Archive for the ‘Cowardice’ Category

The Foolproof Confederate Flag

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS A STRAIGHTJACKET_Where Excuses Go to DieThe “Heritage not Hate” defense is dead.
No more cautiously tolerated rationalizations.   

No more excuses.

Nine people gave their lives so the Confederate flag could finally be rendered foolproof — ’cause now even fools have a chance to drop its baggage and let it go.

To people who pretend the Confederate flag is a symbol of freedom from government: let it go.
To those who lament the slow bulldozing of Southern pride: read the writing on the 150-year-old wall and let it go.
To anyone who claims the Confederate flag is not representative of racism: let it go.
To people who say the Civil War was ages ago, Charleston church gunman Dylan Roof was last week: let it go.
To cultural identifiers proud of Dixie, resistant to change and mad as hell: let it go.
To Southerners who blame haters for turning people against their colors: give us a break and let it go.

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The Curious Morass of Stephen Glass

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

NO DO-OVERS FOR STEPHEN GLASS_Where Excuses Go to DieShamed ex-journalist is definition of Get Character or Become One.

Here’s the background in a nutshell: They made a movie about how full of crap this guy is, and in recently denying his bid to become a lawyer, the California Supreme Court agreed that Stephen Glass is an unreformed, serial liar (and a bigot).

The court’s decision is the document your mother warned you about. The first few sentences alone hooked me, and as I continued reading I couldn’t help but pause to appreciate how good I have it.

I may be a convicted armed robber who the state of California once sent to Folsom prison, yet to the best of my knowledge and documentation retrieval efforts no court decision or official determination of me is anywhere near as condemning as this decision on Glass. Blame it on Hayden Christensen’s wooden acting if you must, but not even Hollywood’s version more indelibly reinforces the expression that cheaters never prosper.  (Yeah yeah, they often do, but  journalistic fraud circa 1998 doesn’t quite reach the heights of today’s macroeconomic mega-scams or the cheating wars teachers and Chinese-trained GPA hackers are now waging.)

America is a nation of second chances, yet the court’s decision essentially stamped “NO DO-OVERS” across Stephen Glass’s doughy face. How harsh is that!?

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Abandoning Old Furniture is a Hate Crime

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Littering should be judged by respective degrees, just like murder.

Abandoned Mattresses are Hate Crimes_Where Excuses Go to Die“First degree littering” would be considered the worst, of course, a genuine, pre-meditated affront to humanity.  “Second degree” wouldn’t be any better, except that maybe you put a “FREE” sign on your old-ass queen size. But because that’s a stupid excuse, I take it back: there’d be no second or third degrees.

It’s all bad. It’s all willful and deliberate. 

When I find some skanky mattress or overturned recliner dumped next to sidewalk tree, I imagine locating its former owner and rubbing his face in it the way my father taught our dog not to crap in the house. There’s simply no excuse for making your problems ours, and those who do are self-serving leeches with rat urine for blood. So no, the “Take Me” sign you stuck on that used condom of an old couch doesn’t frame this picture any more forgivably. Your Carrington-Breckenridge microsuede fat throne and you can go to hell.

I can’t say why the site of abandoned furniture hits my who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are? nerve with the precision of a laser-guided missile, but when it strikes I picture the culprit creepin’ around, lookin’ for the right spot and the perfect moment to dump a lifeless TV before racing off like he’d just waved his dick at some kids.

Self-serving leech with rat urine for blood_Where Excuses Go to DieIf the offending home furnishing happens to be sitting in front of your home or at the end of your driveway   –and it belongs to you–   that’s a different story. But old couches are most often abandoned in and around condo and apartment complexes. Discarded mattresses are leaned upside electrical boxes, building entrances, parking garage gates, and in street gutters for all to enjoy.

(Here, too, I imagine a herpetic male tenant who doesn’t pay his child support, waiting ’til midnight before wrestling his personally varnished king-sized Euro-top out of the building and into the alley, where it’ll stay for weeks.)

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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…)

The Patron Saint of Pedophilia

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, represents everything I despise about having been raised Catholic: the lies, the hypocrisy, the rhetorical and dogmatic absurdities, the intimidating ideology of compliance as a measure of success and happiness – all of it.
Granted, these are the characteristics of a church and its minions known to those who experienced so-called “old-school” nuns and priests, but here we are in 2013, and Mahony — a man who protected and made excuses for child molesters for many years — is only now getting that metaphorical boot in the ass, as he’s kicked into oblivion. (more…)

LIVESTRONG SOMEWHERE ELSE, ASSHOLE

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Everyone deserves a second chance, Lance, but you don’t get to have yours so soon. Right now, you just need to shut the hell up. You’re a clown. Compared to how much you’ve diminished our expectations of those we look up to, you’ve accomplished little. Thanks. 

And what’s with the sudden need to half-admit your wrongs anyway? Are you gonna compete again? Ha! Anywhere you race in the future, the media will follow, robbing legitimate athletes of acknowledgment they deserve. Your presence will render competition pointless, you selfish, cow-blood injecting weirdo!

We’ve read about your angry denials; we’ve watched you dare others to courtroom challenges. Over ten years, you’ve either bullied or sued your accusers and railed against anyone who fingered you as a cheat. So it’s a safe bet your prime time contrition is as phony as your denials.

Your so-called “intense” confession to Oprah Winfrey is an egotistical joke, you no testicle-having weasel. And why Oprah? Her soft-hearted fans can’t save you. Your sympathy-for-the-asshole schtick smacks of ex-Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, another guy who couldn’t live without media attention. For you, for years, the name “Lance Armstrong” will be synonymous with fraud and cowardice. There’s your legacy, you sport-tarnishing, cancer foundation-destroying drug dealer.

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Sunday Afternoon Cocaine Hangover

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Each weekend, Gawker contributing editor Kiese Laymon posts an essay from readers. I usually enjoy ’em, but this week’s, not so much. Now I’m no Hunter Thompson, but I do feel qualified to comment on writer Ruth Fowler’s treatment of French cocaine and dirt-sex since they relate to personal responsibility, the consequences of one’s actions, and, of course, justifications and excuses — my daily obsessions. 

I can’t post Gawker’s content, so I’ll just have to hope you return to see how I weigh in. 

Ruth Is Heartless, But the World Breaks Everyone

 

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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

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Worry List

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

From one of my favorites, Shaun Usher and his site, Lists of Note

In 1933,  author F. Scott Fitzgerald ended a letter to his 11-year-old daughter, Scottie, with a list of things to worry about, not worry about, and simply think about. It read as follows.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,

Daddy

Fine, I’ll Say It: Those Two New York Cops Took the Easy Route

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

If prison tower guards pool their $$ for each other's mandatory post-shooting psych leave, why not street cops?

Two dead, nine wounded? Hell no do I think those cops had to open fire. It was two against one. Plus they were behind Jeffrey Johnson; they could’ve tackled him and kicked his ass. The iPhone footage from that would’ve allowed them to surf street cred for the rest of their careers. Even the worst case scenario along those lines is better than what really went down.

So Johnson might’ve gotten a round off and shot one of ’em while they wrestled for his weapon: it happens. But the public never swore to take a bullet for a cop — cops swear oaths to protect the public.

Relax – nobody’s blaming Officers Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj for doing their jobs, and I’m not saying Johnson wasn’t a public safety threat. But like it ‘er not, these two safety-conscious, veteran street officers will always have an asterisk next to the Empire State Building takedown. (more…)