Dr. Cosby and Mr. Hyde

3 12 2014

“The only thing that you can get into without a lot of trouble, is a lot of trouble.” ~ Bill Cosby

imageI have a lot of great stories and memories of growing up in Philly. I’m still in touch with many people from my old neighborhood, and we get together a few times a year. I’ve never lived anywhere else, and I will probably be a life-long Philadelphian.

I was recently recounting some memories of listening to Bill Cosby records, back in the day at my friend Mike’s house. Cosby’s legendary stand-up albums were loaded with Philly references, and extremely funny. I’m sure Mike and I could recite them from memory – bits like Noah (What’s a cubit?) and Hofstra (Please do not touch certain areas of your body while on the playing field!). Today, I sent Mike a text asking, “Why is there air?” – naming a classic Cosby routine. His immediate response should have been, “To blow up basketballs and volleyballs!” Instead, it was just one word… “Sad.”

imageCosby is a Philly guy. He grew up here, graduated from Temple University and has always been an outstanding ambassador for the city. Philadelphia has many famous sons and daughters, but few have been held in such high esteem. That is just one of the reasons that the current news about Cosby is so astounding for many Philadelphians.

The attention span of the public is very short. Cosby had similar allegations against him many years ago, that probably were silenced with cash and quickly forgotten about. Similar accusations against other “icons” like Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger are buried deep in the recesses of our minds. We don’t want to hear bad things about people we admire, and we certainly don’t want our “heroes” brought down.

That word is in quotes for a reason. Through many speeches and interviews, Cosby urged parents to be the hero to their children, versus relying on celebrities and athletes to fill that role. He also championed discipline, respect and family. In his famous “Pound Cake” speech in 2004 at the NAACP Awards, Cosby talked about kids respecting their parents saying, “And something called parenting said, ‘If you get caught with it (stealing) you’re going to embarrass your mother.’ Not ‘You’re going to get your butt kicked.’ No. ‘You’re going to embarrass your family.’”

Cosby routinely called out comedians for working “blue”, something he never did. He chastised many others for various perceived irresponsible behaviors. And he advised countless college graduation classes to take up the mantle of responsibility themselves, and not to blame others when things don’t work out.

Has there ever been more layers of irony? Practice what you preach, Mr. Cosby.

imageMore allegations are coming out every day… women previously silent now emboldened by time and camaraderie with fellow victims. There are no arguments being made for his innocence and interestingly, no one is demanding his head on a plate. As women continue to step forward, the situation grows even more mind-numbing. But sadly, there are probably more not coming forward who will continue to bear their pain in silence. Publicly or privately, his victims will not see their attacker pay for his crimes because they happened so long ago. In the end it may only amount to a loss of income, a slap on the wrist for someone as rich as Cosby.

So when my friend Mike replies with the word “sad”, I get it. I’m sad that this idiot’s behavior may reflect badly on my city. I’m sad that my fun memories of listening to his comedy are forever tarnished. And mostly, I’m sad that so many women will carry the memory of being violated by an animal.

Bill Cosby’s level of celebrity, and the irony of his self-righteousness have made his fall from grace unprecedented. Has anyone ever fallen so far? I’ve been asking this question for a few days now, and have yet to get a good answer. Anyone???

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7 responses

4 12 2014
Tamara

That’s better than going all whup-ass on you, which is also possible.

Merely addressing my inability to make a decision and to always be trying to balance the two sides. Funny for someone who falls over as much as I do.

3 12 2014
Helene

I’m right with you on this one John. I’m sad that in this day and age multiple outcries of almost identical stories are not believed by so many people.
I’m angry that some confuse the right to due process with innocence.
I’m shamed that I don’t do more to speak out on controversial topics. But I am hopeful that times are changing and victims of all sorts of violence can be heard, whether by a blog post, social media outcry or old fashioned protest in the streets.

4 12 2014
Gr8JohnL

Well… let’s not get angry about any of this. It’s bad for the heart! If he goes to trial he should get all the due process available, but I don’t think it is going to happen.

3 12 2014
Tamara

Whoa. We’re going to take Janice Dickinson’s word for it…yes, among others, but still…? I’m not with you on this one…yet, but because I still believe in “innocent until proven guilty” and all that jazz…and also because I am reeling from the power of the media lately. People are sheep, and people are cutthroat, and people lie…all the time. I might eat my words later, but it’s too early for me to be jumping on a bandwagon that wants to vilify someone on allegations that have yet to be proven. Just my rebuttal. 🙂

4 12 2014
Gr8JohnL

I’m usually very cautious, and Janice Dickinson coming forward did give me pause. But one or two people are ripples in the water… this is a tsunami. If he gets to a trial – which I highly doubt – I’m all about innocent until proven. My comments are about the court of public opinion.

4 12 2014
Tamara

But by then, if it happens, there will be no objective way to try the case, because the whole thing has been slung from corner to corner. I’m not defending him…you’re right, the growing number is cause for concern. I’m just at a loss about so many things going on right now–I’ve never felt so cynical and so disillusioned by the human race. And while I won’t be surprised if it all turns out to be true, I also wouldn’t be surprised to find out they were a bunch of gold-diggers who smell a quick buck. And that’s why I’m a perfect Libra. Sigh.

4 12 2014
Gr8JohnL

Collusion is a possibility, and I was with you until you went all Zodiac on me.

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