Truth or Consequences (A Cosby Epilogue)

Lately there have been a good deal of Cosby memes and jokes going around social media, email, etc. I’m not going to go and claim that I’ve somehow been too “enlightened” to find some of these jokes funny at first and have a laugh or two. But then a couple of things sunk into me rather quickly..

I think that like many others my age, the revelation of his true persona has just been incredibly difficult for my brain to grasp. I grew up with Bill Cosby. As almost a regular occurrence over the past 30 years, whenever I found myself unable to sleep I’d listen to recordings of one of his long story-telling comedy routines. When I was a kid it was on cassette tape, in recent years it was over Spotify. His prose and tone were always somehow magically...calming. My DVR was also full of Cosby Show episodes right up until last year. He was not only funny, but a symbol of “purity” in parenting and a role model. So, he literally duped millions of us and it’s hard to swallow and own that gullibility.

But here is the true, real kicker--

Although the guy now looks like a harmless goofy old man, when he was younger he was a big, buff and handsome former college athlete. Early-on he was part of a successful, secret agent TV show drama which won him three straight Emmy awards.There is no logical way this man had any trouble meeting many women. And to me that shines a bright light on the worst part: The man preferred to take them unconscious, against their will. He was and is literally a sexual predator. Further, I think every one of us would feel much differently if any of those women were our sisters, mothers or wives.

-There was an episode of The Cosby Show when Vanessa is in deep trouble for breaking curfew with her boyfriend. Cliff takes the boy into the kitchen and (humorously) intimidates him using two apples, asking the boy to display “how close” he and Vanessa were while parked in the car. At the end of the talk, Cliff holds-up an apple in a bonding moment and says to the boy, ”Now, you see this? Ever since the first day it’s been getting Man into trouble.”

...Holy shit.

I searched for that episode and when I located it on Youtube I couldn’t believe it when I saw what the title was:

“Truth or Consequences.”