Protesting for Dummies

I’m mad for a ton of reasons these days so I think I’m going to protest about it.  I’ve been watching the news and I think I’ve learned how.  It doesn’t really matter what I’m mad about, as long as I scream and yell, throw things and in general wreak havoc.  For instance, I don’t like the fact that I have wrinkles and look my age.  So I think I will go out and throw bottles of makeup at young, pretty people.  That will help my situation right? 

Well, then can someone explain to me why in the hell the students protesting after Joe Paterno was fired as Head Coach at Penn State flipped a news van on it’s side??  I mean the news crew was there covering the fact that the students vehemently opposed his firing, so of all the vehicles in all the world why would you turn THAT one on its side?  If you are really so upset at what occurred, why didn’t you turn over one of the board of trustees’ vehicles?  Not that I’m promoting violence mind you.

What happened at Penn State is horrible and whether you agree or disagree with Paterno’s dismissal one thing is certain, you feel strongly about it.  This is one of those polarizing events like the OJ Simpson trial where strong opinions are almost required.  When I see news coverage of the situation on TV, I am both disgusted and riveted to it like an accident on the side of the road.  But I’m not here to discuss the charges, allegations or even how all these people should be punished.  I’m just here to talk to these college-educated protestors.

So you are mad about the fact that the head coach for the last 46 years has been dismissed for reasons you feel are inadequate.  You attend a protest to demonstrate your point and love for the long time coach.  The news media show up to broadcast your message to tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of people.  So of course your next step is to turn over their vehicle.  That makes perfect sense: Antagonize the people who are there to help you broadcast your message. 

Now I have no love of the media these days and I honestly believe that the way they slant the news these days negatively affects far too many people including me, but why in the world would you overturn their van?  What was that supposed to accomplish?  Was the Board of Trustees going to suddenly realize their mistake after this display of power and reinstate Joe Paterno?  I’ve been terribly angry in my lifetime, but never once has the thought occurred to me, “Hey, if I turn a car on it’s side things will be better!”  That just makes you look like idiots and then no one takes you seriously.

This story is all over the news now and you can’t turn on the TV or log onto the internet without seeing the latest update.  I want to turn it off and walk away, but I don’t.  I cannot imagine all of those grown men not doing the right thing.  So I guess when you keep that in mind, it’s not that big of a stretch that the students of Penn State didn’t know any better.

You’ll have to excuse me now, I have some make-up to throw.