Why I Still Watch 'The Cosby Show'

Why I Still Watch 'The Cosby Show'

Enjoying a person's work does not mean that you approve of who they are
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It is official: Bill Cosby will go to trial for assault charges. For those of you who are unaware, America’s favorite father has been accused by nearly 60 women of some form of sexual assault, whether it was rape, child sexual abuse, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery or another type of sexual misconduct. While these allegations have apparently been pending for many years, it was comedian Hannibal Buress who brought renewed interest in these accusations during a performance in October 2014 which went viral. Now like most people in America, I was deeply saddened and shocked to hear about the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby. I found it difficult to accept that someone I had idolized had committed such reprehensible crimes. There is an argument that during the time he allegedly committed these assaults (using date rape drugs) that the concept and definition of consent was not as hyped up or defined the way it is now. I do understand this idea, and I even feel that there is merit to it. But that still does not excuse his actions because sexual assault has zero excuses in my book.

In the aftermath of the allegations, many educational institutions, theme parks, and other companies severed ties with him, and most broadcast networks pulled reruns of The Cosby Show from their network. While I do understand and even agree with these actions on the part of these companies, what I do take issue with is the idea that continuing to watch his programs and enjoy his comedy is wrong or immoral and that it condones or overlooks his actions. The idea that enjoying someone’s work because it resonates with us on a personal level is wrong because of the unrelated actions that they committed is something I have never been able to understand. Bill Cosby the comedian and Bill Cosby the man are two different people from two different worlds. And I hope that Bill Cosby the man is brought to justice for his alleged crimes because it sends the message that no one is immune from paying their debt to society and answering for their wrongdoings. But for me saying that we must boycott his work is something that has no relation to these actions. The Cosby Show is not representative of Bill Cosby the man who allegedly committed these crimes.

One of the reasons I have always loved The Cosby Show is because of its good and clean humor, something which in today’s comedies and sitcoms is virtually nonexistent. During a time when most comedy is littered with adult jokes and sexual references (some more blatant than others), it is nice to see a program that, for the most part, shows that it is possible for successful comedy to be clean and enjoyable without resorting to cheap jokes and vulgarity. It was one of those programs that you could watch as a family (how many mainstream and popular sitcoms are there nowadays that are family friendly?) and have a good laugh. The show had excellent comic timing and jokes, which were often characterized by Cosby’s facial expressions and perfect delivery.

In some ways, I am glad that this scandal woke me up, because until now, I revered Bill Cosby. I thought he was a great man. But it made me realize that when it comes to celebrities and icons we can only comment on their work, not necessarily on their personalities as a whole because we never know what they are truly like on a personal one-to-one basis. It is true, celebrities can do lots of great philanthropic work outside their professions but again it doesn’t necessarily reveal the person on the inside, what their personality is truly like. In many ways it is a front put up for the media. This has made me realize that I only idolize Heathcliff Huxtable, the father whose antics and quirks make me laugh until my sides hurt, whose character has managed to make me smile on my worst days. This program always brought me a sense of comfort and familiarity. Bill Cosby was the man behind Heathcliff Huxtable, the puppet master behind the strings. The master is not someone I idolize as a human being anymore, but I will always enjoy and appreciate his comedy work. Likewise if you happen to be flipping through channels and see a Cosby Show rerun (although I’ve heard most channels have pulled them, but still) don’t feel guilty for sitting there and laughing at Cliff’s attempts to repair the shower, or his competitiveness when he plays petanque with his friends. You don’t always have to look behind the curtain to see who is entertaining you. Sometimes it is okay to just enjoy the show. Hate the artist, not the art.
Cover Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/25/the-cosby-show-cast-photos-fashion_n_5869328.html

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Yes, I'm A Feminist, No I Don't Hate All Men

Because if we want to promote equality, why fight that with mass hating a particular gender?

nadoty
nadoty
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I'd like to consider myself a feminist.

I am all for equal opportunity, equal pay, and equal rights. I believe that women should be granted the equal opportunities that males do, be free of harassment, not be scared to exist literally just because of their gender, have reproductive rights, be taken seriously when we think something is medically wrong with us, and be treated with the same respect and dignity as men do. Just because I believe all these things, however, doesn't mean I automatically hate men.

I've seen a big increase in trends that, just for men existing, people will post about how "men ain't shit," or how men ultimately suck just because of their gender. When reflecting upon this, however, I've come to realize isn't this a step in the wrong direction?

Obviously, I can't continue on until I say this: there is, in fact, times where men can really suck. White men in positions of power abusing that, men who are rapists, men who meddle in women's reproductive rights, abusers, men who think it's okay and even funny to harass others, etc. But it all comes down to this: just because you're a man doesn't mean I automatically hate you, and I don't think others should.

Sure, as mentioned above, there are garbage humans who abuse their positions of power as men in order to get what they want. THOSE are the people I hate, not others for existing just because they are men. When in reality, there are a lot of good men who recognize their positions of power and try and make up for it by advocating for those in need of advocacy, whether they are women or even minorities. There are men who are decent human beings, whether that is being nice to others, volunteering in their community, caring for those around them, or even men who are also feminists.

I think my argument has been made pretty clear: I do not and will not hate you just because you are a man. No one gets to choose whichever gender they are, so why should I hate a group of people for just being born male? If I want to promote equality as a feminist, why should I then believe that I am better because I am female? Why should I say I believe in equal treatment between genders, yet automatically hate you because you're a man?

So yes, some men truly, "ain't shit." I believe these men, however, are not good human beings. Men aren't terrible just because they are men, and I ultimately wish that those promoting total equality would realize that we cannot strive towards equal treatment, opportunities, and pay if we continue clumping one group together under the impression of, "they're men, they're terrible."

nadoty
nadoty

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