Chicanery: (n) the use of trickery

I keep finding closets.

Little tiny storage places inside my soul where I’ve tucked away mistakes, vices and little lies–so therefore I don’t feel the need to confess

I was struck recently by the fact that a lie is the absence of the truth, or an evasion. That’s tricky business.

As I’ve traveled across the country putting together press releases, I have adopted some “promo talk.”

What is promo talk?

It is the truth being adorned by a very attractive, but sometimes flamboyant hat.

It is a face which is beginning to wrinkle, disguised by heavy makeup.

It is that little piece of elaboration that makes a story seem more powerful, but may not exactly be the completely factual.

Even though this kind of promo talk is considered normal human banter, it has begun to bother me.

Because once you join into the practice of chicanery–the pursuit of deception–it is very difficult to insist that your chicanery is better than other chicanery.

It’s not so much that the truth is hard to tell; it’s just that the truth just never makes us look as good as we want to look.

If we will cure ourselves of the ridiculous notion that status can be acquired through lies, and we cease to be ashamed of our own journey, we can become liberated from the need to expand our story, in order to impress.


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Association: (n) a group of people organized for a joint purpose.dictionary with letter A

“Guilty by association.”

What does that mean?

I guess the definition would be, “because I find myself in the proximity and influence of certain individuals, I am therefore equated to possess the same character.”

Even in the definition afforded us by Mr. Webster, we have two words that immediately seem to be at war with each other: “organized” and “purpose.”

For often, you see, the purity of a purpose is greatly diluted by the process of organizing.

A political party may begin on the premise that “all men are created equal,” only to end up with the evolution of “equal men are all created.” It’s a twist in the phrase which allows us to determine that certain people are not equal because of their intelligence, background or even hue.

It is in the process of organization that we often lose our purpose, and end up in an association with other individuals who share a common name, having abandoned a royal theme.

I am a Christian. Yet I am often hesitant to speak that aloud because it conjures images into the mind of the hearer that are contrary to my true heart and beliefs.

On the other hand, if I don’t claim any association, I can be viewed as a renegade or a heretic, off on my own, trying to create god in my image.

It is tricky business.

So it is my practice to not join associations–especially when they spend more time organizing than pursuing purpose. 

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dictionary with letter A

Aren’t: (contraction) are not.

Tricky business, this game of words.

One wise men said by them we are justified, or on occasion, condemned.

Aren’t is one of those words which has caused more trouble than we can imagine. It is the favorite contraction, and verb, of prejudice and bigotry. For after all, it has no personal application. I can’t turn to you and say, “I aren’t.”

The word is only applied to others, to limit their capabilities:

  • You aren’t pretty.
  • They aren’t talented.
  • We aren’t as dumb as they are.

It is a word without a mirror, peering at other planet-dwellers with a jaundiced eye and dipping into the well of our experience to determine their value.

It is always ambiguous and never leads to a sense of understanding. Even when we say something like, “They aren’t coming to the party,” hanging in the air is a sense of uncertainty about the reason for their absence.

Beware of words that are geared to attack others and have no function in revealing oneself.

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


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Align: (v) 1. place or arrange in a straight line. 2. to give support to a person or cause

The technician was frustrated.

He could not for the life of him get my 1957 beat-up Chevy to align its wheels so that they were balanced and equal.

I had brought the car in for the process because it was bumpy and the tires were wearing out very quickly. Unfortunately, the uneven treat wear was on the inside of the tire, where I couldn’t see it so I always thought my tires looked like they had tread–right before they blew out.

But try as he might, he could not get the tires to align.

I’m sure he was curious why my car was in such bad shape. You see, I was a teenager who had inherited this piece of junk, and treated it as if it were a WWII surplus tank instead of a more fragile mobile.

Case in point: I’d heard about an unpaved road that ran alongside a local river, which was great fun to drive on, and also park with your girlfriend. So without doing any reconnaissance whatsoever, I picked up my lady and we drove down there in the dark, found the bumpy road, and before we realized it, came face-to-face with what appeared to be about three-and-a-half feet of water, which had come over the trail due to recent heavy rains.

Well, there was no way to go backward in the dark. After all, there was no actual road.

So pulling together all the elements of my immaturity, I drove through the huge puddle, rocking and spinning, until after about ten minutes, I freed myself to the other shore, only to discover there was an embankment that went straight up a gravel hillside, to meet up with a highway above.

The climb seemed impossible. Yet what was more unlikely was me calling my parents to tell them that my car was stuck on a non-road somewhere near a piece of over-run river.

So I gassed it up, climbed, and after about the fourth or fifth attempt, banging and crashing my car into the hillside, I made it to the top as my girlfriend cheered my mighty virility.

So even though the technician was baffled by his inability to get the car straightened out, it seemed completely logical to me. After a while, I just told him to do the best he could to align the wheels.

“Just try not to make it too bumpy, so I won’t kill too many tires.” He rolled his eyes but quietly went to perform the task.

Aligning things is tricky business. Especially if you’ve done your best to bust things up.