Unfavorable Content Follows

There’s a Christopher Hitchens quote about the value of stridency – of being willing to push the bounds of socially acceptable behavior in the name of being capital-r, Right.

Well, on the death of Joe Paterno, I find myself horrified at this fresh outburst of effusive love. Particularly classifying Paterno as a family man or compassionate community member.

There certainly seemed to be a lack of this man’s remarkable compassion towards the end there. But why just suppose it’s only there at the end. NBC Sports’ obit implies Paterno had been a man of poor character for quite some time. Of his legendary compassion: he told the Washington Post, when confronted with the Sandusky child rape thing, that he “didn’t know exactly how to handle it.” What humanity. What a family man. What a community icon.

Paterno suffered from the disease of imperiousness. Among curmudgeons in coaching, he achieved platinum level. He would snap at a reporter who asked a question he didn’t feel like answering, or worse yet, a question he didn’t think a reporter even had a right to ask.

In the end, the great shame here is that cancer claimed him before he had the opportunity to spend his last days in a cage. If there was any justice… but of course that was never his fate. He never legitimately faced any type of repercussions for walking away from the chance to do – not the right thing – but the only thing a decent sentient human can do when informed that your subordinate coach is butt fucking children in the shower.


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