|A now famous image of all Bill Cosby's victims.|
A little background: I come from a kind of sad little family. It is likely that neither my brother nor myself will have children, and I think my parents knew this when "The Cosby Show" reruns were still popular about ten to fifteen years ago. My mother was hit especially hard (emotionally) because she had a longing to be a grandmother long after every single one of her friends got grandkids aplenty. But I'm not here to bitch about how life forks for different people, and how some people are never presented with the opportunities that others have. Rather, I'm here to talk about how "The Cosby Show" actually made my mother laugh and cry at the same time. The laughing is easy to explain if you've seen even a single episode of the Emmy winning program. But the crying? That requires a little psychology and how humble bragging can actually make those who live without just a wee bit depressed. Think of it as the "Facebook effect" long before Facebook made it possible for people to post the best moments of their lives on a news feed so that you can feel shitty about your own life. It happened because she (this little Japanese woman) bought the illusion that NBC shoveled to the masses. She believed that this was a "normal" American family and inevitably drew sharp contrast to our own dysfunctional one. And as for Bill Cosby? My mother thought he was a great American.
But behind all the glitz and magical humor of "The Cosby Show" lurked what headlines now call America's rapist...a man who knocked out more people than Sugar Ray Leonard so he could get down to his amoral business. From the perspective of 2015, "The Cosby Show" looks like nothing but a huge lie to me now. And the older I get, the more poisoned I've become to the idea that there is actually anything out there to respect. When I was young, I could look at the well-dressed people heading off to Sunday church and think, "how sharp and respectable they are." But then came the shattering illusions of my self awareness which was then shorn piece by piece away through the acts of society: the most popular couple in my high school separated because the boyfriend was beating his girlfriend in private, the clean scrubbed game store owner and returned LDS missionary was a pedophile, the local entrepreneur driving new cars and living large in a great mansion on the hill was a crook and running a ponzi scheme that destroyed people's retirements, and the new friend I just made really only wants me as a friend so that they can beg for money and share the link to their "Go Fund Me" account on Facebook.
Lies. Deception. More Lies. All to preserve the image of something that's wholesome and altogether a fiction. I guess what really makes me upset is the utter hypocrisy in presenting to the world an image of perfection while utter rot lurks just beneath the surface. Why do people feel compelled to lie so much? Just show your inner monster. If you're a bigot, admit it to the world. Gnash your teeth together in hatred so that we can have a real fight. For example, I actually am amused and respect Donald Trump for saying whatever the hell comes across his mind. I'd never vote for that racist bastard, but it's refreshing to see someone just tell it like it is. How about the guy down south that owns a hardware store that hung a sign that said, "No Gays Allowed?" I kind of respect the courage to wear your hatred on your skin like that. And what about Bill Cosby?
Well, he's being a coward. He should come clean, set the record straight, pay reparations and offer to go to prison for the rest of his life for the things he's done. Wear his monster instead of being a coward. It's practically the only thing he could do at this point that could possibly earn back any respect for who he is. But will he do that? My opinion is "probably not."
After all, my mom said it right. Bill Cosby is an American and that more than likely means, "Liar."