Day Tripper

Day Tripper: (n) a person who goes on a trip, especially an excursion lasting one day

I was well into my thirties before I realized my parents were very conservative.

I should have known.

My mother would tell absolute strangers that she voted “a straight Republican ticket.” That meant she walked in, pulled the lever down for all the “R” candidates, no matter who they were.

Honestly, throughout my high school years, I was not interested enough in politics to distinguish between the colliding hordes.

All I knew was that the Beatles came to America and I liked what I heard and my parents decided the Fab Four were communists, attempting to use African music to raise the heart rate of American youth, to lure them to their will.

Because of this, I was not allowed to watch them perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. I had none of their records. If one of their tunes came on the radio, I had to listen to a speech about how evil they were (while trying to hear the plea from them to “hold her hand”).

I had one escape.

My friend, Paul, would invite me over to spend the weekend at his house, and Paul’s parents liked the Beatles. His mother even said they were “cute.”

Unfortunately for Paul—who wanted to play basketball, goof off and eat foods his mother normally would not prepare unless there were guests—I sat directly in front of their stereo and listened to the Beatles for hours at a time. Matter of fact, Paul finally complained to me that I wore out part of the vinyl on a Beatle record because I played it over and over again.

It was the song, “Day Tripper.”

The guitar lick and the drums made me want to dance. I was fat, awkward and had never really thought about dancing before—but Day Tripper did it to me. Sometimes I forgot where I was and began my little dance routine, which made Paul look over and laugh at me. I didn’t care.

I wasn’t concerned about what the lyrics meant.

I wasn’t thinking about whether John Lennon was more popular than Jesus.

And I certainly was oblivious to whether Paul was dead or not.

I was a kid who heard a beat, who felt joy, and for a moment was transformed from my swirling uncertainty of adolescence into a jubilant being who actually believed that “love is all we need.”

It just “took me so long to find out.”

 

Damoiselle

Damoiselle: (n) a young woman or girl; a maiden

The joke is that employees at Federal Express read on a package, “Fragile, handle with care,” and toss that one even higher.

I’m sure that’s not true.

It is the instinct of the human race to rebel against the things we’re told to do.

This is especially true when we feel like someone is being picky or prissy.

So over the years, as women have been trying to establish their equality, the females have also accepted special consideration for being dainty when it suited the circumstances.

Because of this, religion, politics and business have been able to mask bigotry behind a sense of appreciation for ladies, deeming them damoiselles—because this title can place them in distress—and as we often saw in the cartoons, they were tied up and laid on railroad tracks, waiting for the hero (a man) to come and save them.

Many years ago, because I wanted equality with my “sisters in life,” I stopped phony recognition.

I hold doors open for women because I also hold them open for men, and even once, if I remember correctly, a dog or two.

I do not frantically run toward a woman carrying packages and take them from her, lest she break a sweat.

It is how women end up being handled rather than regarded.

It is why a word like “demoiselle,” though just a French translation for “woman,” brings with it the tentacles of oppression.

It’s a sinister way to make sure that women never gain the even footing their stance demands.

If I am working with a woman, I talk to her just as directly as I would her male counterpart. Amazingly enough, from time to time, some women regard this fair play as chauvinism.

Because privately, they want to plead for fairness but also want to maintain the perks of being carried along gently by men—men who are convinced they are innately weaker.

So I say to my dear friends who happen to be the “she-dom of this world,” you must make up your mind.

If you want to stand toe-to-toe, you probably should carry in your own boxes.

And if you want to be considered the same, then demand the same.

 

Damage Control

Damage control: (n) any efforts to curtail losses or counteract unfavorable publicity

Most really bad ideas are introduced through clever phrasings.

Such is the case with “damage control.”

Years ago, some executive sat down and tried to come up with a more palatable way to phrase “failure.”

Negating “we fucked up” and the insipid, “it’s not as bad as it looks,” he tried deception: “We were prepared for a possible setback all along, and even had a plan in place to address it.”

Oh, hogwash (if they actually do).

I am so tired of excuses, I refuse to make one (explaining my fatigue).

Politics is the birthing chamber for damage control.

Because every politician believes that he or she loses brownie points with the public by not being a “good scout.”

There is some sort of contention that if we don’t appear to be right even when it seems we’re wrong, that we will be court-martialed and not allowed to captain the ship anymore.

What makes it truly hilarious is that none of us really like people who think they’re perfect. The minute someone portrays to us that they are “incapable of errors or sin,” we immediately launch a campaign to find their sins and errors.

So what do we think we are going to achieve?

We can only outsmart people until we run up against somebody smarter. And if arrogance has taken such a hold on us that we don’t think we will ever come upon another human more intelligent than ourselves, then the real damage control is to quickly and comprehensively have our heads examined.

There is only one fruitful reply when it’s obvious that things have gone awry:

“We screwed up. So now, from that screw-up, with the help of good counsel and better ideas, we will try to screw it back down.”

Daisy Chain

Daisy Chain: (n) a series of interconnected or related things or events

 Bigotry doesn’t appear just because human beings are placed on the same planet together.

We don’t naturally hate each other.

Bigotry, intolerance and emotional mayhem are the conclusion of a daisy chain of unfortunate connections.

Since we know where this ends up—a random hatred—how does it begin?

What are the links that lead us to acting like the Missing Link?

When do we lose all our humanity and turn animal, emulating our jungle roots?

There is an unholy six.

When placed side-by-side and linked with false premises, these six generate the kind of treachery that assumes a national need to kill six million Jews or to steal the land of the native population.

It begins with insecurity.

Insecurity is a nasty itch inside us, making us believe we cannot be heralded for our good deeds if others are also being appreciated.

Insecurity loves to link up with jealousy.

Jealousy is foolish because it limits the value of what we do and overestimates the success of those around us.

After insecurity links with jealousy, then jealousy welcomes gossip.

Seemingly, the most civil way to destroy our competition is to verbally discredit them by making all seem abnormal.

When gossip has fully spewed into the atmosphere, it finds a settling place in allegiance.

The allegiance can be religious to God, patriotic to a country, political to a party, or even an exaggerated devotion to one’s family.

After allegiance has been established (on shaky ground) it embraces paranoia.

Paranoia compel us to commit irrational acts, forewarning of treacherous deeds.

We are looking for the villain behind every plot and the enemy around the corner.

Once we are fully paranoid, it is a simple step to allow our bigotry to control every decision.

This daisy chain is strewn throughout history.

But rather than allowing the historians to be the prophets who frighten us away from such foolishness and encourage us to gain security without hurting others, we continue to take all the timidity in our fearful souls and set the daisy chain of destruction in motion.

Curtail

Curtail: (v) to prevent, reduce or diminish

Imagine a door.

Standing at the door is a tall fellow—broad shoulders—a bit intimidating.

You are pleased to see that he has a smile on his face.

Yet as you stand back and watch, someone approaches the door. Our guard steps in front of it and says some words to the person that you cannot hear. He responds belligerently. The doorman holds his ground and the visitor stomps away, infuriated.

Now you’re curious.

You wonder what’s behind the door. Let me tell you. Yes, to make the story more interesting, I will let you know.

Beyond that door is joy without shame.

The acquisition of being happy with the world around you and pleased with yourself without being haunted with the regrets of bad choices or unnecessary shortcuts.

Are you interested?

So now that I’ve told you that, are you prepared to approach the door?

Of course not. You just saw someone rejected, and he didn’t look any worse or better than you.

Beyond all means, the worst thing, in our minds, is to be rejected.

Even in the pursuit of joy without shame, it wouldn’t be worth being refused entry, dragging your ass away, refused entry.

So let me give you another clue.

The man standing at the door will only ask you one question.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I didn’t say it was a great clue.)

Just one question.

You still seem perplexed.

Okay—let me give you one more clue. I’ll tell you what the question is.

That perked you up. Here it is:

What are you willing to curtail and change to receive joy without shame?

Be careful, now. Because all the religion, politics, philosophies and entertainment have flattered you and me to believe that we are fine the way we are. Just misunderstood.

Since our youth, we’ve heard it: “Be yourself.”

And now you’re coming to a door where you’re being told that you will be required to deny false gratification, insincere sentiments and dispel lies to come in and find joy without shame.

Are you prepared?

Are you willing to look into the face of politics and say, “There is no hope in you because you lie to me, thinking I’m a liar, too, and will understand your lies?”

You will have to gaze into the glassy eyes of religion and say, “I need more than eternal salvation. I require a human life that is abundant with experience.”

Can you curtail your faith that entertainment will provide the necessary food for your emotions, soul and body, and instead, call it out for failing to recognize your whole person?

And finally, push away from the false comfort of a pop psychology, giving you false confidence instead of challenging you to learn your world.

Are you ready to walk up to this “bouncer?”

Or do you need some time?

Yet I will tell you—the question will always be the same.

Certainly, the smile on his face will always be there, but the choice remains.

The decision is yours.

Are you prepared to curtail foolishness to gain wisdom and peace of mind? 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cursory

Cursory: (adj) rapidly going over something without noticing details

“America, love it or leave it.” (A cursory look at the history of our country and the value of patriotism)

“God hates sin but loves the sinner.” (A cursory expression of the love of God and the theology of grace)

“Men are men and women are women.” (A cursory comprehension of the human species and how the genders function together)

“Politics is a dirty business.” (A cursory excuse for accepting bad behavior as necessary maneuvering)

“Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other but they still love you.” (A cursory, bizarre explanation given for parenting which is neither rational nor practical)

“Young people are not as in tune with history and current events as they used to be.” (A cursory jab at an emerging generation by boomers, who sold out their rebellion for IRAs)

“Jesus would be a Republican.” (A cursory proclamation by those who fail to realize that Jesus was apolitical)

“Take care of the poor.” (A cursory miscalculation of what is involved in providing for those who are without means and often minus motivation)

Cursory is what is offered when agendas are put ahead of reason, and an engine is added to the rear.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Current

Current: (adj) new; present; most recent

I have never gone lockstep with the obvious.

I’m also quite reluctant to be in awe of the over-produced or exaggeratedly promoted.

I smile when people tell me that “the current position on something or other is as follows”—considering the fact that human beings change their minds more often than they change the batteries in their smoke detectors (by far).

Yet I know there are many individuals who are greatly impressed that something has been thrust forward for popular consumption, therefore making it the current fad.

Actually, one of the easier ways to make an immoral decision is to give heed and credence to what has the loudest promoter.

I’m not telling you that silence is golden, or obscurity invites purity.

I’m just saying that the easiest thing to do in life is advertise.

It doesn’t involve creativity, doesn’t require honesty and can change its emphasis in mid-campaign.

When I sit down and decide whether a practice is worthy of my support—one which has become current with the times—I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it encourage people to accept one another and also challenge them to be better?
  2. Is it honest enough to admit there may be error?
  3. Is it open to revision—or closed off because those who are pushing it want to guarantee the reaction they desire?

If it passes those three questions, I’m prepared to accept any current movement, spirituality, kindness, politics, music or interaction.

If not, I quietly walk away, let everyone play with their toy for a while, and then warmly welcome them back, helping them overcome the instinct to be jaded.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cure

Cure: (n) a method or course of treatment, as for disease

“I’m not sick.”

This is what I used to tell my mother on the days I wanted to go to school, go out and play or pursue some activity which was being halted because of “under the weather.”

Then there were the days I said, “I am sick.” I was trying to avoid a test, a bully or was too lazy to get out of my bed.

It carries over.

If everybody who was sick sought treatment, more people would get well. And if all the people who are truly well would cease to be paranoid hypochondriacs, we would probably spend a whole lot less money on medical treatment in America.

How do you know you need a cure?

When can you confirm there’s some sort of difficulty, impediment or disease which is keeping you from your best?

The problem with the medical field is the same situation presented by the political arena and also carries through into religious circles.

Cures are developed which are advertised and aren’t necessarily suited to the afflictions.

Politicians try to convince everybody that the economy, terrorism or health care are our three greatest issues. Are they? Will they bring a cure to our ills? Or is the dilemma actually that we still want to kick the shit out of each other?

In medicine, they get so excited about certain advancements and cures that they try to use them as a panacea for all conditions, while the conditions that really beset us—obesity, drug addiction and lack of physical activity—continue to hang around, making us sicker and sicker every day.

And in religion, a savior is offered who doesn’t seem to bring any more insight, wisdom or opportunity our way once we’ve been baptized and born again in our further confusion.

What is the cure?

Three steps:

  1. Ease the symptoms. Make people more comfortable.
  1. Find out where it hurts.
  2. Treat as lightly as possible. Don’t assume it’s a flesh-eating bacteria.

That seems to be the best cure. It’s one that people will tolerate.

Even though we’re all dying and will ultimately end in the grave—as dust and ash—we don’t need to do it every day.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cryptic

Cryptic: (adj) mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous

Some examples of cryptic thoughts.

It certainly was fortunate that there were ignorant black people in Africa so that American slavery could prosper.

President Trump would be a fabulous leader if he knew where he was going.

It is ironic that the Jews would consider it anti-Semitic to be blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus, even though their Council cast the votes.

Men and women are equally talented and intelligent—and there the equality ceases.

I shot an arrow into the air and I sure as hell hope it didn’t kill anybody.

I am happiest when I know some people are sad because there seems to be a limited amount of happiness.

The best Republican President acted like he was a Democrat.

The best Democrat President was probably a secret Republican.

People don’t seem to be able to just enjoy sex without thinking they are the best at it.

The more we envy others, the less the chance of ever possessing what they have.

Religion is about as close to God as politics is to freedom.

You can always tell when a nation is failing—it attacks its poets.

I blame myself for trusting you to have the intelligence to make the decision that has now ruined us both.

These are some examples of cryptic statements.

Such talk is fun.

Such talk is clever.

Such talk can start wars.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C



https://jonathanrichardcring.substack.com/

Cruel

Cruel: (adj) willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.

You do know that your clock doesn’t say, right?

I’m talking about when we casually cite, “The clock says…” and we note the time.

Since clocks can’t speak, they can’t say.

Some folks would say that’s being picky. (Actually, it’s a little trick you learn in writing to make sure you don’t have grumblers and complainers instantly mocking you because you claim to have a talking clock.)

But two nights ago, I caught my clock reading, “2:53 A.M.”

Suddenly I was wide awake.

It’s amazing that during some of these midnight stirrings, it feels like you could get up and build a bridge. And then, five hours later when you’re supposed to get up and bridge something, you can barely move.

We are strangely constructed, curiously functioning and unfathomable in our conclusion.

But since the clock read “2:53,” I decided to ask what the plot was. Yes—my brain always has some sort of idea it’s brewing, contrary to what I might think about during the day, and also frequently critical of my self-assured attitude.

The question on this particular awakening was, “How have I been cruel?”

When I’m better prepared—after the selection of my favorite shirt and a good breakfast—I would probably insist that I’m not cruel. But my brain was reading something else at 2:54 in the morning. So I stayed quiet and listened.

This is the lecture I received:

You are cruel when you withhold appreciation simply because you believe you’ve already expressed your favor.

You are cruel when you know someone requires a hug and you supply a handshake instead.

You are cruel when your friend has contacted you by text or email, and you arbitrarily decide to return it—the next day.

You are cruel when you hear an ignorant statement made in your presence and you let it go without comment, thinking it’s none of your damn business.

You are cruel when you turn into cement over an issue of spirituality, politics or morality because you think it makes you appear more righteous.

You are cruel when you comply to the mediocrity of a situation or the indifference of a room because there’s no need to be a boat-rocker.

You are cruel when you no longer believe you’re capable of being cruel.

I don’t like it when my clock reads.

I guess I’m just like everyone else:

I would be completely satisfied with an ignorant time piece.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News