Vol. XXXVI, Issue 3, September 4, 2012
CHRONICLE INTRAMURAL SPORTS
Page 2 New DCCCD budget may increase taxesPage 3
Remembering Neil Armstrong
We’ll never know why he did it
A number of thoughts came to mind upon hearing that famed Hollywood director Tony Scott, 68, had jumped to his death off the Vincent Thomas Bridge Aug. 19, which is still being investigated as a suicide. The first of which were the lyrics from that Johnny Mandel song, “Suicide Is Painless,” which was the theme song from Robert Altman’s “MASH” (1970). The game of life is hard to play I’m gonna lose it anyway The losing card I’ll someday lay So this is all I have to say Upon reading some of the obituaries the morning of Aug. 20, the one thought I had that I didn’t even want to consider was, when it comes to depression and suicide that was for all the work Scott did behind the cameras since the 1980s giving us such fast-paced adrenaline rush-themed movies from “Top
Gun” (1986) to “Unstoppable” (2010) that on the inside, something was not right. I hated to say it, but when ABC News reported that Scott had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, which was immediately disputed by his family, I reluctantly said to myself, “Well at least he went out on his own terms.” I only say that because I have known people which, includes few of my relatives, who although they didn’t choose the suicidal way out upon being diagnosed with a terminal illness, did opt to spend their remaining days and weeks at home where they could die with dignity and not have to spend it inside a hospital room. It brought to mind the question of how would I handle my own fate should I one day receive some terrible diagnosis that if I found out, for example, what I thought was just a bad tooth that was causing mood swings and headaches is really an inoperable brain tumor. How would I tell friends and loved ones considering how private a person I am? The first thing I might do is just let my four or five closest friends know that the end is coming and how I want the final arrangements handled. I am not sure I would tell family members as the last thing I’d want
is to have them insist I go get a second opinion. I certainly wouldn’t tell co-workers or management or tell everyone on my Facebook page. I would just want life to continue as though everything is status quo. I am not spending my remaining months in the hospital receiving painful treatment that only delays the inevitable. The news now that the notes Scott left with friends and family members which make no mention of suffering from any terminal illnesses only leave more open-ended questions as to why he did it. Scott whose trademark was always being seen in public sporting a red ball cap, was high in demand with a number of film projects in the works according to The Hollywood Reporter. Included was a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Western, “The Wild Bunch” (1969). Just two days before his death, Scott had reportedly also met with actor Tom Cruise to discuss plans for a sequel to “Top Gun.” What kind of person who has so much going for him this late in life decides to end it? I wonder if the answer lies in a quote from him I found on imdb.com. “The scariest thing in my life is the first morning of production on all my movies,” Scott once said. “It’s the fear of failing, the
events is available online at www.richlandcollege.edu/intramurals and on the bulletin board in the gym across from the trophy case that houses trophies of the 14 national championships Richland has won. Participants receive T-shirts for their activities with special shirts for the event winners. On the team activities, you can either form your own team or come and the staff will find a team for you. Last year more than 500 students participated in the intramural events. Intramural activities are voluntary and exist because students want and enjoy them. Stanson said that it is Richland’s hope that each intramural athlete is provided the opportunity to have fun, make new friends and experience friendly competition. He also pointed out that, if a participant in a rare situation is injured in an intramural event, first-aid treatment will be given, but Richland is not responsible for injuries incurred, and you are urged to carry some type of health and accident insurance. All intramural activities are from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. You may sign up for this as a physical education course and receive credit. The Spring 2013 intramural activities will include Coed Volleyball League, Basketball
Three-Point Shootout, 3-on-3 Basketball League, Coed Soccer, Coed Softball League, and the year ends with the intramural Free Pizza Party. Students are welcome to come by Stanson’s office in the gymnasium, Room G-136, or email him for an appointment at jstanson@rcccd. edu to sign up or receive additional information.
“It’s not our place to judge nor is it any of our business to find out what he wrote in those notes.”
loss of face, and a sense of guilt that everybody puts their faith in you and not coming through.” Scott may have been a high profile Hollywood producer and director with an impressive resume of successful box office hits, but when it comes to depression, if that is what he was really suffering from, he is no more different than the millions of others across the country who currently battle the same ailment and too often give in to their demons. I know a lot of people are going to tell me what Scott did was the selfish way to go out considering the number of friends and family including his older brother Ridley, his third wife, Donna, and two children he could have relied on for help. My response to that is it’s not our place to judge nor is it any of our business to find out what he wrote in those notes. I don’t know, to quote Johnny Mandel’s lyrics, if “suicide is painless” nor do I want to know. If there is anything proven by Tony Scott’s untimely death it is when one decides to take his or her’s own life, it does as Mandel sang “bring on many changes.” Just look at the shock and sadness Scott’s fans, friends, family and the many actors and actresses he directed in movies the past three decades are feeling now as they ask “Why did he do it,” only to come back with the same answer every time, which is we’ll likely never know.
Time to come out and play JOHN KOSANKE Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
Richland’s intramural program offers any student the opportunity to come out and participate in fun sports activities. The activities include tennis, flag football, “almost golf,” basketball, the Turkey Trot Cross Country Run/Walk, volleyball, soccer and softball. The first activity is the Tennis Fun Tournament that will be held from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m. today and Thursday at the tennis courts on the south side of the campus. John Stanson, intramural sports director, invites any student, regardless of tennis experience, to come and participate. There are tennis-playing options for all levels of tennis experience. Whether you are a brand-new student or you have been attending previously, Stanson emphasizes the opportunity to participate in a physical exercise while meeting and making new friends and having fun. All Richland students, faculty and staff are eligible to participate. Whether you are an avid athlete or just enjoy a little competition and exercise, there is a program for you. Additional information on all intramural
John Stanson is the director of Richland’s Intramural sports program. Image credit John Kosanke
2012 Fall Semester intramural events Sept. 4 & 6 Sept. 11 Sept. 13 Oct. 23 Oct.25 Nov. 20
Tennis Fun Tournament- Singles - Beginner & Intermediate divisions Tennis Fun Tournament- Doubles - Beginner & Intermediate divisions Starts the Flag Football League (Air-it-Out) Almost Golf - (9 holes on Campus) Starts the Intramural Basketball League Turkey Trot Cross Country Run/Walk
Mysterious woman in black haunts campus Staff Writer
Most ghosts haunt emeteries, but visions of a mysterious woman in black have been seen in the Arena Theater lately. She’s taking part in Richland’s faculty production of “The Woman in Black,” adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatrat and based on the book by Susan Hill. The play will run at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights this week and Sept. 14-15. There will also be a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. All performances are free and will take place in the Arena Theater in Fannin Hall, Room F-108. Director Kerry Cole, adjunct drama professor, said, “The play is sort of a freebie to introduce the students to faculty and staff.” Rehearsals began Aug. 13. “It’s a classic ghost story. It wasn’t written in Victorian times,” Cole said. “It was written in the 1980s. It was Susan Hill’s particular genre.” The plot concerns two male actors who play all the roles except for the woman in black. An older middle-aged man solicits the aid of a theater director to help him tell his story -- of events that occurred to him when he was young. It’s a play-within-a-play which involves the funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow and a mysterious women dressed in black, yet no one knows what her intent is. She appears intermittently throughout the ghostly story. Drama chair Andy Long plays Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, as well as an Irish
landowner, a clerk, a landlord of a hotel and a mysterious old caretaker, among others. Assistant tech director Nic McMinn plays the theater director and Kipps at a young age. Kelsey Cabell, a Richland student, plays the woman in black. Long said the play has run in London for 27 years. It isn’t recommended for children under 13, not because
much an old-school ghost story. It’s about imagination and suspense. There is no gore.” Long said that, since this is a faculty production, he hopes students can learn about how a production is made. “They’re going to get to see the professors who teach them acting and demonstrating their abilities,” Long said. “Students are
Image courtesy wallpaper.net
Poster image of the woman in black.
of the language, but because the ghost has an adverse effect on children. She’s mad and causes bad things to happen. “The last time “The Woman” was done in Dallas, it was at the Watertower Theater,” Long said. “It’s a beautiful script. It’s very
Richland College Music Recital Series All performances are Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. in Fannin Performance Hall, unless noted otherwise and are free to the general public.
Fall 2012 RECITAL SCHEDULE:
Music Department Orientation
Richland College Wind Symphony and ChamberEnsembles
Richland College Faculty Jazz Ensemble
Richland College Percussion Group and Steel Bands
Piano Duo - Alex McDonald and Cathy Lysinger
Richland College Guitar Ensemble
Sept. 18 Yea-lim Moon - Soprano
Nov. 13 Richland College Jazz Ensembles
Sept. 25 Music Faculty Trio-Sharon Deuby, April Kondrat, Boriana Savova
Nov. 20 Richland College String Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles
Mike Hayes and The Iridium Brass
Nov. 27 Richland College Choral Ensembles
Music Audition Panel (Arena Theatre)
Vocal honors Recital
Dr. Jerry Wallace Music Scholarship Recital
Instrumental Honors Recital (Thur.)
For more information about this series, contact Dr. Michael Crawford, Associate Dean of Performing Arts, 972-238-6284
working on the show so they’re getting to see how faculty members who have worked professionally behave and work and their process as they put together a production. Students will get to hear different types of accents.”
David Lambert, guest sound designer, has been brought in for the production, Long said. Lambert has worked in sound design at the Circle Theater in Fort Worth, Stage West, Pocket Sandwich Theater and the Dallas Children’s Theater. He owns a recording studio and regularly produces commercials. “He’s a very professional sound person that the students are getting to work with,” Long said. Long said what he likes about “A Woman” is the use of language. “I love the suspenseful way it tells the ghost story,” he said. “There are lots of spooky moments in the small, quaint Arena Theater. You never know where the ghost is going to come out or when the ghost will appear. And, it always happens when you least expect it.” Long said people will enjoy this play because it’s filled with surprises. “If you like telling ghost stories, then you’ll love hearing this one. Who doesn’t love to tell a good ghost story?” Long said. McMinn said there aren’t very many thriller stage plays out and that this is one of the best. “We’re hoping that this play] will be a bit more inspirational and give the students an idea of what can be done,” McMinn said. “As soon as they get here, they can see what they’re getting into as far as being a theater major.” McMinn said “A Woman” is funny, scary, suspenseful all at the same time.”
DCCCD tax increase hearing REBECCA BANKS Editor in Chief
The Dallas County Community College Board of Trustees held a public hearing on Aug. 28 for residents to voice their concerns and reluctance about a new budget proposal. The proposed fiscal year 2012-2013 budget calls for a tax rate increase, an increase in tuition and a cost of living adjustment for DCCCD employees. Many residents who attended the meeting stated that, based on the current economic hardships on numerous families, the proposed budget should not be adopted. “For the average Dallas family, it will affect them. They have things they need to pay for and can’t afford to pay higher tuition. This institution was initiated to serve the underserved,” said Brad Underwood, a Dallas County resident who attended the meeting. The DCCCD fact sheet that was handed out during the meeting noted that the community college district is funded by state appropriations, property taxes and tuition.
In the past three years, according to the handout, the state has cut $25 million of support and has suspended maintenance of older facilities. The district also opened 28 new buildings from the 2004 bond program funds to accommodate the increasing number of students. The proposed budget would increase Dallas County property taxes by 2 cents per $100 valuation over the current rate. The average taxpayer would pay an additional $20 per year. The increase puts the maintenance and operations tax rate at 9.9 cents per $100 valuation, compared to the state average of 14 cents per $100 valuation, according to the fact sheet. Another resident who attended the meeting compared the proposed tax increase to an insurance company, because residents don’t have the choice and can’t afford to leave their homes like they would a company. If the proposal is accepted, tuition will also increase $7 per credit hour, making the cost per credit hour $52 beginning in the 2013 spring semester. It would increase another $7 per credit hour in 2015. The Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the budget at its regular meeting this (Tuesday) afternoon at district headquarters.
Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
Whose dream for America will prevail? JOYCE JACKSON Copy Editor
“You may love him. You may hate him. But you don’t really know him,” the movie tag line declares. These striking words describe the documentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” now playing nationwide. This is a must-see film. It transcends party affiliations and all the current empty rhetoric, mud slinging and negative ads to focus exclusively on President Barack Obama, his ideology and what we can expect if he’s re-elected. Co-written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan, “2016” begins with Obama’s personal history, which includes detailed information about his parents; how they met and married, later divorced and how Obama then got shuffled to his grandparents in Hawaii, always longing for the love of his absentee father. D’Souza also tries to capture Obama’s dream for America, based on his father’s leftleaning anti-colonial ideals. By the end of the film, however, viewers may be quite shocked to see what his intent is. They will still ponder over his ideology, which he’s never said publicly. D’Souza provides plenty of clips from the audio version of his memoir, “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” to back up his claims. D’Souza, who acts as on-camera narrator, is a conservative political
commentator, a former policy adviser to giving billions of dollars in taxpayer President Ronald Reagan and the author money to Brazil, Columbia and Mexico to of a number of New York Times drill? best-selling books, including “The Roots of One of the most informative parts of Obama’s Rage” in the documentary is 2010. when D’Souza proGerald Molen vokes the audience produced “2016” to think about how and other memoObama got elected rable films as in the first place. He “Jurassic Park,” asks, “How does a “Days of Thunder” guy who possesses and the Academy a Third-World antiAward-winning American view and “Schindler’s List.” ideology as remote D’Souza, along and unrecognizable with Sullivan and to most Americas Molen, traveled as the capitol of to Hawaii, Kenya Kenya or Indonesia and Indonesia to manage get himself produce their latest elected?” effort. Obama made D’Sousa says himself more acObama was voted ceptable to Ameriin on the basis of cans when cam“hope and change.” paigning by hiding But since his elechis “founding fation, D’Souza thers,” D’Souza admits to being said. confused by what Among them he calls the “really Movie poster of “2016: Obama’s America” are Bill Ayers, a unusual decisions” member of the terObama made in his first term. Well, so are rorist group, Weather Underground; the Americans. One issue is, why did Obama Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor for 20 return a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift years and also the leading champion of Third from the British? Also, why did he delay World Liberation Theology, the religious the Keystone Pipeline, which would have wing of anti-colonialism, and Edward Said, a created tens of thousands of American jobs leading anti-colonial critic of Israel. and blocked oil drilling in America, while When Obama moved in with his grand-
parents in Hawaii, Obama’s grandfather sought out Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party, as a mentor and role model for his grandson. They remained close over eight years, until Obama went to college.” “Obama’s founding fathers are successfully swept under the rug,” D’Souza said. “He trounces the political machines, taking the Democratic nomination away from Hiliary Clinton and is then chosen as the fulfillment of the civil rights movement. This insecure kid, who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, whose life is shaped by his father’s ghost and whose ideology could not be more directly remote from what Americans believe or care about, is now the president of the United States.” D’Souza made three predictions at the end of his book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” and they predict what America will look like in 2016, if he’s re-elected. They are: “Obama will do nothing significant to stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs. He hasn’t. He would spend money as if the deficit didn’t matter. He has. . . . . if the political climate changes and Obama is forced to tackle the deficit, he will cut the military and seek to raise taxes.” “2016: Obama’s America” is an important insight as to who Obama really is. People are longing for the truth and D’Souza has helped fill that need. This documentary can and should influence voters, based on the fragile state of our nation. D’Souza asks one final thought-provoking question: “Whose dream will we carry into 2016 – the American dream or Obama’s dream?”
Diverse new music tops album releases JESSE WIlSON Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
The first two weeks in September feature new music offerings from a diverse range of artists. Blasts from the past, new up-and-comers, side projects and interesting collaborations round out the releases early in the month, so let’s jump in and see what’s coming down the sonic pipeline. Wiz Khalifa offers his second major label release with “O.N.I.F.C.” on Sept. 14. The list of collaborators include 2 Chainz, Curren$y, Cam’ron, Pharrell Williams and a rumored appearance by fellow Taylor Allderdice High School alumni Mac Miller. Look for this album to be full of Khalifa’s signature chill beats and freestyle rhymes. Willow Smith, daughter of entertainment industry superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, follows the success of her single “Whip My Hair” with her debut album titled “Knees and Elbows.” After the commercial failure of the duet “Fireball” with Nicki Minaj, this 11-year-old pop princess may be on shaky ground with her first-full length release. But, if the tenacity and uni-
versal appeal of her parents are hereditary, we may be in for some enjoyable surprises from this little Smith. Rejoice, 90s revival fans. Two chart topping-powerhouses of the “Friends” decade return with new offerings this month. Matchbox 20 releases “North” today, and jam rock champions Dave Matthews Band return with “Away from the World” on Sept. 11. Expect more of the same ballads and adult alternative tracks from these CD sales juggernauts of a bygone era. If you like them, you won’t be disappointed. If you were not a fan, don’t expect these albums to convert you. Northern Ireland trio Two Door Cinema Club was sheduled to release its sophomore effort “Beacon” on yesterday. If their first album is any indication, you can expect short, catchy tunes delivered at a punk tempo with a definite indie sensibility. Billy Talent, a Canadian melodic punk outfit, offer it’s new album “Dead Silence” on Friday. These guys deliver pop punk that leans more toward the mohawk end of the spectrum than the sing-song sappiness that can ruin this style of music. Fans of Green Day and AFI will find comfort here. Speaking of AFI, members Davey Havok and Jade Puget drop the second album by
their electronic dance side project Blaqk Au- lays down some surprisingly old school dio on Sept. 11 titled “Bright Black Heaven.” sounding gangsta rap with his debut album Somewhere between Depeche Mode and “LongLiveA$AP” on Sept. 11. She Wants Revenge in sound, it’s sure to please fans of the genre. Dallas native St. Vincent and legendary Talking Heads frontman David Byrne release the collaboration “Love This Giant” on Monday. The duo will be playing later this year at MacFarlin Memorial Auditorium on Oct. 7. It promises to be an interesting show. Also worth mentioning, UK hardcore band Gallows returns on Monday with a selftitled fourth album, Bob Dylan releases his milestone 35th album “Tempest” on Image courtesy indiecurrent.com Sept. 11 and newThe music duo David Byrne and St. Vincent. comer A$AP Rocky
Revenge is coming to Dunwall KISTEN S. CHETTY Managing Editor
Revenge solves everything. In “Dishonored,” gamers take on the role of Corvax Atano, one of the most feared assassins in Dunwall. A mask has become your calling card, striking fear into the hearts of all. However, things were not always this way. You were once the head body guard to the Empress, but she is dead now. She was murdered by you, or so the rest of the world believes. You know you were framed with the killing but nobody will believe you. Nobody but The Outsider. The Outsider is a supernatural being that visits you in your cell and grants you his mark. This mark gives you many different supernatural abilities. You use these to escape, and then it’s time to hunt down those responsible for the Empress’s murder. This game is developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It will be a stealth-based assassination game but with slight tweaks. Unlike “Deus Ex,” another stealth-based game, game designers promised that Atano will be able to handle himself in combat. This gives the player the choice to “run and gun” certain missions, according to their play style. The game is focused on allowing players to complete missions in multiple ways. In fact game developers have promised that there is a way to finish the entire game without killing a single person, even bosses. The game release date is Oct. 9. I recommend picking up a copy if you’re a fan of “Assassins Creed” or “Metal Gear Solid” games.
Image courtsey www.gamestatistics
Corvax Atano’s calling card is a terrifying mask designed by The Outsider which also protects him from the plague.
For some reason, director David Cronenberg makes two kinds of movies: really good (“The Fly,” “The Dead Zone,” “A History of Violence”) and really bad (“eXistenZ,” “M. Butterfly,” “Crash” (1998). “Cosmopolis,” unfortunately falls into the latter category. The movie tells a tale of a man (Robert Pattinson) riding in a limousine wanting to get a haircut. The movie is basically set in two parts. The sleek-looking, finely manicured limousine and a dingy rathole of an apartment. Of note are the characters who appear opposite
After a mixed bag of a summer, “Lawless” brings a nice burst of fresh air into the almost-fall movie season. The fact-based storyline centers on a group of siblings in Franklin County Va .who happen to be bootleggers in the Prohibition era of the 1920s and ’30s. Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy portray just part of a family of moonshiners running a speakeasy selling illegal hard liquor. “Lawless” comes from the fact-based novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant. Also a plus to the story are the strong female characters who inhabit the lives of the Bondurant boys. Jessica Chastain is a girl who wants to be out of the city life and a quiet job working for Forrest Bondurant in a bar of sorts. Mia Wasikowa is Beatrice Minnix, a preacher’s daughter who gets the attention of Jack Bondurant (LeBeouf), a boy she should not be seeing. Director John Hillcoat, who brought a certain aura and ambiance to the Western drama “The Proposition” as well as the futuristic story “The Road,” brings a gritty sensibility to the action, such as when Hardy’s Forrest Bondurant is almost choked to death and ends up with a whole neck’s worth of stitches. Gary Oldman plays an antihero of sorts, a corrupt sheriff who knows how things work, so to speak. Guy Pearce, sporting slicked-back raven hair, is the villain of the story. His Charlie Rakes has no qualms about punishing his foes, no matter the costs. His en-
It’s kind of like the end to David Chase’s “The Sopranos.”
Image courtsey - www.movi6.com
emies are the reason for his being the way things run in the world.This movie has certain sensibilities that were around as far back as Sidney Lumet’s “Serpico,” (1973), a time when I once considered Al Pacino a great actor. “Lawless” has all the marks of a solid film, something that has been absent from much of modern cinema.
Pattinson, such as Jay Baruchel (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), Juiette Binoche (“The English Patient”) and Paul Giamatti (“Sideways,” “Cinderella Man”). With Baruchel’s character of Shiner, the two discuss what it means to be successful in our world. With Binoche’s Didi Fancher, it’s just a brief romantic tryst. Giamatti’s Benno Levin is a seedy individual who thinks Pattinson’s Eric Parker is out to kill him. What this movie lacks as a cohesive whole is an ending that suits the preceding hour and a half. It’s kind of like the end to David Chase’s “The Sopranos.” “Cosmopolis is showing exclusively at the Angelika theaters in Dallas and Plano.
image courtesy www.thenewyorker.com
Robert Pattinson as Eric Packer
Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
‘Lawless,’ ‘Cosmopolis’ hit theaters
A man of rare character JESSE WILSON Staff Writer
“He thinks, he acts, tis done,” reads the epigram on the 1947 Blume High School senior picture for recently departed American legend Neil Armstrong. For so many of us, that sums up what we know of his personality and career. Armstrong was an accomplished test pilot, war hero and aeronautical engineer who managed to get a pilot’s license before a driver’s license, fly over 200 different models of aircraft and is most famously remembered as the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. Sadly, his brilliant life ended in late August due to complications following heart surgery. The true weight of this loss can be more accurately measured by examining those parts of his life which were less exciting, though much more telling about the man himself. During his life, the “first man on the moon” was a supporter of charities including the Charles A. Lindbergh Memorial Fund, Cincinnati Museum Centre and the Astronaut Scholarship Fund. During the early 1970s, he was appointed as chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps, among his many aeronau-
Image courtesy boston.com
tics and space program related positions. A humble man, Armstrong repeatedly refused to run for political office, though often pressured to do so. He even turned down a teaching position at Purdue, where he previously earned a bachelor’s degree before earning his master’s at the University of Southern California, on the grounds that a smaller school’s faculty would be less likely to balk at the idea of a professor teaching with only an honorary doctorate. He served as the professor of aerospace engineering at the less prominent University of Cincinnati
from 1971 to 1979 to satisfy this concern. Armstrong found the yoke of fame chaffing and often used that very notoriety to create a moral balance when it became apparent that his celebrity created a situation his sensibilities could not abide. Upon discovering his autographs were being sold for profit, Armstrong refused to sign any more, determined that those who came to see him genuinely wanted to meet him and were not merely opportunists masquerading as fans. In 1994, Hallmark used a sound bite of his famous “one small step” from the moon landing on a Christmas ornament without permission. Armstrong sued and Hallmark settled out of court for a sizable, though undisclosed, sum that he then donated to his alma mater, Purdue. His barber of 30 years, Marx Sizemore, sold clippings of Armstrong’s hair for $3,000 without his knowledge or consent. Learning of this, the former astronaut demanded Sizemore donate the proceeds to a charity of Armstrong’s choosing. The loss of such a brave and honorable veteran and astronaut is truly a tragedy, one that is only amplified when we realize that unlike many modern personalities, that bravery and honor were also present in his personal convictions and unrivaled character. This year we bid a final farewell to one of the last, true American heroes.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Noah Berger
Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
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Paterno biography won’t change public opinion Columnist
of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s,” the report read. “At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. (Graham) Spanier, (Gary) Schultz, Paterno and (Tim) Curley also failed to alert the board of trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky.
“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Such was the line supposedly said by a young kid to White Sox player “Shoeless Joe” Jackson back in September 1920 after he and seven teammates were investigated by a grand jury for attempting to fix the World Series, which became known as the Black Sox Scandal. Jackson and his teammates were banned from baseball. T h a t quote may have been the stuff of baseball legend. I can’t help but wonder, however, if the faithful fans who stood by former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno weren’t thinking the same thing, following the release in July of The Freeh Report. Sur rounding the Joe Paterno with players from Penn State. child-sex scandal involving former Penn State assistant None of them even spoke to Sandusky about football coach Jerry Sandusky, that report his conduct. In short, nothing was done and laid the blame for not doing enough to stop Sandusky was allowed to continue with imthe abuse on Paterno’s doorstep. punity.” When the scandal broke last November, I Watching Penn State students make jacktold a few people I knew that Penn State’s asses of themselves last November, flipping board of trustees was right in firing “Joe Pa.” cars over in reaction to Paterno’s firing, not Some of the responses I got were “Don’t only made me want to yell at the television, blame Joe,” “Don’t be going all out rush- “Oh, how proud the parents must be of all ing to judgment,” and “Wait to find out how their idiot sons and daughters knowing this Penn State’s Human Resources Department is what their hard-earned money pays for in handled it.” tuition.” The incidents once again demonFrom what I got in reading the report’s strated what happens when people put such findings, it was clear to me that Paterno was idols, be it athletic coaches, athletes, Hollyhuman resources when it came to keeping wood icons or presidents, past and present, the sex abuse charges under the rug all for on high pedestals thinking they can do no the good of Happy Valley’s beloved football wrong, only to get blindsided the minute it program. turns out they weren’t as perfect as their ad“The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno mirers thought they were. was made aware of the 1998 investigation I haven’t picked up author Joseph Posnan-
ski’s biography, “Paterno,” which hit bookstands Aug. 21. Quite frankly, I have about as much desire to read, as Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty describes in his review of the book, about the Nittany Lions’ coaching legend’s “undefeated seasons, bowl games, and anecdotes from past gridiron greats about their playing days in Happy Valley” as I do in searching eBay for a copy of Sandusky’s 2000 autobiography, “Touched.” In short, I’ll put my money to better use elsewhere, like on gas. The best quotes I have found don’t come from the Pater no biography but from author Posnanski. “When people ask me if Penn State was right in tearing down Joe Paterno’s statue in light of the Freeh R e p o r t ’s conclusion, I ask a different question: ‘Should they have built a statue to him in the first Image courtesy erniewebbii.wordpress.com place?,’ Posnanski wrote in a recent sports column in USA Today. “When people ask me if the NCAA was right in unleashing draconian penalties against Penn State, I ask a different question: ‘Should they have held up Joe Paterno as a paragon of purity and virtue for more than four decades?’” Such is the reason why I will never look up to such notable celebrities, whether they are in politics, entertainment or athletics. If you are looking for someone to model yourself after, try starting with your own parents or grandparents, provided they raised you right. I know there are probably still many out there, including Penn State students past and present, who will argue I should remember all the good things Paterno did in his 85 years, which I am sure is all chronicled in Posnanski’s book. I am also sure they all say I should look past what occurred last November to the time he passed away in January to
the release of the Freeh Report and its aftermath. My answer to that is, if the American people refused to forgive President Richard Nixon for covering up a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate offices in June 1972, why should I even bother forgiving Paterno for only giving a damn about his prestigious athletic football program and doing little to nothing about protecting young kids.. If I am to believe Posnanski’s biography, however, my guess is “Joe Pa” does not care what I think, even from beyond the grave. “[The criticism] really doesn’t matter,” Posnanski wrote in the book about his last conversation with Paterno, quoting, “It really doesn’t. I know what I tried to do. Maybe somebody will see that in time. Maybe they won’t. Maybe they will judge me by what I tried to do. Maybe they won’t. What difference does it make? I just hope there is justice for the victims.” I am not one of those people who will change my negative opinion. Paterno’s final legacy will always be what he said after the scandal broke: “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” So do we “Joe Pa,” so do we.
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Richlandchronicle.com • September 4, 2012
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