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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
"Why hasn't the (sexual) abuse scandal brought MSU and USA Gymnastics into the cross hairs, like Jerry Sandusky did Penn State".... was the headline of an article authored by Eric Adelson and carried on the Yahoo News feed early yesterday. Adelson opened with:

"It was one of the most abhorrent scandals in American sports history, with more than 100 victims and one doctor (Dr. Larry Nasseur) sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges and pleading guilty on 10 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct."

Adelson goes into a fairly extended discussion about MSU and USA Gymnastics not having yet reached final conclusions with their respective investigations and states the NCAA has not yet (improperly) involved themselves in this more recent scandal, as was done in the Penn State scenario. While all this may be true, I think it to be a lot simpler than that. Eric Berne, MD, wrote a book years ago entitled "I'm OK, You're OK" and more recently a book entitled "The Games People Play," in which he introduces us to a mind game people play that he (Berne) calls "Now I've Got You, You Son of A Bitch!"

Herein lies the the concise, yet complete answer to the question posed in the article written by Eric Adelson. We, the masses, just cannot stand to have an icon of virtue, be it an institution, sports figure, academic or other celebrity that or who represents a standard of excellence that we cannot claim to match, continue to stand. Once we discover any small crack in their armor that provides the excuse for bringing it or them down, we do so.. Mediocrity must rule. There should be nothing or no one that we strive to live up to. This is as good as it gets...accept it or get over it! Pretty sad reality, I think?
 

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It's the need for pure, virtuous heroes that does it. The thought that someone could be both famous and human is incomprehensible.
 

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Funny, I was thinking about this the other day.

I'm working through the Greek myths with my daughter (she's 5), and at times she will stop me and say something like "is Athena good?" or "is Zeus bad?", because their behavior in one tale may be quite different from their behavior in another (Athena is pretty awful in the story of Arachne, for example, while appearing helpful and wise in other stories). So I have to explain that in the Greek myths, the gods are like people: at once good AND bad. That, and the worst sin, to the ancient Greeks, was pride.

So contrast that with the American view of heroes. We have two things going on, I think: we have a species of Puritanism in our culture which posits that heroes must be flawless, AND we have the notion that heroic status is attainable (whether that be in sports, in wealth, and so on), and indeed, a just reward for moral character.

So when a hero (I use the word, but someone famous in a field we believe should involve character, like sports) exhibits failings, we at once scathingly criticize them AND enjoy the vacuum is creates... the better for the next person to occupy a spot. Building pedestals and knocking them down.

(And this is an old trait: correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe even de Tocqueville remarked on it.)

DH
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finding myself in general agreement with conclusions expressed in each of the postings above, I am left wondering...as we acknowledge and address the all too human frailties of our "hero's," must we also discount entire bodies of good works achieved throughout their (our hero's) lives and/or the institutions they represent? This approach seems decidedly vindictive and unnecessarily destructive...yes, no? And why does it apply to some, but not others? :icon_scratch:
 

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Finding myself in general agreement with conclusions expressed in each of the postings above, I am left wondering...as we acknowledge and address the all too human frailties of our "hero's," must we also discount entire bodies of good works achieved throughout their (our hero's) lives and/or the institutions they represent? This approach seems decidedly vindictive and unnecessarily destructive...yes, no? And why does it apply to some, but not others? :icon_scratch:
It's not just vindictive, it's dangerous. It conflates the value of a man's works with his moral character, which is a species of fundamentalism: it's easily as dangerous as religious extremism. Worse, it provides moral justification for censorship and other modes of information control (Mr. Frisky isn't worthy, so let him and all his works be cast out!)

The Left, to me, smacks of fundamentalism ("are you one of the anointed? do you agree with the holy writ in full, no questions asked?"), especially in their willingness to simply make assertions with no basis ("gender is a social construct") and then demand total devotion to them ("silence = violence"). Indeed, making baseless assertions and then demanding their unquestioned acceptance is the hallmark of totalitarian language control ("Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia").

Today's busting up stars on the Walk of Fame can be a harbinger of tomorrow's thought policing.

DH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^"Harbingers of tomorrow's thought policing..."
Hoping not to mislead anyone into thinking that I harbor any positive feelings at all for the 'white supremacist' elements in our society, as the left wingers marched through the South over the past 18 months, building enthusiasm for and in fact greatly cleansing the area of any monuments/reminders of it's involvement in the Civil War, I found myself pondering "is this what America and it's values have come to?" Wouldn't it have made more sense to initiate actions to equally commemorate the historic actions of heroic black Americans of that period (or to document "the rest of the story," if you prefer), rather than smashing and trashing the monuments commemorating the other side of the argument and effectively rewriting history, rather than balancing the recording of it"
 

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Eagle, I would have more sympathy for your point if most of these monuments have been erected at the time the events happened, or shortly afterwards. As it stands, many were built at the height of Jim Crow to make a political stand that blacks should continue to be seen as inferior people and that the South should still be managed by their superiors. They were not erected to commemorate US history, but to make a political point to the "lower races". I am absolutely in favor of taking these pieces into museums, where proper context can be given, instead of their current places in public spaces.
 

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Eagle, I would have more sympathy for your point if most of these monuments have been erected at the time the events happened, or shortly afterwards. As it stands, many were built at the height of Jim Crow to make a political stand that blacks should continue to be seen as inferior people and that the South should still be managed by their superiors. They were not erected to commemorate US history, but to make a political point to the "lower races". I am absolutely in favor of taking these pieces into museums, where proper context can be given, instead of their current places in public spaces.
Then perhaps you should move there and then perhaps your opinion on the matter may actually carry some weight. Until then, it's really none of your concern.

What happens with such monuments is a matter to be decided locally. Not by far off intelligentsia.
 

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Then perhaps you should move there and then perhaps your opinion on the matter may actually carry some weight. Until then, it's really none of your concern.

What happens with such monuments is a matter to be decided locally. Not by far off intelligentsia.
Nicely put. Brazil, and South America in general, have enough problems that their citizens should be worried about their own local issues. I hardly care what leftist Americans complain about -- a leftist foreigner's opinion? Give me a break.
 

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I realize that the point of this thread is an attack on people with liberal political views, but if we look at the details I don't think I can share your view that the insouciance displayed by MSU (my undergraduate alma mater) and USA Gymnastics constitute "any small crack in their armor".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^^Good morning and a Happy New Year to you too, Jack. LOL. Referring back to the wording of my OP, I fail to see anything that could be viewed as a call for an attack on people with liberal political views or intimates that there are any cracks in MSU's or the USA Gymnastics respective suits of armor. However, I do clearly suggest that we/the masses seem to be troubled by and greatly resent the presence of those among us who clearly stand taller than the rest, are more sterling in character or more courageous in action, or for whatever reason are held up as examples of what we should all be striving to achieve and we take the first opportunity that comes along to fell those icons of excellence. The problem is not with any presumed cracks in their armor but that MSU and YSA Gymnastics have simply not reached high enough or been held in sufficient awe to find themselves "in the cross hairs of" or to incur the rage of the masses against them. Not wishing to stir up sleeping animosities or resurrect any old battles, but (my undergraduate alma mater) Penn State and the late Joe Paterno had and, regardless of the similarities in the Sandusky debacle and this present case involving the MSU/USA Gymnastics doctor, they clearly found themselves in those cross hairs and have endured the continuing rage of the masses.

We should all be held accountable for our shortcomings, but a single misstep/mistake/shortcoming should not incur the loss of credit for an entire lifetimes body of work/achievements.
 

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So, I make a polite message disagreeing honestly with eagle, whom I respect tremendously, and get attacked from being a Brazilian (???) or not living in the South (??)? By these absurd standards, I hope you completely refrain from ever spouting an anti-abortion stance (you are not a woman, so you cannot ever comment on their bodies), or on world events in general (since you live in the US). Also, never ever comment on African Americans marching against police brutality (unless you are a cop or African American), gay marriage (I assume you are not gay, open or closeted, but may be wrong) or on any subject that does not take place in your state or do not involve your existence as privileged males. Agreed? I am fine with that and the level of discourse in the Interchange will be much improved by you shutting the hell up about anything else that does not concern you directly. I will promise to do the same and comment solely on events that directly concern me (given I live a peripatetic life, I will still enjoy quite a lot of freedom). A small price to pay to stop seeing your opinions written in the forum.
 

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So, I make a polite message disagreeing honestly with eagle, whom I respect tremendously, and get attacked from being a Brazilian (???) or not living in the South (??)? By these absurd standards, I hope you completely refrain from ever spouting an anti-abortion stance (you are not a woman, so you cannot ever comment on their bodies), or on world events in general (since you live in the US). Also, never ever comment on African Americans marching against police brutality (unless you are a cop or African American), gay marriage (I assume you are not gay, open or closeted, but may be wrong) or on any subject that does not take place in your state or do not involve your existence as privileged males. Agreed? I am fine with that and the level of discourse in the Interchange will be much improved by you shutting the hell up about anything else that does not concern you directly. I will promise to do the same and comment solely on events that directly concern me (given I live a peripatetic life, I will still enjoy quite a lot of freedom). A small price to pay to stop seeing your opinions written in the forum.
Resorting to straw man arguments does not redeem you in the least bit. Not to mention that you're engaging in a line of argument and reasoning that at best can be called a non sequitor. At worst, a drunken tirade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Eagle, I would have more sympathy for your point if most of these monuments have been erected at the time the events happened, or shortly afterwards. As it stands, many were built at the height of Jim Crow to make a political stand that blacks should continue to be seen as inferior people and that the South should still be managed by their superiors. They were not erected to commemorate US history, but to make a political point to the "lower races". I am absolutely in favor of taking these pieces into museums, where proper context can be given, instead of their current places in public spaces.
My friend, you make a very valid point. Indeed, the context in which many of those monuments came into being should not be ignored. As the peoples of every nation progress through history, unfortunately we/they make choices and act in ways that should perhaps shame us all. Ideally, we learn from and correct such mistakes, but alas, in far too many instances we have proven ourselves to be extremely slow learners. Thank you for your thoughts.
 

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I realize that the point of this thread is an attack on people with liberal political views, but if we look at the details I don't think I can share your view that the insouciance displayed by MSU (my undergraduate alma mater) and USA Gymnastics constitute "any small crack in their armor".
I could not disagree more.

If you have realized that the whole point of this thread was to attack people with liberal points of view then I am afraid there is no common ground for further discussion.
 

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Eagle, I would have more sympathy for your point if most of these monuments have been erected at the time the events happened, or shortly afterwards. As it stands, many were built at the height of Jim Crow to make a political stand that blacks should continue to be seen as inferior people and that the South should still be managed by their superiors. They were not erected to commemorate US history, but to make a political point to the "lower races". I am absolutely in favor of taking these pieces into museums, where proper context can be given, instead of their current places in public spaces.
There was no way that the statues could have been erected right after the war as the Southern states were occupied until the mid 1870s. And while it is a loud, if inaccurate, refrain that the statues were erected as protests to racial equality, it is more accepted that they were the result of

The south emerging from its financial devastation of the war

The dissatisfaction with the way that they were treated during Reconstruction

The appalling way that the confederate veterans were treated by the federal government

The economic pillaging of the South by the North

The general gloating and attitude of assumed superiority by the North.

There is a school of thought - and I happen to agree with it - that the south did not recover from the Civil War until the 1950s. There was no Marshall Plan undertaken for the South.

And, like it or not, that led to some pretty bitter feelings from southerners and was a major cause of the birth of the Lost Cause movement (which I don't accept) and that was the more likely inpetus for the statues.
 

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There was no way that the statues could have been erected right after the war as the Southern states were occupied until the mid 1870s. And while it is a loud, if inaccurate, refrain that the statues were erected as protests to racial equality, it is more accepted that they were the result of

The south emerging from its financial devastation of the war

The dissatisfaction with the way that they were treated during Reconstruction

The appalling way that the confederate veterans were treated by the federal government

The economic pillaging of the South by the North

The general gloating and attitude of assumed superiority by the North.

There is a school of thought - and I happen to agree with it - that the south did not recover from the Civil War until the 1950s. There was no Marshall Plan undertaken for the South.

And, like it or not, that led to some pretty bitter feelings from southerners and was a major cause of the birth of the Lost Cause movement (which I don't accept) and that was the more likely inpetus for the statues.
But look how they treated black people. Why would I feel sorry for the whites of the south when they treated black people far far worse?
 

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So, I make a polite message disagreeing honestly with eagle, whom I respect tremendously, and get attacked from being a Brazilian (???) or not living in the South (??)? By these absurd standards, I hope you completely refrain from ever spouting an anti-abortion stance (you are not a woman, so you cannot ever comment on their bodies), or on world events in general (since you live in the US). Also, never ever comment on African Americans marching against police brutality (unless you are a cop or African American), gay marriage (I assume you are not gay, open or closeted, but may be wrong) or on any subject that does not take place in your state or do not involve your existence as privileged males. Agreed? I am fine with that and the level of discourse in the Interchange will be much improved by you shutting the hell up about anything else that does not concern you directly. I will promise to do the same and comment solely on events that directly concern me (given I live a peripatetic life, I will still enjoy quite a lot of freedom). A small price to pay to stop seeing your opinions written in the forum.
This is completely wrong. The Baby inside the mother is not the mothers body. Therefore, it is murder to abort it.
Marriage. What is marriage? Did humans invent it? If not, can we change it? Just because some people want it and some people want to follow that crowd still does not make it possible if it is not possible. Throwing people in jail and even killing them who disagree isn't making it possible either. Indeed there is something that happens to a man and women in marriage that happens in no other way. Stealing a word does not make it so. This subject is far more complicated than what so many people want it to be. There is no way marriage is made by us humans. Nor can it be changed by us. Following the crowd does not change the facts.
 

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But look how they treated black people. Why would I feel sorry for the whites of the south when they treated black people far far worse?
My response was specifically to refute a point that the monuments were erected as part of some sort of protest against black equality.

And I guess I could give a simple two wrongs <> right response but that would treat it as a simple issue, and it is far from simple.

First off, let's dispense with the notion that the North was some sort of utopia for blacks prior to or after the war. This is simply untrue.

And while slavery was of course a central issue of the war, the war was about preserving the Union, not freeing the slaves.

Then of course, there is scientific understanding of genetics, anthropology, etc. of the time period.

None of this means that I want us to go back to those thoughts. But to criticize people for knowing only what was knowable in their time period is nonsensical.
 
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