Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Nittany Credulous

Penn State students and alumni tend to be loyalists. Followers. Traditionalists.

(The skeptics, independent thinkers, and creative minds among Pennsylvania's college applicants generally have chosen other institutions, such as Pitt, Penn, and Carnegie Mellon. This is changing in Oakland, as Pitt abandons it traditional mission -- offering a big-league education to striving students from the local middle to lower classes -- and pursues the more lucrative role of backup school for Ivy League rejects from New Jersey, New York, and the Philadelphia suburbs whose applications are augmented by parental ability to pay full freight.)

No change in credulity, however, is apparent in State College, even as the endowment becomes the Victims Of Penn State's Immorality Compensation Fund.

Observation of a stubbornly faithful herd (right) supporting the 20 or so Penn Staters who concealed and facilitated the rape of children -- for more than a decade, and for the purpose of protecting the image and finances of a football program and its university auxiliary -- is, therefore, not entirely surprising.

Some reported comments from fans assembled at State College for today's football game are nonetheless jarring.

Fifty-something Penn State alumnus Tom Lowe, for example, wore a "Thanks Joe" sweatshirt for the game (and preparatory tailgating).

"I still love Penn State." said 1991 Penn State graduate Dave Granski.

Most Penn State fans not only did not permit the scandal to interfere with today's entertainment, but indeed "were supportive of Mr. Paterno," the Post-Gazette reports.

For Tom Lowe, Dave Granski, and others drinking, socializing, and cheering at Beaver Stadium today, this weekend would have been better devoted to having their moral compasses adjusted.

Infytune: Luka, Suzanne Vega


Anonymous said...

On the other hand...

By all means, continue to paint with as broad a brush as you like, but a vast majority of the 600,000+ Penn State students and alumni are decent folks with finely-tuned moral compasses that share your outrage and heartache over what's happened there.

There are enough real villains at the heart of this tragedy that one need not cast aspersions on the entire student body and alumni base.

Infinonymous said...

Roughly 106,000 of those moral compasses were pointing to a football game today. Others were having their pictures taken with the Paterno statue. Some were kneeling at the Paterno homestead, with signs supporting their unmasked hero. Others were, no doubt, still reminiscing about the riot and the overturned van, muttering about how Paterno got railroaded when the board met his delusional defiance with a swift kick out the door.

That football program -- Success With Honor, The Penn State Way -- has been built for decades on a foundation of immorality, deceit, hypocrisy, greed, secrecy, selfishness, and sanctimony. Nittany Lions fans seem to have taken it nicely in stride, at least when it comes to tailgating, watching some football, and expressing support for monstrous moral failures.

Someone has observed that a fitting and moral response to the revelations would be to close the football program, raze its offices and the stadium, burn the rubble, bury the ashes, and till the ground with salt to prevent anything from growing.

That would be too extreme.

By a shade.