Like most everything Hal Crowther writes, “Sympathy for the Devils?” is brilliantly struck. It’s about 98% right on the money (which is actually about 2% low by his standards).
The two percent:
1: The problem isn’t 18-34 years old. That’s not where the gen gap he and others are seeing is happening. The real break is around 26 years old. Read Millennials Rising. Which isn’t to say that all Millennials are miscreants or that kids in earlier generations never needed their asses kicked. But generations do differ in significant ways, and the tone that Crowther senses here is a relatively recent development that has a great deal to do with a pathology in parenting and education unique to the past couple of decades.
2: The thing that bothers me here is that HC has the lacrosse team convicted of this particular crime already, and none of us have seen the evidence in open court yet. I have no doubt that they’re punks from hell and that even if they aren’t guilty of this particular crime they’re probably guilty of plenty of other things meriting anything from prison to a good caning. And if they do turn out to be guilty of the rape I won’t be the least bit surprised.
However, through the years I’ve gotten really careful about drawing conclusions about highly publicized cases based on the information I get through the press. There’s just too much room for inaccuracy and manipulation, and the actual truth can turn out to be wildly different from what even a thoughtful news consumer would conclude from reading the daily malfeasance of the 4th Estate.
So I guess I’ll reserve judgment on that piece of the puzzle until I have an opportunity to get a better look at the evidence as it’s presented at trial. Meanwhile, read Crowther’s column. It’s an insightful look at the cancer eating away at the soul of the American university. That it’s happening at one of the nation’s premier schools is all the more disturbing….
[THX: Dr. T at the Theatre Desk]