I have believed that for a number of years. I still do.
Judd Apatow would not like me saying this. Because he can no longer admit any joke Cosby might have once made was, or is now, funny. Because how can anyone laugh at what has been said by an evil man?
I say this is nonsense.
But let me explain.
The closet of skeletons opening up about this man, has felt like the death of an old friend to me.
Now before you drop your monocle with outrage: I do not compare my feelings to those people he allegedly victimized. Not even close.
But I do feel a loss. It's undeniable. When one of your heroes turns out to be quite possibly, a serial rapist, well, that's a lot to take in.
I remember seeing "Bill Cosby: Himself" the first time and being in awe of the man's talent. As a child I recognized it. I would purchase every Cosby comedy album (ok cassette tape) that I could find from that point on. My younger brother and I would listen to them so often, we would have entire routines memorized, down to the beats and rhythms.
I can still recall them. For someone who is constantly mocked for his horrible long term memory, these routines I can recall with no trouble at all.
"And I went out. Lookin'... for Junior Barnes. Junior Barrrrrness. You gunky. Ohhh Junior Barnes. And I couldn't find him. It was 7:30. I have to get home before the monsters come out."
"What was that? A piece of paper? Somebody threw a piece of paper on me!"
"Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake!"
My wife and I were able to go with my parents and see Cosby do stand-up a few years ago. It was a family highlight. All of us fans for years, we went hoping he still "had it."
It turned out to be one of the most rewarding shows of any kind I have ever seen. One I wrote about on this site. One I am determined to still look at as a wonderful family moment.
And now here we are a few years later, and as Apatow and others have decided, even admitting you still consider Cosby a great entertainer can be met with great judgement.
I've noticed a curious thing during all of this self righteous condemnation.
We only care, sometimes.
About certain people.
Which makes me think this concern for all of these women is frankly, all a big lie.
Where was that New York Magazine cover of Bill Clinton's alleged victims?
If you are saying, "who?" Well that's partly my point. Clinton was very credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick. And less you claim I have political motivations for saying this; only someone with political motivations could excuse it.
What about the liberal minded Christopher Hitchens? He laid out the case against Clinton very well, and years ago. And few noticed or cared.
It has been credibly reported that Hillary Clinton intimidated Broaddrick to stay quiet about it.
How's that for a feminist?
"But come on, an entertainer likely drugged someone and then raped her!"
Yes, and Roman Polanski still works and wins awards, in spite of it.. Still gets standing ovations. Though he hides from the law overseas, so he must witness them from a screen I suppose. And people think either what he did was not a big deal. (He drugged a 13 yr old and sodomized her) or say, "Hey, hiding out over there means he has suffered enough."
We like who we like. And though I can still appreciate the brilliance of Cosby's "Noah" routine, or Polanski's Chinatown, those we condemn and those we do not, does not feel consistent.
It is a dangerous thing to truly look at everyone closely. I do not suggest it.
Gandhi was a racist.
He slept naked with very young girls. He corresponded frequently with Hitler, and referred to him as a friend.
Martin Luther King was a philanderer and plagiarist. Not great attributes in a minister.
Well, least we have Lincoln. Oh dang. About Lincoln.
"A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation, but as an immediate separation is impossible, the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never go together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas."
This is not me excusing behavior. Far from that. I just think it is a heck of a slippery slope. And yes, quite often, very disingenuous.
To me, I can not listen to your argument that you are a voice for the victims, when you were never a voice, or gave a damn about other victims.
If you are being completely honest, you might have to admit an agenda. Hey we all have agendas. But rape is rape. And if your argument is one or two victims versus many, well, that's kind of a messed up argument.
Recently we learned a dentist from Minnesota killed a popular lion in Africa. Cecil the Lion was lured out of his habitat and shot with an arrow. He then suffered for some time until they found him again and shot him. This has rightly outraged many.
Jimmy Kimmel recently went on a self righteous rant about the man who killed Cecil. Named him. Showed pictures of him and called him a scum bag and an asshole.
The dentist has received death threats and people hope not just himself, but his entire family "lose everything." He has closed his business and gone into hiding
Mia Farrow tweeted out the hunter's business address. I doubt so people would go send him copies of Hannah and her Sisters.
Is it too obvious where I'm going with this?
We care more about animals than humans. Kimmel was in tears about Cecil.
Is he in tears about the actions of Planned Parenthood? Does abortion make him weep?
Even for people that claim to be "pro-choice," I think the amount of life taken as a form of birth control should be upsetting. Right?
What about other people in Zimbabwe? How do they feel about this whole killed lion outrage?
"Why are the Americans more concerned than us?" said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. "We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange."
Does Kimmel weep about Zimbabwe's 80% unemployment?
Now but WHY was this animal killed, someone may ask?
"Sport" and "Fun" seem to be words used as to why people do this kind of hunting of majestic, endangered animals. Those words for killing seem unacceptable.
Yet we are far more efficient at killing human life, and justify it by "convenience."
Not caring about Cecil would be cruel. Caring more about Cecil than human life; killed and limbs removed for sale; that is hard to fathom or comprehend.
So go ahead and tell me I can no longer laugh at the words said by a brilliant and probably awful man.
Who would want to think of a seemingly more innocent time, anyway?
Go deface a Confederate grave, when a few weeks ago you never would have given that a second thought. And tell yourself what you just did, is not a hate crime.
Pretend by changing your Facebook picture to a rainbow background, that you have actually accomplished something.
Let us try our best, not to break our arms patting ourselves on the back, for the very least amount of caring or effort.
If you did a good deed and you did not let people know, did it count?
As I took a break from writing this article, I watched an episode of Seinfeld. Most would say, probably accurately, that Jerry Seinfeld is one of the true "good guys," of Hollywood.
And he did date a 17 year old high school student, when he was just shy of 40. Which most people would consider, at least, creepy.
After that I put on Lost in Translation. Maybe my favorite Bill Murray movie. Bill Murray is unquestionably the coolest, most chill guy on Earth.
Then I remembered his ex-wife accused him of infidelity, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as physically striking her.
But you see. I'm gonna still enjoy Bill Murray the actor and Bill Murray that goofy guy that crashes random parties.
We are ALL pretty horrible people.
At least there's plenty of company here.
Listen to Cosby's comedy. Go see a Polanski movie.
Either do it all or do none of it. Because how do you decide in an honest moment, which sinner is ok?
We are all more or less the same.
Yes, I will never make the perfect comedy album or make a masterpiece of a movie or be the hero to an entire people or have books written about me.
But I am as great a sinner as just about anyone that's ever lived. I'm one of the all time best.
I need salvation as much as anyone. As much as Bill Cosby.
What would the New York Magazine cover look like of people I have hurt, throughout my life?