The Seldom Referenced Definition #3 of Pornography

Some say art reflects
culture so that truth
may be seen.

Some say the media ape
culture and perpetuate
the Big Lie.

Some say some art is
pornographic.

Some in the media say,
“Amen to that,”
pornographically.*

*the depiction of acts
in a sensational manner
so as to arouse a quick
intense emotional reaction.

Some corporations
say hurray and laugh
obscenely all the way
to the bank.

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Reflections That Stand Out In His Memory While Watching “Eyes Upon the Prize”

I. The pastor’s proud day
in retrospect was 1976 and
the day he said to his country
congregation, “If you will
not allow the Rev. Allen,
black, female pastor of
the African Methodist Episcopal
Church in town, in our pulpit
for pulpit exchange Sunday, I
cannot continue to be your
pastor.” He went home and told
his wife that he had just re-
signed his pastorate. She said,
“What in the world are we
going to do?” He said
with fingers crossed behind
his back, “We will not be
forsaken.” He did the pulpit
exchange with the other
congregation of his yoked
ministry. Rev. Allen preached
the gospel to the Presbyterians
and he preached to the African
Methodist Episcopalians and
the country congregation used
lay leadership that Sunday.
Grace fell on that Southern
Kentucky town and the rest, as
they say, is history. Forty
years later, he wishes Rev.
Allen well whether somewhere
here or at heaven’s gate.

II. The Southern Presbyterian
all white, youth group came
to New York for a summer
work experience in 1997.
They had no idea they would
be working in a black church.
He, a wet behind the ears
seminary student on his first
summer assignment, was in
charge of recreational activities
between the urban, black kids
and the South Carolina white
kids. It was to be “Pass the
Grapefruit” from under the
chin to under the chin. The
South Carolina kids said, “We
have never touched blacks
before and if we do this, we
can never mention it once we
get back home. He said, “Well,
you’re not in South Carolina
now.” They passed the grape-
fruit; they laughed; they hugged;
they painted, cleaned and wor-
shiped. He had no idea what
happened once they got back
home, but that wasn’t his re-
sponsibility. He just gave it
up and gave it to God.

Eternity’s Way

The fiction writer/theologian
wrote that sin is a centrifugal
force, everything blowing out
from the center to the edge and
then beyond to death; every-
thing goes and blows out, out,
out, away and fades away. An-
other writer wrote that selfish
behavior leaves only pincers
pinching, pinching, pinching,
clicking, clicking, clicking
until even the clicking fades
away. Is it all fading away
at the end of the day or does
eternal love have something to
say? A biblical writer wrote
that mercy wins over judgment
each and every day — eternity’s
way.

Shared Space

He liked the book,
Everything
I Need To Know,
I Learned In
Kindergarten.

“Simplify, simplify,
simplify”
is also a go.
Get down to
the basics,
look around,
the beautiful earth,
water, sky,
swirling planets,
cosmos,
universe —
all are connected,
though
he wonders
as he wanders
out under that
sky,
why, oh, why
so many seemingly
have
forgotten
what they
were supposed to
learn in kindergarten,
the connection
by and by —
no please,
no thank you,
yes, we all share
common space,
so why don’t
we all take
care of the place
because if we
don’t, we will
lay it to waste?
The bumper
sticker on
the SUV read,
“Butt out!”
He wanted to
shout,
“Butt head,”
but instead
just said,
“Please slow down
in the parking lot;
I live here, too.
Have a nice day,
Namaste to
you.”

Dancing May Day Away, Ole!

He read about an allegedly,
sleazy sheriff who was running
for congress. The author wrote
that one particularly salacious
if not illegal morsel of the
sheriff’s internet activity
involving his anatomy “raised
more red flags than a parade of
Chinese communists.” He thought
that was an apt metaphor to
raise the ire of the right-
wing, allegedly pornographic
sheriff. It would have been
bad enough to write “seven
socialist flags in Sweden’s
May Day Parade,” except that
the sheriff could have eschewed
socialism while dancing May
day away with some illegal
hombre from south of the
border.

For Us Today

In the Old Testament,
when the covenant people
wandered off in stupidity
after false gods,
God said, “A-Okay,”
gave them up to their own way
and there was hell to pay.
In light of the
Republican primary
and maybe the general election,
perhaps that’s applicable
for us today.
Oy vey!

A Contrast Between Two Thought to Be Alike

The lazy man sat in
his rocking chair and
ruminated upon
life’s ups and downs.
The slothful man
considered his life
and all he hated
while busy
at his rounds.
The lazy man sat in
his rocking chair and
ruminated
upon life
with smiles and frowns.
The slothful man
thought of everyone
he hated,
those who caused
his fall down, down,
down.
The lazy man read
two meditations
or was that three?
The slothful man
gleefully decided on a
shooting spree.
The lazy man pondered
another book.
The slothful man
didn’t know how
many lives he
took.
The lazy man
just shook
his head.
The slothful man
was pronounced dead.

Laziness vs. Sloth

The man read a meditation on
the difference between laziness
and sloth. He long had believed
himself to be lazy and had come
to see that in a positive light
— the sun upon his inactivity,
expending just the right amount
of energy to accomplish a task
well, well enough to satisfy his
significant standards. Such an
expenditure would allow him time
to reflect, ruminate, remonstrate,
cogitate, cerebrate, celebrate,
contemplate, speculate, meditate,
muse and mull over — the wonder-
ful thoughts and ideas that come
his way and for which he is ever
thankful and grateful. The author
spoke of the busyness of sloth,
throwing time away like tossing
recyclables in the garbage bin.
The slothful person goes about
his or her business in a fog not
acutely aware of life — just
getting through. The man
wondered if such sloth might
result in the resentment that
inflicts society like a viral
pandemic — slothful, sloppy,
perhaps the great, ungratefully
entitled — people resenting
everybody and everything and
thinking that bringing a gun to
work might add a little spice
to an otherwise maggoty gruel
of a gruesome life.

A Retired Minister’s Nightmare

He was invited to come out
of retirement and preach at
the church of a good friend.
He brought an old sermon,
saw no manuscript just dis-
parate parts and became des-
perate — illegible notes
scribbled on napkins from
McDonald’s, two old high
school yearbooks, a post
card from one of the exotic
travels of former parishioners.
It all must have meant some-
thing the first and second
time he preached the sermon,
but now? A hodgepodge. He
forgot to bring his academic
robe and the robe he found
himself wearing was his bath-
robe, which he, in a panic,
thought he could use with a
stole of the liturgical
season borrowed from his
friend. His friend offered
him a white shirt instead. He
put it on and headed for the
sanctuary. The chancel was
huge and decorated for both
Easter and Christmas, a palm
tree hanging over the pulpit.
Suddenly the pulpit moved
forward and down two levels,
level with the congregation.
He looked for a chair upon
which to sit and found only
a tiny stool. He sat and
rummaged through the
mess of notes in his hands
as the prelude came to an
end. And then, as was always
the case, just before he had
to get up and make an utter
ass of himself, he was saved
by the Introit. He awoke in
a cold sweat.

Then and Now

As in Cabaret, where the dancers
live the Peggy Lee song: “Well,
if that’s all there is, then break
out the booze and let’s go dancing,”
contemporary, innocent minorities,
a gay, Hispanic bartender and
his female friend do the dance of
frivolity, while Fascist popularity
grows in strength and eventual
threat. The closing scene of Cabaret:
the innocent dancers labeled
“perverted” huddle together as
gas flows into the chamber.