Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The memory hole: LRC on Penn State
I don’t follow football and agree with the Anti-Gnostic that being on the lookout for homosexual predators isn’t a football program’s priority. I believed the best about Paterno but everybody knows better now. An old-school Italian gentleman would have stopped Sandusky with one phone call. It’s great the NCAA fined Penn State $60 mil and partly suspended the team but of course I’m cynical; the cult of football (the problem’s not football but the worship of it) will go on as usual in the long run.

Butler Shaffer:
As these charged offenses allegedly occurred within the football facilities, it seems to me that tearing down the entire stadium would “help the healing process,” and “bring closure” — two favorite, empty phrases employed in any wrongdoing whenever the institutional order has done all it is willing to do.

George Orwell’s prescience warned us of the established order’s use of the “memory hole” to rid people of the knowledge of events that now prove embarrassing to it.

The irrational foundations of the university mind continue to reveal themselves in the Penn State wrongdoing. The removal of Paterno’s statue — and the prospective removal of the Paterno name from the university library — have been joined by the NCAA’s decision to take away 112 Penn State football victories earned on the field. I am neither a fan nor hostile to Penn State, but it strikes me as absurd to rewrite history to make believe that reality can be overcome by a committee vote.

In addressing the possible removal of the Paterno name from the library the family helped to fund, one reader — Frank — asked whether the university would also be returning the money it received from the Paternos. After all, if the Paterno name is besmirched and to be sent down the memory hole, wouldn't the money also be tainted? Shouldn’t Penn State act out of principle and refuse to benefit, monetarily, by keeping some of the earnings this man received during this fourteen-year period?
I agree about the Stalinist rewriting of history. Fine the place big time, and take down the statue and the name – I would have put the whole program on ice for a few years – but the record should stand.

I think I see the school’s plan, its ‘healing process’ and ‘closure’: pretend Paterno never was and in three years pretend none of it happened.

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