There are certain threads of our moral fabric that are so hidebound and sacred that even a tree hugger like me is devoted to those institutions. Football. Barbeques. Respecting elders. Family. Religion, with which I hold no truck, but I wouldn’t call for its demise – excepting Mike Pence and his First Church of Anal Christ.

But today, that institution of institutions is under attack, that foundation for prepubescent boys and star struck girls, and for men everywhere who dare to dream. I’m speaking of cheerleading, which is more American than apple pie, more wholesome than the Gilmore girls.

Coastal Carolina University has suspended its cheerleading squad, and not because those rascally young women snap each other’s butts with towels. The allegations include buying alcohol for underage athletes, paying others to do their homework. . . and prostitution. The school’s president, Dave DeCenzo, mysteriously added, “a long list of things.”

Okay. Buying alcohol for underage kids is a time-honored rite. Charge Dismissed! I’m not sure why cheerleaders are so busy that they can’t do their own homework. In my last year as adjunct freshman English instructor at DePaul University, I encountered many students who had clearly lifted material off the internet. So, Bad Girl. But, Charge Dismissed!

I know nothing about prostitution. I am reminded of a small Burt Reynolds movie, “Breaking In,” in which a professional burglar discovers a kid burglar already in the house. He takes the kid under his wing. One night, Burt orders two ladies to join them for sex. The next morning, the kid tells Burt he is in love and Burt tells the kid his girl was a prostitute. I’ve never paid for it, the kid says. Take it from me, kid, Burt replies. If you’re ever been involved with a woman you’ve paid for it one way or another.

Hey, Burt said it, I didn’t.

I thought about being a male prostitute in the 70s; money and action were my thing. But my priest, Father Brie Camembert, talked me out of it. Still, I lived my youth as a hippie hedonist, I just didn’t ask for cash.

As for the Coastal Carolina women, we weren’t there. I personally was home watching the naked “Game of Thrones” gals. It was on HBO, so it was art. I say, Charge Dismissed. Maybe take some classes on why boys are boys, and don’t hire someone to do your homework. You’ll be so repelled by men’s programmed brains, you won’t want to have sex ever again. And your girl pals will shame the crap out of you, which is punishment enough.

As for cheerleading, the institution is safe in a Trump administration. Starvation is okay, homeless okay, Mexicans get out okay, old people don’t need medicine, okay. But I am absolutely certain that cheerleading is safe – until impeachment. Trump loves cheerleaders, just don’t let him visit your locker room.

If any leader of cheers feels she needs sanctuary, Genehouse is here for you. To paraphrase Charleton Heston’s National Rife Association speech, you can pry my cheerleader out of my cold, dead hands.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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