Our Crumbling Civilization: Penn State Edition
There's one of them, in a photo that surfaced recently on Facebook.
Yeah, yeah. Kids will be kids, right? Am I going overboard making this an "Our Crumbling Civilization" post? Not by a long shot.
If the perps, when the cold light of scrutiny finally shone on them, had admitted they had strayed beyond the tasteless to the purely offensive and had repented, civilization's crumbling would have been delayed for a heartbeat or two.
But that's not what happened. Not by a long shot. Here, courtesy of the NY Daily News, is what one of the perps had to say:
"It's not that it was funny," the student said of the costumes. "It's that we are notorious and infamous and very popular in the state college, so we have to do things that push the envelope just for shock value," he said.First, let's just say at the beginning that this guy is about as smart (stupid) as your average college student, getting daily death rate for America off by about 400%. It's actually 6,814. Mr. Know-it-all? I think not.
He went on to imply that Virginia Tech students' public displays of grief less than a year after the massacre are at least partly for show.
"This is a group of college students who now think it's trendy to be upset about their friends being killed," said the Penn student.
He said those who objected to the costumes were blowing things out of proportion.
"The thing is, everybody's making a big stink about Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was 32 deaths out of the 26 thousand that happen in America everyday," he said. "That's the problem with college students. They all live in an ivory tower of privilege. They don't understand, when it all boils down to it, it's someone wearing a costume."
Looking deeper, we see a person with a reputation to maintain -- "we are notorious and infamous and very popular" -- and prideful of that reputation, no matter how disgustingly it was gained.
There was a time when popular precluded "notorious" and "infamous," but it was before my time. I did, after all, paper my college campus with campaign posters promoting Ho Chi Minh for student body president, representing the Mindless Turd Party.
But there was a day in the not too recent past when being notorious and infamous did not assume that you had to attack the innocent and heartbroken. Back in those days, the targets of the notorious and infamous were usually people in power or people who thought too much of themselves, not the innocent victims of tragedy. The Penn State duo are schooled at Ward Churchill's Little Eichmann School of Indecent Provocateurship.
He also demonstrates a troubling trend in our society to be defensive to the point of cruelty. When he was attacked for his tastelessness, he defended himself by attacking the people he offended. He apparently is an honors student at the Michael Moore Graduate Studies Program in Vicious, Mindless Knife-Twisting.
And finally, this privileged denizen of a top American
He doesn't understand that it all boils down to this: Halloween costumes only cover what is under them, and in this case, it is a person so tasteless, so unremorseful, so blind that there really only is one place for him in our society: a university.