Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State

The sexual abuse scandal at Penn State raises a lot of questions and yet it is also a reminder of how otherwise good people can make horrific decisions.

I have a theory. They combine the desire to avoid paying a price with a complicated course of action. They epitomize the British expression, "Too clever by half."

Where a less sophisticated - at least in their eyes - person would have quickly called the cops and backed off so the police could do their job, these otherwise good people cobble together rationalizations for a less direct solution. They tell themselves they are protecting reputations and are being so much more deliberative than would be the case if those barbaric cops were involved. They pretend to understand what really happened and believe that they have taken action when, in truth, their only action is to become accomplices.

Amid all of the delay and rationalizations, they were considering everyone but the victims.


John said...

And at the risk of repeating myself, one horrific decision is an event. Two or more -- in this case several more -- become a trend.
And left unattended, trends become habits.

Michael Wade said...


This was a terrible event.


John said...

I totally agree.

My point was simply that it was yet another in a sequence of equally terrible events that were a trend until enough people finally blew the whistle. This story has been simmering since April.

And it's apt to get worse.