Posts Tagged ‘character’


Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

I was a kid myself when someone first tried to sell me on “It was a different time then.” And whether or not it was a different time then, the phrase doesn’t fly. It’s an idiotic excuse. Even worse, it’s a negligent standard.

It says the past isn’t worthy of interpretation, only rationalization, and that makes it this year’s winner.  

Whether they’re questioning adult talk at the dinner table, inquiring about stories in the news, or simply seeking insight, “It was a different time then” shuts down the conversation. It chases young people away at exactly that point known as a “teachable moment.” (more…)

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!?


“Get Character or Become One”

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The release date for Where Excuses Go to Die has finally arrived.

WHERE EXCUSES GO TO DIE_Get Character or Become OneNot until today could the story behind this highly personal motto be told.

My reasons are simple. First, with today’s official publication of Where Excuses Go to Die, I’ve paid myself back for the opportunities, experiences, friends, and belongings that the consequences of my actions took from me. Second, a prison sentence was the first thing I ever started and saw through to the end, and the long journey of bringing this book to market would never have begun if I hadn’t formulated and maintained a relationship with delayed gratification. Neither would certain realizations have been triggered by the input of those I encountered along the way. The late comedienne Lotus Weinstock, for example, encouraged me to consider developing my newfound voice under less isolating circumstances, and her advice came just as the meaning of the concept — having a voice at all — was finally becoming clear.

Where Excuses Go to Die contains a good number of instances where the lights came on. But this is the most important of all: (more…)

Upgrading Your Soul Is the Goal

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

“I love Africa…South Africa and West Africa are both great countries.” — Paris Hilton, soul-challenged.

Inspired by: and

When my brothers and I were growing up, my mom grabbed pretty much every chance she found or invented to drive home the importance of travelling abroad. (more…)