Marc Maron reveals on his January 12, 2015 podcast of “WTF” (What the Fuck?) that he has tried to get Bill Cosby on his show for years, but Bill refused. He wouldn’t come on a show with bad language in the title. He is the paragon of decency.
(A quick aside: If you are not listening to Marc Maron’s “WTF”… well… then… you’re
probably not a 50 year old white male with daddy issues. But that’s beside the point. His show is great! As long as you can lower yourself below Bill Cosby’s standards of decency and hear a few F-bombs. Do it!! “Lock the Gates!”)
The Cosby issue is important to me, and to this blog, because it is also about tearing down self-identity that many people are just not ready or capable of tearing down. To hear people talk about Cosby’s influence on their childhood is to hear them reconstruct their very identity. They’ve memorized the “Why Is There Air?” album. (“What’s a cubit?”) Hell, I’m right there with you! I used to check out every 33rpm Cosby album from our local public library. He was fucking funny! (Sorry ‘bout the F-Bomb, Bill.)
But he was fucking funny in the same way that the priests of my childhood were fucking Holy! Untouchable. Awe inspiring. Free of any sin. That is what childhood, and “first experiences” of many things does to us: It causes us to install those early events in some sacred shrine, entwined with our very identity, and much, much more difficult to remove, without fear of toppling our entire vision of self.
When the dirt underneath one of our identity “pillars” leaks out, or erodes, we face disillusionment. We face the pain of having to choose between tearing down our identity and starting over, or compartmentalizing our brains – one side filled with knowledge of heinous action, the other filled with the same rose-colored bullshit that we’ll let overflow into our next generation’s mind as pure milk and honey. The cycle continues as long as you allow it to continue in your own life.
All politics is local. We can’t change much, but we can change the way we act and react in the face of a childhood institution being dragged through the mud of their own wretched behavior. First, recognize you were fed a bunch of bollocks, with very good intentions. Your parents didn’t intentionally try to fuck you up. They did what came natural and easy to them. “Pass on what was passed on to me. It worked for my ancestors, why mess with success?”
We can choose to NOT pass on garbage to our children. One of my primary goals when I had kids was to avoid disillusioning them, by trying at every inflection point to not “illusion” them in the first place. I was as rigorously open and honest about all aspects of life as I could be. Only time will tell if this experiment works, but I was not going to repeat the experiments done on me.
And now, everyone who loved Cosby as a pillar of their childhood has to try to figure out how to deal with the fact that he formed us in some way, yet now we need to be “disloyal” to him; to our own sense of identity, built (in part) on memories of this guy: any institution that rapes 33 people deserves prison, not respect and standing ovations, like he received the other day in Canada. Yeah… in the midst of all this, Bill Cosby is touring, and Maron relates on the podcast how he even has the gall to use the accusations in his act. During one show in Canada a woman headed toward the bar and Cosby jabbed, “Be careful you don’t drink that with me.”
This got a standing ovation at the concert, but apparently this crass abuse of his otherwise public silence has galvanized the community of comedians against Cosby. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler savaged him during their opening monologue hosting the Golden Globe Awards Mocking his voice, and long-ago Jell-O Pudding Pops commercial, they competed to see who could do the best, most “fair” representation of Cosby : “I put the pills in the people… the people did not want the pills in them.”
How? How can anyone buy a ticket to watch this guy who has never attempted to refute any of the 33 allegations against him with specific evidence that might correspond to a timeline or accusation (as Judd Apatow relates on WTF)? There will never be a trial. I wish people would abandon their idols a little sooner and believe those who claim the ideals have been fucking them. And by the way, fuck you Bill Cosby.