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Chris Jepson

Stories by Chris

Chris Jepson: Can we talk?

I’m amazed at the number of issues that we really cannot unemotionally, rationally discuss as a people, a culture, as a nation.

There’s the old chestnut of avoiding politics and religion in polite company. Something I have assiduously avoided all my life.

Chris Jepson: The Republican mind

The Republican mind is a thing of unmitigated wonder as it devolves backward to the 14th century.

Speaking of black holes, I just love the Republican mind, don’t you? I like how ideas to address what challenges America are lost there.

Chris Jepson: Them that gots the power makes da rules

That our democracy can be so brazenly hijacked by special interests is not a particularly new phenomenon.

My specific disappointment is with an electorate incapable of focusing-on and voting its own interests and, more importantly, by not insisting that our democracy, our electoral process remain free, open and fair.

Chris Jepson: A moral step for a better tomorrow

We know what we’re doing — the environmental destruction of our home — yet we mustn’t become disillusioned.

Despair, while an understandable response, is not a solution. We must act together; and we can on Nov. 4.

Chris Jepson: Houston, we have a problem

I have some advice for wait staff: If you want to increase your tips, adjust your language.

Is it really “no problem” that you are waiting on me and my guests? Is it “no problem” that I will be giving you money?

Chris Jepson: Life as a melody

I recently find myself asking myself: if I set my life to music, what would be my theme song?

ow would you assess your life and score it to music? Would you have different songs or melodies or symphonies even to correspond with the different periods in your life?

Chris Jepson: Pluralism is America’s national creed

America, through its Constitution, is a pluralistic nation comprised of many religions of which Christianity in its many permutations (evolutions) is but one of countless expressions of faith.

I am not so interested in anyone’s personal faith other than from a philosophical perspective. To publicly proclaim the “truth” of your faith is meaningless and irrelevant.

Chris Jepson: To play at being human

As a child I lived for recess, to play. As an adult, little has changed.

I learned as much on the playground as I did sitting in the classroom. You learn to play with others; to be part of a team, a side. You learn fair play. To share.

Chris Jepson: The rule of thumb

The recent revelations of abuse in the NFL illustrate how the league minimized the problem through inconsequential punishments. It is characteristic of our culture’s handling of such issues.

As sadly tragic as NFL players smacking “their” women around, I find the statistics of college campus rape and harassment even more disturbing.

Chris Jepson: In the beginning was your word

If humans did not speak or write, would there—without word—be a meaning to life? Is there a meaning to existence other than what humans attach to it?

Out of cosmic dust and time, from simplicity (relatively speaking) to complexity, humans exist. To the degree a meaning can be extracted from any of “that” is an individual determination.

Chris Jepson: Please, no popes or emperors

One take-away from studying history is that nations are no different from human beings in one respect: “Nothing lasts.”

Since the end of World War II, America has been a colossus, imperially striding the worldwide stage as the “final” international arbiter.

Chris Jepson: Out to pasture but not out of life

Old white boys, who needs ’em? The only permissible sex or ethnicity in America that is still allowed to be publicly lampooned are white men.

No one gets in your face for lampooning white boys, and why not. We have it coming, historically speaking.

Chris Jepson: The choice for governor — Tweedledum or Tweedledee?

Do we bet the governor’s mansion on the grifter (Tweedledum) we know or the conman (Tweedledee) we only think we know?

Some choice between grifter (Rick Scott) and conman (Charlie Crist). No amount of bathing could ever wash the stink off this election.

Chris Jepson: Less cant, more context

Context is a dirty word to many Americans. It suggests subjectivity when what humans want more than anything is certainty.

Certainty is comforting. Context challenges certainty by requiring one to use their imagination. Context implies accommodation.

Chris Jepson: No more barns in Winter Park

Winter Park is having a moment about its future. You see “No Density” signs around town protesting the large developments that seemingly spring-up like weeds in the garden we call Winter Park.

As significant (to me) as the density levels are the architectural aesthetics of any constructed projects. Why do our buildings and roadways have to look the way they do?

Chris Jepson: Voting for Colonel Sanders

I’ve been consistently reading history for 50 years and one observation, nay, one take-away conclusion, is that women, historically speaking, have had an exceedingly tough slog of it.

Since mankind started organizing into cities, male hierarchies (often theocratically based) determined that women were “substantively” inferior to men and put in place laws (restrictions) governing their movement.

Chris Jepson: What do we know? How do we know it?

We are born animals in need of a harness that hitches individual initiative with civic responsibility.

That human beings are “religious” surprises no one. I get that. For the past 10,000 or so years, explanations have been offered to understand the inexplicable.

Chris Jepson: Sunday at the White House

The premise is improbable. Open your home to the public every Sunday and, well, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams,” “If you build it, they will come.”

For the love of art, that is what is happening on Sundays at the White House, just south of downtown Orlando.

Chris Jepson: Thoughts too taxing to consider

I confess to being a “liberal” for one primary reason: Based on where we’ve arrived as a culture (America), I see no viable alternative to liberalism in addressing societal ills.

I am not, in other words, some softhearted, indiscriminate redistributionist hell-bent on playing the metaphorical Robin Hood.

Chris Jepson: Ya never know

What’s in a name? You move into any new community and various landmarks, parks, streets or buildings will be named after significant local civic leaders.

To betray the trust and confidence of a 6-year-old child, well, suffice it to say, prison isn’t sufficient punishment if I were holding the scales.

Chris Jepson: Why is everybody always picking on me?

A legitimate question that needs asking is, “What is in America’s national interest?” As in, why is it in the national interest to be militarily involved in the Middle East?

Is the extent to which we “care” about the region at all tied to the continued flow of oil as well as any “moral” solidarity America has with Israel?

Chris Jepson: Musings of a summer mind

Subscribing to the daily New York Times, nearly a decade ago, was undoubtedly the best gift I have given to myself as an adult.

To have the luxury of leisurely perusing the Times is a genuine joy. It’s mystifying to me why anyone (with the wherewithal) would deny himself this pleasure.

Chris Jepson: The end of your choice

I confess to disappointment over human lifespans. Some turtles, lots of trees, even some sponges—SPONGES!—have longer lifespans, years longer than human beings.

Dying isn’t the question. Never is. It’s when. It’s how. Make the living will. Have "DNR" tattooed in four-inch letters on your chest.

Chris Jepson: The war on women

Even the most cursory exposure to world history depicts the relentless marginalization of women.

Has there been a war on women? Examine our history, nay, simply look around the world today and truthfully answer.

Chris Jepson: Why is more humanity humane for the planet?

I believe the conversation has shifted. More and more Americans are considering the idea that mankind (our industrialization) contributes to global climate change.

We’ve quickly moved from climate denial to, “Well, that ship has sailed.”

Chris Jepson: War - another issue of choice

The true costs of war are seldom calculated with veracity in mind.

Our political leaders, in the name of national security, willingly sacrifice American servicemen.

Chris Jepson: Which is it, Sen. Rubio?

Ask yourself this: What would you say or do to win public office? This is what I cannot quite figure out about Marco Rubio.

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to be president of the United States. I haven’t yet determined whether he is merely ignorant or opportunistic or some egregious combination of the two qualities.

Chris Jepson: Whatever is does not have to be

Everything is a human construct. All of our material possessions, how we organize society and govern ourselves, our economic system, religion, our personal relationships. Everything.

Everything associated with being human is the result of our (historical) actions. Such awareness begs the question, “Is this the best we can do?”

Chris Jepson: 50 Shades of Grey

Humans live for sex. Literally and metaphorically. I think you’d have to be dead or nearly so to have no interest in sex.

No, this column is not about sex, it’s about aging. I was sprucing up recently for a party and noticed my first gray hair. In my nose.

Chris Jepson: Big, Dumb White Boys and other advocates of racism

You, Mr. Sterling, must know better than most that one’s ethnicity, race or religion is no justification for bigotry.

Is it coincidence or merely one of those times when coincidence “morphs” into irony when the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Michigan State’s ban on Affirmative Action just as two outrageous examples of racism roil the nation?

Chris Jepson: Nothing exceeds like excess

When a few exploit the many but the end product is beauty of an unimaginable scale, how are we (today) to judge how that artistic accomplishment was/is achieved?

On one hand, I truly love, for example, what the egoist Pope Leo X funded, but I have to question at what cost to society for such indulgence?

Chris Jepson: Skepticism vs. cynicism

Every so often I am reminded of just how narrow is the gap between knowledge and despair.

We’ve reached a point, environmentally speaking, where the scientific consensus has us either aggressively acting to curb greenhouse gases or to experience horrendous human suffering.

Chris Jepson: Half the 'good' minds come with ovaries

It is always interesting to consider that a white, post-Civil War America “assigned” a higher status to emancipated male slaves than it did to her already “free” mothers, wives and daughters.

Women did not achieve voting rights until the 1920s, decades after former male slaves were “awarded” such rights. Is it not puzzling how such societal “values” are determined?

Chris Jepson: You make America better

There is an undeniable inner joy and satisfaction that comes from doing good (for the benefit of humankind). Is that not then doing well while doing good?

It would seem, acts of charity and generosity definitely offer a return above and beyond the immediate feelings of happiness and control.

Chris Jepson: On educating our daughters

What is it with Republican women that they do not stand in solidarity with their sisters on the issues of equal pay, access to healthcare and the elimination of gender bias in American culture?

Is it that Republican women simply drink the Kool-Aid and parrot the historic male chauvinism of their party? To get along, you go along?

Chris Jepson: On the clock, thoughts on aging

It is not so much that I have any longing to be young(er)—if that were even possible—it’s that I don’t want it to end. Life is such a thrill.

We are enamored with the teenage time in our lives because so many of our experiences were for the very first time.

Chris Jepson: Get off the bench

America’s non-profit sector is where the proverbial rubber meets the road of societal change.

The ideas that make us better human beings are often created, nurtured and applied in the working laboratories of our non-profit organizations.

Chris Jepson: A modest proposal

What if we attempted to reduce military appropriations and homeland security by half?

Why is it that Washington and Eisenhower’s prophetic warnings about an out-of-control military establishment are today largely ignored?

Chris Jepson: If it hurts

To the degree that truth reflects reality, there is legitimacy to the expression, “I am only as happy as my unhappiest child.”

My father had an expression, “If it hurts, don’t do it.” Life hurts. What then?

Chris Jepson: Laughing our way to extinction

Oftentimes in life the question is not whether it is going to hurt, but rather how much.

Part of me greatly admires that most human of qualities, the ability to laugh at the tragic.

Chris Jepson: Start paving today

That is an interesting idea, that somehow a road (any endeavor) paved in good intentions is not only suspect, but leads to hell.

We need better men and women planning America’s roadwork. If the road leads to hell, I recommend a course correction.

Chris Jepson: How many impoverished Americans are you willing to support?

Everyone out there who wants to voluntarily support another man’s (or woman’s) child, raise your hand and open your checkbook.

Seriously, if full-time employment provides an impoverished standard of living requiring government subsidization, how many such citizens are you willing to financially support?

Chris Jepson: Choice is not a dirty word

Women, according to Republicans, are so sexual that, well, thank goodness for the GOP to rein-in America’s women and their carnal appetites.

The Republican attempt to vilify and penalize women for wanting choice in their lives is emblematic of a dying political party.

Chris Jepson: A Facebook divorce

I was late in creating a Facebook page. I thought it a bit goofy, and still do actually.

If, on a regular basis, you sit for any length of time before a computer terminal (writing, research, work, etc.), it is easy to periodically take a break, pop a screen and see what’s doing on Facebook.

Chris Jepson: Your kind of happiness

My question is: how did early man and woman think about happiness? Did a warm day and a full stomach provide a modicum of contentment?

Following 200,000 years of humanity – and absent starvation and other stressors – each of us can experience happiness.

Chris Jepson: The case for evolution

Duck Dynasty and the case for evolution

It would be interesting to see national reaction to a TV show, oh about a family of urban artisans whose patriarch invokes the Bible envisioned by Adolf Hitler.

Chris Jepson: Want a better society? Make it better for women

Does having a daughter make one more likely to become a Republican? It’s a story like that that could have one upchucking his breakfast.

It’s all about sex. It really is. Men making sure that his progeny is, indeed, his. It’s about controlling female sexuality and fertility.

Chris Jepson: Momma knows best

Intellectually, it is far easier to get your head around what a pox mankind is for our Mother Earth. Emotionally it is quite another thing.

Every day we are inundated with countless “canary in the coal mine” examples of the specific impact we humans have on the land, water and air that sustains us.

Chris Jepson: More time? Not in the cards

Our stuff, our desire for stuff, is killing us. More. The more stuff and experiences we accumulate – the more damaging we are to the planet and its environment.

What we need more of is birth control and responsible adults. Our future as a species, our planet depends on it.

Chris Jepson: Do drive ol’Dixie down

We Americans continue to glorify and honor the Confederacy/slavery that was unquestionably as egregious as anything the Nazis perpetrated.

It is no stretch to equate Nazism with the Confederacy. Both dealt with the marginalization and destruction of human beings in a state-sanctioned, authorized manner.