What with this week's bombshell sickening revelations about the true extent of Joe Paterno's culpability in the overall picture of the Sandusky sexual abuse cases....
....and maybe we still have not heard it all......I have quickly shifted my view of Paterno from a sense of the tragedy of a great man who made one huge error of judgment that caused enormous suffering, to a sense of a profound hypocrite, a powerful man whose grandiosity made him think he was entitled to do, if not anything, at least a lot of things, in order to protect his own power and his own glory, and to hell with those victims thrown under the bus. I am finding it all too easy to revise my image of Paterno to that of a profoundly clueless moral monster, who was capable of doing many good things in the world, but only, apparently, so long as he was very very well taken care of and his power and prestige were kept sacrosanct.
Again, unless some substantial and convincing rebuttal is made during the coming months to somehow blunt the force of Freeh's and these latest revelations about Joe Paterno, then I must forever alter my view of his legacy from what it had been just prior to the first Sandusky revelations.
And anyone who has read along in this blog over the past few years knows exactly whom Paterno, as we now begin to see his true colors, reminds me of---Sir Thomas Bertram, the closest thing in Jane Austen's moral universe to Joe Paterno.
Here is just a sampling of my prior investigations into the shadow story of Sir Thomas:
What is most chilling is that at the base of both Sir Thomas's and Joe Paterno's twisted morality is the suppression and/or condonation of child abuse, and also monetary greed---so it seems that the old French expression, "Plus ca change..." applies here, as Jane Austen's portrait of a powerful hypocrite (tragically) still applies today as much as it ever did.
The moral rot in the "timbers" of "Mansfield Park" continues, it seems...in "Happy Valley".
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Alexander Hamilton's Powdered Hair, c1796
1 hour ago