Friday, July 13, 2012

Three Cheers for the Scapegoat

We're informed that America's Most Famous Formerly Successful and Then Senile and Not So Successful Any More College Football Coach Who Finally Died As the Scandal Became Public was also a longtime enabler and coverup artist for his associate coach's boy-rape hobby. And, as a nation, we certainly seem tickled to hear it.

Why do we Amur'kins lap up stories like this one so hungrily? I would suggest that folk like Mr. Paterno, and the young mother whose name I can't recall who drowned her kids in the back seat of a car sent into a lake, are actually meeting a real need: our need to feel morally superior to someone. Here am I, Mr. Everyone. No matter what my flaws and weaknesses might be, I can still think: "At least I'm not Sandusky! At least I'm not McQuery! At least I'm not Paterno!"

"At least," indeed. That's getting to be a pretty low "least," don'tcha think?


Anonymous said...

Of course it's low. But it's silly to expect non-Christians to compare themselves to Jesus, which is the only standard that matters.

Jim Wetzel said...

Yup ... it's always much more fun to look down than up. Trouble is, as we get worse and worse, it's more and more difficult to find a freakish villain who can give us a satisfactory "down" angle of view.

Cal said...

Reminds me of a part of a parable:

"The Joe 6-Pack American stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—Sandusky, Weiner, Madoff—or even like those Islamic terrorists. I'm a nice guy and don't kill or rape anyone.’

I don't recall him walking away justified.

Jim Wetzel said...

Excellent, Cal -- I should've been reminded of that one myself. Thanks!