Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grateful for the Dead

Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
In my previous blogpost, “Re-enter the Loons,” I quoted Bill O’Reilly as saying that the upside of the murder of 58 people at the Las Vegas country music concert was that that was “the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are.” Allowed to roam free with assault weaponry at their disposal. The dead, thus, had their use; they brought freedom for nuts and gun nuts. 
In the November 2017 issue of The Atlantic* Caitlin Flanagan investigates the death of Tim Piazza, a freshman at Penn State University, after a night of horrendous hazing by the brothers of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. In her article Ms Flanagan relates a conversation with Jud Horras, a former assistant secretary of the fraternity’s national organization and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, the trade association for social fraternities. 
I knew [Flanagan writes] he was not prepared for the hardest question I had for him, which I would return to over and over again: Why hadn’t Beta Theta Pi taken the simple, obvious steps that would have saved Tim Piazza’s life?
Horras defended the fraternity saying that 
at some point, you have to trust young men to make the right decisions. . . .  Giving members the freedom to [make poor decisions] was part of what the fraternity was about. If they screwed up and got caught—well, that was on them. 
But what about the death of Tim Piazza? 

Horras acknowledged that it was “a tragedy for him and his family.”  BUT
it would provide the industry with the impetus needed to make some necessary reforms. In fact, his death was a “golden opportunity.”
Ecclesiates tells us, 
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.
Apparently, when it is one’s time to die, others will find a purpose in one’s death—an opportunity to use it for their own ends. 


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