dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.



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


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accommodate: (v) 1. of physical space, esp. a building, provide lodging or sufficient space for 2. to fit in with the wishes or needs of.

Yes, I am susceptible to being sucked up by the vacuum cleaner of publicity.

So when HBO announced that it was doing a movie on Liberace, I felt somehow compelled to tune in to see how the subject matter was handled, especially when the performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were touted as awe-inspiring.

I even know this morning that I am supposed to appear to be “intellectual” and part of the flow of our entertainment-minded society by accommodating to everybody’s wishes and making favorable remarks about this offering.

Here’s the basic premise: a guy who can play the piano and not much of anything else, who dressed like a drag queen and lied his entire life about his true personality and sexuality, while simultaneously going through a whole series of obtuse relationships, with the main one being quite emotionally abusive, ends up contracting AIDS and dies in the midst of a cover-up to still convey that he is heterosexual.

Is there anything redeemable here? In the midst of all the discussion about gay marriage and gay rights, this movie flops across the screen, essentially warning us of many of the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

It’s difficult for me to accommodate a society that does not need any traffic to involve itself in an accident. Socially, spiritually and culturally, we keep running our cars into the wall and getting out angry because our vehicles are dented, but having no one to yell at but ourselves.

Of course, we won’t do THAT.

Here I go. At the risk of coming across as out-of-step, failing to accommodate the general hum and drum of our present-day thinking:

People aren’t interesting to me unless they overcome difficulties and find a way to help others.

Creating difficulties for yourself and expanding those problems throughout your life, while displaying a single talent which garnered some sort of notoriety, is not what I call an inspirational tale.

It’s not even a cautionary tale, because it leads people to believe that you can be a successful asshole. I just think that’s an oxymoron. I think if you’re an asshole, we have good reason to question your concept of success.

I do not begrudge the talent of the actors, nor the quality of the scenes. I just think that if the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life would have had a 2013 ending, with George Bailey gunning down Mr. Potter in the street, it might not have had nearly as much lasting effect.

And I will guarantee you, even though I am tempted to accommodate my present surroundings with nods of approval, the present flow of thinking and what we deem to be enriching will be a source of mockery within two decades.

I do not wish Liberace nor his family any ill will. I think he was a very disturbed man, living in a cautious time, who chose insincerity as a protective blanket for his bewilderment.

I just don’t know why it’s a movie.

If you’re going to accommodate all of the fits and fancies of the world around you, you will always find yourself the joke of the next inspired movement that uncovers the present stupidity.