Throwback Thursday: “The Rise and Fall of an Arrogant Bastard: Bill Cosby”

Bill Cosby has certainly become a major topic of interest lately hasn’t he? Seems like everyday we hear another Cosby report on the network news about his dirty deeds of the or we learn of yet another victim who has come forward with allegations against him. I believe the count now stands at around 23. Yeah Bill has become the flavor of the day and everyone’s getting their licks in!

These sexual assault allegations have hounded Cosby for the last decade. It was 10 years ago that his first accuser came forward. She was not some young starlet or Hollywood hopeful looking for her big break. No, this women was the director of operations for the Temple University’s women’s basketball team and Cosby had been her mentor. She charged him with sexual assault and later sued him.

Over the course of the next 12 months three other women made allegations against Cosby and at least ten others were said to have had had similar run ins with Cosby but did not come forward to accuse him. Cosby’s attorney’s called the whole thing ridiculous and suggested that the encounters had been consensual. Cosby was never arrested or charged with any crime. Things seemed to quiet down for awhile until earlier this year when the past paid Cosby unexpected visit.

I gotta tell you, this is not the Bill Cosby I remember, no way. This man is an arrogant asshole who thinks he can do whatever he pleases to women without fear of repercussion. I can’t believe this is the same man who used to make me laugh back in 1963. His first comedy album “Bill Cosby is a very Funny Fellow – Right!”  had just been released. My cousin and I sat in his living room listening to it and were laughing like mad!  This Bill Cosby was a funny guy, a real crack up. Every year for the next ten years Cosby released a new comedy album. I bought them all.

In 1965 Cosby costarred with Robert Culp on the TV series I Spy. He and Culp played government secret agents, tennis bums who wandered the globe playing tennis, chasing down criminals and of course, making it with a bevy of beautiful women. They always got their man and their women as well. It was a great show but ended after just 3 seasons, After it ended my interest in Cosby began to wane a little.

Over the next decade Cosby’s popularity continued. He starred in several minor comedy movies, the best of which was one “Mother, Jugs and Speed.” What made that film memorable was not Cosby, but his beautiful costar, Raquel Welch, She was hot!  Cosby’s TV projects during that period centered around his cartoon character of Fat Albert who I didn’t really care for and two different Bill Cosby weekly variety shows called what else, “The Bill Cosby Show” and “The New Bill Cosby Show.” I never watched them.Although I would always watch him when he was a guest on the Tonight Show. But what I continued to enjoy were his comedy albums. However by the mid 70’s his G – PG rated comedy paled in comparison to the R-rated, raunchy comedy styling of my new comedic heroes of the day Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Yeah, Cosby was fading fast.

Then in 1984 Cosby was back! His new family show called, what else, The Cosby Show, an instant hit. It ran for 8 seasons, earned 8 emmys and also earned Cosby the title of “America’s Dad.” Everyone seemed to love the honorable Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, well, nearly everybody! I watched the show a few times but never really cared for it. I was one of those who just didn’t care for the good doctor. He was not the Bill Cosby I remembered from I Spy, his albums or his stand up comedy routines, (one of which I saw in Las Vegas) The character of Dr. Huxtable was just too squeaky clean for me and for reasons I can’t explain, I just didn’t care for Cosby in that role. To me he’d always been more of an I Spy kind of guy than the lighthearted, wholesome characters he played on the show. Much too wholesome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play a bad guy role, until now that is. Now old Bill finds himself in the biggest role of his life, the role of villain.

So what happened to Bill Cosby, funny man, actor, writer  and producer? As his past transgressions come back to haunt him his world is collapsing around him. Reruns of his old shows have been pulled off the air, new TV projects cancelled, public appearances cancelled.He under intense public scrutiny, yet he remains arrogantly silent, as though he’s done nothing wrong. He sees himself as untouchable. The allegations are old, the statue of limitations long past, so what can these women do, sue him? “Bring it on!” he seems to be saying, “Bring it on! You’ll never bring me down!”

To look at Cosby on TV yesterday with his wife of 50 years standing by his side, he appears to be a man without a care in the world and she appears to be his strongest supporter. He still wouldn’t discuss the allegations but otherwise sounded surprisingly upbeat. When he was asked about how his wife was holding up to the scandal Cosby replied “Love and the strength of womanhood. Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”  His wife is either madly in love with this idiot or incredibly stupid.

Just one week ago a good friend of mine, a women friend, became very upset with me and referred to me as a “Man” when I stupidly semi-defended Cosby and dismissed the women making the allegations as being simply interested in money. I also questioned why these women waited so damn long and why they hadn’t gone to the authorities immediately after the sexual assaults? My friend went on to explain that the attitude towards rape that existed in the 70’s and 80’s did not favor the victim and often blamed the victim saying she was “asking for it” and “brought it on themselves.” Women were afraid to come forward because they didn’t think they would be believed. I hadn’t really looked at it from that point of view and promised my friend I would research the Cosby thing and the era in which it happened to be better informed, which I did.

That was last week. Today I’m singing a different song. My friend was right. Today I’m certain that most of the women who have come forward were indeed assaulted by Bill Cosby and although money may be a factor for a few of the women, for most it is simply a quest for truth and peace of mind. I hope they find it.

As for Bill Cosby,  I’ve lost all respect for him. His arrogant and cavalier attitude towards these women is unacceptable. I certainly hope justice is served and he gets what he deserves. People need to see Cosby for what he really is, a rapist hiding behind his stardom. He’s a very sick man.

And if the fallout of his action continues to cause him to lose work, he may want to contact the Stone Brewery in Escondido about becoming a spokesman for one of their most popular beers. I’m sure he would be the perfect man for the job. The name of the beer “Arrogant Bastard.”

Just Saying…

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