Posts Tagged ‘Americans’

Kathy Griffin: Empathy Panhandler Pts. I & II

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

PART I – It’s as simple as both Griffin and Trump having mastered reality television, where “drama” is processed to the point of becoming doublespeak and insecurities and pettiness are aggrandized. In this way, and probably others, they’re similar. Both claw at their own skin for our attention, and both are so accustomed to having a national media platform from which address the public that it’s the first thing they reach for to solve their problems.
(more…)

2015 EXCUSE OF THE YEAR

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

2015 Where Excuses Go to Die_EXCUSE OF THE YEAR2015 was a rough year, especially for those who believe in the absolutism of beat cops and badges, or that the bootstraps of hardworking Americans can’t possibly snap. This was a difficult year for innocent bystanders, or anyone thinking they were safe. But it was, and remains, the most challenging yet for those convinced that guns are God-given.

At first I thought I’d go with the excuse offered by Subway Jared and his lawyers who, prior to his prison sentence for child-ruining, blamed his Subway diet for his pervert crimes. Essentially, these morally challenged morons claimed that, had Jared “received help,” he wouldn’t have “traded a horrible food addiction for a horrible sex addiction.” Subway Jared is about to find out Where Excuses Go to Die. (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…)

NO EXCUSES FOR CUBA Pt. 2

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die5I may have returned from Cuba a more informed tourist, but I remain a clumsy narrator, for I’ve experienced more than I know how to process at once.

So, with my eye ever on excuses (and a reliance on my iPhone camera for more complete coverage), I’ll just jump right in.

Our casa particular was in Habana Centro, the most densely populated district in the city of Havana, where much of life is spent where the action is: right outside the building in which one lives. Street sports like handball, self-regulating pet and child care, gossip, singing merchants, colorful laundry Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die3being pinned to decaying balconies, inventive refuse repurposing, prostitution, championship dominoes, and, of course, more vintage Chevy tweaking than outside a Barrett-Revolutionary Square_Where Excuses Go to DieJackson auction are daily occurrences, rain or shine. Drivers use their horns in polite little taps to warn pedestrians, slower cars, and ubiquitous bicycle taxis that they’re approaching from behind, because walking in the middle of the narrow streets is necessary – and not because the city lacks sidewalks. This is about Darwinian natural selection: misshapen rebar barely clinging to crumbles of concrete isn’t just a photo op, it’s a reminder that falling chunks of rotting rooftops are common, especially following an afternoon downpour. Our local host was explaining this to my wife when a basketball sized slab of wall proved his point a few feet away.

Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die1

(more…)

Cops and Cathedrals – Part I

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

For me, really embracing Detroit means being a wreckage dork first

Downtown Detroit Lives_©Where Excuses Go to DieI’m in Detroit this week and have assorted free days to leave the safe confines of my host’s Grosse Pointe neighborhood for Mad Max Island, aka downtown.

I’m sitting at a table with coffee now, preparing  for the 21º weather and listening to police scanner feeds covering Wayne County, which itself is like sticking my hand into a bucket of ice water before it’s poured over my head.

Off Waverly Street, a policewoman reports, a fight between two women has just ended with one holding the other’s hand in a car door and breaking it. A suicidal man is offering to kill himself, but through police observations from across the street, he has a severely autistic adult in tow who is resolutely unwilling to step away.

“Daughter is threatening mother with a gun over a check” crackles over the air, followed by an officer in another location answering a call involving “a group of people” attempting to “force their way into a home” where workers are inside. Aside from that literal siege, a mile away, an actual home invasion is announced as being “in progress.” (more…)

The Feast and the Furious

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Slower fast food drive-thru times may indicate less of a shit given

DRIVE-THRU_Where Excuses Go to DieWith the furious pace of America’s dumbing down, de-skilling, and low-waging, it’s no surprise that drive-thru speed of service is suffering. Yet after catching sight of a pedestrian nursing a chocolate shake, his facial expression as blank as a feeding infant’s, it suddenly becomes critical that I not have to wait too long for my own. The notion now planted, the countdown from image to intake shouldn’t be longer than six minutes, and two have been annoyingly consumed by the two block drive.

YOU SHUT YOUR FACE - WE PAY YOU IN PEANUTSWhen I finally reach the drive-thru, I’m certain that anything beyond four more minutes would be un-American. So the foreign-American up there pulling various levers and pushing little buttons is just going to have to snap it up. But wait! That’s not a compliant brown person at the window: it’s an uppity white kid! What’s he doing here? Oh, right, he’s one of those college grads pushing lower-skilled workers and immigrants even further down the occupational staircase.

No wonder my Jalapeno Chicken Squeezer isn’t already running down my neck-slide! The chow line is slow ’cause Hamilton just doesn’t care. And he’s not some trophy-collecting, millennial foot-dragger, either: he’s as boxed in as the fast food coworkers with whom he stood last month, demanding a bump in the $7.25 federal minimum wage. (more…)

I Can’t Always Avoid U.S. Foreign Policy

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Where’s this pressure to open another theater of war coming from?

Who would actually benefit besides those in our government bought off by defense contractor lobbyists?

Who says Attack Syria_Where Excuses Go to DieAmericans like me aren’t indifferent to innocent men, women, and children being killed with chemical agents, but we’ve grown increasingly wary of the distractive properties of a constant, multi-front war. After all, between the money spent on the aforementioned contractors and the banks backing them, America itself has been ransacked and destabilized. And who’s looking out for us while we go acting abroad on behalf of others? In fact, how can the United States authentically serve as peacekeeper, lead by example, or stand up for the little guy if we’re too busy forcing this world police thing down everyone’s throats — including those of our own majority? The credibility of American might (and ethical standards) exists not because our elected leaders keep insisting on it, but because we’ve won a few; because we’ve overcome some. But now America’s foreign policy feels like we’re still pulling the trigger, but the chamber is empty.

President Obama feels strongly that America needs to “send a message” to brutes like Bashar al-Assad. Yet if we target and destroy Assad’s chemical weapons stockpiles in a “limited” and “narrow” attack that in no way demands regime change, won’t the message be: Use chemical weapons and we’ll shoot some missiles at your bunkers but not remove you from power? This kind of shock and awe sounds more like shove ‘n shoo.

If, on the other hand, Obama & Co. stick to humanitarian aid  –terrible as that may seem–  might we instead finally send the message that America won’t be baited into intervention? Won’t it signify our intention to start holding our cards closer to our chest? Might that not help us be taken even more seriously in the long term?

No?
Less isn’t more, you say?

Fine. But isn’t it smarter to avoid military engagement with Syrian Opposition Forces made up of jihadists and fighters about whom we know so little? Before you answer that, scroll down this long list of those groups who make up the opposition.

One last question: Does America represent the power of unilaterally exercised principles, or the principles of unilaterally exercised power?

Notes from a Non-Parent 4 – Thanksgiving Edition

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Skip the Excuses: If You Waste Food You’re an Asshole

Q: How many Americans can legitimately claim they’ve never been told not to waste food?   A: You don’t know any.

When I was a kid, being told I wouldn’t be excused from the table ‘til my plate was clean was a “cold rule.” Though sometimes lacking context, cold rules were made clear through enforcement, repetition, and amplification: “Don’t touch the stove,” for example, is an easy one. “Don’t insult the skeletal West African baby I want you to envision by leaving food on your plate” was a little harder to get behind. Yet some variation on the admonishment, “Do you know how many children are starving in this world?” was overheard in the home of every playmate and acquaintance I knew. We all sat there squirming until we resentfully swallowed enough disgusting and now-cold whatever-it-was to set us free. (more…)