Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miscellanea, November 2011 and the Religion of College Football

Miscellanea, November, 2011

I had written earlier about the Presidential debate format being changed to tĂȘte-a tĂȘte between the candidates.  I was wrong.

The Republican debates have served a useful purpose, by showcasing the empty suits of most of the candidates, and by highlighting Mitt Romney’s stronger appeal to the general electorate.  In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Rick Perry’s gaffe about abolishing government departments and then not remembering which one he was going to axe, is not really the important point.  It was his lack of a policy understanding and a failure to prepare and be acquainted with policy positions rather than memorizing positions coming from his handlers’ talking point memos.   His authenticity quotient swan dove into a media hurricane.  Memories often fail when there is only rote memory of the thoughts behind the statement.  That is why he could not remember.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Comments on the Religion of college football.

I cannot remember reading anything as loathsome as the Penn State football coach scandal except the ongoing priestly scandals plaguing Catholicism. The idea that men entrusted with the welfare and the education of children could be so callous and even depraved is unimaginable. The idea that football is a more important enterprise than the educational establishment to which it is wedded is evocative of the Catholic Church’s placing its hierarchical power structure before the interests of children, and the shuffling about of pedophilic priests to avoid responsibility for repulsive grotesqueries that would make even the most perverse Hollywood directors blush.  You could not make a horror film on this subject.  There is no film rating for this.  It is just another life destroying mechanism that people will remember, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, without the bombs and explosions.

That is what the coaching staff including the legendary (now, in my opinion, disgraced) Joe Paterno as well as the sacked president of the University did, placing the University’s $76 million revenue machine ahead of the children whose lives have now been scarred  by a monster.

The siege mentality of the Penn State football staff—them against us, the lack of transparency, the para-military discipline  that robs young men of their dignity, sublimating their individuality to the team and that subjects their bodies to indentured battering in the name of an academic institution, has escorted our society to a new low of moral and intellectual bankruptcy.  The fact that college football players are encouraged to take courses that do not demand much study, so they can devote their time to playing football is another indication of why our country is falling behind nations that prefer educating their studentry instead of head bashing them.  Most of these misguided souls will not play professionally, and then when they graduate, if at all, they will not be trained in the skills necessary to succeed in an exponentially growing meritocracy.  The origins of college football have been distorted and corrupted beyond all recognition. A game that began as an amateur pastime has lost its compass and the Penn State scandal is just another example of the decay, the rotting corpse of American big college football academia.

How much Coach Paterno knew, as well as his staff and the higher ups knew, will now be subject to the harsh scrutiny of the courts, both criminal and later, civil.  Those who decry the legal system will now see it seek justice once again for those who could not protect themselves.

May the wheels of justice grind exceedingly fine.