Debatable

Debatable: (adj) open to question; in dispute; doubtful

Feeling in a particularly generous mood, I decided to give you a gift of five things that are debatable and five things which, in my simple-minded way, seem to be non-debatable.

Where to begin?

Let us start with the debatable topics

  1. The American election system.

Since it is broken, it is well worth a healthy discussion.

  1. The educational system.

We love to stir up dust about lackings here and there, but still maintain a segregated and impoverished endeavor.

  1. The purpose for religious services

Since faith without works is dead, maybe works could survive without a building—and an organ.

  1. Racial forgiveness

Instead of denying the misdeeds found within all races of humanity, perhaps we require a massive group hug and teary-eyed apologies to one another.

  1. The institution of marriage

Is it divine? Or simply a man-made way of guaranteeing family units to sustain the tax burden?

Now, as to non-debatable issues:

  1. Is there any power in “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?”

Just open a history book and let the blood pour out.

  1. Is there a God?

Since no one knows, discussion either way is theory, and for that matter, often nasty.

  1. Are men and women equal?

Since we have to live in equality, it would be ridiculous to introduce restrictions.

  1. How, or even when, will the world end?

Go back, clean your room and do your homework, you little brat.

  1. Is there a hell and is there a heaven? It is possible to have a heaven without a hell, so the insistence on including eternal damnation is rather vindictive, don’t you think?

These are just my opinions. You can either revel in them or rebel against them.

 

Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

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Clam

Clam: (n) a marine bivalve mollusk with shells of equal size.

I guess any decent mollusk would consider it a home invasion. After all, you have this perfectly wonderful shell, which should be impenetrable.

So someone comes along, boils your ass, insults you by throwing in spices because you have no flavor of your own, and then takes a knife to crack you open to
steal your life force.

Pretty much of a horror story if you live in the ocean.

I have eaten clams many times. Perhaps I should apologize. I’ve even taken one of those pointy objects they offer you to crack them open, making me feel like I’m some sort of “sea-farin’ man.”

I have two opinions on clams:

  1. They’re too small
  2. They have no flavor unless you dip them in a sauce.

So would I get the same sensation if I took a piece of bread and dipped it into an excellent cocktail sauce as if I dunked a clam in the same sauce?

I think so.

So let me review: for some reason we decide to invade the privacy of a reclusive creature who has clammed up, boil it to death, break open its shell and eat it, even though we know it’s not particularly satisfying.

Vindictive sons-of-a-bitches.

 

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Cheat

Cheat: (v) to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

Some people compare the human brain to a computer.

There may be truth to that–though the brain is capable of much more reasoning and processing.

But one of the similarities that would hold true is that the brain does maintain a browser. It has a listing of most recent files, frequently viewed files, and even files we think we’ve deleted.

Every once in a while, they’ll just pop up and remind us that the mind doesn’t always find ways to be kind.

It’s a little piece of nastiness.

So it runs a tally.

How many murders have we watched in television and movies over the past six months?

How many shows on the beauty of Antarctica and gorgeous flower displays from India?

How many scenes of pornography and the abuse of the female body have crossed our eyes in comparision to the downloads we have perused of mothers loving their children and women conquering prejudice, to be successful in business?

Because our browser is filled with corruption, we cheat.

  • We cheat on our taxes.
  • We cheat on our lovers.
  • We cheat ourselves out of blessing because cursing is so easily available.
  • We cheat our children out of intimacy in favor of a quick trip to the amusement park.
  • We cheat our talent out of the privilege of being used in a creative way while constantly bitching about the limitations of our job.

We cheat.

And then, fearing that we will be revealed as cheaters, we develop a honeycomb of intertwined lies, which now buzz from our lips with far too much glib precision.

Where will our cheating take us?

Well, we certainly don’t think anybody is going to be better than us, so it turns us into suspicious, angry and vindictive neighbors.

We cheat.

Mostly, we cheat ourselves.

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Allah

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allah: (n) the name of God among Muslims (and Arab Christians)

I got a Kentucky woman pissed off at me–and unlike Neil Diamond’s representation of Kentucky women, they actually can be quite vindictive.

I had the audacity, as a writer trying to be clever, to jokingly refer to God, in one of my books, as Larry. The tongue-in-cheek observation I was trying to make was that I really don’t care what name we use for our Divine Creator–as long as the results are productive in the human experience.

She was greatly offended by this notion, and decided to spread evil rumors about me. Of course, it didn’t last too long–and she’s living in Kentucky while I’m still traveling the country (with Larry).

But the truth of the matter is, I am not concerned with the nametags we place upon the breast of the Holy One as much as the character we end up attributing to His or Her nature.

It is my discovery that the Muslims call the Creator of us all “Allah.” I must be candid–the word leaves a bit of distaste in my soul because of how their Allah seems to view humanity and how He plans on making us righteous.

I have just never found that good is gained through restriction, meanness and commandments. It is unsuccessful in a species that struggles with temptation and inadequacy. Perhaps, as some of my dear Muslim friends may insist, this representation of Allah from the Koran is not true by those who stomp, scream and terrorize.

I understand.

But it does fall their lot to disprove the shouting voices of the angry horde if they’re actually going to continue to present Allah as a viable choice for us folks.

I think if you’re going to call someone or something “God,” it should have three definite attributes:

  1. Be a Creator, not a critic.
  2. Still be happy that it created, and not miserable with the decision.
  3. Have more mercy than judgment.

Because candidly, my dear friends, if God, Allah or whoever it may be doesn’t cut us some slack from His perfected perch, who would have a chance?

So until those who believe in Allah can convince me that their representation of God is still thrilled with human beings instead of angry with them, I guess I will stick with the three-letter version: G-O-D.