The riots at Penn State can’t help but make me think of Jonathan Swift’s masterpiece, “A Modest Proposal,” with apologies for my copious plagiarism.
It is a melancholy object to those who walk through State College or watch football on television, when they see the streets crowded with fans of both sexes importuning the Penn State leadership to sell themselves to the athletic department.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by rioting students at Penn State that a young healthy boy is a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome quarry, whether raped, fondled, bear hugged, or enticed by promises of football glory. When a coach showers unseen, the fore or hind quarter of a child will make a reasonable target for sexual molestation, especially during football season. I grant that children are somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for coaches, who, as they have already devoured most of the college funding, seem to have the best title to the children.
I can think of no one objection to protecting football over children, unless it should be urged that the number of students will be much increased at the college. This I freely own. Therefore let no person talk to me of other expedients: Of reporting sexual misconduct to the police; Of using neither position nor prestige to seduce young boys: Of utterly rejecting the materialism that would make children instruments of sport: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, and gaming in athletic funding: Of teaching our rioting students to have at least one degree of mercy towards innocent children. Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, integrity, and sportsmanship into our sports programs, who, if a resolution could be taken to obey our native laws, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon the public in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing.
Therefore I repeat, let no one talk to me of these and the like expedients until we have at least some glimpse of hope that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.
But, as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing that colleges and students would value the safety of children over football, I fortunately fell upon this proposal.
After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise individuals. Those who find my proposal offensive should consider two points. First, as things now stand, how Penn State will be able to find advertising dollars and sponsorships. And, second, there being millions of poor children in this country who would otherwise be beggars in effect. I desire those college officials and football fans who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness for their children to have been offered up for sex at ten years old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided the misfortune of the indictment of a child molester and the firing of those who helped cover up his crimes. Surely there is no greater misery upon the breed than to hazard football program funding.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary change, having no other motive than the public good of my parents’ alma mater, by advancing our most popular sport, providing for underprivileged youth, and giving some pleasure to the general public. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny.