Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Dark, Dark Valley

So, every pundit, fan, and fool with a laptop (I place myself in this last category) has put in their two cents worth on the horrible mess at Penn State University.

To put it simply, heinous crimes were committed, they were covered up, and anyone and everyone involved needs to be fired and tried for their crimes.

State College, PA, is not an easy place in which to live right now. The damage to Penn State University and anyone connected to it (read: everyone in town and within an unknown radius) will be felt indefinitely. Our town has been opened up to the world and all are pouring their wrath upon the guilty and innocent.

My husband, at a conference in Denver this week, was asked if he weren't embarrassed to be from Penn State. He stated that the crimes were horrible, but no, he was not ashamed to represent Penn State. He is NOT involved with the football program, however.

This is my town, and it is pretty much full of good people, even though a commenter on an on-line news article stated that State College is a sick town. Easy to say when you live far away. I would have to say that State College does have some sick people in it. As do other places in this world.

Our newspaper's editorial page is filled each day with letters concerned with the victims and demanding those responsible pay for what they did to these children, whether they committed the acts themselves or covered up for others. I have yet to see a letter or hear a comment supporting Sandusky or Paterno over the children that were raped or molested. There are some that feel that too much blame has been placed on the wrong people, but hopefully time will sort this out. The vast majority here in State College are aghast and sickened.

I've read many articles and editorial lately. Perhaps too many. I do want to know what public opinion is, yet I'm getting somewhat tired of those attempting to form public opinion to their own opinion. I'm tired of their cherry-picking of an individual's comments and their implication that my entire town agrees.

I do not believe that those nine words of one football fan should be used to paint the entire school and town black with one stroke. Yes, there are several football fanatics and plenty of misguided students out there. Daily I dodge these students on their bikes as they pull out into traffic with their "headphones" on. They too often drink themselves to death. General stupidity abounds with the 18-22 year-old-crowd. They do need some instruction in moral code and empathy. If the color of T-shirt is important to convey empathy, then I can recall a time several years ago when the stadium was filled with maroon and orange after the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Living among this horror, within rock throwing distance of some of the victims and accused, I can assure you that the majority of people are on the side of the victims and not the perpetrators or those who cover up for them. We are shocked and, momentarily, disbelieving, when we realize our friends and neighbors and leaders are part of this. The wounds are instantaneous and the healing long coming, if at all. Please forgive us if we give up our illusions and way of life more slowly than others demand.

There is no excuse for anyone abusing Mr. Matko in any way. There is no excuse for anyone abusing a peaceful demonstrator in an Occupy Wall Street protest. I don't think that someone acting like an ass is just something that happens in State College.

The moral cancer of this university needs to be cut out immediately. And then the school needs to be let to stand. Yes, State College is the home of Sandusky and Paterno and the others, it is also the home of some of the brightest minds in this country getting up each day to educate the brightest minds of the future.


  1. Sadly, there are monsters everywhere. You can't judge the whole town based on the horriffic actions of a couple of its residents, that's just crazy. It's like judging all of Kansas for producing the BTK, or Los Angeles for the Black Dahlia Avenger. It's just stupid.

  2. You make me proud to call you my friend Kim!
    I noticed you were the only one to comment on that article on the Rag Blog.....and you stated your case very succinctly!
    Warmest hugs
    Peggy xxxxx