Hair Flammable, Light Fire

This is me at 10 years old. Before I knew bad things could happen to 10 year olds.

11/11/11.  Or, all those 1’s equal 6.  Here’s my 6.

1.  PENN STATE.  The Wall Street Journal published the grand jury presentment in its entirety.  If you haven’t, you need to read it.  By the end, you will have zero empathy for any adult involved.  So many people knew this was going on.  For years.  And we continue to wonder why kids don’t tell.  Every adult who knew Sandusky was abusing kids and didn’t go directly to the police should be treated as (alleged) criminals.

2.  THE GRAD STUDENT.  Let’s take the graduate assistant witness. As Maureen Dowd said in her column, “It would appear to be the rare case of a pedophile caught in the act, and you’d think a graduate student would know enough to stop the rape and call the police.”  This grad student was no kid; he was 28 years old, a grown man.  Did he stop the crime?  No.  Did he contact police?  No.  He called his dad for advice, then went home.

3.  TWEET TWEET.  That any of us give a rat’s ass what Ashton Kutcher is tweeting — and that it’s news — is just one more nail in my coffin of hating the very idea of Twitter.  I know, I know, some of you will tell me there are benefits, and I’m sure there are, but anytime you give us humans a tool to communicate this quickly and publicly (i.e., before thinking) not enough good can come of it to justify it’s existence.

4.  WORD PLAY.  Do you ever hear the word “twitter” and think “fritter”?

5.  THE THINKERS.  Somebody sent me, via e-mail, this thing called “The Lawyers Party.”  At first I thought it was a mistake; then, one of those too-circulated internet jokes.  But no.  You can find it here at the American Thinker.  Apparently all that’s wrong with America is that there are too many lawyers.  That George W. Bush was not a lawyer, and that Barack Obama is a lawyer explains everything.  I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad that’s cleared up!  Now, about the economy, jobs, healthcare, …..

6.  THOSE 53 SECONDS.  When I watch the Rick Perry debate video, the one where he’s stuck for those 53 seconds, I get no joy.  None.  The rising elation, the almost-snickering, on the faces of all the other candidates as Perry stands there blanked-out, makes me cringe.  These people want to help us?  They want to be the leaders of our country.

Is your hair on fire this week?

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22 thoughts on “Hair Flammable, Light Fire

  1. amyg

    i’m so consumed by the penn state rape scandal that i can barely breath.

    today, at my usual coffee stop, the table of usuals sitting behind me started talking about it and i wanted them to stop so badly i had to leave right smack in the middle of my coffee and morning pages. i was sure i was going to throw up.

    all these people not saying anything; something much bigger, much darker, much, much more sinister is going on here. these men weren’t the only ones to know. stuff like this doesn’t stay in a room of four people for this many years. it’s discussed with hushed voices in dark hallways after everyone’s gone home.

    things were gained with this contrived silence.

    those poor boys.

    1. Teri Post author

      You’re right, AmyG, there is some serious and deep darkness here. There have to be dozens of people who knew something was going on. How did these people continue to work, side by side, with Sandusky all these years?

  2. Lisa Golden

    What a week. Have you seen the story about how Sandusky might have been pimping the boys out to wealthy donors? It was talked about yesterday, I believe, by the radio talk show host who first talked about the Sandusky retirement/cover up in April. As if this story could get any worse.

    I want to see Penn State kicked out of the Big Ten.

  3. Lisa Golden

    Also, those people on the stage don’t want to take care of us. They want to take care of themselves. The idea of a public servant seems to be a rare thing these days.

    1. Teri Post author

      This was one of those weeks, Lisa, where I was so mad at the news that I couldn’t even scream and yell anymore. I’m stunned that this is who we are, as a country.

  4. erikamarks

    Oh Teri, where to begin? I have been so undone these past few days, and I know this news of Penn State is part of it. A HUGE part of it. That ANYONE is talking about ANYTHING besides these young victims has me so unwound–I don’t frankly care what a “legend” so and so was, or the “reputation” of a certain school–what happened was grotesque. If we cannot stand up for our children, we are worthless. Championships mean nothing. School spirit? Who gives a ****. Our children are everything. I’m with Lisa. No one is above this kind of disgrace.

    And I so appreciated your number 6. I don’t enjoy seeing anyone embarrassed or humiliated. I find Perry a terror but I’m not sure I don’t find the gladiator-esque desire to see him crushed even more upsetting. Who are these people cannibalizing one another? There is such a lack of soul on that stage, it terrifies me to my core.

    I’m rubbing my bracelet, making my wish–until we can all make our votes.

    (And thank you for that precious picture of you.)

    1. Teri Post author

      I’m finding it hard to read or write anything this week, I’m so overwhelmed by the news.

      I agree about Perry. He’s one scary option, and I don’t use the word scary lightly here. The idea of him being in office freaks me out. And you said what I couldn’t put my finger on: the lack of soul on that stage. It’s pretty damned cold-looking up there. They don’t even look like real humans to me.

      Penn State. Can you imagine if your children were college there right now? Imagine being 19 yrs old and having to deal with this when you’re away from home, maybe for the first time, trying to find your wings and become an adult. Those kids are getting some kind of education.

  5. Jess

    Here’s what freaks me out. I have a 13-year-old and an 8-year-old, so for me, the question is not, would you call the police, the question is would you run into that damn locker room where you heard the slap-slap-slapping and grab that child and run as far and as fast as you can….?

    Anything short of that, I don’t understand.

    Diane Rehm applauded people who said they would go straight to the nearest phone and call the police. Fuck those people who would leave that child alone for one more second.

    My heart breaks.

    1. Teri Post author

      I can’t get that image out of my head. I read the details of the assault/rape in the grand jury presentation and could not fucking believe anyone would just walk away from that!!! Beyond disgraceful.

    2. Downith

      Absolutely. How could you walk away? Jesus, 28 years old – he should’ve known better and if he didn’t know better, his dad should’ve.

      1. Teri Post author

        It tells me that he knew Sandusky was known for this and it was already being well-brushed under the institutional rug. I’ll be shocked if this isn’t the case.

  6. macdougalstreetbaby

    Besides those poor boys, I can’t help but think of their mothers. I don’t know how you live knowing the crimes committed against your own. I can’t even imagine it. It hurts way too much.

  7. Sarah W

    The first one was bad enough, but the second one stopped me in my tracks. I don’t care how much you’ve been brainwashed into revering someone or how much it would affect your career, if you witness this kind of thing, you make it stop any way you can. Anything else is unthinkable, or should be. Why are we living in a world where it isn’t?

    As for number four — I’ve never thought fritter for twitter, but I’ve often thought twit for tweet . . .

  8. Teri Post author

    And I can I just say, I can’t believe people are going to a football game there today. A football game. Nebraska should have stayed home, the fans should stay home, and TV should stop covering them.

    1. lisahgolden

      Exactly. This goes to deep, too far. There is no way that institution should be allowed to be a part of these activities anymore. We punish schools for things having to do with academics and payoffs. This is far, far worse.

  9. Lyra

    I saw some news coverage about people gathering, outraged by the coach’s dismissal. A man spoke up saying he didn’t understand why they couldn’t let this esteemed coach have one last home game..
    I don’t know if I was more disturbed by the number of people that haveo their heads collectively up their ass, or the age of many of them. These were college kids.
    I’ve spent this week thinking about how coverage of everything from wars to pedophiles has become so common that we are raising a generation of sociopaths. How can their ability to empathize with a 10 year old be nonexistent?? How is it possible that people could walk away?? How did they sleep at night?? Coach along side of this man day after day??

  10. Downith

    This whole sickening thing (which I was unaware of until reading your post) reminds me of the Christian Brother’s scandal in Nfld. The brothers ran Mount Cashel Orphanage but many of the boys there had family, just poor, etc. The brothers sexually and physically assaulted the boys in their care for years. Eventually there was a public inquiry and many of the brothers were charged and convicted. Very few boys spoke up as the Catholic church was incredibly powerful even in the 1970s in Nfld. Occasionally one of the boys would run away and a few managed to tell the police – nothing was done for years. The boy would be returned by the orphanage. Can you imagine the terror knowing he was going back and that the brothers would be told what he had said?

    1. Bobbi

      Fantastic film, The Boys of St, Vincent’s written by a guy I know, Des Walsh that reveals this tragic time. I worked with adult survivors of this debacle, as well as with women who suffered at the hands of ghoulish nuns from Belvedere. I know exactly what happened to those boys who were returned after telling. Dark times.

  11. lizisilver

    Teri, last night I read your post and the linked grand jury presentment but was too distraught to comment. How can we teach our children right from wrong when in the face of such clear cut, horrendous, tragic behavior we do NOTHING? We certainly are teaching our children some sort of lesson: to stay silent in the face of wrongdoing and to feel assured that if as adults they choose to commit crimes against humanity, they’ll be okay as long as they’re “important”. So many people knew. His wife! Everyone stayed silent.

    1. Teri Post author

      They were all protecting themselves and the institution of Penn State. If one talks, the whole house falls down. You have to wonder exactly how many people knew, or at least had a notion of, what was going on. From coaches to players to professors to the janitors — you know it was whispered about all over for years and years. Insanity.

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