Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Contemplating Paterno, McQueary, and outrage

I feel sorry for Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary. I really do. Both men can be counted amongst the victims of Jerry Sandusky's monstrous crimes, even if they are not the victims we should be most concerned with, or feel the most sympathy for. Both those men were violated in a basic and awful way by Sandusky, and for that they do deserve sympathy.

Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary are awful human beings, and I wish them nothing but misery for the rest of their worthless lives. Those two men are wholly complicit in the continued brutalization of young men by a monster who should be put down with no more dignity than a rabid pitbull.

As we go through life, we can only hope to not be exposed to the depths of the human soul that Paterno and McQueary had so forcefully brought to their immediate attention. I cannot fathom what I would feel if a friend of mine, someone I loved, was revealed to be a monster. I am sure it would cause me to never love, or trust, again, and that in and of itself would render me something less than a whole person. Paterno and McQueary could never be whole again, from the second they discovered what a man they knew, admired, maybe even loved, was doing to at least one young man that day in the bowels of an institution they undoubtedly love as if it were itself human.

But let us not speak of what we would do. I cannot attest to my fitness for navigating this situation, nor can anyone else, except those who have been dealt the blow of actually having faced it. To even consider the hypothetical is to equivocate, to pretend that a choice really exists when it doesn't.

Instead we must speak of what must be done by any human being in that situation: Stop it from ever happening again, no matter the cost. Paterno and McQueary failed a test they didn't deserve to be faced with, and for that failure there is no punishment severe enough on this realm to, upon its execution, grant them absolution. This is not arguable, unless you do not value anything in this world.

You might say, but these men have families, and children of their own, and it is for those reasons they have worth. But those men already betrayed their families and children, and their worthiness as fathers, or spouses, or loved ones is invalidated by their awful crime against the very essence of what makes us human. There is no amount of good they could have done in their lives to outweigh their complicity in child rape. My hope is for both that they die with no other thought than what misery they wrought on Sandusky's victims.

"I am disappointed in the Board's decision," said Paterno in a statement released just moments ago. What incredible proof that this man is unworthy of anything but our most vicious contempt. He just walked out of his house with a smile and his arm around his wife, who herself has abdicated any notion of humanity, as deluded students screamed they loved him, and said he loved them too, before asking as a coda to "pray for the victims." There are no words.

As for those students, the ones on his front lawn, the ones holding gobsmacking silent vigils for the decrepit coward in front of his statue, the ones rioting out on Beaver Street: Our society will not be whole until you leave it, one way or the other. Paterno and McQueary indeed suborned child rape, a crime that defies our ability to express its horrors in words, but did so in a crisis of the soul, and failed their test as humans because they didn't have the moral fortitude to do the only thing a real human being can do. But you, "students," you are animals who mitigate the horrors of child rape with the benefit of reflection, and do a disservice to our species. The stain you have put on us all is one that will not fade for some time, but we can only hope you all begin the healing process for the rest of us by removing yourself from our society, sooner rather than later.