Monday, November 24, 2014

Bill Cosby

We interrupt the carnage in Ferguson for my two pence on Bill Cosby just because I feel compelled after reading that an actress involved with "Picture Pages" (which was a child's program interspersed in some of the programming that used to show on Nickelodeon back in the day) was also attacked.

Even when The Cosby Show was the top show in the nation, I rarely watched it, but Cosby was still everywhere in the 1980s.  He was also held up as the archetype of African-American success and praised for having a television show that portrayed them as being doctors, lawyers, and college-bound students with futures.  Now, these allegations have gone beyond sad to being "icky," and if true, it is sad that since he is now 77 years old and has lived off of a vast fortune for the past several decades that he might spend a year or two in prison by the time anybody gets around to indicting and trying him for the cases in which the statute of limitations has not expired before he goes into the great beyond.  True, he might live to be 90 or 100, but he would probably get a compassionate release it he becomes decrepit well before then.

However, most of my knowledge of him as a comedian was from the special "Bill Cosby: Himself."

I had seen that special multiple times because it was on the premium channels and I was bored, and still remember some of the bits.  Years later, I started looking at that special in a different light and I realized that taking stories about your family (particularly your children) and turning them into comedic bits in the way that he did was actually a bit mean.  I can better understand someone like Jeff Foxworthy when he references his wife or children because the information is minimal and he ends up sharing in being the butt of the joke, but Cosby came off as being a bit angry and he even referred to them as being stupid or having "brain damage."  I couldn't imagine if my dad decided to use stories that I did as fodder.  It's sad, because we all laughed at it, but we are so desensitized to that sort of thing that we don't stop and think about what it means for the family members that aren't in a position to really say anything since they don't have the stage.

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