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.

Cut-throat

Cut-throat: (adj) involving the use of ruthless measures.

Human vice is not nice.

Sin will never actually win.

Mean is obscene.

Most of the end results of our actions are not accidental, but instead, deposits we’ve made which finally produce a dividend.

These deposits could be kindness, creativity, generosity, humor and tolerance.

Such soul-stirring emotions offer remedy.

But we can also deposit disappointment, despair, prejudice, anger, envy and lust.

These pernicious villains always bring about a cut-throat conclusion.

Yet the debilitating devastation left behind is not accidental.

  • It’s not because we “lost control.”
  • It’s not because we “got pushed too far.”

It’s just that we were not wise enough to know what to keep and what to throw away.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Alfalfa

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alfalfa: (n) a legume with clover-like leaves and bluish flowers, native to southwestern Asia; it is widely grown for fodder.

It’s really quite amazing.

I will never be able to consider alfalfa a legume grown for fodder. Instead, the fodder of alfalfa, to me, is a scrawny white boy with painted-on freckles, black hair parted in the middle, with a huge cow-lick sticking up in the back.

Yes, I’m talking about the young man who was the hero, sometime-villain, and always dopey foil of every ill-conceived plan from the cartoon, The Little Rascals.

Recently, during a particularly satisfying episode of channel-surfing, I stumbled on one of these grainy black-and-white productions done in the 1930’s and 40’s. I decided to watch.

It surprised me that as a young kid I would have been drawn to this adventure series. First of all, we don’t need to discuss how television negatively affects children today, when back then we sat them down in front of the box to watch The Little Rascals.

They were a nasty and cantankerous group of children, who did their best to perform evil pranks on their adversaries and promoted the bigotry of the day with a wide-eyed, purposely dumbed-down black child named Buckwheat.

Alfalfa was especially annoying to me. But I realized he was the exact representation of what makes America so mediocre.

  • He wasn’t as attractive as he thought he was.
  • He wasn’t the leader he thought he was.
  • He wasn’t as successful as he thought he was.
  • And just like so many of these musical shows on TV today, he couldn’t sing as well as he thought he could.

I kept waiting for something redeemable to come out of the escapade–some sort of Aesop moral which a young child could take away from the television set and proudly say, “There. I learned something positive today.”

It just wasn’t there.

Matter of fact, if some of the deeds of The Little Rascals were taken to juvenile court, they would definitely be spending some time behind bars, eating chicken pot pies.

So the word “alfalfa” is perhaps ruined for me forever because it represents a bratty, snotty, untalented young boy who thinks too highly of himself.

So please forgive me for failing to recognize the agricultural possibilities. Yes, I guess alfalfa is supposed to be a legume.

But on The Little Rascals he was a fruitcake.

Abstruse

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abstruse: (adj.) difficult to understand; obscure.

I’ve never been a great fan of rules.

I certainly understand the importance of having guidelines and restrictions. It’s just that people who enjoy enforcing rules are also intrigued with making more and more of them until they tighten a rope around the neck of all possible thinking. So it becomes obvious to me that when you live in a society which is more interested in establishing rules and regulations than in making progress, you are freely admitting that creativity has been abandoned in favor of critique.

There are things that are obtuse–and, as I discovered today, abstruse. They continue on by the sheer will of accountants of the human heart, who want to tally each and every emotion, to make sure it has not become overwrought or flamboyant. They desire a world of calmness, with the concept of peace and quiet superseding the natural violence of human evolution. Although it is impossible to achieve such a status, they continue to propagate the notion that decent and normal people require an environment of tranquility in order to be happy and free.

The truth of the matter is, nothing is really like that. Every time I step in front of a group of people and share my opinion, I have to be ready for the fact that my ideas will either be viewed as radical or outdated, depending on the temperament of the hearer. Everyone in the world needs to be prepared to be abstruse–otherwise we start believing that wisdom begins at the tip of our nose and ends at the back of our hairline.

It doesn’t.

So what IS abstruse?

  • How about spending billions of dollars fo elect a President who more or less, because of  political gridlock in our country, becomes window dressing for a parade instead of being a leader of the people?
  • How about continuing violence on television–especially towards women and children–under the guise of producing entertainment, and pridefully insisting it’s not as bad as including human sexuality?
  • How about religion that maintains a stronghold of superstition instead of encouraging us to become better human beings and more loving to one another?
  • How about a 24-hour news cycle that barely has 24 minutes of actual news, but has to pay 24 reporters to cover 24 stories which really boil down to 2 worthwhile projects?
  • How about reality shows which demonstrate the darker part of our nature so we can vicariously view wickedness while simultaneously patting ourselves ont the back for being better than the worst villain?
  • How about agnosticism which plays itself up to be intellectually superior because it is absent the dogma of faith?
  • How about the fact that we claim to be a free country, while periodically forbidding human rights to one another based upon whim?

You see, if we want to find things that are abstruse, we could construct a very good list which could be addressed to give us fruitful conclusions. Of course, we probably won’t. Most of the things I listed make immense amounts of money for a few, so they will never be rejected.

But it doesn’t keep me … from ignoring them.

Absinth

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absinth:  (n.) 1. the shrub wormwood 2. a potent, green aniseedflavored liqueur that turns milky when water is added. Prepared from wormwood, it is now largely banned because of its toxicity.

All right, my imagination went nuts. Here’s what I see: a rather smarmy middle-aged gentleman, dressed in an unkempt, off-white linen suit, with beads of sweat sprouting around his brow, sitting in a large chair with once-lush velvet cushions, now a bit threadbare, presenting a chalice of drink in the direction of our hero, with a tiny, wicked smile on his lips, speaking in a broken accent: “Here. Drink. It’s dee-lee-cious.”

Our hero pauses, knowing certainly that this offering of refreshment is laced with some sort of poison–probably from wormwood. But to keep the upper hand, he takes the cup and downs it with one humongous gulp. He wipes his mouth with his sleeve and says in his best Midwestern, American accent, “Best I ever tasted.”

Our villain begins to laugh and cackle, giggling uncontrollably. “It is poison,” he says, sporting a bit of drool at the corners of his mouth. “And only I have the antidote.” He holds up a small vial which looks like it would contain really expensive eye drops.

At this point, any variety of plot twists could occur. A wrestling match for the antidote. Or perhaps our hero masterfully regurgitates the contents of his stomach, explaining that figuring our wicked friend would conjure a devious plan, he had surgically had his stomach lined with polyurethane to protect him from all poisons.

I don’t know. I decided a long time ago that it was much more fun to be a little wacky than being straight-laced and narrow-minded. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want to drink anything extracted from wormwood. Of course it’s going to be poison. Sometimes the name says it all.

But there are those people who call themselves adventurers, who are not excited enough about the prospect of breathing normally, moving around and enjoying pizza–so they want some danger in their lives.

I am not one of them.

But I am willing to go to the movies to view their antics.

(What did you think of the polyurethane-lined stomach??)