Tuesday, July 24, 2012


And, in reply to that:

Ours is a depraved culture.


Ten Bears said...

Should have shut the fucking university down. Tear it down and build condos. If hell is real, when I get there I'm going to fuck Joe Paterno in the ass with a ballbat.

Philo Vaihinger said...

How do you come up with some sort of overall rating for someone whose politics, for example, deserve a hanging but whose work as a novelist, artist, philosopher, or scientist is exemplary?

Or someone whose politics are admirable but whose sexual conduct is utterly depraved?

Such and similar cases of clashing values are anything but rare.

Think of slavocrat liberals like Jefferson who even had a long term relationship with a slave, Sally Hemings.

Think of Heidegger and Sartre and their dreadful politics.

For decades, football aficionados have admired and revered the work and career of Joe Paterno.

Supposing those same people now know he led Penn State into covering up and enabling decades of child abuse, how are they to react to demands for some sort of overall evaluation of the man?

How can you do that?

Steve M. said...

He coached a game. He didn't cure cancer or work with lepers. He didn't even make art. Maybe it's just my value system, but I think of sports as just an amusement -- it doesn't leave anything behind.

Victor said...

Sports doesn't leave anything behind?

Tell that to my shattered ankle, broken shoulder, and bad knees. :-(

Greg said...

The greatest sports accomplishments are a kind of inspirational art, I think. But the day to day banality and corruption of sports is so dismal anymore, it's not much fun hanging around looking for the good stuff.

As for Paterno, I keep flashing back to a rally he spoke at for Bush Jr. in '04, how he valued players that don't flinch under pressure; how he valued Bush for not flinching under the pressure of the terrorist threat. And yet he himself by that point had flinched, big time.

Republican is as Republican does.

BH said...

Sports are sports. Whatever else they are or do, in all but an infinitesimal percentage of cases, high school and college sports do not equip student participants for real adult life, either in the general "liberal-arts" sense or in the specific "job-skills" sense. As for the old saw that they somehow "build character"... well, by now surely that bromide should have been demolished as any sort of generally acceptable axiom. Intramural,informal,voluntary, spare-time non-scholarship sports in high school and college? Sure, so long as education comes first. But what exists now is a travesty on secondary and higher education, pure & simple.

Philo Vaihinger said...

"He coached a game. He didn't cure cancer or work with lepers. He didn't even make art."

So you'd have felt torn if it had been Albert Schweitzer or Pablo Picasso raping boys in the shower?

But not so much for the coach, eh?

Time for an elitism alert?

(Was it the Joker who said "I make art until somebody dies"?)

Philo Vaihinger said...

Does a ballet performance leave something behind?

A symphony?

How about Miles Davis playing "It Never Entered My Mind"?

Steve M. said...

Well, Philo, you're making me reconsider my arguments. Elitist? I value a three-minute pop song more than sports. (I weigh Gary Glitter's pedophilia against the value of "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am).") And that last sentence isn't a joke -- leaving something behind wasn't the right standard, but I guess I do think books and music and painting and art and even well-done popular versions of these forms have more value to society than just sports, which I see as enjoyable the way, say, porn and gambling are enjoyable, but not much more than that.

But I guess that's just me. At a certain point in my life I started to see sports (which I'd previously enjoyed) as a ridiculous time suck, and that plus the jingo/macho culture of sports (especially college football, which always seemed ridiculous to me) just made the whole enterprise seem unsavory. So my personal prejudice is that there's more value in a well played 1-4-5 chord progression than in a touchdown drive. Especially a touchdown drive by supposed amateurs who are the only people not making big money from the endeavor, and whose brief moment of glory will probably leave them unable to get by in the world, while the alumni who cheered them on go their fat, happy, self-satisfied way.