Monthly Archives: June 2015

To Save America, the South Must Rise Again

Ignorance and hate are killing America! While the black man blames the white man, and the white man points back at the black man, America trembles under racial siege on the brink of self-inflicted collapse as a nation. As a people, we appear helpless to turn the tide, but if America is to survive someone must be willing to step forward and initiate the healing process. Someone with courage must take that first leap of faith to right our great nation.

Our obsession with judging our fellow man rather than trying to understand him as well as our penchant for creating smokescreens to cover the real issues are ripping out our hearts and trampling our souls. We live in an enlightened time, yet we stand guard at the gates of yesterday protecting a past that has little to offer but distrust, anger, hurt, and alienation from our fellow man. We live in a society of non-discriminatory intolerance. We live in a society often unwilling to acknowledge the truth behind its sins or that it has sinned. As a people, we are quick to cast blame but slow to take responsibility. Regardless of the color of our skin, we have embraced intolerance to the point that it has become our norm, and it is that intolerance that now lays siege to all we love and care for as a nation.

America does not have a black and white issue. America has a distrust issue resulting in the disenfranchisement of both blacks and whites from reaching an amicable understanding and solution to their problems. Inevitably, the omission of trust leads blacks and whites alike to resentment of one another and even to violence. As a country, distrust permeates every aspect of our lives. We distrust anyone who has a different lifestyle, different belief, different skin color or different ethnic background. We would rather alienate someone outside our understanding than risk contamination by a new understanding. We would rather cling to the past than risk the uncertainty of embracing a new future. We would rather desperately hang on to dead ideologies than to open our minds to healthier more altruistic ideas. We would rather sacrifice our future and the future of our children than acknowledge the soiled truths of the past. We would rather defiantly rally behind a symbol that stands contrary to the civil rights of all men than exercise tolerance and understanding.

I have long regarded criticism of the Confederate flag as an injustice that was little more than a smokescreen or scapegoat for much graver issues, and I admit, I still hold to that opinion to a great degree. I believe it is simple minded madness to advocate pulling down historical memorials, monuments, name sakes, and individual freedoms that can be linked to the Confederate cause or any other offending historical cause, to do so is to eradicate history, which is a dangerous disservice to all. However, I believe removing a divisive symbol from local and state government institutions established to represent and serve all people is not too much to ask. Therefore, I am of the opinion that the debate over the Confederate flag has been ongoing for too long, and it is time for resolution. It is time we recognized that any injustice directed at the stars and bars pales to the injustices it symbolizes for many fellow Americans. Regardless of where you stand on the flag issue, the distrust and division the Confederate flag has caused in race relationships in America is unquestionable.

I have said this before, but racism in America goes a lot deeper than a flag or even the color of a person’s skin. Racism in this country is an adult disease without regard for race or class that is forced on our children who in turn become adults and force it upon their children. This perpetual cycle of collective cultural ignorance exists in our communities, our schools, our churches, and our government, but although it grows and is often allowed to fester in these places, none of these is the root of its ugly beginnings. Racism begins at home with the mamas, daddies, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who intentionally, unintentionally, or out of ignorance feed it to children.   Children are not born into this world hating! Children are not born into this world caring if another person’s skin is white or black! Children are born into the world only with the imprint of God on their souls. It takes a misguided nurturer to wipe that from them and replace it with hate and prejudice. The homes of black and white Americans alike are where racism is cultivated, massaged, nurtured, and molded into the disease that now threatens the very existence of our great country.

I am not black, so for me to say I completely understand the black man’s feelings toward the Confederate flag would be untrue, but even as a white man, I can see the hurt, distrust and division this symbol of the past causes so many black men and women. Although I am a proud Mississippian who sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of the valor of men who fought and died for a way of life in which they believed, I am not proud that way of life included enslaving people due to the color of their skin. Slavery in any form is wrong and condoning it even as a part of heritage is a slap in the face to all that is decent and right. For that reason, the time has come to lay our past to rest.

The time has come to remove the Confederate flag from our local and state government buildings. Such an action will not resolve racial tensions in this country, but maybe it will act as a sign that at least in the South, we are finally ready to embrace the future rather than the past. To help right America, it will take the iconic courage of Southerners to take a leap of faith and show the rest of the nation that we are ready to find a way to live with our fellow human beings regardless of the color of their skin. God blessed many of us to be born Southerners and for a select few, he blessed us as Mississippians, but he blessed all of us as Americans. It is time to stand together as Americans and not stand divided by the color of our skin or by ideologies that no longer matter. It is time for the South to rise again, not in defiance, but in compassion for our fellow man. We do not have the means or the power to right the wrongs of the past, but we do have the means and power to lay aside the past and live together as brothers.

JL

©Jack Linton, June 26, 2015

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The Beach: Guidelines for Living

We live in a time when nobody ever seems to apologize for anything; they just weep and raise hell on the Oprah Winfrey ShowKurt Vonnegut

I just returned from a great week with family at the beach. One of the great things about the beach is people watching, and I am not just talking about watching pretty girls in bikinis although I must confess I did some of that when my wife was not looking. Along with the bikinis, the massive presence of technology on the beach also caught my attention. Everywhere I looked there were men, women, boys, and girls piddling with cell phones and electronic tablets of every kind. In the past, people relaxed on the beach with paperback books in their hands, but the new book of choice on the beach is an electronic smart phone or tablet. In this era of the Kindle and countless other electronic readers, that is not unusual, but what I did find rather unusual was the number of people engaged in conversations on their cell phones. They were conversing on their phones while strolling along the water’s edge and standing waist deep in the water. I even saw a dad helping his children build a sand castle with a cell phone pinched between his ear and shoulder. In a world, where people can’t go to the toilet without a cell phone stuck to their ear, the intrusion of these devices on beaches once preserved as a place where families could focus on each other and tune out the rest of the world should not have been so surprising. But, maybe it was surprising due to my age!

As a Baby Boomer, I find girls in bikinis and vacations where families focus on each other rather than someone on the other end of a cell phone to be much more pleasing and relaxing. Unless there is an absolute emergency, I do not want to be reminded of anyone or anything not associated with my time away from the world I live in every day. However, I am not a product of the 21st Century, so what I consider to be normal and what is considered the norm by today’s younger generations does not always mesh. Yet, that does not stop me from believing the younger generations have a lot to learn about what is important in life, and that they could benefit greatly by simply going back to school.

You might need to go back to school if . . . .

  1. You believe saying “my bad” instead of “I’m sorry” is classier and less flippant;
  2. You believe the world owes you something for being alive – you feel entitled;
  3. You know more about what is going on with Kim Kardashian or Duck Dynasty than what is going on in the real world;
  4. You don’t believe “group-think” is alive and well on Facebook;
  5. You believe sending your child to his/her room without first removing access to the TV, Play Station, computer, IPad, and cell phone is punishment for inappropriate behavior;
  6. You correct other people’s trivial mistakes while ignoring your own;
  7. You cannot eat, sleep, watch TV, watch a movie, use the toilet, go to church, take a walk, go to the beach, swim, have a person to person live conversation, play with your children, or have a family gathering without talking, texting, playing a game or browsing the Internet on your cell phone;
  8. You try thinking and nothing happens;
  9. You judge people negatively who do not think or believe as you do; and
  10. You enjoy lazy writing such as “lists” over articles and books.

If you believe any of these, maybe you are a product of the 21st Century and need a school refresher course or two. But, if going back to school is not an option for you, then please understand and abide by the following Guidelines for Living regardless of the generation in which you were born:

Guidelines for Living

  1. You are not entitled to anything that you have not earned;
  2. The world does not revolve around you;
  3. People are not bad who disagree with you or who do not believe as you do;
  4. The only life rule that matters is to be kind; and
  5. There is but one purpose in life, and that is to love those around you.

JL

©Jack Linton, June 23, 2015

The Pros and Cons of the Granddad Bod

The outpouring of support for the “Granddad Bods are Sexy” campaign has been unbelievable! It has been great hearing from people who are so enthusiastic about granddad bods. Whether they are registered granddad bods themselves, they are interested in developing and refining their granddad bod, or they have a granddad bod in the family they want to understand better, they have all expressed a common interest in the creation, maintenance, and preservation of the granddad bod as the national treasure it deserves to be. The public response has confirmed what we have always believed: Granddad Bods are Sexy, and it is time we let the world know it!

While most people who have written seem to enjoy a sweet awareness and understanding of the granddad bod, there have also been a few who have written requesting more information about granddad bods such as Jeemal Coopersfield of Pandersville, New Jersey. Jeemal wrote, “I am 22 years old, and I love my granddad. Lately, he has been in the dumps and very negative about everything, so I have been looking for something that might pep him up and make him feel better about himself. When I read your article, “Granddad Bods are Sexy,” I thought this might just be the thing for him. But, before I approach him with your article and get his hopes up, I would like to know the pros and cons of the granddad bod. Is it for everyone?” That is a very relevant question, especially for younger generations concerned for granddad’s happiness, or who have one of those increasingly rare (thank goodness) thin granddads who would benefit greatly by beefing up his lifestyle. I say increasingly rare since the latest health care trends show phenomenal growth in the heftiness of Americans.

I would like to believe my new cookbook, Nourishment for the Granddad Bod, has contributed to America’s prodigious commitment to portliness. My cookbook is a must for every granddad bod and granddad bod admirer. In it, there are over one-hundred high carbohydrate, high fat content recipes guaranteed to fluff up any body type. There is even a chapter on “How to Not Exercise” contributed by some of America’s top granddad bods. There are also such mind boggling waist expanding chapters as “Don’t be Afraid to Use Extra Butter,” “The Cleansing Power of Grease,” “When Furniture Breaks: The Sign of Success,” and my personal favorite, “Never Have Another Meal without Biscuits and Gravy.” Users of my cookbook will discover why using pure girth expanding ingredients such as animal lard and bacon grease when cooking will greatly increase their chances of obtaining that perfect granddad bod.

Please forgive me for the blatant boasting and marketing, but I get excited talking about the granddad bod and the changes it has brought into my life and the lives of fans across the nation. I am not here to sell or brag although I guess that is what I have been doing (once again, please forgive me). I am writing today for two reasons: to thank everyone for their interest in and support of the campaign and to bring clarity to the phenomenon of the granddad bod by answering questions such as the one Jameel asked. Such questions are important. The better people understand the granddad bod and its simplistic complications and needed accommodations the sooner granddads like Jeemal’s will perk up and get back into the swing of life. So, after giving deep thought to Jeemal’s question, I would like to answer him with a thorough listing of the pros and cons of the granddad bod. Thanks for asking, Jameel.

Pros and Cons of the Granddad Bod

Pros

Cons

There is more to love! Granddad bods quantify love by inches and pounds. Transporting granddad bods can be cumbersome and problematic unless you have ready access to winches and block and tackle.
Granddad Bods are characterized by an overlarge cushy belly perfect for cuddling. Visions of Java the Hut cradling Princess Leia comes to mind.
Granddad bods promote a stress free lifestyle. Mountains and storage buildings are also stress free.
Granddad bods do not take a lot of work to maintain. Beer runs and couch potato lounging are usually all the maintenance needed.
Granddad bod bellies are a great place to rest your popcorn bowl or fried chicken bucket while watching Chuck Norris movies or the Saints play football (Real American football!) Belly tablecloths or “Gut Covers” are not yet in production.
Granddad bods are great listeners, If you are talking about them, food or sports.
Granddad bods make great tube floats for lounging in the pool, enjoying bobbing in the surf at the beach or relaxing on the nearest lazy river. Beware! Unexpected high tides, tidal surges and flood crests can be expected. There may also be a danger of drifting too far from the shore and being mistaken as an off- shore drilling platform.
Granddad bods have extra layers for cold weather. So do whales, walruses and polar bears!
Granddad bods are at peace with their bodies. Actually, grandad bods are at peace with mashed potatoes and gravy, chili cheese fries, double cheeseburgers and doughnuts.
Granddad bods are considered sexy by intelligent women! Intelligent women are interested in inheriting the farm and bank account sooner than later.
Granddad bods are built for grandkids. Parents must exercise extreme caution when grandkids are climbing on granddad – the distance from the top of his belly to the floor can be deceiving.
Granddad bods move slowly and deliberately. Unless, they are in line for the all you can eat buffet.
Granddad bods are all about being good to their woman. The woman must be willing to cook, clean food stains from clothes, help granddad roll out of bed in the morning, and change the TV channels when the remote becomes too much of a chore.
Granddad bods are humorous and fun to be around! Granddad bods are a ton of fun if you like burping, farting, and jokes normally reserved for 12 year old boys.
Granddad bods will never appear on any of the world’s endangered species lists. Granddad bods will never become extinct as long as there is beer, cheese, and dough to be had.

There you have it, the Pros and Cons of the granddad bod! I hope this list helps clear up any questions. At Granddad Bods are Sexy, we believe sharing knowledge is a beautiful thing, and we are always available to answer questions for the greater good of the Granddad Bod movement. Here at GBS, we believe the youth of today are the granddads of the tomorrow, so we are always happy to answer questions regardless of age. Remember, it is never too early or too late to learn about the benefits of the granddad bod – yours or the granddad bod of a loved one. Happy lounging! I’ll save you a place in the buffet line.

JL

©Jack Linton, June 15, 2015

Gullible

Part IV of the “You might need to go back to school if . . .” Series

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gullible refers to a person who is easily duped, cheated, or quick to believe something that is not true. If that is the case, then every man, woman, and child is gullible; some are just better at hiding it than others. However, the upside to being gullible is that people do not have to practice being gullible to be good at it; novice or veteran, we are all experts. People are naturally born gullible and remain that way until they depart this world in a hand carved cherry wood box entombed in a water tight hermetically sealed vault that provides eternal comfort and peace of mind for the deceased. Like an astigmatism in the eye, gullible is a condition of the brain that clouds, muddies, or blurs rational thinking due either to an acute absence of common sense or a sincere devotion to ignorance.

Most people are quick to argue they are not gullible, but to argue that you are not gullible is like arguing that chickens do not have feathers; of course, chickens have feathers, and of course people are gullible. Television, with its high power infomercials that sell perfumed auto-wipe toilet paper dispensers to doting pet owners, and Facebook, with its constant parade of nonsense, conspiracies, and drama rich hearsay that its readers believe and rally around, are prime examples of the gullibility of people. If painted the right shade, people will believe anything they hear or read with no more thought than a pebble gives the hand that throws it. Shel Silverstein summed it up nicely when he said, “Teddy said it was a hat, So I put it on. Now dad is saying, “where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?”

So, if you are one of us poor souls with a toilet plunger on your head, you might want to join us in the fall as we journey back to school to take refresher courses in Common Sense 101 and The Psychology of Ignorance. I hear the classes are filling up very quickly, so call your local school and register today to avoid the last minute rush. However, if you are not quite sure if these classes are for you, take the simple quiz printed below to a get a brief overview of your gullibility rating. If you believe any of the ten items in the quiz or need to think about any of them for more than five or ten seconds, I strongly advise you to enroll in the refresher classes ASAP.

You might need to go back to school if . . . .

  1. You believe a person when he/she tells you, ” I don’t mean to be critical, but . . .;”
  2. You believe everything your child tells you about school;
  3. You believe reality TV is real;
  4. You believe “fat free” won’t make you fat;
  5. You believe Albert Einstein failed mathematics in school;
  6. You believe ads that claim 9 out of 10 dentists, doctors, and sanitation directors recommend a product;
  7. You believe those beauty aids from ancient India and Galamastan endorsed by a gorgeous movie star will reverse aging, make wrinkles disappear, cure cancer, and change the oil in your car;
  8. You believe a Burger King Whopper actually looks like it does in TV commercials;
  9. You believe you can get all your news from Facebook; and
  10. You believe it is more important to know than to understand.

If you passed the quiz, that is fantastic, but don’t discard the quiz; file it for future use. Your gullibility rating is guaranteed to be challenged by the next telemarketer or phone donation solicitor call, email guaranteeing the National Bank of Nigeria has twenty million dollars waiting for you in an account in your name, or by a television evangelist promising the grace of God can be yours for a hundred dollar donation to his ministry. However, please do not feel bad if you didn’t do well on the quiz. Most Americans fail the test, and that is why the Gullible American Group (GAG) is sponsoring their most progressive and aggressive “Let’s Ditch Ignorance” campaign ever. “Back to School Degulliblizing” classes will take off across America this fall, and it is GAG’s goal to completely choke out gullibility by the turn of the century. GAG is out to take back America! My registration papers are in the mail; hopefully, I will see you in class.

JL

©Jack Linton, June 7, 2015