“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” — Henry David Thoreau
“It’s unfortunate. We preach, preach, preach and they stepped out of line. They deserve what they’re going to get. Whatever that’s going to be, I don’t know. My feeling on all of this is they have a responsibility to the program, they have a responsibility to themselves, to their family. They have responsibility to their teammates. And if they do something as dumb as it appears they did, and I’m not saying if they did or they didn’t yet, but even being close to that kind of thing, I’m not going to play any one of those three kids this weekend.” — Joe Paterno
I think we can tell a lot about a society by its riots, by the values it holds dear enough to rise up and protect in the face of withering persecution. Civil disorder is wrought by those who feel excluded from the civility that has been imposed by the ruling class, so its machinations tend to reveal the true nature of both the powerful and the oppressed. The spark to the powder keg occurs with a single act of injustice, and like a shrieking teapot, the tempest explodes.
I thought about this last night as hundreds of students flooded the main drag at Penn State and revealed their definition of injustice. And it made me sad. It made me sad for our generation. It made me sad for our country. But most of all, it made me sad for our future. Because it made me think that we have reached a point in our culture where we can no longer rely on our young and most open-minded members to act as the driving forces behind positive social change.
You might think this is an over-reaction, and you might be correct. This web site is not going to be another one of those places where somebody sits in front of a computer screen and interprets reality in definitive terms and leaves you to either agree with him or tell him to go bleep himself. It is not going to fit the current prototype of a blog, where people of a similar mindset can congregate in intellectual safety and feed upon information and opinion that caters to their established world view. One of the things I have come to believe is that the most consistently-honest declaration in the English language is, “I don’t know.” For some reason, admitting the lack of knowledge is much harder than pretending that we have it. We live in a country where knowledge is often defined as a talking point. Find enough people who share the same mindset, and that mindset becomes Truth, regardless of the physical or philosophical validity of its foundation.