Les PDG sont-ils tous fous ? D’après une étude menée par un chercheur de l’université Bond, en Australie, pas moins de 21% des patrons seraient des psychopathes. Dans un entretien accordé à ABC, Nathan Brookes, qui a conduit l’enquête, explique en effet qu’environ un chef d’entreprise sur cinq témoigne de troubles de la personnalité. Parmi ces comportements particuliers, l’universitaire souligne notamment l’incapacité à l’empathie, la superficialité ou encore le manque de sincérité. D’après Brookes, ces chiffres sont similaires à ceux que l’on pourrait obtenir en étudiant la population d’une prison. L’étude a porté sur environ mille personnes dont 231 patrons. Plus besoin maintenant de chercher pourquoi votre boss ne vous aime pas…
While the 2016 presidential candidates have been fairly quiet on the food policy front, this week Republican party nominee Donald Trump decided to take on the country’s food safety regulators—then promptly deleted his campaign’s statement.
On Thursday, Trump’s website posted a document outlining the candidate’s views on the country’s regulatory standards and his plans to reduce those standards if elected president. That statement, intended as a supplement to a speech given by Trump to the New York Economic Club, called to eliminate “the FDA Food Police,” suggesting that the agency’s policies had overreached. According to Trump, the FDA’s governing of “the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures” and other aspects of the industry were too invasive. The campaign also suggested that the administration also performed “inspection overkill” in its oversight of food manufacturing facilities.
Soon after releasing the statement, the release was deleted from the campaign’s site and replaced with a similar sheet that omitted Trump’s opinions on food regulations.
According to The New York Times, the inspections Trump criticized in the document were implemented by Congress in 2010 as a response to a peanut-related salmonella outbreak that killed nine and sickened hundreds across 46 states. Since then, large-scale outbreaks linked to cantaloupes, spinach, eggs, ice cream and other foods have sickened millions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 1 in 6 in the United States—approximately 48 million—are sickened each year by the kinds of food-related diseases the FDA is tasked to identify and prevent.
Former FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor says these views from a potential President could put millions of consumers in harm’s way. “Eliminating FDA’s food safety role would make more consumers sick, destroy consumer confidence at home, and damage American competitiveness in global food markets,” Taylor says.
Though Trump’s campaign has yet to release any further information regarding its candidate’s views on food regulation, it’s surprising that the billionaire—a known germaphobe—would oppose higher levels of regulation. There’s no doubt the candidate hopes his favorite fast food restaurants don’t cause any outbreaks.
Maybe it’s the lack of pants, the crotch-centric tightness of denim shorts or the maternal warning, first uttered in childhood yet ignored to this day, to “never hang out in a wet bathing suit,” but vaginas seem to be top of mind during summer. And who has time to go to their gyno in the summer, right??
You do. You definitely do. Health takes priority over swimming pools.
BUT LET’S JUST SAY you have some questions that you’d like vetted before you see your doctor/nurse practitioner. Ones that you’d like to arm yourself with so that when you enter her office you feel like you can talk the vagina talk just as much as you walk the vagina walk. Or maybe there’s something that you’re too embarrassed to bring up because you feel like at a certain age, you should know X by now?
Well guess what, Diva Cup? No question is a stupid question. Which is why…
We asked Dr. Suzanne Fenske, OBGYN, a full-time assistant professor in gynecology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who specializes in pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, minimally invasive surgeryand general gynecology, alllll about your hoo-ha.
Have more questions? Ask them in the comments below.
If all vaginas are different then how can you tell if yours is healthy?
Vaginas can be very different, varying in size, color and overall appearance. That being said, there are universal signs that something is wrong. If you are experiencing foul smelling vaginal discharge, irregular bleeding, pain, new bumps or ulcers, then you should see your gynecologist. These things are not necessarily signs of an STI, but they’re not normal.
I have never been to a gyno. Is that weird? When should I start going and how often?
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a first visit between the ages of 13 and 15 for education and to assess development. The pap smear (cervical cancer screening test) is initiated at age 21 regardless of sexual activity. It would be best for a woman to see her gynecologist at age 13-15 or prior to becoming sexually active or if she believes something to be wrong. If nothing’s wrong, she should start seeing a gynecologist once she is sexually active or age 21 (whichever comes first).
Is it dumb that I haven’t gotten the HPV vaccine?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. There are many members of the HPV family, but there are now vaccines that can help prevent you from getting some of the most common HPV types. Most recently, there is a vaccination that helps prevent getting nine common HPV types. Two of these HPV types account for 70% of cervical cancers.
The HPV vaccine is meant to be given to females between the ages of nine and 26. If you are in this age group and not pregnant, then you should get the vaccine and help protect yourself against cervical cancer and genital warts.
Do I really need to pee after sex? Why? For the frequent UTI-getters, is that the only way to prevent UTI?
The idea behind urinating after intercourse is that you will “flush out” the bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections. If you are one of the unfortunate women who get frequent urinary tract infections, then you should practice good hygiene and urinate after sex. In addition, you could consider being on antibiotic prophylaxis. (Ask your gyno to prescribe.) This means that you either take one antibiotic pill a day or take one pill around the time of intercourse to prevent getting a urinary tract infection.
To quote Hannah Horvath, “but what about the stuff that gets up around the side of the condoms?” But actually, what STDs do condoms NOT protect against, and how do I protect myself?
Do not stop using condoms because you think that they are not protecting you. Condoms decrease the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI). That being said, even with good condom use you can still be exposed to genital warts, HPV and herpes. These STIs can be on the base of the penis, the perineum, or any area in the male or female genital region not covered by a condom. If your skin comes into contact with that area, then you can still be exposed even though you are using a condom.
Other than abstinence, the only way to decrease the risk of getting a STI is condom use and making sure that you do not see any warts or ulcers. Even with these safety precautions, there is still a risk. For men who have intercourse with men, these same risks exists. Although men are not at risk for cervical cancer due to HPV, they are at risk for penile cancer, warts, anal and oropharyngeal cancer due to HPV. For women who have intercourse with women, STIs can be transmitted from skin to skin contact as well as sharing unwashed toys.
I had a one night stand, no condom. Now what?
Do not panic, but make sure that you always use a condom in the future. First, if you are not using another form of contraception (i.e. birth control pill, NuvaRing, IUD, Depo-Provera) and you do not want to become pregnant, then go to your nearest pharmacy and purchase Plan B. If this medication is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, then it can prevent pregnancy.
Second, see your primary care doctor, gynecologist or Planned Parenthood for STI testing. It is best to do this testing about a week after the event and you will need to repeat some of these tests six months later to ensure they are negative.
End this fight now! Can you or can you not get pregnant from pre-ejaculation fluid?
The answer is that it is unlikely, but possible. Pre-ejaculation does not usually contain a lot of living sperm, but there is a possibility of some and all it takes is one. In addition, you can get a STI from pre-ejaculation fluid. Therefore, it is important to use a condom before you initiate sex and keep it on until the end.
Can you get pregnant from ejaculation near or around but not inside the vagina?
Again, the answer is that it is unlikely but possible.
Do you have to go to a doctor for a yeast infection?
If you have vaginal itching or burning with associated thick white discharge, then you likely have a yeast infection. You can try an over the counter remedy like Monistat. If you do not have resolution of symptoms in 48 hours, then you should make an appointment to see your gynecologist. If you have a foul odor or green or gray discharge then it is best to immediately see your gynecologist as this is most likely not a yeast infection.
I’m on birth control but I don’t get my period. Should I be concerned? What’s the long-term health impact of not getting your period?
Do not be concerned. It is very common to stop getting your period when you are on birth control pills. One of the effects of birth control is that it makes the lining of uterus thin. By making the lining of the uterus thin, there is no extra tissue to slough off monthly. There are no long-term health impacts of not getting your period. This does not affect your fertility or increase your risk of cancer. In fact, by preventing ovulation and maintaining a thin lining of the uterus, birth control can decrease your risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Have more questions for a gyno? Send them to [email protected] with “Gyno” in the subject line.
Si torna sui banchi di scuola, non sempre con entusiasmo. In Italia, di 7 mila studenti intervistati da Skuola.net e Adolescienza.it, 1 su 5 ha raccontato di essere stato bullizzato. «È importante però capire la differenza tra aggressività, che è una reazione sana dell’essere umano, e bullismo», spiega la psicologa Silvia Vegetti Finzi, che parteciperà, con la lectio Bullismo, al Festival della Filosofia di Modena, Carpi e Sassuolo (dal 16 al 18 settembre, info: festivalfilosofia.it), che quest’anno ha come tema l’agonismo.
E qual è la differenza? «Non tutti i gesti di aggressività sono bullismo. Quando i bambini litigano, per esempio, sperimentano le posizioni da tenere nella società: lasciateli litigare. E difendersi da soli. Invece, si parla di bullismo quando i gesti aggressivi sono prolungati, sistematici e intenzionali».
Quando è giusto intervenire? «Quando si superano i limiti. Ma non prima: altrimenti si ruba al bambino la possibilità di imparare i confini tra lui e gli altri».
C’è un modo per aiutare i figli a non essere bullizzati, o a non diventare bulli? «La ricetta per tutti non c’è, ma qualche linea guida da seguire sì. Non iperproteggerli. I genitori che si arrabbiano con l’allenatore se i figli rimangono in panchina fanno solo il loro male. È importante insegnare a esprimersi da soli per sottrarsi al dominio del più forte. Solo così si impara a vivere nel gruppo, senza essere per forza un gregario o un capo».
Quindi le regole per non essere bullizzati o non diventare bulli sono le stesse? «Sì, certo. Poi uno avrà più propensione a diventare vittima e l’altro carnefice. Ma il consiglio per tutti è di non crescere i figli nella bambagia. Non riempirli di attività sportive, piuttosto lasciarli giocare in cortile, che è la migliore palestra per imparare a stare con gli altri».
Se un bambino è travolto dalla collera, come ci comportiamo? «Se è piccolo, per calmarlo abbracciatelo. Dai sei anni in su, rispettate il momento ma fatelo ragionare: mostrate anche le ragioni dell’altro».
Come riconosciamo che nostro figlio è un bullo? «Probabilmente non lo saprete finché qualcuno non ve lo dirà. I bulli non sempre sono platealmente aggressivi o forti di temperamento. Possono essere anche timidi che agiscono su Internet, nell’anonimato».
Come riconosciamo, invece, se è bullizzato? «Di solito chi subisce cerca motivi per non andare a scuola e tende a isolarsi. In alcuni casi lo manifesta fisicamente con insonnia, mal di testa, inappetenza. In altri arriva a farsi del male, tagliandosi, per esempio, perché si sente colpevole di non sapersi difendere da solo».
E il bullo si sente in colpa? «No. Sa che sta facendo qualcosa di sbagliato, ma non ha le emozioni corrispondenti per provare rimorso. Anche gli altri che assistono sanno che sono azioni sbagliate ma non riescono a sdegnarsi emotivamente. Esercitateli sin da piccoli all’empatia, che è il sentimento opposto al bullismo. Solo mettendosi nei panni dell’altro si controlla l’aggressività».
Many students described the sexual education they received as disappointing and short-sighted, but the education was enlightening for several subgroups of students from ethnic or religious minorities who may be hearing this information for the first time.
In particular, Pound pointed out that Chinese-British students appreciated the classes because their families didn’t discuss sex at all, while young Muslim women found them a useful counterpoint to the “value-laden” and inaccurate sex education they got from home.
”You get some good information in these classes,” said one Muslim immigrant in a 2007 U.S. study. “All my mother would tell me, she would tell me like myths, hypothetical things, things that old ladies from generation to generation will tell her. Like Mom, that’s not even true!’’
Why we need sexual health education
Research shows that medically accurate sex education is linked to several healthy outcomes for students, including lower teen pregnancy rates and lower teen birth rates. Comprehensive HIV and STD prevention programs are linked to a student’s decision to delay the first time he or she has sex, a reduced number of sexual partners and increased condom use.
This has a real effect: While teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have declined in recent years, they’re still highest among 21 countries with complete statistics, outpacing New Zealand, England and Wales.
Meanwhile, Switzerland and the Netherlands have the lowest rates of teen pregnancy and are often held up as models for both comprehensive and medically accurate sex education. The Netherlands starts age-appropriate sexuality education for kids as early as four years old, reports PBS, focusing on things like hugging and body awareness. By their teenage years, the Dutch are more likely than teens from other parts of the developed world to say that their first sexual experiences were “wanted and fun,” as opposed to most American teens, who wished they had waited longer to have sex for the first time.
A comprehensive approach
Chitra Panjabi, president and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, was not involved in the research but said that we need to expand “comprehensive” sexuality education to include emotional, social and psychological aspects of sexual health.
“This study very clearly shows that the stigma and shame of sexuality is often a huge barrier to giving kids what they need to lead healthy lives,” Panjabi said. “Much of the education they do get is focused on disease prevention and public health outcomes, instead of a holistic education that promotes healthy sexuality and relationships.”
It’s clear that the U.S. still has a long way to go when it comes to delivering sex and relationship education to students ― but that teens from all over the world have very similar complaints about what they’re learning.
Drew Magary witnesses plenty of drinking, chanting, and whitewashing in Happy Valley on opening day of the post-Paterno era
Do you like slogans? Holy shit, do I have the town for you. This past Saturday, State College, Pennsylvania was a town awash in slogans. There were slogans on the windows and on the cars, on shirts and on tents, inside the stadium, and all around outside of it. Slogans, slogans everywhere, from the gentle to the menacing. Everyone had their slogan on Saturday, and that slogan was their personal statement about all this…this stuff that’s gone on over the past year. Even the name of the school itself—PENN STATE—was a slogan on this day. If you wore it, you believed it. And if you didn’t have a slogan, well, then you were probably me, and you probably felt very much out of place.
GQ sent me to State College this past weekend to get at look at Penn State in person, to soak in the atmosphere in this, Penn State’s first home opener without Joe Paterno in over six decades. The game was against Ohio University, and PSU would eventually lose 24-14 thanks to some shoddy defense and a rather nasty habit of dropping the ball (snicker snicker). This was a game many people believe never should have taken place. I wanted to decide for myself if I agreed with them, if I could detect any remaining value in a tradition that led to the worst cover-up in NCAA history, the downfall of a supposedly great man, and the poisoning of an entire community. And I did figure it all out, I swear. But first, we gotta take a drive.
To get to State College from where I live, you have to travel up through central Pennsylvania on Interstate 99, a stretch of road that winds its way along the Allegheny Mountains, past towns with super-American names like East Freedom and Bald Eagle. The views along the road are so nice that you have to fight to keep your eyes on the highway. It’s like Peter Jackson is shooting a movie right next to you.
This is a relatively new stretch of road. The last section of it opened in 2007, in part to handle the flow of traffic in and out of State College. So not only can you say that Joe Paterno built Penn State, but you could also argue that he built the roads leading to it. On the way up, I tuned into a kickass Altoona rock station that played hair-metal classics (“Still Loving You” by Scorpions—all too appropriate this weekend) and offered up important local news, including one item about a neighborhood shrubbery that had been vandalized. Ni!
Driving to college is still crazy exciting, even if you’re not a student anymore. There’s still that funny feeling you get in your stomach and in your loins as you get closer and closer to campus. PRETTY BUILDINGS! HOT YOUNG COEDS! FANCY LEARNIN’! You can’t help but psych yourself up for good times. That feeling is probably what keeps many an alum coming back year after year.
I dropped my shit off at the motel and started the walk through town to get to Beaver Stadium. Along the way, I got passed by an RV that was packed with people, and I could see some of the people inside already clutching beers. This was 8:30 in the morning. Beer tastes better the earlier you drink it.
I passed giant frat houses that looked halfway decent on the outside, but it was obvious that the insides were havens of unspeakable filth. You could see the frat brothers pre-gaming out on their balconies. I walked by a collection of brick apartment buildings that a lot of students called home. A drunk chick shouted “WE ARE” from the balcony and a group of guys in front of me offered up a “PENN STATE” in response.
On every window in every shop there was an 8 1/2″1″ printout that read PROUD TO SUPPORT PENN STATE FOOTBALL. Apparently, a PDF was sent out a few days prior, encouraging people to print it out and tape it to their storefronts. Everyone complied. A few days later, as a way of counterbalancing all that football pride, another PDF was sent out that read PROUD TO SUPPORT PENN STATE ACADEMICS. Only a few of those signs made it up.
I tried to find the stadium by following around any student who was carrying beer, which was a mistake because most of the students were going back to their dorms first to get shitfaced. It’s amazing how hard it is to find Beaver Stadium if you’re just relying on crowds and your gut instinct (and if you’re too cheap to own a smartphone). It seats more than 100,000 people. It could probably host a family reunion for aircraft carriers. And yet, Penn State itself is so enormous that the stadium can hide with relative ease. I found a route along University Drive by watching three dark blue school buses speed down the road led by a police escort. Every fan cheered and waved to the buses as they flew by. The Penn State players inside didn’t wave back. They had shit to focus on.
I got to the front parking lot of the Stadium around 9 a.m., and you could already hear fans inside chanting the “WE ARE” call-and-response from their seats. I came along the first lot of tailgaters, trying to find my host for the day, an alum who asked to remain anonymous for this article. He told me to look for a blue tent. They were ALL blue tents. I walked through the first tailgate lot, and then another, and then another. The tailgaters blanketed the land, spilling past the baseball stadium and around the hills and telephone poles, like rushing floodwaters. They were everywhere: hundreds of fancy RVs (how can so many people afford such nice RVs?), thousands of satellite dishes (how can so many people know how to transport and realign their satellite dishes?), and god knows how many flaming grills (how can so many people transport grills that are larger than their own cars?).
I walked past two men holding a vigorous discussion about the state of the program. “What surprised me is that the state legislature did nothing!” one said, with the other nodding fervently in agreement. There’s a rumor going around—still unverified—that the University will foot the NCAA’s $60 million fine simply by not going ahead with scheduled renovations to Beaver Stadium’s notoriously cramped press box. People here very much approve of that plan.
It felt as if all the tailgaters had been here since the last Penn State home game, against Nebraska in November 2011. They drank and ate and played cornhole (snicker snicker), and their children ran around without any visible fear of anyone coming and, you know, doing bad things to them. It looked like all the other tailgate festivals going on in all the major college towns that day, in Lincoln and Stillwater and elsewhere. There was nothing special about it unless you were a Penn State fan, in which case it was all very special because it was yours.
The only visible difference at this tailgate was the slogans. I saw so many slogans that I wished everyone at Penn State had sat down on Friday prior to gametime and settled on just one. But they didn’t, and this was the resulting word soup:
“Penn State Forever”
“Joe Knows Football”
“Those who stayed may not be champions, but they will forever be legends.” (I thought this one was the stupidest of the bunch.)
“Roll up your pant legs. This is JoePa’s house.”
“Success with honor”
“Coach Paterno, only one thing: Thank you!”
“NCAA” (with a hammer sickle replacing the C)
“Restore the roar”
“Hey media… we know the truth” (Somehow I doubt that Bobby from Delta Upsilon knew more about the Sandusky case than Sara Ganim)
“We Are… Pissed Off” (It’s worth noting that no one who rocked this slogan looked all that pissed off)
“More than a man, more than a coach, you touched our soul”
“Those people” (???)
“Billieve” (referring to PSU head coach Bill O’Brien)
“We are… because he was”
The one I saw the most often was a simple shirt that read “HAPPY VALLEY,” a shirt they were selling in all the bookstores and at the Museum Shop at the stadium. I liked that slogan the most. If I was a drunken Penn Stater, that’s the one I would have chosen. Everyone walking by flashed peace signs to one another, just to reinforce how happy they were to be in this valley.
I found my tailgate party and drank as much Coors Light as I possibly could, while playing Once Around with my companions (you pass the ball around in a circle and if you drop it, you be drinkin’). Overhead, a Cessna flew fly by dragging a banner that read “OUST ERICKSON / TRUSTEES,” in reference to new school president Rodney Erickson and the board of trustees, who allowed the NCAA to bring down the hammer on Penn State football. Few people on the ground seemed to notice or care.
An hour before gametime, I staggered back to the stadium looking for the site where Paterno’s statue once stood. On my quest, I passed by a barn on the edge of the stadium grounds that looked like someone built it there on purpose, to emphasize the bucolic surroundings. I asked eight different cops for directions to the statue site and they gave me eight different replies, one of which I’m certain was deliberately intended to throw me off. I felt creepy asking where it was again and again, because it was an admission to people that I wasn’t from here. And if I’m not from here, well then why am I snooping around for JoePa? I was essentially labeling myself a tourist of death. Before I could find the right spot, the game was about to begin. JoePa would have to wait.
Beaver Stadium was at nearly full capacity on Saturday, with a handful of empty seats at the top in the corners of the stadium. I sat alone in WB section (one half of stadium’s sections start with W, the other half start with E. W-E, get it?). There was a squat, older woman in the seat in front of me. Not in it, actually. On it. For the duration of pregame, the woman stood on her bench screaming “WE ARE.” At Beaver Stadium, there’s not a lot of space between rows, so when I was standing as well, this woman’s ass was less than a millimeter from my sweaty, meaty hands. I had to lean back just to make sure I didn’t graze her ass, or give it a full-fledged bump. This was not a day for inappropriate touching.
“Sorry ma’am,” I said. “I’m super-close to you with you standing on the bench. You mind standing down?”
“I will after kickoff.”
She stood down when the game began. Every so often, the Beaver Stadium jumbotron would light up with a canned segment of O’Brien talking about the new era of Penn State football, followed by an ad screaming out “ONE TEAM,” the official rebranded slogan of the program. There were no traces of the past in the stadium’s formal presentation of the game, unless the marching band’s rendition of “Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul was meant as some kind of subversive message. The PA announcer never mentioned Joe Paterno. There was no moment of silence for him (this was the first home game since his passing). His name was nowhere to be found inside. If you were completely ignorant of the past and you attended the game, you’d never know a man named Joe Paterno ever existed. You’d also never know that Jerry Sandusky’s victims existed, and I bet they had strong feelings on Saturday about Penn State getting back to celebrating its football program so quickly, as if nothing had happened.
[CORRECTION: Several readers have noted that Penn State did hold a moment of silence for child abuse victims prior to the game. Joe Paterno’s name was not mentioned. Even though I got to my seat before kickoff, I still must have arrived too late to witness it.]
At halftime, after Ohio scored their second touchdown to take a lead they would never relinquish, I slipped out of the stands to beat the heat and resume my hunt for the statue site. I was told to look for the new trees in front of Gate F, and sure enough, I eventually stumbled upon a grassy knoll festooned with a bare handful of decorations. It was a makeshift shrine to the Old Man, as if he were buried under that very spot. There was a small bunch of flowers ringed with a printout of JoePa’s picture, a JoePa bobblehead wearing green beads (?), an Outback Bowl hat, one of those “Hey Media” shirts, and a Penn State jersey laid on the ground. A cheap jersey, as if the donor wanted to give JoePa a jersey but didn’t want to sacrifice any of his GOOD jerseys. To my left, a woman stood with her face in her hands, weeping.
Beyond the shrine, at Gate B, there was an entryway engraved with the words “IN HONOR OF JOE PATERNO’S COACHING CAREER.” Underneath the engraving was a series of bricks donated by alumni to honor the man, including a brick donated by disgraced university president Graham Spanier. Other bricks included quick messages like, “Honesty, passion, ethics=Success,” “Go Joe!,” “Joe will always be #1,” and “Prefer nothing whatever to excellence.” That last one confused me, but that’s what happens when a brick gives you less space for your message than a Tweet. Those bricks are the only formal recognition of Paterno left at the stadium, at least that I could find. You will see far more statues and plaques honoring General James Beaver than you will the old football coach. I didn’t even know Beaver Stadium was named after a person. I assumed the name was meant to commemorate the abundance of river-based wildlife in the area.
As the game slipped away from Penn State inside the stadium, I took a walk outside down Curtin Street to the Berkey Creamery, the on-campus ice cream shop operated by PSU’s food science students. The line stretched out the door, not atypical for a gameday. For less than five bucks, you can get a cone with roughly thirty scoops on top. They still sell Peachy Paterno here, and I made a point of ordering it. I did this in the name of journalism, even though I think fruit ice creams are bullshit. If they really wanted to honor the man, they would have put Twix bars in there.
I made my way back to Beaver Stadium just as Ohio was sealing the victory with a late interception. Thousands of drunken, overheated students passed by me. They had all been so boisterous at the beginning of the day, cheering wildly during the pre-game intros and when the offense converted on an early 4th-and-1 near midfield. But the heat and the losing and the drinking eventually got to them.
Some of them were clearly angry about the loss. I wanted to pull them aside and tell them to buck up. Losing, after all, is exactly what this program needs right now. Being shitty for four years will allow Penn State the chance to continue its football tradition in relative peace and quiet. After this week, the novelty of journalists like me going to Penn State to gawk at all the Paterno apologists will wear off, and the program will soon become just another also-ran in the Big Ten (whose new logo, I must note, is godawful). Besides, no one really loses in college football. You either win, or you drink. Both are fine outcomes.
One student loudly cursed the NCAA, just like his shirt said he would, and I wanted to tell him that the NCAA did him a favor. I never bought the NCAA’s bullshit threat that they were going to ban PSU football for four years. They said it just to sound tough. The “zombie penalty” that NCAA handed out instead—so named because it will turn the program into a period of walking dead—may result it a lot of losing, but it still allows the party to go on. It lets Penn State purge the ghost of Paterno with relative speed, instead of letting his specter linger around a dormant program, and the rest of college football, for years and years. Officials at Penn State are clearly eager to move on, and most of the fans seemed happy to follow suit. A group of Ohio students walked by and were left in peace, even when they shouted “O! U!” to each other. Penn State, shockingly, doesn’t have a monopoly on school pride.
I came back to my tailgate party and while you might have expected everyone to follow that one student’s lead and bitch about the NCAA, my companions were much more interested in blaming the disastrous loss on defensive coordinator Ted Roof and quarterback Matt McGloin. “McGloin turned back into McGloin in the second half,” said one of them.
Overall, there was a palpable sense of relief on this day for most Penn State fans. They finally got back to the pleasures of tailgating and drinking and cornhole (snicker snicker) and bitching about not being good enough to win a championship. For many of them, this was all they wanted. And while Paterno may have been the progenitor of much of this merriment, it’s clear that he’s not essential to it. At least not now. This place doesn’t belong to Joe Paterno anymore. I had planned on attending this game with an old friend of mine who was a Penn State alum, but she backed out, explaining that it would be too heartbreaking to come back after everything that had happened. I wished she had come with me. I think she would have found it far less painful than she expected.
In my particular line of work, it’s not exactly good business to say nice things about Penn State these days. It’s also terribly easy, from afar, to dismiss Happy Valley as some kind of X-Files inbred cultist compound, where people walk around in white robes and chain their kids to the radiator and rub their genitals with locks of JoePa’s hair at night. I know it’s easy to make such stereotypes because I’ve done it, and it’s crazy fun.
But the fact is, there wasn’t a single moment walking around Happy Valley on Saturday when I wished that the cold hand of NCAA bureaucracy would wipe all this away. It would make hundreds of thousands of people—none of whom had anything to do with Jerry Sandusky’s crimes nor the villainy that ensued in their wake—miserable, and to what end? As some kind of magical cure-all for institutional coverups? As punishment for the community standing behind the old man? Something tells me a lot of people here don’t want Joe Paterno defined by child molestation because they don’t want to be defined by child molestation. This place has essentially been branded the Child Rape Capital of America. Would you be happy if it were your hometown? Isn’t having Matt McGloin as your QB punishment enough?
Or maybe it’s just that I’m brainwashed now, too. Maybe they got to me. I’m an easy mark, after all. Give me free beer and sausage, and I’ll remain in your thrall forever. I walked around and saw so many happy people engaging in so many happy things (even the guy I saw getting arrested for DUI looked convivial as he was being pulled over) that it was pointless to resist. It takes a real dick to come here only to sneer at the festivities, and even I’m not up to that particular task. This place didn’t exactly strike me as Jonestown.
In November, Grantland’s Charlie Pierce wrote that, “It no longer matters if there continues to be a football program at Penn State. It no longer even matters if there continues to be a university there at all.” On Saturday, I got a profound sense of how wrong that is, not to mention how impractical it would be to raze the entire school (seriously, it’s huge). Penn State football still matters to a lot of people, hundreds of thousands of them. They still find it to be a positive thing in their lives, but—and this is the key—not the only thing in their lives. I think that alone is proof of its value. While many in State College still defend Paterno—and I think they’re wrong to do so—it doesn’t make them all pieces of shit. There’s a lot worth salvaging here. But I suppose we can keep on going back and forth about that on message boards for a long time. I’ll probably change my mind again after another damning indictment is handed down.
The next morning, on my way out of town, I swung by McKee Street to take a look at the house. His house. You know whose. This was just as dawn was breaking. There were no lights on inside, but it had wide windows, big enough to let in plenty of nascent sunlight. I could see inside the living room easily, enough to feel like a scumbag for peeping. But there was no one there. I stepped out of the car and found myself on an empty street, with no one else around. The Paternos were gone. The media was gone. The JoePa fanboys were gone. They were all gone. But the rest of Penn State—the stadium, the tailgaters, the drunken freshmen, the crappy football team, the “WE ARE” chants and the marching band—all of it is still here. Still alive and breathing, whether you like it or not. Maybe someone should put that on a t-shirt.
A Dark Conversation with Stuntman Eddie Braun, Who Is Jumping Across Snake River Canyon on a Rocket
At Least The Roots Stood Up to Donald Trump on Fallon Last Night
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