Michael Berube's essay on why he has resigned Penn State's Paterno Family Professorship in Literature is, if nothing else, well worth the 20 minutes or so it takes to read. (Berube is still a professor at Penn State, but his title has changed.) The essay is hard to summarize here, but it's even-handed and unsparing at the same time, taking aim at hypocritical journalists and commentators as well as parochial Penn State fans.
In the past year, I have traveled to Iowa and Oklahoma, Chicago and Boulder, Nashville and Knoxville, Australia and England. Everywhere, people have heard of Penn State, and what they have heard lately is not very good. When I say where I am from, I am greeted with sighs, shaking heads, and condolences. In Sydney, watching coverage of the Sandusky trial on the Australian news, I imagined fleeing to Antarctica, only to be greeted by legions of penguins saying, "Good Lord, do you believe this Penn State mess?"
And yet we who live inside the bubble know a few things you don't know.
The scandal has made an awful lot of people look bad -- many fans in State College on the one hand, and, on the other, many non-Penn State fans who have clearly delighted in the downfall of Joe Paterno and the football program.
Via Sara Ganim.