July 15, 2012

"An artist erased the halo over the late Joe Paterno on a mural in State College, Pennsylvania..."

"The artist Michael Pilato had put a halo over Paterno’s image after the coach’s death in January...."
Pilato added a large blue ribbon on Paterno’s lapel symbolizing support for child abuse victims, a cause the artist said Paterno had endorsed.
“When I took the halo off of Joe, it was kind of saying that he’s a human being, put the blue ribbon on him as well, and that was talking about sexual abuse awareness,” Pilato told ABC News Radio.
Then there's the image of former university president Graham Spanier, which people are "throwing stuff at." Pilato's thinking of things like painting a blindfold on him, but "I have no idea right now, you know, I haven’t slept in days because of this whole thing."

Iconography is difficult. Blindfold? But Lady Justice wears a blindfold.
The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness; blind justice and impartiality.
So get some more sleep, Mr. Pilato. Maybe paint his hands over his eyes, like the "see no evil" monkey. But no:

The three wise monkeys... sometimes called the three mystic apes, are a pictorial maxim. Together they embody the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". ..

The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Toshogu Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle....

In Chinese, a similar phrase exists in the Analects of Confucius from 2nd to 4th century B.C.: "Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety"....

Though the teaching had nothing to do with monkeys, the concept of the three monkeys originated from a simple play on words. The saying in Japanese is "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru" (見ざる, 聞かざる, 言わざる, literally "don't see, don't hear, don't speak". However, -zaru, an archaic negative verb conjugation, is pronounced the same as zaru, the vocalized form of saru (猿?), "monkey", so the saying can also be interpreted as the names of three monkeys.

33 comments:

edutcher said...

If he starts disappearing from pictures altogether, it's time to start worrying.

Unknown said...

So, the 'artist' is going through the Kubler-Ross 'stages of grief'?...apparently deep into 'Bargaining' and early into 'Depression'? Better he simply paint over the entire depiction of Paterno and leave it a stark, ugly blank.
I also suggest it's time for the artist of Paterno's heroic bronze statue at the stadium entry (cast while he was alive!) to take a sledgehammer to the head of 'Coach'. Then maybe Happy Valley will be into Acceptance.

MadisonMan said...

Don't make bronzes of people who are alive.

rcocean said...

OT: Why do Italian-American make such good coaches? Paterano, Lombardi, and so many college basketball coaches it'd be boring to name them.

Must be the food.

Palladian said...

Some women who commissioned portraits from Andy Warhol would sometimes contact him and ask him to update the portraits when they got a new hairstyle or had a facelift. Warhol referred to this phenomenon as "Night Of The Living Portrait".

My suggestion is for the artist to paint white over the whole mural and call the piece "Cover-Up".

ndspinelli said...

There were some who defended Paterno here when this story broke. However, ANYONE who knows anything about Penn State and sexual abuse knew Paterno was the guy who could have stopped this back in 1998.

The parallels to the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandals is more than ironic.

Methadras said...

If you went to Penn State during the sham reign of Paterno, you should be ashamed and burn the degree you got from this misbegotten university. Penn State should be sued into oblivion, lose it's football program for good, get it's NCAA ranking yanked, and all government funding halted for this. Pathetic school, with pathetic leadership, that cared only about it reputation while it was being eaten away by guys like paterno and sandusky. Bravo Penn State, you deserve to die in a fire.

Ann Althouse said...

The Catholics have a whole process for recognizing saints. There's a reason for that.

For sure, they need to be dead. But here's all this other stuff.

I'm from a Protestant background, where there are no saints. We just don't talk like that. Not in the denominations I've seen, at least.

There's a reason for that.

shiloh said...

So Althouse

Is Mormon magic underwear one of the reasons you're smitten w/mittens?

Just wonderin'

Paterno > spirits > Catholics > Protestants > mittens magic underwear ...

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

What Paterno do that was so wrong? Sorry I don't see it. The 1998 incident was investigated by the Police and the DA took no action.

He told the higher ups about the 2001 shower incident. They took from there. He was dealing with a 2nd hand allegation. Did the minor Sandusky supposedly have sex with in 2001 ever complain or come forward?

Lots of people want to dig up a dead man and hang him. But then Dead men not only "don't tell tales"- they don't fight back.

EDH said...

"An artist erased the halo over the late Joe Paterno on a mural in State College, Pennsylvania..."

...after learning of Jerry Sandusky's late-nite games of "golden ring toss".

Lucien said...

If I were ever accused of terrible wrongdoing, I hope there is at least one person (heck, maybe two)who would say "I know Lucien & I can't believe he would ever do that."

I bet most of you hope there is someone who would do the same for you.

So perhaps we can simultaneously understand 1)that Joe Paterno showed too much personal loyalty to Sandusky, and that is not the worst personal failing one could have; but, 2) had Paterno taken prompt action against Sandusky based on a more skeptical approach, much harm would have been avoided.

Of course, if we do that, it threatens to make us confront the fact that we all may be faced with some ethical problems that are not easy to solve.

MadisonMan said...

rcocean, just hush. People want to show their self-righteousness.

I think it would be foolish to shut down the football program, for example. To what end? Punishment? How does that help the victims here? A better idea would be to siphon off some of the money the football program makes into something that would help the victims and tell the tale to a wider audience.

rcocean said...

I agree MM. The support for shutting down the Penn State Football program (see "Atlantic Monthly") makes no sense.

Why punish people in 2012, who had nothing to do with what happened in 2001?

ndspinelli said...

Did rocean or MadisonMan hear what Freeh had to say in the press conference??? The living cowards will face criminal charges. Paterno would have also if he were still alive. He lied to the grand jury to try and cover his egotistical, cowardly ass!

I called this from day one and I'm usually prudent in letting investigations be completed. BUT THIS WAS SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS. Now, it's obvious to everyone but knuckle draggers.

MadisonMan said...

So you want to punish people. Okay.

How does that help the victims?

rcocean said...

I read Freeh's report. Where does he state that Paterno LIED to the grand jury?

Answer: Nowhere does it say that.

The 1998 incident was NOT Child abuse according to the DA and police. The 2001 incident was reported by Paterno to the responsible officials. What is Paterno's crime?

Maguro said...

So...you have an employee who was investigated a few years ago for molesting young boys, and one of your other employees tells you that he witnessed that person having sex with a young boy in the company shower room. What do you do?

Obviously, you quietly have the guy "retire" while maintaining an office in your facility, and of course you continue to let him bring his young boys on the company grounds. Including the showers.

Seems completely reasonable!

rcocean said...

Manguro: if Sandusky was engaged in "child abuse in 2001" why didn't the "child" or his parent report it? Why has the "child" never been identified? Was it a "child" or a young man? How do we know it even happened?

All we have is one man's word that he "Saw something of a sexual nature" - "something" that stopped the minute he made his presence known. Seems kinda thin. In any case, the witness reported it to Paterno's boss & Paterno, and Paterno also reported it to his boss. So Paterno committed what crime again?

Steven said...

Putting the "sexual abuse awareness" ribbon on him seems appropriate, considering the finding that he was, in fact, aware of sexual abuse.

ndspinelli said...

Paterno testified to the grand jury he only knew about the 2001 incident, not the 1998 one. There are emails and other documents that prove that to be a lie. There is circumstantial evidence that Paterno dissuaded the AD from going to the police, for which the AD is being prosecuted.

Now, go clean your knuckles. What the fuck is it w/ you Paterno worshippers? Big Michael Jackson fans also?

ndspinelli said...

rocean, Do you work Human Resources for NAMBLA? Whatever company, I'm sure they would be VERY proud of your attitude toward sexual abuse.

Gary Rosen said...

"What Paterno do that was so wrong? Sorry I don't see it."

Sandusky had access to the Penn State gym as recently as LAST YEAR. rcocean is standing in for his buddy Cedarford who has tried to whitewash molesters from Polanski to Sandusky and exonerated pedophile clergy, claiming the victims were gay and willing.

lemondog said...

Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!

The attempt at deification and a creation of cult worship is sick. How different is that from Stalin/Mao cult worship brainwashing?

Penn State board and administration should be overhauled and its corrupt ethos repudiated. All public funding should cease and desist.

Sports worship at ALL universities, and in society in general, needs to be ratcheted down with academic accomplishment and a culture of ethics placed firmly into the fore.

The mural is ugly. Agree that it should be appropriately ‘white-washed’.

Superdad said...

The artist should have left the halo; then is piece would have more meaning than it did when it was first painted as nothing but a mere idol. Leaving the halo now, would make it a statement against our natural and sinful urge to make gods out of mere men; a statement against the cult of personality.

MadisonMan said...

The one thing that I DO hope comes out of this: Penn State loses its exemption from Pennsylvania's Open Records law and becomes a little less like the Kremlin.

MadisonMan said...

..and Palladian, I've been meaning to say, your final comment was perfect.

Cover Up or Whitewash. Either one would be apt.

Jay said...

rcocean said...
What Paterno do that was so wrong? Sorry I don't see it. The 1998 incident was investigated by the Police and the DA took no action.

He told the higher ups about the 2001 shower incident. They took from there


Talk about a willful disregard of the facts.

Jay said...

rcocean said...
So Paterno committed what crime again?


He lied to a grand jury.

I really can't believe someone has taken to the Internet after this report was released to play the defend JoePa card.

It really is sick.

Jay said...

rcocean said...

All we have is one man's word that he "Saw something of a sexual nature" - "something" that stopped the minute he made his presence known. Seems kinda thin. In any case, the witness reported it to Paterno's boss & Paterno, and Paterno also reported it to his boss. So Paterno committed what crime again?


Let me help fill in the parts you left out, silly apologist.

1. This was after a 1998 criminal investigation into similar behavior.

2. You trying to minimize the sexual activity from the 2001 incident as merely "something" is beyond disgusting.

3. Paterno didn't "let his bosses handle it" He talked them out of going to Child Welfare Authorities.

4. The concealment is a crime.

You're disgusting.

damikesc said...

Heyyy...didn't PSU do the study that exonerated Mann in the whole climategate email scandal?

I bet their work was beyond reproach there, too.

There were some who defended Paterno here when this story broke. However, ANYONE who knows anything about Penn State and sexual abuse knew Paterno was the guy who could have stopped this back in 1998.

The parallels to the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandals is more than ironic.


Sadly, molestation in public school dwarfs the problem the Catholic Church or even PSU had.

Yes, Paterno didn't do anything. I agree with one writer's call for PSU to get the death penalty by the NCAA over this. This is not your normal scandal. This is, possibly, the worst scandal I've seen involving collegiate sports.

A punishment needs to be handed down and it needs to be so insanely harsh as to stop this. PSU clearly had no institutional controls in place.

bob said...

The key here is not Paterno, all of you notwithstanding. The key is Spanier, the now-ousted president of the university. If Spanier had told Paterno to fire Sandusky after the 1998 nol prosse (do I have that right, Ann?), Paterno would have had no choice. Sandusky left PSU after the 1999 season and was on emeritus status, approved by Spanier and the board, at the time of the 2001 incident. Don't forget Spanier's infamous "humane" reference as a reason to not report Sandusky to Children's Services. Remember, too, that Spanier and the board did business with Sandusky's Second Mile for several years after the 2001 incident, business that ran into the low seven figures.
Also, think about this, folks... Spanier's academic background was in (are you ready for this?) family therapy. If anybody should have known the damage that a guy like Sandusky could cause, it would be Spanier. He could have stopped the whole thing and that would have been it. He didn't.
Note, too, that the Spanier-Paterno relationship wasn't tight. Spanier was jealous of Joe's notoriety but couldn't do anything because of his fundraising prowess -- which extended far beyond the football program.
Spanier always came across as a liberal, PC sort. And isn't it PC to shield the perpetrator and to hell with the victims?