THE GRACEPOINT

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It's Sandusky-topical, so feel free to wait for the Fulmer Cupdate if you're good and sick of it.

We don't know where this point is, but on the continuum of reaction to an event there's a point where the anger over an event becomes its own momentum, and feeds some rabid dog let loose in the brain-yard. The dog eats the chickens. Then it eats your pant leg. Then, as you sit in the kitchen watching it through carefully parted blinds, it just barks to make itself run off the buzz of sweet, sweet anger.

You should be mad Penn State officials willingly covered up Jerry Sandusky's pedophilia. Then again, I don't feel like I have to tell you that. I shouldn't have to tell you that. I shouldn't have to tell you that someone who does this "is a bad person." If you can't tell that from the story presented in reporting, you shouldn't be reading me, or words, or anything other than the road flare you have in your hands, and are about to use as a toothbrush.

(Dear person who has to be told this: that is a road flare. It does not go in your mouth. It will burn you badly.)

I shouldn't have to tell you that a thousand words of invective thrown at a monster currently in jail for the rest of his life, and at those who aided and abetted him, is doing something else. It is a tomato thrown at a prisoner on the gallows. It is a Sunday stroll at Bedlam. It is demagoguery on the cheap, the snorting a line of an execution notice to get a buzz.

There are ways to write about the long trail of the Sandusky case, but somewhere in this, you cross the Nancy Gracepoint. In the face of atrocity, you look for some rationale, some protocol, a straight, unbroken line in an exploded space. Take a statue down, or put one up, or suggest the insanity of foresight. Throw everything down the memory hole. Demand the NCAA, an organization with no legal or moral purview whatsoever, do insane, unjustifiable things to a team that received no on-field benefit whatsoever from this.

If you mean it, you're just anger-binging, and are well past the Gracepoint. Nothing will ever be enough, and you're half-right: nothing ever makes this better, not jail, not torture, not anything, and certainly not fury-mobbing about the mediocre, spineless evil of something so obviously spineless and evil that was still allowed to flourish thanks to the community's leaders. Good reporting literally helps put these people in jail. Horrendous editorializing does not.

If you don't believe it and write it anyway, you're just trolling for hits from the people lining up for the five minute hate. If it's the latter, good on you for finding a profitable angle in a small crashing heap of humanity's worst failures: subservience to authority above all else, cowardice, and a failure to think past your arm's laziest reach. It's an omelet of atrocities, but at least someone's finding a way to make those eggs work.

As for the statue, leave it up. It'd cost money to move it, and Penn State will need every dime they have. It's not the statue's fault, anyway. It didn't get there by itself. Going back to an earlier theme: if you're the kind of person whose emotions are ruled by erecting and then destroying graven idols, I'm not writing for the 12th century reader, and never will.

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