I've written before about how an astute reader should interpret a long stretch of blog inactivity. I mention this here just as an explanation for my relative silence over the past week or so.
Often the public rushes to condemn some person involved in a news story, and when that happens I usually think the condemned is getting short shrift. Once more information is in, however, sometimes the public's initial condemnation appears justified.
When the Penn State abuse scandal broke, a lot of people criticized Joe Paterno's lack of reaction. I defended him, on the grounds that he seemed to have no first-hand knowledge and he passed along the report to his supervisors (yes, shockingly college football head coaches still have supervisors (nominally, anyway)). When that was all we knew, it seemed JoePa should have been left out of the attacks.
Now it seems Paterno recommended keeping the story under wraps, preventing a proper investigation from taking place. In this case, I think it is right to criticize Paterno. Vacating his victories back to Sandusky's first abuse, well before Paterno's first knowledge, is pointless and vindictive, though. I gather the reason to vacate victories is to say, "Had we known back when this first happened, you would have been fired then." So we're saying Paterno would have been fired in 1998 when Sandusky abused a kid? It would have been a shocking revelation to Paterno back then. Vacate back to the beginning of his inaction/cover-up, fine, but going beyond that is just mob justice. (In the words of Seymour Skinner, "Ah, there's no justice like mob justice!" I disagree.)
Another thing everyone freaked out about that it now seems they were right to freak out about is Octomom. (I don't remember her real name, and I don't feel like looking it up right now. Besides, if I'd used her real name, you all would've been, like, "Who?" and had to Google her and then been, like, "Oh, Octomom." So I just saved you some time and threw one small wrench in the works of Google's global domination. You're welcome.)
At first everyone was all, "This lady is terrible," and I was all, "No, she just likes kids." An element of her condemnation seemed anti-natalist to me, and I can't stand anti-natalism (as witnessed by the impending birth of our fourth child). I didn't want to carry any anti-natalist water, so I didn't condemn Octomom.
Now it appears she needs condemnation. Although I still can't decide if her attention-whoring is the cause or a symptom of her hyper-natalism. Having a lot of kids because you need attention is different from needing attention because you have a lot of kids. But either way, her "I won't do nudity or porn/I'll do nudity but not porn/I'll do nudity and porn" progression, all in a matter of weeks, it seems, is tiresome. Part of me still has reservations, though; this quick progression could just be a sign of how bad her finances are. Yes, her crushing need for cash is mostly the result of her decision to have a jillion kids (like mine could be the result of having four), but her need to have a lot of kids might be more a mental health issue, and it seems poor form to condemn a lady for having a brain problem. So I guess I'm willing to grant others their condemnation of Octomom, but I'm still not willing to go there yet, myself.
Why don't I invite comments on what other things you think I'm way off-base about? That should be fun. If anything, I'll have a lot of material to respond to in future blog posts.