I have refrained from comments concerning the Penn State fiasco (Syracuse, too, for that matter) in any forum for many reasons.
I wish I could say I was waiting for due process to play out, the system to work and all that noble sounding, holier-than-thou-radio-call in-show constitutional stuff that would make me sound so much better than all those rushing to judgement on either side – ‘the rare voice of prudence, innocent until proven . . . . yada, yada, yada.’
I wish I could, but I can’t, my silence has been entirely selfish and for an unintellectual, completely visceral reason – I was immersed in the midst of hundreds of sex offenders from casual child porn guys (‘skinners’) to an ex-(though he had to be constantly reminded) Catholic priest in on 293 counts of assault (‘ripper’) to kidnapper/murderers (‘WTF?’) for about 20 stomach churning, bile in the back of the throat months. I still get queasy thinking about it; listening, watching this circus unfold was bad enough, I figured writing about it would just lead to nightmares and, so, why bother when everyone had seemingly said all that could be said.
My self imposed dam burst when I heard Sandusky’s lawyer’s more than novel theory of the case early Thursday morning – coach was teaching disadvantaged boys how to shower. After the usual gag reflex whenever one of Sandusky’s representatives speaks receded, (my first thought – wow, he’s really trying to taint the jury pool), I resolved to write in response to some of the conjecture flying around concerning Jerry’s immediate, post house arrest, future.
I’ve listened to hour after hour of almost exclusively men puff out their chests and, after the universally mandated ‘if it’d been my kid, tha’ guy wouldn’t be alive to stand trial,’ launch into a joy filled diatribe of what awaits the sex offender in prison as graphically as allowed by whatever medium they are spouting off on.
It’s understandable venting, and it is as erroneous as it is a waste of breath. See, what really bothers me about all this, what really makes my skin crawl, is the fact that in prison Jerry will get to hang out with dozens of like minded men. Dozens.
The general prison population for him will be mostly, if not all, fellow sex offenders. Penn State may have enabled Sandusky but in prison, for the first time in his life, he’ll be be accepted for who he really is. He’ll be among like-minded men, he’ll be free to express himself, he’ll engage in banter he could only only have dreamed about in the past, he’ll never have to hide his proclivities, he’ll be respected, probably admired. He’ll be in sex offender heaven for the remainder of his nasty little life. The bastard will probably live to a hundred in these conditions.
That’s what really gets me. I’ve had to listen to far too many conversations lamenting the fact Natalie Portman and Lindsey Lohan grew up, watched 30 year olds salivate over the early Harry Potter movies, endured a roommate reading the entire Buffy the Vampire series so he’d have something to talk to 13 year old girls about, to think about it any other way but this: regardless of what happens to this guy the rest of the way, he’ll never be punished, he’ll only be varying degrees of happy.