Archive for the ‘Self-Esteem’ Category

It’s 2015 – Your Gut Is Calling

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

What Lies Beneath_Where Excuses Go to DieFear of failure is your gut’s mating call. Your gut is saying, TRY.

1. Your gut tells you you’re unique, doesn’t it? You bring all sorts of good things to the table, and you know it. Whether you’re alone, on a team, or among co-workers, your gut has ways of forcing you to push your strengths ahead of your limitations, but you don’t always.

In our heads we think, “I could do this, but…” or “I’m good at that, but…”

To me, the way we naturally order these sentiments is proof that our guts are the ones kicking our abilities –not our shortcomings– upfront. Self-confidence comes into play, yes, which is also something we must sharpen and build, but it all starts with your gut.

2. Worry about self confidence or where your hesitations come from later. Yes, you have limitations, so get to know the bastards, but in moments of opportunity and chance, trust that your gut knows what it’s doing by putting things in order of their importance. (more…)

Why I Hate the Word “Nigger”

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

THE N-WORD_Where Excuses Go to DieI hate the word “nigger” because of what it reveals about its user.

Blue, Black, White, or Brown – you’re lazy.

How’s that, you ask?

Well for one, what have you, the N-word user, attempted to learn about the volatile word? ‘Cause it’s a shape-shifter: one that can be used rightly and wrongly, ironically and seriously, congenially and maliciously, of necessity for the sake of realism and impishly for the sake of comedy.* Do you know its etymology? Have you taken the time to read any Richard Wright or August Wilson? Who were the Little Rock Nine? Do you know why Malcolm X and Richard Pryor swore off using it?

It doesn’t matter. And regardless of who you are, you weren’t born with the right to use the word, so don’t even go there. You have a choice. If you want to debate whether or not cultural perspective should govern its meaning, you’d better find out more than what you heard someone say, sing, shout, or slur.

I hate the word because it whispers its right to be among us, forcing users to make excuses for it. It’s a chunk of broken cement that has, for too many people, disguised itself as a Fabergé egg. Which people, you ask? As Clarence Major wrote in his Dictionary of Afro-American Slang (1970), “persons insufficiently attuned to the volatility of this singularly complex and dangerous word.”

Having been to prison and, therefore, temporarily disqualified from societal participation, you might think my learning was limited to how to survive and/or how to become a better criminal, not unlike the claim that college merely teaches one to be a better student. While there may be a basis in reality for both assertions, prison wasn’t a School of Crimethink for me: it was an ungodly wake-up call. And since the phrase “wake-up call” is grossly overused, I’ll go a little deeper.


Breaking the Narcissist Richter Scale

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Goofing on cosmetic surgery martyrdom and Justin Bieber’s toolface

Narcissist-Richter-Scale_Where Excuses Go to DieIf I look like Justin Bieber, I’ll live like Justin Bieber, goes the thinking of a sick, dumb animal.

When humans are psychologically backed against a wall, they often do silly things reminiscent of the crazed stumble of mad cow disease. Narcissism is like mad cow, in that infected animals’ brains and spinal cords get wonky after eating too much of themselves. 

At 33 years-old, “songwriter” Toby Sheldon is one such sick, dumb animal, thanks to his diseased missteps in pursuing the surgeried  likeness of Justin Bieber’s pout. He may not have succeeded in turning his mug into a copy of The Bieber’s, but he has broken the Narcissist Richter Scale and become this month’s poster boy for GET CHARACTER OR BECOME ONE.

DUMBASS AND DUMBERASS_Where Excuses Go to DiePerhaps it’s unfair for me to pick on one of God’s mixed up creatures, one whose likely next move is stumbling in a circle until it dies. But God commanded me to write this blog, and I can’t be blamed for self-poisoning narcissists who shudder, shake, and stagger madly before my oncoming truck.

Maybe the rule of thumb should be that, if you’re such a delusional cosmetic surgery pigeon that becoming a laughing stock is a minor consequence, you should be entitled to special insurance coverage or perhaps your own island residency. I favor the island, a zero-liability  environment where you can immolate yourself with a can of gas, invent a chainsaw radio, or stagger delusionally off a cliff, all free from the legal or social judgments of others.


Slamming the Stroller-pushers

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

When the term “stroller-pusher” becomes a derogatory label


When Stroller-pusher is used as a snide reference, it’s usually directed at some self-righteous adult pushing not just a stroller, but a holy-stroller, a classist war-wagon, if you will.

Notes From a Non-Parent 7

I also call it steering a child-hero or driving a trophy-trolley, (too often while forcing a 10th-grade wardrobe to conform to a 10th-grade-was-a-long-time-ago body). Certain Stroller-pushers have a pious air of expectation. Some Stoller-pushers rove in gangs, flying yoga colors, and they’re impatient, entitled, and predominantly white. Stroller-pushers believe it’s their privilege in life to express themselves, yet they demand the sanctity of their own comfort zones and short circuit like malfuctioning toasters when challenged. The woman in this cell phone footage (we’ll call her “Bananas”)  exemplifies what happens when a self-important crybaby’s low tolerance for difficulty collides with not getting what she wants. She exemplifies a lack of patience and bearing.  (more…)

Happy Holidays – They’re On You

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

I flip people off when I shouldn’t. I flip people off in traffic, when I’ve been wronged. I flip off friends and vice versa, or when it’s the only way to get the last word in. In public, it’s dorky and potentially risky, since Dirty Harry Hyundai could shoot my face off, but I even frequently use both hands – double barrel. Whenever I flip someone off, I claim to feel justified. But I confess I don’t have to: it’s fun. I’ll flip off Lana Del Rey eventually.  

I’ve been flipping people off my entire life, and I doubt I’ll ever stop. I’ve tried the proper palm-back British “V” or “Bowfinger,” but in L.A. traffic? Meh. It’s awkward. Plus, xenophobes might not comprehend the affront. And although I admire the French, I love that the Bowfinger’s origins are said to lie in taunting them in battle. Probably to counter having farts blown in their general direction

I’m saving my last great series of one-finger salutes for when I’m in a rest home, provided I make it that far. The downside is that I’m criticized for this unapologetic bird abuse – but mostly by hypocrites to whom all of the above applies. You see, everyone likes to fly their middle fingers once in a while, and I think repressing it is as silly as holding in a turd longer than you have to.



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

Which Will Be Worse, iPhone 5 Anxiety or Presidential Attack Ads?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Last week, Apple took orders for 2 million iPhone 5s in less than 24 hours. Ha! In the coming weeks, I’m not sure which I’ll want to throat-punch first, the iPhone 5 or presidential campaign spots.

With those twin tsunamis crashing atop us all, which will bring out the worst in us? Will an unflattering video or photo taken on an iPhone 5 determine the outcome of the election? Will the next mass maiming happen at an Apple Store? In the back-and-forth about whether iPhone 5 will save the economy or fail in the marketplace, which candidate will take credit for its success, and which will blame the other for its failure? I can just feel it, too: at some point on November 6, one of my friends will have an excuse for not voting that will somehow be iPhone 5 related. 

While this anxiety may seem silly in many parts of the U.S., these questions are pieces of conversations I’ve been a part of or have overheard around town. In L.A. – a city where people pretend $4.20 a gallon doesn’t hurt and where keeping up with the Joneses or staying with the pack is a quality of life issue – this noise means something. Hence my prediction that some folks will be too caught up in the chatter to remember their right to vote, or too overloaded to care. (more…)

Patricia Krentcil: Please Just Go to Hell.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Patricia Krentcil is not only a laughably easy target for this blog, she’s as disoriented as a Kansas pig with farm fever. So we’re not gonna slam her too much, but we are gonna ask: are these really our values? Is Krentcil’s nutso body image and clearly low self-esteem just about being batshit crazy, or is it more and more typical of Americans constantly subject to predatory marketing? And just how ugly do we think we are if this is seen as an improvement? 

Police say Pat Krentcil was arrested and charged with child endangerment after she allegedly snuck her daughter into the tanning booth she uses to make herself look like a carnival freak circa 1928. (more…)

“Beauty is an Attitude”

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Estée Lauder Introduces European-Specific Skincare Line, Reminding Us of Our War Against American Women

Personally, I believe most cosmetic facial creams and moisturizers do nothing for women’s skin besides hydrate it, and I think the cosmetics industry sells mostly ageism, vitamin A, and water. I also firmly believe in what Estée Lauder must have when she began selling the facial crèmes she invented with the help of her chemist uncle: that “there are no ugly women, only women who don’t care or who don’t believe they’re attractive.” (more…)