Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

FULFILLMENT BEFORE FURY!

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

There’s no excuse for getting all angst ridden over the day’s headlines before first accomplishing something meaningful. 

And there’s no excuse for partaking in America’s new national pastime –scratching the outrage itch– without first empowering yourself through personal performance. Fulfillment before fury!

Why? Because we live in a world that encourages us to agree with ourselves every chance we get. Because the strength we get from knowing that we put ourselves first has the power to declutter our thinking and make us feel as though we’ve earned something.

Examine the back end of any hard, successful day and track how much your sense of completion downgraded your anxiety. By comparison, how does a morning of social media feel, or reading articles from your preferred news outlets? (more…)

Time to Stop Making Excuses

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

unfortunate-person-comics_where-excuses-go-to-dieOh, there are plenty of reasons to be frustrated with the world around us. And I do care who you voted for: I’m just not making excuses for letting it live on my shoulder and whisper in my ear.

I’m tired of tolerating increasingly thin justifications from friends and family to be – and remain – outraged. Never mind that I, too, am offended, righteously indignant, morally and socially insulted and feeling betrayed (I mean, Bad Santa 2? Really?). Why contribute to the stream of bitterness that’s become a raging river?

Yes, rationalizing has gotten hyper-stupid. After this year, our cop-outs have developed an overlapping quality where contexts mingle because we offer so many. It’s as though we need Venn diagrams or flow charts to see them clearly.

How many excuses do I make in a day? Well shit, I’m afraid to ask, for fear of being shown self-awarded behavior exemptions I don’t even know I’m making. But whether on a community level, a national level, or by ourselves in line at the grocery store, too many people seem to think they’re entitled to comfort zones in which their irritation reflexes and rude or hurtful antics can’t be called out for the warm-fart coping skills they are.  (more…)

“It’s Just Words, Folks…”

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

notes-from-a-non-parent-11I called my mom a “bitch” once. She spun and dropped as if to shoulder my head against the stove.

“Don’t ever call a woman that,” she warned, her finger in my face. “It means you hate women. Only idiots use that word.”

I panicked and thought Wait, I don’t hate women!

Her signature door-slammer, “idiot,” was always effective too. As in, “If you stick a needle in your arm – you’re an idiot.”

And my mom’s lesson had legs: I soon learned it also applied to the other words boys around me were using to describe women and their parts. 
(more…)

To Stand or Not To Stand

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

to-stand-or-not-stand_where-excuses-go-to-dieIn high school I stitched an American flag to the seat of my pants and marched onto campus. Just before 3rd period a friend said, “You’ve gotta get out of here: the whole football team’s looking for you!”

I was beaming as I headed down the hallway, but the Vice Principal caught me on my way out. He calmly escorted me to his office, then locked the door, shoved me against his desk, and threatened my life. The pain and anger in his eyes as he described guys my age who’d died in his arms in Vietnam showed me far better than any lecture that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

That began a lifelong need to understand the American flag. All these years later I can’t say I have any real answers, but I do have a relationship with the Stars & Stripes that’s filled with regrets, worry, and growth. The last one is what I’m most proud of. 
(more…)

The “Terror” of Gender-Neutral Toilets

Monday, May 30th, 2016

All Gender Splendor_Where Excuses Go to Die

Not since the Satanic Panic of the 1980s have we seen as much moral alarmism and fear mongering as we’re now enduring, with today’s terror over gender-neutral toilets.

Texas and 10 other states filed suit last week challenging the U.S. Justice and Education Departments’ issuance of an Obama directive instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

Supporters of the lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court, say the move is designed to protect women and children (presumably from “unemployed homosexuals, deviants, rapists, transgenders, and other sodomites from every state”). Though the actual threat from these jobless homo-nazis is practically nonexistent, according to the Justice Department and others, Texas says it will forfeit $10 billion in federal funding for education rather than carry out the so-called “bathroom law.” BTW, asked if he knows of any instances in which a child’s safety has been threatened by transgender bathroom rights, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has replied, “there’s not a lot of research.”

But foot-stomping is so much more fun (and vote-garnering!) than adaptive social functioning, isn’t it?
(more…)

Control Issues My Ass

Friday, April 15th, 2016

HELPFUL PARKING INSTRUCTIONS_Where Excuses Go to DieYours, mine, or theirs: citing “control issues” to justify bad behavior is just another excuse. It’s nonsense, too, because we don’t have control issues; we have irritation reflexes, entitlements, and a need for instant gratification. These form a perfect storm in our compulsion to influence the world around us – an Achilles’ heel like no other. And where do go with it?
Behind the wheel. 

.
(more…)

Apple’s Grapple

Monday, February 29th, 2016

UNMAC_NELSON_WHERE EXCUSES GO TO DIECreation of Homeland Security not enough?

Office of Total Information Awareness left for the day?

Is the heart-shaped flower of police militarization wilting?

Did D.A.R.P.A. go dark?

Has the Patriot Act pooped out?

Nope. Nor have the corporations and power brokers of the surveillance state yet tapped out American taxpayers. 

In other words, the FBI does not need the Genius Bar. 

From Feds to street-corner cops and home security companies, law enforcement has more than enough control, technology, and boots-on-the-ground for continued counterterrorism success. And probably lots of fun civil liberties secrets, too.

The FBI has all the tools it needs and plenty more to keep American citizens safe. And when I say “safe,” I mean relatively safe, just as we’ve been since September, 2001. Stuff will happen; that’s just the trajectory of history, especially when we’ve been messing around with it as much as we have. But in trying to force Apple to write new software that will help them unlock an iPhone belonging to the perpetrator of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, the Bureau is overstepping its constitutional bounds. Apple worries that, if they comply, anyone who can grab or mimic their software will have access to every confidence Americans hope to keep electronically secure. (more…)

The High of Handling Guns

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Lola Medina conducting a product demo at the offices of Centre Firearms movie prop gun manufacturer_circa 1955There’s a bit of a rush when you get around guns, isn’t there?

You can feel an energy shift when someone brings out some newly purchased rifle or revolver. Yet we rarely talk about just what that shift means or how it affects us. Is it intimidation? The thrill of being in the presence of potential danger? Maybe it’s simply human nature to keep such things to ourselves.

Whatever it is, some people –women as much as men– just plain enjoy handling, learning about, and shooting firearms. Doing so can be cathartic and spirit stirring, an exhilarating hobby to enjoy at gun ranges. For others, often regionally influenced, gun ownership is a rite of passage. Still others like the kick of ownership without the hassles of usage, and many of us don’t even own guns but get into their lore, power, and mythology. (more…)

Let’s Talk about Package Thieves

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

WHITE TRASH CHILD LABOR__Where Excuses Go to Die

Abandoning skanky mattresses and furniture are hate crimes, and package thieves are cut from the same cloth.
These rats need skewering.

Few things get under my skin as much as abandoned, humped-on furniture, but package thieves come pretty close. And, ’tis the season for these losers to come out of their pain med stupors long enough to use what semblance of societal normalcy they possess as a cloak for their cowardice. Like this guy, who literally takes his toddler out of its stroller to make the kid grab someone’s package.

But guess what, dummies? Here’s where your excuses go to die, ’cause what the hell will you have to say for yourselves when you get caught? (more…)

The Sucker Factor

Monday, August 24th, 2015

For every credibility gap there is a gullibility gap__Where Excuses Go to DieThe sucker factor is off the charts: mass consumption has seen to it that we all have oral fixations in one form or another. So how do you excuse yours – or the ones you’re aware of, anyway?

Before we proceed, let’s get it out there that I know as much about Freudian psychosexual development of “oral character” and behavioral science in general as I do about piloting commercial aircraft. But we seem to be naturally equipped with onboard behavioral science labs, where finger-pointers in our heads tell us who pays retail, who doesn’t, who’s most likely to be struck by a bus crossing the street, and who will probably marry a drummer, speak the truth, or become a pain in the ass.

Designer Water Bottle Worship_Where Excuses Go to DieSo while I may have no “official” business offering my theories of the internal and external forces shaping our personalities, I’ll feel free to ask, what’s your excuse? How many bottles that look like toy spaceships do you purchase, maintain, nurse from, neglect, or collect? Of the seemingly endless choices, how do you decide which ones are right for you?

  • Capacity?Absurdly Pretentious Horseshit__Where Excuses Go to Die
  • Innovative appearance?
  • Important looking millimeter measurements up the side?
  • iPhone connectivity?
  • Spill proof-ness?
  • Polymer resin construction per NASA specifications?
  • Easy grip?
  • Percentage of sales profits donated to eco-friendly charities?

How about the thermosy thing that tracks all of the disposable plastic bottles you’re not buying (a self-important do-gooder tug job if there ever was one)? My favorite is the one that opens and closes for you, in case you’re too fatigued to do it yourself.

The point is, many of these impulse buys can go for $90 and up. What’s your limit?  (more…)