Betrothed

Betrothed: (n) the person to whom one is engaged.

Dictionary B

The pride that we have over our sophistication is not only comical but often ill-placed.

We have the most intricate system for pairing people into committed relationships that has ever been devised in the history of bipeds with brains.

Yet we also have the highest divorce rate.

So do we question this system of placing the entire experience of choosing a mate based on the level of our interest and financial security?

No. We continue to chase down love haphazardly.

Simultaneously, cultures which pair off individuals in pre-arranged marriages don’t fare any worse than we do. Do you know why?

It’s because marriage has nothing to do with love.

Hell, if we’re going to make this planet work, we all have to learn to love one another. (But that doesn’t mean you’ll exchange body fluids with the population as a whole.)

Marriage requires three unique impositions:

1. “I’m not going anywhere.”

If you believe that separation and divorce are options in your relationship, you will eventually pursue one of them. There is a power in thinking that we possess the intelligence to solve our problems.

2. “I am not satisfied with myself.”

Although it is very popular to be self-satisfied, trying to sell this to another person who sees you every day is ridiculous.

  • I need someone to help me overcome my demons.
  • I need a friend who will see those demons and not run away in terror.
  • And I need a cohort who will not be too judgmental when I invite my demons back in for a one-night stand.

3. Be prepared to laugh all the time.

Most arguments begin because we decide to defend or discuss stupidity instead of laughing at it.

Humor is what makes sex excellent. Since it is such a silly little practice, which is accomplished just as well among the monkeys, we dare not view it as serious or overly spiritual, or we become notoriously foolish.

I don’t care whether you date for fourteen years or if you met each other fourteen minutes ago.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m not satisfied with myself and I’m prepared to laugh” is what makes betrothal be-workable.

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Bastard

Bastard: (n) a person born of parents not married to each other.Dictionary B

Words of separation.

Perhaps our greatest mission during our Earth journey is to find terms, insults and references that separate us from one another, expose them for their prejudice and make them unpopular to use.

Without this, we begin to let the self-righteous and the domineering elite control the dialogue.

When I was eighteen years old, I got a girl pregnant. We loved each other. She got pregnant the same way people get pregnant who have marriage licenses. We just didn’t have the paper.

Yet there were people in my home town who had the audacity to refer to my unborn son as a “bastard.”

A little smile came across their face as they said it. It was reassuring to them that they found a way to be superior to me without needing to blame themselves for pridefulness, but instead, claiming to be advocates for morality.

About four months before my son was born, my girlfriend and I got married and have remained so for forty-five years.

Yet I will tell you, if I were to go back to my hometown and any of those judgmental people were still alive, they probably would recall that brief season when they were able to belittle me and relegate my child to insignificance.

What are the buzz words of bigotry? They are everywhere.

  • Hunt them down.
  • Mock them.
  • Kill them.

And bury them as quickly as you can in the cemetery of ignorance.

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Antic

dictionary with letter A

 

Antic: (adj) grotesque or bizarre

What happens when you use two words to define one word and the two words you apply–which were meant to be synonyms–have absolutely nothing to do with each other?

Because bluntly, I would have to admit that there were times in my life when people would characterize my actions as bizarre, but I would never believe them to be grotesque.

To me, grotesque means “ugly” and bizarre means “unusual.”

Unless we’re trapped in some 21st Century contention that if you happen to be a bit less than beautiful, you’re unusual enough to be considered grotesque. Is that the message?

And an antic is not an appearance, it’s an action–and I, for one, can think of at least four antics off the top of my head which were considered bizarre, if not grotesque in their time, but have proven historically to be life-saving:

1. John Brown attacking the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in an attempt to free the slaves.

If any of us had met John Brown we would have called him grotesque and certainly bizarre, with his zealous appeal against slavery and his antic of attempting the take-over of a government installation with a bunch of church friends.

It wasn’t exactly well-planned, yet the Union soldiers went into battle singing about his antic to inspire them to destroy an antiquated and evil institution of owning human beings.

2. Jesus of Nazareth calling himself the Son of God–or if you want to be really picky, not raising any objection when others did so.

How much guts would it take to have faith in someone you were sitting next to, who had just farted, as he contended that he was possessed of divine inspiration? I don’t know if I could have pulled that off.

Yes, believing in the resurrected Christ is certainly easier than following the unkempt Galilean.

3. Winston Churchill.

When Adolf Hitler had taken over most of Europe and had set his sights on the British Isles, Churchill and a few of his cronies decided to make a last-ditch stand against the tyranny of Berlin. It wasn’t popular and certainly the bombing of Londontown was grotesque and bizarre.

But the action halted the progress of the Third Reich, allowing time for the United States to rally and help chase the bully back into the bunker.

4. And finally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. who by the way was raised in an era when Jim Crow was not only tolerated, but was considered to be evidence for how the Old South was resolving the colored/white issue.

What a bizarre notion, to think that people of all colors should be able to ride on a bus together, when in your entire life you had been taught by your elders that separation was inevitable, if not righteous. And how grotesque it was to see little girls blown up in churches because your antics were being objected to by the white plurality.

I think the definition offered by Mr. Webster portrays that antics are displeasing and therefore perhaps should be shoveled away.

Yet without antics, we don’t have any of the practical nuts and bolts that somehow or another, miraculously hold this contraption together. 

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Amish

dictionary with letter A

Amish: (n) the members of a strict Mennonite sect that established major settlements in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere in North America from 1720 onward.

I grew up around the Amish.

Which in turn, means they also grew up around me. But you see, there’s the problem. They really didn’t.

They came into town to buy groceries. They were civil. They were kind. They were gentle.

It didn’t bother me that they dressed differently or that they all wore beards. (I guess the women didn’t…)

I wasn’t particularly upset about them living without electricity or the comforts of the modern world. After all, I went to a church camp or two where such restrictions were levied for a week to get us all mindful of things non-electronic.

It’s just that I have grown weary of all human attempts of separation, much to the chagrin of my family and friends who would like to hold on to a nice big slice of the popular culture, so as not to abandon existing relationships with friends who have reserved a lane on the broad path. I just don’t understand how we expect to co-exist–(Oh my dear Lord, forget that. Survive!) if we continue to build smaller and smaller boxes wherein to place those we consider to be more valuable–from our strain of DNA.

I, for one, am tired of the word “culture.” Has anyone noticed that the root of the word is cult? Normally we look down on cults. We consider them to be limiting, segregating and self-righteous. But I guess if you put a u-r-e on the end it’s ok, because it denotes some kind of honor of your ancestors.

I watched a show on PBS about the Cambodian community. Many of the young transplants from Cambodia have begun to hold weekly barbeques, eating only the food of their former land. It makes for a rather bizarre bit of recipes and diet, including cow intestines, bugs and various broths. The young people are very proud of it.

But here’s what I thought: there’s a bunch of people in their graves who would like to tell these youthful adherents that they would gladly have eaten hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken, but could only afford cow intestines. They would like to encourage their offspring to upgrade.

Much of what we call culture were merely survival practices of our forefathers and mothers, who struggled to get us where we are–so we wouldn’t have to partake of their pain.

So be careful.

If you want to live on a farm somewhere, turn off the lights, grow a beard and wear plain clothes, it is America and you are free to do so. But when you include the name of God in it, who claims to be no respecter of persons, and insist that there is some special holiness in doing without, I have to shake my head.

It won’t keep me from buying your food products, though. They’re really quite good.