Not So Nice Man
The saga of Jerry Sandusky, with the misery he has caused so many victims, reminds me of what Hannah Arendt referred to as “the banality of evil”. Here is a man who looks as innocuous as Wallace of Wallace and Gromit (clay animation) fame, yet whose evil is only now unraveling.
We are all once again being shown that evil can have a nice, normal and, especially, benign face. Bernard Madoff is another criminal like Sandusky, Madoff, with his hairstyle calculated to look patrician, like that of George Washington. The lives of both men, and so very many more violent perpetrators, should educate all caring citizens to teach our children once again that, just as many of us were told when we ourselves were children, that ‘appearances can be deceiving.’
If we happened to see a fire starting, or in progress, in a corner of a movie theatre, we like to think we would not run out without telling someone in a better position to do something, for example, the ticket taker or manager. But even if those “first-responders” don’t act, maybe because they don’t believe you or whatever is the case, we still need to tell, well, someone we are sure we can trust. And we need to tell them quickly, before the damage gets much, much worse.