Deculturate

Deculturate: (v) to cause the loss of the cultural characteristics of a people, society, etc.

Bad ideas don’t go away.

they just stumble off in the distance and shortly thereafter return, with a new cheesy slogan.

All the years I was growing up, the people around me tried to maintain their bigotry by saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

I was supposed to understand from this pronouncement that human beings of a certain color or culture would just naturally want to be with those who were like them.

First of all, I was never able to confirm that birds feel that way.

Matter of fact, I’ve seen them lined up on a wire above my head in all sorts of varieties. But I’ve always wondered, if the statement were true, why we wanted to be a bunch of birdbrains?

It is rare to hear that statement anymore—just as it’s unusual to go into a convenience store and see a sign reading, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

But this doesn’t mean the sentiment—the bigotry—has disappeared. Not at all.

It has all resurfaced under the glowing banner of “culture.”

And you can even feel sophisticated and intellectual while doing it.

But I will tell you—insisting that Native Americans “cook their bread just a little differently than we do” will give any prejudiced person a hard-on.

So it seems that we need to deculturate the Earth for a season, so we can value each other as brothers and sisters of one race, and then express preferences on pizza toppings and Christmas carols.

Otherwise, we will begin to believe that the small differences that may exist among us are license to declare that we are a planet which is multi-racial, clumping into our preferences and preferring to remain that way.

You may enjoy your culture.

But you do not have permission to use it as a way of alienating yourself from the rest of Earth’s human habitation.

Just as all baptism basically boils down to water, all human life revolves around our heart, soul, mind and strength.

 

Culture

Culture: (n) a particular form or stage of civilization

What if I don’t like your color?

I can’t really say that—it makes me look like a bigot. I can’t let you know that I’ve been raised so sheltered that the hue of your skin gives me the creeps. I associate your color with matters that are not desirable.

All I really want is for you to stay away from me.

I have noticed that insulting you doesn’t cause you to disperse. I can talk behind your back and make you feel uncomfortable, but there’s always a chance you will defiantly remain.

I can insist that you’re inferior, but then every once in a while, you do things to disprove my contention.

What if I just don’t want to change my opinion? If I’m open-minded, my brain might slip out of its casing and wiggle away.

What can I do to make sure you stay away from me, but at the same time not incur your wrath or revenge?

What will cause us to remain separate without making it seem like it’s social segregation?

I do not want to be condemned by the self-righteous souls who think they’re superior because they learned how to tolerate you.

I don’t hate you—I just don’t want you. Shouldn’t I be allowed to get what I want? I mean, America being free and all.

So me and my friends got together and came up with this great idea.

We’re going to pretend that you are different by establishing how unique you are—how outstanding your customs and the climate in your community.

We will admire your cooking without ever partaking.

We will compliment your music without downloading a single song.

We will ooh and ahh over your costuming as if it’s coming from a faraway land, humiliating our beige and brown.

We will explain that you have a way of doing things that’s simply marvelous—as we have a way of doing things that is equally proficient.

We won’t talk about things like racial prejudice or fear of mixing.

We’ll call it culture.

It sounds so…well, cultured.

In doing so, we establish that you have found your way of doing things and we have found our way of doing things and there is no reason for the two paths to cross or for us to talk you out of your preferences and abandon ours.

We have invented a new racism.

It’s friendly, seems educated and is flexible.

You have a culture.

We have a culture.

Now, if you’ll be so kind, take yours over there and we’ll keep ours right here.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cuisine

Cuisine: (n) a style or quality of cooking

The things that tickle me might make one believe that I’m a cynic (if you didn’t know how adorable I am).

I can barely contain myself from laughing out loud when people pronounce the word “cuisine,” putting as much French pastry in their accent as possible.

“Cuisine” is all part of this notion that people on Earth are different from one another because of their preferences. Actually, it seems we are still trying to divide one another up like a box of Crayolas, by color. Oh, people throw a fit when they hear me say that. We all want to believe we’re enlightened and free of prejudice.

But let me tell you something very simple about cuisine:

All the people of the Earth, in their diet, have a bread, a potato-like substance, and a meat.

How they make their bread or what their potato looks like or what meat they may choose depends on what’s available.

I could travel all over the world and have no problem at all.

I would just ask, “So what is your bread, what is your potato and what is your meat?”

I think cuisine becomes interesting due to the fact that we can appreciate how each human being (who is so much like us) chooses his or her way to fill their plate.

Honestly, there are a few exceptions, but most cultures are not that fond of green, leafy vegetables, and even eat fruit only on special occasions.

Certainly if they eat more of these fruits and vegetables, they’re healthier, but that doesn’t stop the Arab, the Israeli or the Russian from favoring their particular cholesterol-filled animal flesh.

In addition, every cuisine has its version of a sweet sauce, a barbecue sauce, a catsup and a mustard.

Check it out. You’ll find it hilarious.

So if you ever find yourself going to a restaurant where they’re serving the cuisine of Africa, just take a moment and taste some things.

Pretty soon you will find on your plate their interpretation of French fries, a roll with butter and a hamburger.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Arena

dictionary with letter A

Arena: (n) a place or scene of activity, debate or conflict.

I grew up hearing stories about Christians being killed in various arenas of the Roman Empire. Recently, I’ve discovered that some of these reports are erroneous and that the Romans didn’t really deem such uncontested murder to be entertaining enough to bump the gladiators off the sports line-up.

I was always curious about it.

I know the Romans were quite brutal, but what would be so harmful about the Christian philosophy, requiring it to be condemned in a public arena?

It is a message that attempts to be inclusive, and blend in to the mixture like yeast in dough, allowing for expansion without destroying the surroundings.

But of course, there are certain things that need to be placed into the arena of public debate, which are too often taken for granted. Perhaps I should remove the phrase “public debate.” We certainly have enough of that. There are people who make a living by stirring up trouble and never hanging around to clean up afterwards.

Perhaps I should say there are certain ideas which should be taken into the arena of our hearts, where they can be battled through to a conclusion which causes us to be non-harmful to ourselves and others.

1. Drug use.

Even though we’ve tried to make it an issue of freedom, in the long run, it is a medical dilemma.

  • What happens when any drug goes into our bodies?
  • How does it alter us?
  • Does it improve us?
  • Is the improvement worth the alteration?

2. Killing.

The trouble with killing is that it’s very permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary murder. Since it tends to hang around forever, we might want to think a bit more about enacting it–whether it’s war, guns or abortion, would it (pardon the expression) kill us to consider, in the arena of our thoughts, the ramifications of our deeds?

3. Intolerance.

First, I don’t like the word. It has an arrogance about it which connotes that I reluctantly “tolerate” something or someone. I actually prefer the word “indifference.” There are many things I disagree with, but since I don’t have to participate, why should I care?

Do I really think God in heaven is sitting around musing over color, culture, sexual orientation or preferences? If He is, He’s a real nudge and a brat.

Since He made us inconsistent, He might just want to be patient with our inconsistencies.

Every single day of my life, I try to go into the arena of my heart and think about these three monsters that have basically been welcomed into our midst and devour parts of humanity without our permission as we allow them to lumber about.

I don’t like drugs.

I’m against killing.

And it’s not hard for me to be indifferent about things that aren’t my business.

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix