Re: Family Man

1

"Bill Cosby responds to sexual assault allegations by singing John Cage's "4'33''" -- Dave Weigel tweet


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:35 AM
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I recall this routine seeming a bit odd even back in the day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:37 AM
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It was really odd listening to him on NPR. Neal Conan finished an interview by asking him about the allegations. Cosby said absolutely nothing. Conan had to say, "You're shaking your head." I don't know why he didn't just say. "I'm not going to discuss that in this interview.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:40 AM
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Did someone link this here already? He seems so...manipulative and coercive!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:44 AM
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I was at a dinner last night where somebody said that he had performed at their college a long time ago, and a friend of his who was an organizer said he had been a total jerk--threatening to cancel the performance entirely because they didn't get him his pizza on time.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:52 AM
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I made the mistake of getting into it on Reddit with someone who insisted that the "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" was the appropriate standard to apply when forming opinions of Mr Cosby's actions. Never argue about anything connected to feminism, and especially rape, on Reddit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:05 AM
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I have a theory about why this is coming out now: it's not just that people don't believe women. Also, Cosby was attempting a comeback, which means he was in the public eye again, but he hadn't been successful yet, which means that very few people's paycheck's depended on his reputation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:50 AM
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Is the comeback the whole theory, or is there more you haven't explained yet?

I can't remember when I first heard about it - ten years or more? I don't remember the accusations being a big story when they first came out, certainly, but I also don't remember Cosby being in the public eye particularly. I think they were part of what I knew whenever it was that his son's girlfriend?/wife? was blackmailing him? I can't recall the details of that story either.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:28 AM
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8.2: It was a woman that claimed to be his daughter that was convicted of blackmailing him. Cosby did admit to having an affair with the woman's mother, but claimed she wasn't his daughter.

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/13/nyregion/in-cosby-case-prosecutors-hint-blackmail-started-with-mother.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:34 AM
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Armsmasher covers the Smithsonian-angle.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/11/why-is-the-smithsonian-standing-behind-bill-cosby/383034/?single_page=true


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:42 AM
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Oh, right. I had it confused because his son died somewhere around the same time? Maybe?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:43 AM
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11: Yes, a little later, his son was murdered.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:46 AM
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That's the whole theory. I'm really just Anne Elk.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:51 AM
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Not enough attention has been paid to how the reputation of the "Cosby sweater" is going to be affected by all of this.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:21 AM
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Oh god. Terrible 80s earworm. The badness of this song is bringing tears to my eyes. The video is also exquisitely horrible.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:25 AM
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Flipping through the channels on the satellite radio on the way to work this morning, I heard: "We've waited 45 years for Charles Manson to have a better week than Bill Cosby."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:41 AM
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Also, Cosby was attempting a comeback, which means he was in the public eye again, but he hadn't been successful yet, which means that very few people's paycheck's depended on his reputation.

This sounds right. He had a Comedy Central special about six months ago. For the last 15 years before that the only time you ever heard about Bill Cosby was when he gave a commencement speech somewhere and was surprisingly grumpy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:45 AM
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16: If you think about it, she found her perfect match. I mean, who else could you be with, if you are someone who is crazy enough to marry Charles Manson?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:47 AM
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Not enough attention has been paid to how the reputation of the "Cosby sweater" is going to be affected by all of this.

For one thing, the public defenders office will need to rethink its tactics in rape cases.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:15 PM
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Cosby being a rapist doesn't feel that incongruous to me. I don't mean I got a creepy vibe from him, just not a genuinly good vibe. He's very charming, he has this persona that he's obviously worked on quite a bit and he's always on. It reminds me of Ingmar Bergman, actually.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:37 PM
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Or Ingrid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:38 PM
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Cosby was my commencement speaker; this was a few years after the first accusations were out but before they were well known, or at least I hadn't heard of them. I wish my school had been more discerning.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:43 PM
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My school was so discerning, they picked a speaker nobody ever heard of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:46 PM
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16 is a pretty great line.

when he gave a commencement speech somewhere and was surprisingly grumpy.

I'd forgotten that he gave a commencement speech at CMU a few (10?) years ago, and was distinctly non grumpy, and in fact walked up to the dais with a scotty dog on a leash. This was somehow coordinated as when the school officially adopted the scotty dog as its mascot - I think he donated the dogs or something. Anyway, feel good story.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:47 PM
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22 to 24. Seven years ago. Charming as all get out.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:51 PM
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I think 9 and 12 are part of why the allegations didn't stick the first time: the blackmail thing established the idea that a woman might try to profit dishonestly by accusing him of something, and the death of his son raised the level of public sympathy through the roof. The part where he confessed to an affair, while shocking, ended up humanizing him, I think.

I mean, I'm not saying that "people don't believe women" isn't the main part of the story, but I think the complete teflon nature of the incident needs explanation beyond "white America liked having a nice black man to point to.*" I mean, it's astonishing how many people have literally no recollection of this, which was certainly in the news at least some.

*which is an argument a lot of people are linking favorably, but I think it's kind of crap. People didn't ignore the Dylan Farrow thing because Woody Allen was a token Jew who relieved white America of its guilt over antisemitism. Men with a long histories in the public eye, and basically decent reputations, get enormous benefit of the doubt, and that's pretty much all you need


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 1:59 PM
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Just in case it seems like 26.2 disagrees with 26.*, the point is that the basic fact of Cosby getting a pass on these allegations is an old story with nothing special to explain. The specific part where nobody even remembers that it was news needs explaining, and I think a tendentious story about white guilt isn't part of the explanation. I don't think that white racism has, historically, revealed itself in a white public that's especially solicitous of how black men behave sexually.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 2:01 PM
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I don't think I had an especially rose-colored idea of Bill Cosby, but if anything even remotely comparable comes out about Alan Alda, I will fling myself off something tall without a parachute or even an umbrella.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 2:10 PM
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The Alan Alda directed episodes weren't funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 2:16 PM
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Amen to 28.

Oh, and one of the reasons that I don't buy the TNR argument referenced in 26.* is that it only works if Cosby doesn't have a very, very similar status within the black community that he has[had] in the white. But no, black Americans also revered him as this lovable father figure. It's more complicated than that, both because intraracial dynamics are always different, and because of his recent history as a scold (itself a venerable A-A tradition), but he wasn't some Uncle Tom figure that made white people feel good about themselves while black Americans were skeptical. I'd add that this is coming in part from how he's been talked about (before recent news) at my kids' majority-black school.

OJ Simpson had a very similar public persona for white Americas. I forget, did white America turn a blind eye when Simpson, uh, got in trouble?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 2:42 PM
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Ghost Dad was originally supposed to be Ghost Dad Who Rapes.


Posted by: I worked with Bill Cosby | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 2:42 PM
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||
At the worst possible time in terms of -- go on and hate the word -- mental "bandwidth," I just got an email from the woman who married my ex after I ended my relationship with him, confirming all of my worst fears about how bad it could get and asking for support and help. Which I'm happy to give, but I'm just so tied up in work right now.

They were married 10 years ago. I had finally stopped worrying that I was going to get this email. I'm amazed at how intensely I wanted to believe that everything would be okay for her. They have a kid, too. Jesus Christ.
|>


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 3:49 PM
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Holy shit, lurid keyaki, that's tragic.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 3:51 PM
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Oh, no. At least she's able to reach out to people for help.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 3:52 PM
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Oof. I'm sure she correctly realized that you're the person most likely to understand what she's going through.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:24 PM
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That's horrifying. How sad that she didn't have the same foresight you did. Take care.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:27 PM
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I can imagine that in her circumstances a confirming response from you, as in "you aren't imagining things", might be enormously helpful, and hopefully she has others closer to her who can pitch in. How depressing that this is likely a common recurring fear shared by so many women.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:34 PM
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Aside from everything else, being right when you can't brag about is the worst.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:38 PM
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For the knitters in the house, this otherwise completely atrocious story has a circle of feminist knitters in Norman Oklahoma as midwives of justice: http://jezebel.com/why-were-three-teenage-rape-victims-bullied-out-of-scho-1659721302/+laceydonohue


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:50 PM
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I went back and found the message from my ex's previous ex, from ten years ago (so right after our breakup), with eerily similar content and a similar "I went through x and wonder if you did too" bent. I honestly don't know whether it would be helpful or traumatizing for me to send it to most-recent-ex. It seems like they both had it worse than I did, although it was shitty for me too; just a different order of thing. I don't know if she's going through anything legally for which a paper trail like that would be useful -- I can't imagine that she would be? Having just watched my sister go through two years of divorce proceedings from a total shitbag, my sense is that every effort is useless.

I assume the abrupt death of all lingering goodwill and solicitude I've felt towards this guy over the years is causing the nausea. Fortunately lourdes kayak got AWESOME NEWS to offset my bad news.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 4:55 PM
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Ugh, I'm sorry, but at least you can confirm things for the woman who married him? I guess?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 5:01 PM
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Glad to hear that lk mk 2 got good news, anyway.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 5:01 PM
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There should be an international locator for the closest feminist knitting circle so they could be alerted and swing into action.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 5:03 PM
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One last comment & then I'll stop the logorrhea and get back to work: this gives me real insight into the fiery hatred my friends and family had for this guy, while I was always able to see the shades of gray and how compromised my own moral fiber was and so on. Now I absolutely want his head on a pike.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 5:20 PM
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Re Cosby: I think he was beloved by white media not just for being inoffensive and black, but for the specific message he pushed: racism will stop when black people get their act together. Hard to turn down complete absolution from a charismatic father figure who's "qualified" to grant it.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:12 PM
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Once all the people are either willing to tell all or dead, it should be a pretty interesting story how Constand or her lawyers found 13 women willing to testify against Cosby.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:58 PM
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Geeze, lurid, that's awful. I mean, very good that she knows you exist, and that she trusted you enough to reach out...but wow. I'm so sorry.

And the link in 39...I can barely find the words. Those poor kids. We adults have so much to answer for.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:15 PM
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but he wasn't some Uncle Tom figure that made white people feel good about themselves while black Americans were skeptical.

I agree that it's much more complicated than the Uncle Tom narrative would suggest. And yes, he has been revered by both white and black Americans as a lovable, strict-but-fair, sweater-clad father figure.

He had some nerve giving those pound cake speeches! Surely he must have worried that someday at least one of his victims would successfully press charges, or go to the media and gain a sympathetic mass audience? But as a wealthy and famous and beloved American icon, he lived in a bubble, I suppose, and enjoyed the privileges of a very well-cushioned celebrity elite.

I think it's a lot easier to burst that bubble now, with the 24/7 news/entertainment cycle, the new social media, and so on. He has lost control of the narrative (though in the interview segment that is linked in 4, he seems to think that he can still assert control).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:32 PM
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Didn't at least one of the girls on the Cosby show have a horrible relationship with him? Lisa Bonet, maybe?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:38 PM
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Because she acted in a risque movie. Bad for the Cosby brand, you know.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:55 PM
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Has LK described this relationship's dynamics before? Everyone seems to be picking up the thread without needing to go into any details at all.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:04 PM
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I don't recall her having done so but surely one can suss it out that whatever they were they were bad.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:06 PM
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50: I saw her on the TV yesterday. I think it was the show with the actress that looks like Katy Perry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:07 PM
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50: I saw her on the TV yesterday. I think it was the show with the actress that looks like Katy Perry.

What show is this? Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:10 PM
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Like Katy Perry in all respects but the one you're thinking of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:11 PM
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I was thinking of two respects.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:15 PM
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OT: "Sacroiliac" is a word that I only come across in either technical writings or Bugs Bunny cartoons. I think maybe it is the only word meeting that criteria.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:16 PM
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Childbirth seriously displaced my sacroiliac joint. Also my pelvis. Unfortunately, nothing got put back in its right place for more than a decade. When everything was shifted back into correct alignment I went through about 2.5 weeks of feeling horrendously sore in a different collection of spots every day, and then sadly my body decided to hang onto the horrendous sciatic pain that originally resulted from the sacroiliac/pelvic displacement, and I haven't been able to shift it since. Going on 14 years of 24/7 intense nerve pain! It isn't much fun. For 13+ years I could get some limited relief by standing, but now the foot has decided to get involved. This is not good.

Conclusion - if you are still in pain 6 weeks after giving birth DO NOT GIVE UP ON GETTING RESOLUTION. I love my kid, but this sucks.

All of this, of course, is totally minor suffering compared to that of many others. I still have a tap dancing marvel for a kid, after all.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:27 PM
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Would you like to submit an article to a special issue on the sacroiliac joint? It's in an open access journal based in Turkey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:35 PM
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Edited by Bugs Bunny?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:36 PM
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Actually, the editor is a doctor in Turkey. The journal is based in China and published by the usual suspects. Which is probably why it was in my spam folder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:39 PM
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Actually, the editor is a doctor in Turkey.

What's up, doc?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:42 PM
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Lurid, I'm so sorry. I've similarly wondered if I'd ever be in the position of getting that sort of letter, though I haven't yet. This will sound cheesy, but it's a secondary trauma to have to look back at a bad relationship and re-edit it to be worse because you acknowledge it was. That sounds just awfully painful. I do think forwarding the other email might help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:56 PM
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Thanks, all y'all, and incidentally Thorn I feel bad for not replying to your various threads here -- I've been busy & consequently erratic in my postings. But I do wish you well. She gave me her phone number and seems to want to talk by phone, so I'll do that whenever I can handle it, which is not today, and bring up the older email then. (Dissertation filing deadline is in two weeks and I'm losing my mind. Really fragile equilibrium. Hello oddly-formed sentence fragments -- have you met my friend late-night caffeine?*)

idp, feel free to email me and I can fill you in, but again, not very soon.

* "Constant Comment," apparently.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:27 PM
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Constant Comment," apparently.

Well, of course. Sorry to hear this is all hitting you at such a bad time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:31 PM
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So re: 40, today's other news is that just as my startup disappears beneath the waves, I got an offer from my doctoral institution to return in triumph as a full-time Ruby developer. The money isn't quite Google, but it still seems astounding for a non-managerial public university job, and far exceeds any salary I've ever commanded in my life.

So it's finally some validation for deciding five years ago to go this route instead of trying to become a lit professor; and I don't even have to work for Uber. Once they give me a staff ID I'll be able to get into the online OED again, and I'll be working next to my old department building, where the Finnegans Wake reading group still meets every other Thursday.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:56 PM
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Congrats, lk!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:03 PM
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… are they still hiring? I might be in need of employment shortly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:10 PM
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Jobs come up now and again. They're always shorthanded, but their ability to bring people in is kind of irregular because they have to perform so many ceremonies for the administration in order to get funding. But I can certainly fire off a flare for you if something gets posted. I got the job largely through the good offices of a friend on the inside, whom you may know, who was willing to vouch for me.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:17 PM
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Sorry you might have to re-solicit employment though. Everyone else associated with my current gig is also casting around for a new home; but this month, in this town, nobody seems to have trouble getting interviews. The headhunters on LinkedIn have to be fended off with sticks.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:31 PM
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I guess I should actually update my linkedin account, huh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:33 PM
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Sorry to hear you might need a new job soon, neb. Job-hunting sucks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:39 PM
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57: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4o8TeqKhgY (at ~2:24)


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 11:39 PM
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59,61:

For real.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 6:06 AM
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53: Since I did the research, I'll share my results for those of you who couldn't figure this out right away. Moby saw Lisa Bonet on New Girl and the actress that looks like Katy Perry is Zooey Deschanel.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 6:29 AM
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75 models what might be a very useful service, pop reference footnoting.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 6:56 AM
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Wow lk, that's so great when things work out that way. Congratulations!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 7:34 AM
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Congrats, lourdes!

Hope this doesn't vex you - it did me when I found out - but any resident of our state can get online OED access via The City Public Library cardholding.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:18 AM
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Really! That's fantastic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:37 AM
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I've been tunnelling through my old U of C account.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:38 AM
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NMM to the Benghazi scandal.


Posted by: oeep | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:46 AM
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81: Hey! Get out of here, you unpronounceable imposter!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:47 AM
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82: Just kidding! 81 was me with typo.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:48 AM
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NMM for about the 6th time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 9:55 AM
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84: Although this one is showing signs of sticking a bit more. (Although I believe the House Select committee or something is still on the case.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 10:00 AM
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All the thoughs!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 10:04 AM
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The whole political media should resign in disgrace (for the umpteenth time of course). Especially that wingnut mole Jonathan Karl on ABC.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 10:13 AM
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I like to hear myself talk about obvious things.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 10:15 AM
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the actress that looks like Katy Perry is Zooey Deschanel.

Somewhere or other I saw KP described as looking like ZD with a porn star's body.

IIRC ZD was on Letterman and told a story about how, when ZD was just getting known and KP was still unknown, a friend told her that there was this singer who looked just like her.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 10:28 AM
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10: That story got picked up by Drudge, so if anyone would like some emails detailing all the women murder-raped by Clinton I have some to spare.


Posted by: armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 12:45 PM
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Armsmasher!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 12:48 PM
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78: Whaaa! Really? What good news for our state!


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 1:43 PM
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Sympathies and congratulations, respectively, to the LKs.


Posted by: X.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 2:11 PM
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90: I still have my clippings from the 90s.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 2:13 PM
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Toenails last pretty much forever, even when they're severed from their host.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 2:47 PM
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If you know that, you should probably vacuum under the bed more often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-14 3:18 PM
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