to the basics.

  • Do people think it makes them look shallow or stupid?
  • Do we fear we will be perceived as old-fashioned?

But since I fear that complexity will make me look like a simpleton, and simplicity has the potential of graduating me to genius, let me tell you the three basics of life that will get you through almost every situation. (I must apologize–there are not 28.)

But here we go:

  1. Try to be nice to people. And if you can’t, leave the room.
  2. Don’t lead with bragging. Humbly lead with your talent, taking a lower seat so that people can call you up to a higher place.
  3. Don’t buy, eat or pursue anything just because it’s popular. Stand back for a moment, wait, and see if it explodes, gives indigestion or suddenly plummets in following.

Basic.

It’s not called “basic” because it’s less–it’s called “basic” because it’s been around for a long time, and has proven its quality to be more.

 

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Antithesis

dictionary with letter A

Antithesis: (n) something or someone who is the direct opposite of something or someone else. i.e. Selfishiness is the antithesis of love.

It’s all about the word “as.”

Even though I may be criticized for arguing with Webster’s Dictionary, since it is considered to be the ultimate authority on wording and meaning, I must tell you that calling selfishness the antithesis of love is a bit old-fashioned, uninspired and lacks practical application.

Sometimes we just say stuff because we think it sounds noble. Things like, “selfishness is the antithesis of love.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I suppose if people were diagramming that sentence or looking for focus words they would choose love, neighbor or yourself, but actually, the key word is “as.” For after all, we actually do love other people in complete proportion to how we view and embrace “us.”

  • If we are plagued by too much insecurity, we tend to be suspicious of others.
  • If we’re too boastful and self-indulgent, we make the dangerous assumption that other people are the same as us, so we end up suspicious.

What truly is the antithesis of love is fear–and the worst fear in the world is to be afraid to honestly accept who we are.

Until fear is addressed, love is a theory.

Until anxiety is ministered to, we will have a tendency to fret and fume, allowing opportunity to slip away.

So if you take the big three–faith, hope and love–and look for the antithesis to each, I believe you will end up with a trio of human “nasties” which plague us all.

For I would say the antithesis of faith is presumption–people who assume that everything will be taken care of because they are special.

And the antithesis of hope is lying. Yes, nothing is more frustrating to our hope than when we are lied to by those who feel they can manipulate us.

And as I have already said, I believe the antithesis of love is fear.

What would happen if we just took one week of our lives and addressed the presumption, lying and fear which haunt our efforts, and reveal them for the charlatans they truly are?

At the very least … we might just begin to believe in faith, hope and love again.

 

 

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Antiquated

dictionary with letter AAntiquated: (adj) old-fashioned or out-dated.

I have never drunk alcoholic beverages nor viewed pornography.

It doesn’t mean I haven’t taken fluids into my body nor that I haven’t pleasurably released them.

It just means that I don’t like substitutes.

That’s what I think about alcohol, pornography, drug use, profanity and any number of imitators of joy, which fail to deliver the true impact of the experience.

Of course, my tee-totaling and puritanical attitudes are viewed as antiquated in this era of libertarian domination.

Old-fashioned it is, my friend.

But see, what I find antiquated is the assertion that after thousands of years of pursuing carnal futility, we still persist in advertising actions, vices, and practices that leave us, in the end, deserted and unfulfilled.

  • Why is it antiquated to try to find inebriation in life instead of a decanter?
  • Why is it antiquated to have a real flesh-and-blood lover instead of one darting across a computer screen?
  • Why is it old-fashioned to want to inhale the beauty of nature and life instead of the smoke from one plant?
  • What makes this so meaningless?

I am very suspicious of those who want me to give up some aspect of my choice and freedom in order to attain a more expansive expression.

I like being free.

It’s why, after all these years, I continue to battle obesity, even though the deck is stacked against me and it seems that I am no longer able to bluff with a poker face.

The absence of dependence is the presence of independence.

I don’t think it’s antiquated to want to be free.

I don’t think it’s old-fashioned to believe in life.

And I don’t think it makes me a grumpy old man to tell you that I, for one, am not going to bottle up my feelings and then try to find the answer … in a bottle.

 

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