Why the internet is taking the Cosby affair so hard
Bill Cosby is a rapist. He is. Just not the legal definition of rapist.
If you stole all of New York’s treasury bills, and flew to Saturn on your spaceship, no court could ever convict you of the theft. Without a conviction, you didn’t legally do it, no matter how obvious.
Just like when you settle out of court, you never admit wrongdoing.
This is totally irrelevant anyway, almost all of these cases happened generations ago. Yes, generations, it has been that long. And there’s this pesky thing called the statute of limitations in the States, a lawyer might explain it better than I could, but it means that if you were wronged, you have to make a claim in court, in a reasonable amount of time.
It’s amazing how patriotic people will often rally around America’s rights and freedoms, the fair treatment they receive compared to the citizens in the average kangaroo court like those found in China, but when their own laws protect people they’ve convicted in their minds already, they want blood anyway.
You can’t be for and against the same law people. This isn’t a hard concept.
Now you could blame the nightly news, and various internet outlets like HuffPost, but it has sadly become normal. It’s downright primitive, actually.
We as social creatures are all born with these weird tendencies, we crave affection, we get addicted to gambling, we relish in observing other people act out depravity, and we don’t tolerate people in our group that we suspect are dangerous. We are biologically wired to find flaws in people, specifically to determine if they are a threat to our family, or friends. We don’t care if they murder and pillage elsewhere, just not here.
Except in today’s connected world, we have trouble distinguishing where "here" actually is. We get incensed when a famous actress we loved from afar is trampled by the media for her poor choice in abusive men; we feel like they’ve become family, or a close acquaintance, it feels wrong. We have adopted them without knowing it.
And that’s where this ordeal with Bill Cosby becomes a perverse interplay of family and enemy. We knew the man through a rectangular box with illuminated glass, he made jokes, took care of his imaginary family. Yet, all those years of trusting uncle Bill, can’t save him from our savage response to the mere accusations of harm. He’s not our Bill anymore!
To recap, he settled with many of his alleged victims when this issue came up previously, which means they can’t even legally accuse him. The mainstream media has so far kept it’s distance, unlike the online media who have already convicted him. And the public will take one side or the other, based on how vengeful they are, or how much in denial they are.
In the end it’s just a smear campaign.
So what happens next? Do we let it fizzle out? Do we forget? No, our biology won’t let us, we found the dirt on him, he’s forever tainted. Lucky for him maybe, he’s in his 70’s without a huge career ahead of him.
Oh, and don’t worry about ol’ Bill struggling from a few cancelled shows, he can burn the pay stubs of his royalties to keep warm this winter.