11A144 Papa Joe by Jim Davies, 11/14/2011    

Those two primitive syllables were heard so often last week that I might have supposed that the Nation is giving serious attention to the gravity of the Greek "debt crisis" and its ringmasters, George Papandreou and his replacement Lucas Papademos, since it may very well herald the end of the living standards we have enjoyed for all our lives; but no, I'd have been mistaken. All the attention was on Papa Joe Paterno, the long serving, highly successful and wildly popular coach at Penn State, who was fired for failing to snitch to the government on his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Allow me a digression, if you will; an Englishman's perspective on America's national, established religion known as "football" [sic.] It is a game played not with a "ball", for that is a spherical object - but with a bag of compressed air in the shape of a prolate spheroid; it is egg-like, and so rolls and bounces in an awkward, barely predictable fashion. It is played moreover very little with the "foot," but predominantly with the hands. The game's name is therefore completely Orwellian. True football (a game played with a ball, moved almost always with the feet) is known here as "soccer" but I'm glad to see it's fast becoming more popular. Now, while I must admit that American hand-egg is derived from the English game of Rugby, it's been transformed in this country by the ridiculous array of protective garb, with padding and helmets and face-masks, that change even the smallest player into the caricature of an alien monster. That's on the upper anatomy; the lower half, in contrast, is covered only by pairs of shiny stretch-pants designed to excite every female eye in the stadium and so to intensify the religious fervor of the thousands of fanatics present. Were a genuine alien to visit such a stadium he would deplore the state of human civilization and linguistic corruption, and if told that the activity was pre-eminent at an institution of higher learning, would shake his topmost appendage in astonishment at the shallowness of human intellect.

So, back to Sandusky. He has been accused of fondling naked young boys in his care over many years, and if that were substantiated and if the boys - most of whom are now grown up - complained of damage, in a free society they would demand compensation, and get it. But in this society with its twisted and monopolized system of alleged justice, such action is called a "crime", an offense against a non-involved third party called "government", and may be "punished." Thus, it's said, Paterno should not only have investigated his assistant and perhaps invited him to resign or even fired him, he should have "informed Law Enforcement." For that omission, he has himself been fired, so blighting his evening years. No wonder there was rioting in the streets.

The one-size-fits-all fiction of laws about an "age of consent" are ludicrous. The fact that until this month none of Sandusky's alleged victims complained suggests that the incidents are far less outrageous than they are said to be - though it's fair to suppose that his job description did not include coaching kids about sex, and so he should properly have been held to account by his employer. But in the coming free society conduct will be judged by whether or not it initiates force; and if it doesn't, there is no actus reus. But suppose one party is too young to know whether he or she is being damaged forcefully or not? In other words, what will be the age of consent?

There will be no fixed answer, for it will be different in every case, since every individual is different. Rape is horrible, and especially so if done to someone too young to understand it; he or she may be twisted for life. For that very reason, the seeker of sexual contact will need to be very careful indeed, with those he (or she) can not readily tell to be a child or an adult. The benefit of doubt in such a case may well go to the complainant, in a free-market court; it will judge that the adult has the burden of proof that the youngster was old enough to welcome his advances. But this is for sure: the tipping-point will not be a fixed age for everyone, regardless. For most, 12 seems far too young (I wish it were so for all - it's a crying shame, that the fun of simple childhood has been so foreshortened) while for some, maturity arrives early whether invited or not.

Most of all, though, the Paterno Affair is about snitching, and I am appalled that the moral standards of National Socialism have so penetrated society in this Land of the Formerly Fairly Free that informing "Authority" of possible wrongdoing is not only actively encouraged, but actually punished if omitted. That is a sick distortion of right and wrong, and underscores the desperate need for "Law" to be replaced by the rational ethical standards of a zero-government society.

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