Archive for the ‘Bullying’ Category

Ever George Washington Bridge Someone?

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Have YOU ever deliberately “inconvenienced” co-workers or enemies?

Symbol of Political Bullying_Where Excuses Go to DieA mayor declined to endorse his state’s governor during an election, so the governor’s top aides ordered a shutdown of lanes on a heavily used bridge. Delivery, maintenance, and fire trucks, as well as school buses, ambulances, and commuters, were mired in gridlock for days, causing outrage, scandal, and backlash. The perpetrators, who joked about the resulting chaos in emails, have since been found out. Check your local internet.

So what are your excuses for inconveniencing adversaries on purpose?

Oh, come on. Payback? You’ve never done that? No, I don’t mean shut down a bridge – I mean, impeded someone intentionally. Haven’t you ever waited to send your print job to the office copier until right when a co-worker needs it to prep for a meeting? Ever put off booking your boss’s flight ’til only middle seats at the back of the plane were available? How about crankin’ the thermostat? If any of this sounds familiar, you’ve George Washington Bridged someone. (Now let’s abbreviate that down to “you’ve GWB’d some fool,” or “you pulled a GWB.”) (more…)

“Your Honor, my wife made me do it.”

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Unprincipled enabler blows his integrity on whims of half-wit wife

or

Spiteful, shortsighted, lady-child steers husband right to jail

Christian Mingle KICKS ASSIn 2010, weirdly-named Kent Wycliff Easter and his just-as-oddly-titled wife, Jill Bjorkholm Easter, sought vengeance upon Kelli Peters, a volunteer at Plaza Vista Elementary School in waspy Irvine, California. Among their many complaints was that Peters hadn’t escorted the Easters’ son (what his name is, I can’t imagine) from school to his mother’s waiting Range Rover car fast enough. Apparently there was a lot about Peters’s care-taking that the Easters didn’t like, so the bumbling A-holes went to town.

First, the two lawyers tried to get Peters fired from the school: FAIL. Then they harassed her: FAIL. They actually filed a restraining order to prevent her from going near their son: FAIL. Twice they tried to sue Peters; both lawsuits were dismissed. Frivolous much? Talk about diminished credibility as attorneys: FAIL.

And Kent. Our man Kent had been a Newport Beach law firm’s “rising star” until the couple’s campaign against the school volunteer culminated in a hysterically catty attempt to have her arrested. This, after the Easters had located her home and planted drugs in her car in the middle of the night. Jill Easter has since pled guilty and separated from her husband, leaving him to fend for himself.

Quality of life spiraling downward due to lack of character? FAIL. (more…)

A False Image of Solid Parenting

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Taking responsibility for your children doesn’t work in silhouette

Notes from a Non-parent 8After 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick threw herself off an abandoned concrete silo tower last month, her friends and schoolmates came forward in droves to tell police she’d essentially been bullied to death. Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and another girl (aged 12) were charged with felony aggravated stalking after Shaw posted a new message stating in no uncertain terms that she couldn’t care less that her cruelty had resulted in the girl’s death. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reacted to that arrogance swiftly. He has since been adamant in his intent to jail the two minors, and he’s not staying silent on the responsibility their parents should bear, either (“I’m aggravated that [they] aren’t doing what parents should…Responsible parents take disciplinary action”).

I won’t get into the particulars of the backstory since, for instance, the intimidating coercion by Shaw of one of Rebecca’s friends to join in the bullying is all over the Internet. But I will note that an examination of Rebecca’s computer revealed search queries for “What is overweight for a 13-year-old girl?” “How to get blades out of razors,” and “How many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die?” That’s a kicker that feels like it just hit your chest.

(more…)

Unlocking The Truth – is Where Excuses Go to Die

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Lucky are the children who think (and rock) for themselves.

Okay, how cool are fantasy tour dates!? Never mind the gold stars; here’s our show rider!

TOO MUCH METAL FOR ONE HANDThe thing that thrills me about Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins isn’t that they play so well, or that they’re so determined to jam. What’s cool is their combined and individual grace. They clearly choose their words in a manner that best serves their intentions and goals rather than making them sound hip and defiant. And it’s almost as if you can see ’em processing their way through adolescent confusion – without the defeatism that accompanies juvenile martyrdom. It’s called metacognition and it’s incredible to witness in kids this young – bonus that’s it’s too much metal for one hand. 

I’m jealous. I certainly wish I’d been able to explain  –even to myself–  my own ideas and dreams so well at their age. I’m both enamored with Malcolm and Jarad and in admiration of them. Some may dismiss the heavy metal genre they’ve chosen (which would say more about the dismisser than the style preference) or the fact that it’s a kid holding the guitar. But these two are future lawyers, teachers, engineers, or future Vernon Reids or Greg Graffins, so it really doesn’t matter how they rock.

They just rock.

Still, some might assume Jarad and Malcolm are being played by parents aiming for fast cash or fame they couldn’t achieve themselves. And while that’s often a bullseye, the difference between a kid whose heart isn’t in it and a kid who is being pulled along by his heart is obvious. And not once in this video do we catch an adult speaking for either boy like a hovering stage-parent.

Unlocking the Truth. Right-the-hell-onJarad and Malcolm aren’t just processing their young emotions, they’re channeling their frustrations at being picked on in school through lyrics, stagecraft, and chords. They’re not making excuses for altercations, broken windows, or self isolation; they’re using viable tools to communicate what it feels like to be in their shoes. And they’re learning to derive pleasure from a sustained relationship with delayed gratification (i.e. practice makes perfect) rather than posing or primping. That’s rare in society generally — even more so among kids this age, who usually still need adults to teach them how it’s done.

Getting picked on for thinking for yourself is the worst thing ever, but fortunately for people like these two, it just strengthens resolve. It’s cool that Jarad and Malcolm’s outlet is rock ‘n roll, too, but if it were painting, chemistry, or anything else, I’d look up to them just the same. Most of us would. Nobody seems to be putting words into their mouths, but apparently someone has  already instilled some quality coping skills. My fingers are crossed that the world around them doesn’t manage to undo their impressive drive and dedication, ’cause with the path they’re on, these kids can become some seriously heavy hitters.

The Musketeers of Urine Alley

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Two holier-than-thou cowards win one for the good guys.

The Musketeers of Urine Alley_Where Excuses Go to Die03As you watch the hugely viral video attributed to the Surprise Shower Guys of Allentown, Pennsylvania, what’s your assessment of the people being sprayed with revenge water? I bet you’re glad to be dry, for one, but you’re probably happy you’re not in their shoes for other reasons as well. Folks urinating in backstreet doorways must be in pretty bad shape, right? They’re probably not good people.

In fact, from the handy voiceover provided by the video’s creators, we know they’re not. Apparently, we know how “these people” think and talk, too: they’re the “animals” we’re always hearing about. And here they are, in their native habitat – an alley.

Look, at first I laughed too. But after the fifth or sixth spray, my gut told me there was something wrong here, and it starts with the arrogance conveyed by the video’s creators. Their camera looks down on people seeking a lousy 40 seconds of relief, and with their belittling, racist voiceovers, they clearly do too. But how many of them – and us – are really above peeing in an alley when the need arises? (more…)

POLITICS ASIDE

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Special Olympics “Global Messenger” John Stephens’ response to Ann Coulter’s Obama “retard” tweet is one that I’d love to see her fans brush aside. Forget Coulter’s literary conveyor belt, where is this guy’s book deal!?

 

 

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

Whitney Kropp is No “Carrie”

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Whitney Kropp – Photo credit, Dale G. Young/Detroit News

So who is this Whitney Kropp person, and why do we care? Well, the Michigan sophomore was elected to Homecoming Court by her winner schoolmates in an effort to humiliate her — no doubt for something egregious like failing to buy the latest handbag or iPhone.

Until recently, Whitney wasn’t too popular. She apparently keeps to herself, wears a lot of black, colors her hair, and has Kropp for a last name. So her being ridiculed by catty princesses and Brownshirts on the football team isn’t too surprising. But what these  products of idiot parenting didn’t realize is that putting a spotlight on an underdog in the hopes of embarrassing her only really results in spotlighting the underdog.

So when the West Branch dust settled, these “cool” kids found they’d actually succeeded in making an unpopular girl the most popular one in town.  Simply put, there’s no excuse not to love how this is turning out. (more…)