Sunday, November 20, 2011

Follow Up on Yesterday's Post

I've been thinking about the Penn State scandal (who the hell in the States hasn't), and I'm still astounded and appalled that it could have gone on for so long, and to have victimized so many children. I don't know what sort of mindset would allow such a series of occurrences to take place, but I'd guess that it the corrupting influence of money takes center stage. The Penn State football program is a multimillion dollar enterprise, which may explain why nobody wanted to rock the boat skippered by Joe Paterno. "Hey, the kids who were victimized were disadvantaged, and Sandusky delivers the goods on the gridiron... why jeopardize Lions football?" Of course, this is merely a symptom of a whole culture poisoned by greed, authoritarianism, and unaccountability.

Another thing which has had me scratching my bald pate in puzzlement is the "Don't talk to strangers!" injunction. All too often, abusers are trusted individuals- clergymen, close friends or family members, authority figures all. Often, it takes an outsider's perspective to suss out that abuse is occurring. The abusers are able to cloak themselves in the mantle of respectability, so other members of the community are unable to call their actions or intentions into question. Hell, in the Penn State case, one has to wonder whether Jerry Sandusky founded his charity largely as a "spiderweb" to entrap vulnerable children. How does one educate one's children to be skeptical enough of authority to never kowtow to the predator's "classic" veiled threat: "Don't tell anybody! Who would believe you anyway?" How does one convince a kid not to be afraid to shine a spotlight on a "trusted" member of the community who is doing evil under the noses of the populace? I know the schools typically don't teach kids to question authority, but I'd tell any parent that it's crucial to do so.

14 comments:

Substance McGravitas said...

What surprised me is how casually he talked about it with Costas, admitting but not admitting...I mean, was he free to be so open prior to now?

Laura said...

It's totally disgusting. The whole friggin thing makes me sick to my stomach.
You're right. It's rarely a "stranger" that abuses kids-it's someone they have a relationship with, someone they've learned to trust. At this point I guess this is where I throw my "I've been there so I know" story in.
I'll spare you the details cause really, so many years have passed and I've moved on. Most of these stories are the same anyways..

Someone I trusted took advantage of me. I told a few people in my family-they didn't believe it or, chose not to as they didn't want to rock any boats. I let it go.
When I was about 20 years old I confronted this person about what he had done to me when I was 11. At first he denied it but then after a few minutes said.. "Well, you enjoyed it. You were wanting it".
That, more than anything else nearly took me down.

As I said before, PARENTS have to do whatever they can to protect their kids. Again, I'm not talking about suffocating or being over protective but if your kid is 10 years old, you need to be there. Also, if you can't drive your kids to events they need to travel to, don't sign them up for traveling team sports. Going alone with a man in a car... not going to happen on my watch.

Blah. I hate this topic.

((Hugs))
Laura

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Well dammit, Laura. I'm sorry that happened to you. But maybe it's good you have us peeps you can tell it to.
~

Laura said...

Sorry. I shouldn't have gotten so personal.
:(

((Hugs))
Laura

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

s'OK Laura. We all have dumped on Big before. He's a good listener.

Because this whole story is so ugly and makes a zombie sick, I am going Off topic; BBBB, that song you posted the other day, by The Ghost Is Dancing? I liked it and the album is really growSo you know, thanks.ing on me. Got a Big sound.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

What surprised me is how casually he talked about it with Costas, admitting but not admitting...I mean, was he free to be so open prior to now?

I think he believes that he's untouchable, he's the big man of Central Pennsylvania. I don't think reality has dawned on him.

Sorry. I shouldn't have gotten so personal.

No, Laura, the courage you've shown, confronting your abuser, and being able to talk about it now, are heroic. I can't overstate my admiration for you and your courageous action. It's really humbling.

But maybe it's good you have us peeps you can tell it to.

Yes, don't ever feel that you have to hold anything back here. As I said, I have nothing but admiration and respect for you.

We all have dumped on Big before. He's a good listener.

I've been told I'd be a great bartender.

I liked it and the album is really growSo you know, thanks.ing on me. Got a Big sound

Man, HOW MANY SONGS do you have on that 'pod?

Another Kiwi said...

No worries, Laura.
Ugly ugly story like some bad creepy movie. And makes our friend 4B feel bad about his helping out. This is the poison of it.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

And makes our friend 4B feel bad about his helping out

I don't feel particularly bad, old chum... if I give anyone a chance to vent, it's a good thing. I think the real lesson of the Penn State (Syracuse University, Catholic Church, etc.) scandal is that we have to teach our children not to be overawed by appeals to authority.

For my part, I always make it clear to the high school counselors in our program that they "outrank" the coaches- they are the timekeepers, they are the ones who can determine if a kid can leave, they are the ones who basically "call the shots".

Laura said...

Thanks everyone. I don't usually talk about it or really, even think about it. Just stories like this one bring it all back up.
I appreciate your support.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...


Man, HOW MANY SONGS do you have on that 'pod?


43,000 at current count (not all on my iPod, obviously). Just starting on digitizing a bunch of old vinyl.

Another Kiwi said...

Oh yeah she's just old vinyl to you now.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

why did you link to a picture of Callista Gingrich, AK?

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