5 October 2018

Published October 3, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

SHELL GAME

We flocked to the record racks to buy his LP’s. I did my best to memorize those monologues. Remember the slush ball?

            “Junior Barns, you gunky.” That one made me laugh until tears rolled.

            I spied Scotty, partner of undercover tennis bum Kelly. With humor, they solved crime after crime.

            Every time I drove my Beetle, I heard him say to a raucous audience, “When the fan belt breaks we use a rubber band.”

            The accusations rocked my world as Bill Cosby plummeted from his pedestal. A deep sense of loss floods me.

            The jokes aren’t funny anymore, are they?  

 

105 comments on “5 October 2018

  • It is interesting all the consequences… the way they have been protected. As you might have a similar thing happening in Sweden in the “fine” culture space where a husband has been accused of sexual assaults and even rape (he was sentenced on Monday actually). He is married to one of the members of the Swedish Academy, and they have not handled this well and as a consequence there will be no Nobel Prize in literature this year….

    But the guy was more a “behind the scenes” guy… but for sure it will have consequences for the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Even over here, The Cosby Show was a TV staple diet of dinner time TV, beloved by many, and it broke race barriers. And now that legacy is shattered. Perhaps we should come to expect less from our heroes, but that is a sad reflection of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Iain,

      With all the allegations and stories coming to the surface, this one hit me hardest. He did so much good. I Spy was one of my favorite shows in the 60’s. Cosby’s monologues were hilarious. The airwaves were full of his wit. The Cosby show was amazing. How far the lofty have fallen and we are all the victims. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Neel,

      I think I will be angry with him for a very long time. He was my childhood hero. He’s definitely left a spate of victims, near and abroad. Thank you so much re my writing. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Very well written. He was an icon. He did so much to help open up the acting field to black men. Such a shame he was also such a predator. Although I hate to see heroes fall, I’m glad justice is finally catching up. I just wish it happened a long time ago.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Trent,

      I’m with you. If only women felt they could come forward back then. It’s just so disheartening to see someone who did so much good, tear it all down by thinking with his other brain. 😦 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • This is excellently written Rochelle. I wasn’t alive when he was a huge star but I watched a documentary recently about his fall from grace on YouTube & I think if I had of been around back when he was adored I think I would have been a fan & you shows one never knows what someone is like behind the scenes away from their public image.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A sad commentary indeed. Just goes to show the public v/s private lives of people are often quite different. Abusers hide behind business suits/dresses. Addicts hide behind everything they can to deny the reality. As I’m listening to a recording of Walden by Thoreau, i have to begin to think he had the right idea going away to the hills to avoid people. Enjoyed the read.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A comedy routine is a wonderful thing. It seems like natural riffing from an attractive personality, but is in fact anything but. My experience with comedians is that they are often single minded to a fault, looking for “material” and polishing it until it fits their schtick. Similarly “freindly regular people” prove to be awful in private life: abusive, misogynistic, explotative, vengeful Louis CK, Jerry Lewis, Jay Leno and many others fit into this category. Cosby, though, is a criminal. A rapist. A predator. Of course he never joked about this on his records, but anyone who knew him in the past forty years knew that he was a rotten, awful man.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Josh,

      In his later years, I was friends with Dennis Allen who had been on Laugh In. He lived in KC and did a lot of dinner theater. He once told me the most depressed people in Hollywood were the comedians.
      It was no surprise the Jerry Lewis was an ass. That was apparent on his telethons. What can I say? I bought Cosby’s image. Loved I Spy and Scotty was my favorite. Loved his records. Sorry it took so long for Karma to nail his sorry tush. 😦
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      There are so few role models these days. This was a man who had children eating from the palm of his hand. Brilliant and funny. To find that he was such a monster behind closed doors sears right through me. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It’s sad when heroes turn out to have feet of clay. But maybe ‘heroes’ is the wrong word to use for people who get paid vast sums of money to entertain us. But he is not the only one, is he? These men thought they could get away with it in the past but the culture is changing.

    Rolf Harris was in his 80s when he was finally convicted of assaults on victims alleged to have been between seven or eight and 19 years old. Harvey Weinstein was finally exposed after years of abuse. Jimmy Savile got away after committing sexual abuse throughout his 50-year career because everyone looked away.

    I am waiting to see how the current drama regarding Brett Kavanaugh still has to play out but somehow even in that case victim is being mocked (how did you vote that guy in?).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      I had to Google Rolf Harris. Yes, he’s among the many for sure. It’s sad to see the lofty fall from their pedestals but would have been sadder still for these sorry excuses for human to get away with their crimes. Thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great work, Rochelle. We had a similar thing here when Rolf Harris was torn down. He was such a cultural icon here and much loved and all that turned to revulsion. We felt collectively betrayed. Ignorance wasn’t bliss, especially for the victims but it’s shocking how widespread this behaviour is.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Brilliantly written piece, giving us snippets of his achievements and ending with his fall from grace. We used to call my dad the White Cosby because they were so alike in the Cosby Show version of him…
    As sad and angry as I am that he has been found guilty; I am ever so glad he didn’t get away with it. Well. Not anymore.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I can’t say I regularly watched the Cosby Show. But his stand-up comedy that was clean and hilarious lit up my childhood. I Spy was a favorite. The banter between Cosby and Culp was hilarious. Ah well…I can’t say I’m sorry he’s paying for his crimes. Who knew? Apparently, several of his victims knew, didn’t they?
      Thank you for your comprehensive comments and compliments. 😀 <3.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • He pulled one of the biggest scams of all—we upheld him as America’s Dad, because we didn’t know about his secret life. I loved him, too, Rochelle, and I still remember so many of his monologues. A brilliant man, fouled by his own behaviors. I think it is significant that the other members of the Huxtable family have been largely silent.

    Liked by 1 person

  • You’ve done an excellent job of articulating the disappointment and distress felt by many people when a highly respected public figure is shown to be a monster. Even though I don’t know the programmes, your sense of loss is palpable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Penny,

      I’m pleased that my intent in writing this story came through to you. I was a little distressed by one comment saying it was lost to him because he wasn’t familiar with the person, thus missing the point of the story. Cosby is not the only by any stretch. Our societies are rampant with these low-life celebrities, aren’t they? This particular one hits me harder than most. Thank you for your affirming comments/compliments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • To be honest, he was never a hero to me. I could not stand the show as a child, as something about Cosby (a la Dr. Huxtable) gave me the ickies. I didn’t quite know to describe in then, but my creep-o radar was (and hopefully remains) accurate. That said, I know that there were many who idolized him, many who really saw him as someone to look up to, and not only in his TV persona. It is always a heartbreaking thing to have trust shattered. It is one of the things that hurts the most in trauma–the betrayal of trust, of safety, one’s ability to believe good or bad. Personally, his fall from supposed grace wasn’t a surprise to me. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t a devastating reality to face for many. As it is, perhaps, almost every time someone others may have not seen the less-amicable sides of (to be mild), is exposed to be a lot less amicable than once believed.
    Good story here. Well told.

    I’ve added my contribution to the link-a-think, and here it is copied, as I tend to do …
    https://naamayehuda.com/2018/10/03/the-gift/
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well done – love how you sometimes connect to current events –
    And side note in his story – we were just discussing the actor who was on the Cosby show for years and used to get royalties from the shows reruns – well no that they are all pulled – this actor had to take a job at Trader Joe’s (and I guess he gets acting jobs but only small parts)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well of course you knew about it (dear one with the pulse on current events)
        And when I saw his interview I was shocked by the reruns impact – like we know actors have a limited window to “bank” and then get parts – whew – such an iffy business for the majority – and so that part was expected but when he said the royalties used to provide some income – the rippling effect of Cosby’s actions was felt yet again – and glad the courts saw truth and may the victims all find solace and healing

        Like

  • Once again, a well written story of glory gained and lost. It “shows to go you” that you cannot place your faith on man. Everyone will fall short, however, some fall much harder and farther than the norm. So sad. I loved his stand up comedy routines but, now I could never watch them again in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle,

    I think that the happiness you got from him is not tainted. It’s terrible that he did the things he did. I think the last thing he deserves is the time, energy and mental space of the people who looked up to him. No one knew what he was like so don’t feel guilt at enjoying him in the past. And while it means something pure is soiled, I am glad it is out there.

    I guess it is different for me than it is for you- I only really know Bill Cosby from fat Albert dvds from the library and a few Cosby show reruns. I don’t really get that sense of betrayal as much as you do. I guess just a different perspective. Great post, it starts an interesting conversation in the comments

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Jacob,

      I can’t say I feel guilty for having enjoyed him in the past. His stand up comedy lit up my childhood. That hasn’t changed. But the sense of loss and betrayal is painful but I know I don’t bear it alone.
      This certainly did get a discussion going, didn’t it? 😉 Happy it inspired you. Thank you for such a wonderfully insightful comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • A really poignant piece Rochelle, “Operation Yew Tree” (a police investigation) in the UK has caught a load of these folk and showed them up for who they really were in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s and who they are now. Shame on them, they prayed on the innocent and still they protest.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Shelley Van Gogh W(T)F,

    Like the author of this fine piece, I loved the comedy albums of Mr. Cosby when we were kids. I remember laughing to my side hurt. Too bad he turned out to be a predator. Now, he’s got to deal with the consequences of his actions. What a sad end to what could have been a life well lived.

    Klint Miracle Whip Ears

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Klint Miracle Whip Ears (eeeeew),

      I can’t help feeling sad at the sight of him being led away in chains, a blind, broken old man. He did so much good…sigh. Back to painting.

      Shelley Van Gogh W(T)F

      Like

  • A tricky one to write – and one that some might shy away from, so very brave to even go there! I always struggle with whether we can separate the art from the artist, but in the end it’s not about art, but power and misuse of it.
    I didn’t get all the references – I think we only got the Cosby Show over here – but it didn’t take away from the soul of the piece and the feeling of disappointment and betrayal that you and a lot of people must have felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sad in so many ways–that he was once beloved, that he was a trail blazer, that he was a product of an era that perhaps allowed him to believe he was “entitled,” that he betrayed not only a public that adored him, but his family, that a blind, old man will now spend what may be the rest of his life in jail. That there can be such a chasm between who we think a person is, and who he really is.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It was sad to watch the lengthy diminishment of Bill Cosby, who was quite an icon of comedy.
    I was horrified when Kevin Spacey, one of my favorite actors (though a bit creepy on House of Cards) was likewise brought down.

    One cannot escape ones past in these times, but it is hard to see it dredged up in such a public way, and now even at the Supreme Court level. This particular act–sexual harassment, or in Cosby’s case, more like rape–seems to defy the Enlightenment notion of innocent until proven guilty, and to upend the purpose of statutes of limitations( among other things, to make sure that the evidence still exists, with which to prove ones case).

    I am not by any means an expert in this area, but to me the problem seems to be: how do you prove what occurred in a room between two people with no witnesses and no forensic evidence remaining? People say believe the victim, they have no reason to lie, and we all know our gut feeling, on guilt or innocence, whether someone is credible or not.

    But our US legal system is based on proof. And after a time, proof has a way of disappearing. Leading to the exonerations of people, when the overwhelming public opinion is that they are guilty. This is our presumption of innocence in action.

    I do worry that special, ultra-sympathetic cases like these could lead to lower standards of proof, which will weaken the system in general, and threaten all of our freedoms, should we ever be so unlucky or foolish, as to be in the dock ourselves,

    On the other hand, I find the times hopeful, in that It feels like the passing of a torch, one generation of women to the next, redefining at last what we will stand for, endure, consider normal. I hope that it will lead to victims reporting crime more expeditiously, though I understand the psychology of the victim tends to cause them to wait.

    I have also found it interesting, trying to explain my generation’s understanding of such issues, which threw much of the burden of “prevention” on the woman herself, to my daughters. Hopefully the light shone on these perennial problems will make it easier for the next generation to handle and to report, so it is no longer such an easily concealable offense.

    Sorry for the sermon. Feel free to edit or delete if inappropriate.

    Like

    • My dear Andrea,

      I’d not thought about Kevin Spacey. Cosby’s demise hits me deeply with a huge sense of betrayal.

      And as someone who can say, “me, too” I understand why some waited until now. I wonder how many did tell and were not believed?

      At any rate, thank you for your passionate comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It does rock your faith in humanity a little, doesn’t it?
    We’ve had some terrible cases over here in the last few years, an widespread investigation into TV and radio celebrities who used their privileged positions to abuse women and children. It was almost endemic back in the 1970s and 80s it seems and these personalities were often protected by those around them, there were blind eyes turned because that was ‘how things were’ back then.
    It’s crushing to see such figures fall when they’ve had an influence, given us so much joy – it sullies our memories, makes us feel we were fooled. But at least no one else will suffer at his hands.
    As always, Rochelle, so well written

    Liked by 1 person

  • Such a strong and poignant story, if only it were a story. It is sad that the work achieved is then undermined by the lives revealed. How many more celebrities will fall, and how many have got away with their abuses by dying before society was willing to believe and reevaluate?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well written, as always, Rochelle. I also doubted at first. Maybe it was denial for me. I remember laughing until I cried to his records with my family. Chicken heart, tonsils, and more. You’re right, not so funny now. Another lesson in not putting anyone up on a pedestal.

    Liked by 1 person

  • No, sadly they are not funny any more.
    For me it was the loss of Cliff Huxtable, the wonderful father who was raising his children at the same time I was raising mine.
    Hmmm…this is why books are better. The characters are always the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I always like to comment on your work, Rochelle. Today, I have nothing although I loved your piece. My mind just flits to the individuals who will not be prosecuted, or appropriately investigated, for similar acts, and it makes me sad and weary.

    Like

  • I think it is sad too. And my overly-compassionate heart feels for him too. There are no excuses though. And I think society as a whole is to blame because the attitudes towards women are changing for the better, but back then it was acceptable in a hush-hush way to sexually harass and exploit women. Today less so. But then we put men with dodgy sexual harassment and exploitation pasts, as presidents. What are we saying then? That on some level it is acceptable? I feel your loss, Rochelle.

    Like

    • Dear Dahlia,

      One has to wonder if every accuser is telling the truth. I’m sure many are but it is tough to see the heroes tumbling off their pedestals, isn’t it? I was honestly devastated when the women began to come out about Cosby. At the same time, I’m glad he’s being held accountable…finally. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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