Proper Training

We don’t have proper training in how to interact. We haven’t been told, haven’t been schooled on the procedure, on proper etiquette, or given a why to assimilate. Opposing perspectives often have that pesky paradigm attached. It is nearly impossible to understand someone when they are operating on a different paradigm. It is like a deaf person using sign language to communicate with the blind: We don’t need to re-word, we need to learn how to communicate, properly. When this isn’t part of the learning process, everything else is on a fast track to the swirling waters around the drain.

We aren’t taught properly, in our society. Not only aren’t we given the tools, we aren’t even shown what tools might be helpful in our endeavors! Generational wisdom is lost. We can no longer even teach our children about life. What we know about “how life works” is largely out-dated and irrelevant, in our modern society. This is true today, and will only become increasingly true through the passage of time. In fact, in just a generation or two, it will be the children teaching their parents, far more than the other way around.

This happened when the internet became “a thing”, in the 21st century. Older folks had no idea how to use this new medium. Parents were being taught by their children. With the ever-increasing, rapid acceleration, hitting the future overdrive at warp speed, tradition has been forced out; lost forever. Seen only in movies, and “books” that future generations will read… on a screen.

It is sad, but not just in a “passing of time” way. We have withered in the weather of sadness, which is no longer an occupational hazard of life, but is fast becoming the way of life. Gone are the days of nostalgia, like tumbleweeds, dried and crackling, rolling along on the parched desert sands of our nation’s landscape. “Nothing stays where nothing grows”.

We are searing towards a place where no one can relate to another. Finding common ground is becoming more uncommon. Disconnection and isolation is the new normal. We fuel it. We feed it because it’s the only love we can always give confidently. Love was never meant to be callous. In any screen-centric society, people become callous towards romantic love.

Go hug someone. Now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKjH1Atmb8U

Ravi

The Ravi Zacharias Scandal. This kills me.

I admired this man so much. My wife and I went twice to see him speak. Once in New Hampshire, once in New Jersey. I loved his vernacular, his intensity, his spiritual prowess. His ministry was global, and RZIM was perhaps the most revered apologetic ministry on the planet, packed with Godly people who could defend Christianity like nobody’s business. Ravi was a Man of God extraordinaire. Clearly he was anointed.

He was a sham.

Ravi’s words were excellent, and largely true. But he didn’t believe them. He wasn’t just ‘in sin,’ he exemplified sin in ways unimaginable to his brethren. In fact, very, very few people would ever be capable of sinning as he did. It would be beneath them. Sure, men have their desires. This is nothing new, and is far from shocking. If Ravi had an affair, (or even multiple affairs) that would be very disturbing, even shocking for those who thought they knew him. But no one knew him well. It is possible Ravi didn’t even know who he was, himself.

What I am addressing is the man. What most of us thought we knew, we knew not. He defiled himself, as he defiled others. (No one is in ‘the defiling business’ without being defiled by it). Ravi – beyond reproach – attacked his victim’s witness, and accused Lori Anne Thompson and her husband of attempted extortion, then sued his victim.

In retrospect, the man was quite an egotist: as proud as proud can be. When seen, his humility was sheer bombast. It was all a show. The Word of God was his tool, and he used it masterfully. Many who heard him became apologists, as a result. Those lucky enough to be ‘chosen’ would help build his ministry. The larger his ministry became, the deeper became his sickness.

We now gain a newfound perspective on what Ravi dubbed ‘Apologetics with a Touch.’ “We are to be neighbors to our world, reaching not only the mind, but caring for the heart and the physical needs of the body as well. What greater opportunity to express the glory of God?” Hiding in plain sight: our gullibility itself needs to be examined with great fervor.

Ravi said: “Everyone has a worldview, which offers answers to four necessary questions: 1) origin, 2) meaning, 3) morality, and 4) destiny. In turn, these answers must be correspondingly true on particular questions and, as a whole, all answers put together must be coherent. Going a step further, the three tests for truth must be applied to any worldview: 1) logical consistency, 2) empirical adequacy, and 3) experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth.” This man’s secret life was logically inconsistent, empirically inadequate, and experientially irrelevant to the Christian message. It is a rare individual capable of lingering in the depraved depths he carved out for himself.

Ravi was a con-man of the highest order. You don’t liaison with God, then dance with The Devil, without contempt for both.

This is so hard for so many of us. It feels personal because it is personal. This wasn’t someone who spoke about God but had an affair, or three, or dozens. This man twisted God’s word – in pursuit of Satan – and used young women to spew the latter’s desire. In lieu of God, in opposition to The Holy Spirit, in defiance of everything he was known for, Ravi conned and used these young women. He reportedly told them they were serving God by servicing him, then paid ‘generously’ for their silence. He conned the adoring public into believing his persona was real. He conned his entire ministry. He funneled funds for his conniving, controlling, coercion of untold numbers of women. All under the cloak of secrecy. All with thanks to God for giving him these ‘opportunities.’

Truly sick.

Ravi conned his wife and family. None of his friends knew what he was. He didn’t buy into the program he sold. His ministry was merely a means to an end, and to that end, he ended innocence, trust, and most importantly, respect. Every time you take advantage of another, your self respect is absent. Ravi showed he had no respect for women, but let us not forget how that plays out in the real world: If you spend your time disrespecting women, you aren’t a man worthy of respect. Your integrity is inextricably linked to how you treat others. In the midst of all this, Ravi had no personal integrity. This is demonstrably true.

When someone has an affair, it is consensual. As far as we know, none of these sexual relationships were consensual. Though any affair violates the marriage, consent is still king. Without consent – it is abuse – culminating in rape.

Whenever ‘the world at large’ is unaware of our actions, this reveals who we really are: We are ‘who we are in secret.’ Though he kept ‘the secrets of his sickness’ out of the public eye, could he have thought God was unaware? Did he not think there would be a day of judgment that he would face? Ravi didn’t just undermine God’s authority. He wantonly, blatantly scoffed at God.

Ravi didn’t galavant. He wasn’t merely prurient. Ravi ravaged. He contrived. He stalked. His desires weren’t simply larger than those of other men. He was perniciously plotting, planning, coercing and constructing an entire global network of massage parlors – to massage his nether – and never tell. He even invested in these places of business, so he could control both the income and the outcome. This was methodical. This was maniacal. Sin didn’t ‘find’ him, instead, he constructed a life in pursuit of sin. He mapped it out. This was ‘Intelligent Design’ run amok.

The blueprints had his fingerprints all over the body of his purpose.

Ravi told women they were ‘his special one,’ that their relationship was ‘a gift from God.’ These words are normally reserved for your wife, or even your lover. These words didn’t mean anything to Ravi. They were designed to entrap and ensnare these women into believing something Ravi knew was not true. If he had just had multiple affairs with many women on various continents, we would all be astounded, yet almost all would forgive him, shameful as that would be. Instead, what he did wasn’t just immoral, it is illegal in most civilized parts of the world.

We didn’t know it then, but we do now: This defined him.

To clarify: Ravi wasn’t defined by these actions because I said so, or the public (who loves to bash and loves a scandal) decreed it true. It is true because Ravi made it true. He customized his life in pursuit of this defining characteristic. I didn’t do that. I didn’t want that. Nobody wanted that except for Ravi. He accomplished what he set out to do. He defined himself with his actions. We all do. No one escapes this.

I am in the process of writing a book that deals with integrity. We are our integrity. No one can take your integrity away from you, but you. Still, many will take it away from themselves. Disrespecting another is disrespecting yourself. Disrespecting yourself is disrespecting God. Ravi spent his time, energy, and ministry funds – – in pursuit of disrespecting God. This is why it is not ‘but for the Grace of God’ it could happen to me, or to you. It can’t. This takes a sick and twisted individual. I don’t pursue the denigration of others, I abhor it. My book – My Life’s Thesis – is about demonstrating respect for others as ‘the highest good’.

Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me.’ This knife cuts both ways. This applies to the good deeds, as well as the bad. Respect is paramount.

Do I look at ‘other’ women with lust in my heart? Yep. But I don’t wish I could force them upon myself unwillingly, in the name of God! No, no, no. That is an altogether different beast. Not much ‘danger’ that I should walk down that path and decide “this is the life for me!” There is no ‘moment of weakness’ in consistent deliberation of carefully constructed clandestine scenarios, where you impel your rising protrusion onto and into a masseuse – who is supposed to massage – anything else! Treating women with disdain is the consistent decision that Ravi made. He couldn’t have made these recurrent decisions if he didn’t believe them. Like the post-modernists he derided, Ravi created his own truth, and acted ‘as if’ God was not real.

Ravi customized his ministry to finance the furtive life he designed. This ended with his death, in May, 2020, but his legacy remains. Will he be remembered for the great things he said about Christ? Certainly more than if he never had his ministry, but far less than if he hadn’t deliberately and persistently abused his power and position, for his own depraved desires, leaving the tattered shrapnel of scared, scarred and broken women in his wake.

Perhaps we can take solace in this: It is far better to have no legacy, than to have Ravi’s.

Here is the report: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/rzimmedia.rzim.org/assets/downloads/Report-of-Investigation.pdf

Rock N’ Roll and stuff

When you listen to live music and you hear an ‘unshared’ change: A break, a stanza, a chord change, a post-break entrance… the drummer is most often right. When it doesn’t ‘hit’, when there are different opinions of how or when to re-emerge into the chorus, or some other mumbling point of re-entry, just listen. Usually the drummer has it right.

Not that I have a vested interest in the outcome of such a query, but it just so happens to be one of those things, one of those truths. It is, in fact, as it should be in any band worth their salt. The drummer, if no one else, should be ‘on’. If the drummer is on, the rest of the band will adjust. They will shift over, from their slightly off-paced place. Into the pocket, the groove, the place to be whenever any moving piece is piling its way into the short-ribs of your soul. Because that is where it will land. Not some esophagus place of muttered utterances, but in The Belly of The Beast: Rib-bound and fertile. Awaiting awakening from the spirit which moves across the various strings: plucked, stroked, slapped and pounded!

The drummer is right.

When the drummer isn’t right, the BAND is wrong!!! So the drummer better be right, all right?

Just a view from the apex of the EMC, you see.

Bethel Church

I hate the New Age Movement.

There is nothing I have seen which separates ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ from New Age. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

New Age is all about ‘sprituality’, and ‘energy’, and ‘vibrations’ and resonating with The Cosmic Energy. All of this, of course, is done for selfish reasons. What good is it if you can’t get what you want?

I hate the NAR, as well because, (and I have said this for a long time,) the abuses in the Charismatic Churches give Christianity a bad name. All of Christianity.

There was this young girl named Olive, whose parents were a part of Bethel Church. Two year old Olive died. A horrible tragedy. Bethel Redding – a place of miracles – asked God to resurrect this child. Money poured in. Prayer meetings were held. God was being tested. He is The Great Healer. He is The Miracle Maker. He can do anything.

They ‘held off’ from burying 2 year old Olive. They ‘believed’ in a MIRACLE.

What is it about God’s Omnipotence which would have prevented him from resurrecting Olive from her burial spot?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The reason the burial needed to be held off was to help convince The Congregation, (as well as the grieving parents, friends and relatives,) that she would ‘pop’ back to life. However, if she was 6 feet under ground, she would just suffocate and die. AGAIN. So, Bethel didn’t bury her – – just in case God answered their resurrection prayers, but ‘forgot’ to un-bury her.

Also: The finality. How can you ‘sell’ a resurrection if you are going through the ‘motions’ of burial? In comparison, this would not be a Christ-like ‘burial’ resurrection, it would ‘merely’ be a re-animation, as it were. Makes things easier for God, doesn’t it?

Bullshit.

NAR is all about ‘do for me’. Bethel is all about selling miracles. Bill Johnson defends his actions, because he is CEO of The Miracle Church. The litany of miracles already serviced under Bill Johnson’s CEO-ship is reason enough to believe. However, in order to believe the miracles already meted out, you had to be ‘sold’ the miracles.

Bethel Church sells miracles. Despite the fact that Bill Johnson is one of the least ‘Charismatic’ preachers ever, he and his Church are in the business of selling miracles.

These miracles don’t exist outside the sales of said miracles. They aren’t verified by the medical community, ever. They are verified via testimonials of the people who believe them. NAR and its brethren will lengthen your leg. Truly, miraculously, lengthen your leg. It will be done in front of the congregation, with a multitude of witnesses. Just don’t ask your doctor to measure before and after. These measurements are sure to contradict the MIRACLE you have witnessed. After all, witnessing an attested miracle is direct testimony. A doctor is entirely unable to verify or dismiss the miracle, as long as he didn’t witness it.

Here is a really simple question: Was Olive’s resurrection request made in order to ‘serve God’? In other words, if these resurrection prayers weren’t met, could God have ‘helped Himself’ to this resurrection? Was this a resurrection which would have served God? If so, why did Bill Johnson need to direct the actions of God?

What about all the other people who have lost loved ones? If God answered this prayer, wouldn’t He be snubbing all those others? Why Olive?

Pedophiles, prey on the naive and innocent, The NAR Church preys on the lost, lonely, and despairing. People that want desperately to believe. They are victims. They are prey. I pray they don’t get victimized one minute longer.

But let’s break this down: Bethel has just proven – beyond a shadow of any doubt – that CHRISTIANITY is bullshit. If you believe in Christianity, then you believe in these types of miracles, right? But we now know that these miracles – not only don’t they happen – they aren’t possible. Christ never rose from the dead. It is all the same. It is all bullshit.

Compare this with New Age. This movement is all about controlling your environment – CHANNELLING power – for your own purposes! Why do you think it is so popular? Isn’t this what we all want? Of course it is.

This is not what Christianity is about.

Christ is not selfish. God is not selfish. Us sapiens, now we are a selfish lot. That is what we do. That is why Christ came, to save us from ourselves. Espousing ‘miracles’ in the name of Christ isn’t just blasphemy, it is heretical. It is anti-Christ-like. It is, in no uncertain terms, evil. 

With ‘New Age Spirituality’ we can love, love, love ourselves. Loving ourselves is where it all starts, isn’t it? If there is anything wrong with you, the 21st century New Age Therapist and the New Age adherents all agree: You need to love yourself more! In fact, if you aren’t engaged in narcissistic endeavors, you may be mal-adjusted, and in need of some self-love. Here comes New Age to the rescue. Here comes Bethel to serve your miracle needs! You want more? We got MORE!

There is no defending them. The whole movement is ‘in on it’. God loves The Church for sure, but if we just look at miracles, God prefers the Charismatic Churches. There are more Miracles Per Congregant found there than in any other Church!

Bethel was going to raise this 2 year old girl FROM THE DEAD! Actually, it was Jesus who failed, really. Bethel did everything they could. Jesus just failed Bethel. I don’t know why Jesus failed, but surely Jesus failed. Jesus failed. Jesus failed…

Apparently Jesus didn’t get ‘the memo’. Perhaps he wasn’t aware of the need. Either Jesus didn’t hear the prayers, or The Congregation didn’t BELIEVE properly. If these parents weren’t racked with enough guilt, they can rest assured their beliefs fell short of what was required for their ‘belief’ quota. Thanks to Bethel, Jesus is impotent. Bethel made sure that the world at large knows this, because Christ’s failure is the Bethel message.

Hasn’t Bethel demonstrated that Christ’s power doesn’t exist? His power doesn’t exist only in the confines of Bethel Church, but at any Christian Church. Every Christian Church is now subject to this standard. Christianity is proven to be a lie. They raised the BS bar for all the world to see. Bethel is no longer ‘the messenger’. They have delivered the Ultimate Christian Message: BULLSHIT!

I shy away from Bullshit. I can sense it. I can smell it. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t smell good, and it is always self-serving.

I once attended such a Church. There were only a few of us there, as it was a mid-week service. After forming a circle, we began to pray, and I closed my eyes in prayer.

Suddenly I heard some weird noises. I opened my eyes to witness a man on the ground, flailing about. The Pastor waved at him: “Be gone. Out of him, evil spirits.” I wasn’t aware my presence had brought this ‘presence’ here. If I was to buy into it, I had seen evil spirits take a hold of a man while my eyes were closed, THEN the Pastor exorcised these demons – right in front of my eyes – until the man rose again. (I could sense and smell BS.) I was creeped out.

Afterwards My wife and I spoke to the Pastor, and relayed a story of a man falling from a bike, right in front of our car, unconscious, several years earlier. My wife laid hands on him and prayed. The Pastor said: “I was there.” Really? You were there? The odor was forming steam around The Pastor. I would never return to this Church again.

It isn’t that this resurrection miracle didn’t take place. None of the miracles do. According to The Miracle Churches, miracles are commonplace. So common, in fact, they can be expected. Once something is expected, it fails to be a miracle, by any definition.

I believe when a baby is born, just a little over a pound they can survive. When they do, surely it is a miracle. I believe people can have stage 4 cancer, and have it go into remission. Super rare. A miracle, really.

Christ rose from the dead as a miracle that needed to take place. It was a miracle because  resurrections don’t happen. When Jesus rose from the dead, all would know He was The Christ. I wouldn’t dare put Olive in this arena. So why would any Pastor?

I sincerely feel bad for her parents. They were lead astray, by leaders who knew better. I refuse to believe Bill Johnson was lead astray by his own beliefs. That isn’t how it works. That isn’t how any of this works. He knew this miracle would not come to pass. I know this, because he has directed a multitude of unverified miracles sold under his direction.

Decades ago, I prayed infrequently. When I prayed, my prayers were answered. Time and time and time again. I prayed infrequently because I thought of it somewhat like the lottery. The more I pray, the less likely my prayers will be answered. So I would ‘save them up’ for really important stuff.

I now know God was telling me He is real. I can lean on Him.

When my Mom had a heart attack, I asked God for some more time. I was already on borrowed time, so I didn’t ask for much. Just ‘a little more time’ with Mom.

Mom died a couple years later.

My father had heart surgery a couple years ago. I prayed, constantly, that he have a successful surgery, and that I am able to spend some more time with him. After he was finished, the surgeon came out to meet me, my sisters and Step-Mother. The surgeon was exhausted. It was the Doctor’s demeanor, more than his words, that frightened me. I headed back to Massachusetts from NYC, when my sister called to tell me Dad had seizures. I turned my car around and returned.

The next day, Dad was sleeping, and hallucinating. Not sure what that was about, but I know I didn’t like it. Dad stabilized, and I returned home.

For the first few months, Dad was very tired, sleeping constantly. Then he began to get better. Still, he needs consistent care. As a result of this, my sisters and I will alternate caring for him, when my Step-mom has to go away. While Dad isn’t what he once was, (no one is,) because he needs care, I am spending more time with Dad than I would if he was better. God isn’t just great, he is wildly generous.

I love God. I love my Church. I love that God is there for all who truly seek Him.

As for miracles: God listens. Without greed, that is miracle enough.

Stolen from The Sky

“If you aren’t for us, you are with the terrorists.” – GW Bush
But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”

There is nothing new under the sun. In the 21st century, that is more true, than new. There is nothing that doesn’t race across the internet at BLAZING speeds. Nobody can keep up. Original thought is aboriginal thought. We are just reworking sentences. It has become almost impossible to patent anything these days. In order to be an original, you have to rework your schtick, your schpeel, your mantra.

It’s not yours. It never was.

In speaking about musical improvisation, my friend Antek once said: “We are thieves, really. We steal it. (music) We steal it from the sky.”

Okay, this may be slightly backwards. We steal it, then project it INTO the sky. But the quibbling isn’t the quantifier. The ground moves beneath our feet. We are here to hear and share, and the sound is over there till it’s in our ear. But it isn’t ours. We steal it.

So it is with thoughts themselves. These are the great predecessors to our fingers, which produce the movement on the instruments, which flows into the air, pushing those molecules around until it – literally – resonates in our ears.

The 21st century supplies a watered down version of humanity. Everything – and everyone – is amorphous. There are no sharp edges. Our only passion is nebulousness. Conformity is the normity, and normalcy has progressed to its infancy. We are indifferent to our differences. Undefinable has become the apogee of definitions.

Subdued, subjected, sublime, sublimated, we cast our stones into the world. We are crushed into sand, and walk upon the shore, looking out at the water, because ‘ocean’ is too strong, too violent, too descriptive, too insensitive.

We ferry about in our pond of insecurities, while instructed to be convicted – – about conviction, passion, love, anger, hatred, music, and art.

The only art worth displaying, is art that doesn’t say anything. This is the message we are told we need to convey. So dull your pencils, and write weak thoughts. Dismiss anything that might ruffle feathers, including using them to fly.

Where would we go, anyway? To be Thieves Of The Sky?

Human Rights

New York recently enacted a law making First Degree Murder a human right. Though the law is sure to expand, for now you need to have ‘right to the womb’.

The father – whose daughter has his DNA in that womb – has no rights.

Dad can say: “I love my girl. I want to love and care for her, as long as I live.” He cannot hold her, feed her, care for her, OR kill her. Dad doesn’t have these ‘bundle of rights’, even when her DNA says she is HIS daughter. This is tragic for Dad. Unable to speak on behalf of the little Woman, Dad can neither choose to father – OR assassinate his daughter. Conversely, the mother is qualified to hire a hitman and snuff out her baby girl. Even after her water breaks, mom breaks no law – in calling for this assassination.

Is this a ‘right’ or a wrong?

The cheers were loud. This legislation was celebrated as a victory.  This is a morality beyond anything I have personally ‘experienced’ to date. Yes, I have seen evil. I have experienced evil. I have watched shows about Ted Bundy, the BTK killer, Jeffery Dahmer, etc.

It seems Bundy, BTK, and Dahmer have reincarnated themselves as politicians.

‘Well, it is ONLY if there is a health issue’, so it is said. When, in the HISTORY OF CHILD BIRTH, has the mother’s ‘health’ been enhanced in the 3rd trimester, by killing the baby in her womb? She still has to deliver – – the dead baby! She can’t stay in there. That would be terrible for… the mother’s health!

Is this really the state of Women’s rights?

“Get your laws off my body,” is the motto. But I am old enough to remember: way back in 2017, if you killed a pregnant woman, you had committed double homicide. That law is gone.

Now, if a man has no intention of strapping himself with childcare, he pummels his pregnant woman in the stomach until the baby is dead. Sure, he will be charged with assault and battery, but not murder. The laws – duly extracted from the woman’s body – see no life in the girl before, no life in her afterwards, and with no change in ‘status’, no law can be broken.

Go have a chat with a divorced or divorcing man about the financially crippling issue of child support. Thanks to this women’s issue, every father has ‘choices’ he never had before.

Can you just begin to see the awesome power and far-reaching benefits of this law?

Let’s not concern ourselves over ‘minor’ issues. The Black Minority are the MAJORITY of abortions. Black abortion numbers are several HUNDRED percentages above the percentage of citizenship, on the whole, and far outnumber everyone else in the race to exterminate life. The (overwhelmingly) white lawmakers do not concern themselves with this fact, no matter how constant it has been. (As constant as the tides since the inception of ‘Planned parenthood’.)

The majority are Black minorities taking advantage of this great and expanding service. Just light One World Trade Center pink, and celebrate the RESULTS!

Who was she, this little girl: little hands, tiny little feet just waiting to learn how to walk? A mind that is dreaming of who knows what… But there she is. A little woman. She could grow up to be the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in just decades. But… she is a Woman Without Rights. She can’t choose. She is not ALLOWED to be the greatest woman in the 21st century. And it is not just limited to her. EVERY future woman has NO rights. Tomorrow’s women are being lawfully exterminated en masse – in the name of Women’s Rights.

Say a woman is 10 days from delivering, and her spouse dies. He didn’t leave her anything ‘of value’… panicked she can’t foresee the future. How will she ever make it with the Baby? So a doctor will bludgeon the girl, or stick a large needle into the woman’s uterus and through the baby’s head. This murder is completely legal on the basis of motherly ‘stress’ – allowing the viable baby girl to die inside the mom, prior to delivery. Oh yeah. The baby girl has to be delivered, barely ‘stillborn’.

I am a father, and there is NO QUESTION I would die for my daughter. I’m not a hero, and I’m far from alone. Every mother I know would GLADLY die for their child. Any mother who would choose to live – instead of their baby – are less valuable to society on that basis alone. We don’t know what the little girl will be, but she is a bundle of potential. The potential that the selfish, (3rd trimester) murdering mother (to spare her own issues) will ever have – has likely capped, and perhaps at this very moment.

Every argument against what I am saying, is valid – – PROVIDED the little girl is not human.

If you think enacting this law created boisterous applause, just wait. Soon, even assault will be lawful. Then women will have finally achieved the goal of ‘laws’ being kept ‘off their bodies’.

Now that will be an empowering day for Women. (Please hold your applause.)

Words and Music

The importance of WORDS and MUSIC:

When the internet started, I was so excited. “I can write something, and within moments it can be in front of my uncle on the other side of the world? That is amazing!”

Now, people are used to texts: Short blurbs, conveying vital or inane information, in under a paragraph. Since the hand-held phone is becoming the ‘go-to’ device for reading ANYTHING sent to you… how many chapters does the average person read ON THEIR PHONE on a daily basis.

Paragraphs are the casualty, and literary expedience is far more important than knowledge or playful alliteration. If it’s long, it’s wrong.

When I was young, I remember my mother would be angry, and she would write A LETTER!

50 years ago, the written word had teeth. Today, when someone spends hours trying to find JUST THE RIGHT words to convey information, it is received thusly:

“Oh. They have words. Yeah, I have them too. We all got words.”

This specific assemblage – which is the entirety of what ANY writer does – doesn’t matter! If you got words, that’s good. If you don’t got em, that’s fine too!

That is what sucks about texts. ‘Texts themselves’ didn’t do it. The advent of texts as the primary communications tool of the 21st century has done it. We may, in fact, be done for. Stay tuned.

I grew up listening to LP’S. I would look at the album cover, read blurbs, or the lyrics… I felt the Bass from my very seat. That is because I WAS SITTING ON THE SPEAKER!!! This size reflected not just volume, but a measure of IMPORTANCE. (I realize they are connected, stay with me here…)

The best thing about going ANYPLACE in your car was – – YOU CHOSE THE MUSIC. Everyone in that vehicle was subjected to what you wanted to listen to, and usually at the VOLUMES you chose!!!

This generation, oh yeah. They sit in the car and text, and listen to their own thing, or play games, or text someone who isn’t present, or someone who is, or… this generation will never know the power of controlling the music for the duration of the car ride.

Then they pull the phone close to you as you strain to make out even chord changes in the tinny little speaker on their phone… “Isn’t it a great song?”

I don’t know. It might be. I can’t really hear it.

BUT… as a mobile recording device it is great. Now, how to find even a small group of people who cares about the assemblage of the high quality musical interaction crisply recorded…

Rant over.

For Sale By Owner

It is interesting. When I am looking to list someone’s house, and they say to me: “I am going to try to sell it on my own.” I tell them: “sometimes this works. You might as well give it a try.”

There are several critical questions the owner should answer first: How many houses have you sold, compared to the agent? Do you or the agent know more about the market, and the buyers who would be interested in this home? As the owner: how will you make sure those who walk through your house are ALREADY qualified?

As an agent, this is my JOB. I do this – for a living. Selling your house is way more than a simple transaction. This is a REPRESENTATION. Who is going to pay top dollar for something (literally anything) they can otherwise acquire through professional (means and) services?

Let’s put it in perspective: High school students can play Beethoven’s fifth, right? So why would you PAY to go see The Boston Symphony play, when you can head down to the high school and see it for free?

When a FSBO nets the SAME return, (but only after dropping the price by the cost of commission,) what has the seller gained? Still, this is not a loss unless the owner concedes (his or her) time is valuable.

I concur that agents who do a poor job aren’t worth what it ends up costing the SELLER. But if an agent does their job properly, why would a ‘casual fan’ place his bets on the owner yielding a better return than a professional?

Does it happen? Sure. Is it worth it? Far more often than not the answer is no.

I’ve got a basketball in my hands. I am just about to play a game of one on one against LeBron James. Place your bets…

Or just head down to the high school. Would this qualify as your ‘representation’ of Beethoven?

Intolerance will NOT be tolerated!

Tolerance is a buzzword. I am here to be a buzzkill.

If you utilize the definition, you aren’t playing by the rules. If you utilize the rules, you are playing with the definition.

Think of all the things you currently believe deserve ‘tolerance’. Okay. Got your things? Are you sure? Think hard about it. I want you to be certain.

My guess is your list consists of things you already agree with. Is this tolerance?

Tolerance is ‘allowing’ things you don’t agree with, even though you don’t agree with them! So now: What are the things you believe most deserve ‘tolerance’?

Hate speech? Bullying? Molestation? Rape? Terrorism? My guess is that you want ‘tolerance’ of things you already support. I don’t support this view of tolerance. I am intolerant of ‘tolerance’.

On social media I have stated: Intolerance will NOT be tolerated! I have often received acquiescence from unsuspecting oxymoronic adherents. Being intolerant of intolerance is, quite simply, being intolerant. No big mystery there. However, what about my stance: Intolerance of ‘tolerance’? What then?

Surely this palette is much grayer. I am serious, but about what, exactly?

The english language. I just want things to mean what they mean, and not their morphological 2nd cousins once removed. I understand ‘Google’ is a verb. I can accept that because it is a word which is only decades old, at best. It hasn’t removed anything. But I like words to mean what they were intended to mean. Perhaps I expect too much. Maybe I am just a dying generation – that needs to go away – to make room for those who ‘don’t care much for words’.

Take the word ‘save’, for example. The oldest generation alive are the only ones who are even aware of its meaning: to keep money. Everyone else thinks it means ‘to spend’. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! What does that mean? It means to spend, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t mean spend, how are you going to ‘save, save, save’, without funds? Actually, there is an answer: You borrow. That’s right. You can borrow money in order to… save, save, save!

If this word actually meant ‘save’, spending money should make you rich.

But there will be no tolerance for english. There is barely tolerance for words in the 21st century, let alone a collection of them utilized for cohesion.

Could this be a Vast-Winged conspiracy? Some sort of over-arching design? Perhaps.

But I’m not playing.

Where does Hockey stand?

Don’t lament hockey. It has things more right than other sports:

1.) Defense first. This is what hockey is all about. Other sports used to share this mentality, but they found that SCORING is what people wanted, so they made rules designed to create points. I recently watched a Rangers game where the first goal was scored with about 5 minutes left. They lost, but it was a wildly exciting game.

2.) Penalties: Hah!!! IN EVERY OTHER SPORT, penalties suck, both for the team who gets them, AND for the fans watching. How many minutes of a football game are we watching the striped-shirt fellas walk and announce the penalty (they have chosen to enforce) for that play?

I don’t think watching the striped shirts ‘walk and announce’, has made football more exciting. In football, ‘certain contact’ is penalized. In hockey, contact usually penalizes the one who gets hit harder, but I digress…

When there is a penalty in hockey, the game gets MORE EXCITING! Hockey is the ONLY professional sport that can make this claim.

I still like basketball, but it is really hard to watch: If you can toss the ball in from mid court, you are awarded with an additional point. (3 point play.) You can ALSO get a 3-point play if you are slapped, hacked, mauled, and tackled on your way to the basket – and the shot goes in – PROVIDED you make an ADDITIONAL shot from the free-throw line. There is a disconnect here. These don’t seem ‘equal’. That is why basketball has become a ‘huck-fest’. Free throws aren’t exciting, but THE GAME was more exciting when the goal was to get to the basket.

3.) The Penalty Box: What if basketball penalized like hockey? Hmmmm… imagine the 5 on 4 in basketball. Now THAT would be exciting. The same goes for football. 11 on 10 with a penalty.

But I could be wrong. Now let’s imagine striped shirts pacing off 10 or 15 yards on the rink to drop the puck… would that make Hockey better?

I’ll take hockey rules, any day of the week.

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