Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cynical Proverbs 7:25

"You can't judge a book by it's cover"
OK this one does have some basis in reality. One day I bought this new line of toilet paper. And right when I was in the middle of using it, I realized it was Ann Coulter's new book. Oopsie! See how easy it is to make that mistake?

In any case, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. You should also judge it by it the kiss-ass, bought-off reviews and celebrity endorsements on the laudatory jacket. So if you first meet a potential dating partner and he or she isn't recommended by Booklist, then forget it!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cynical Sincere Proverbs 7:18

Yep it's time for more of that gosh durn "original thinking" I've heard so much about, as I come up with my own sayings that you'll eventually be bored by through years of overuse resulting in these genuine words or wisdom being caustically mocked by the Internet (wow what kinds of asshole would end up doing that, anyway?) Oh right the quotation:

"The problem with America is that it refuses to treat equal rights as special privileges like it's suppose ta."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cynical Proverbs 7:11

"With great power comes great responsibility"
This, of course is the widely-known quote of the Spider-Man mythos (which you know, because if you ever seen the Peter Parker story in any media, you'll hear this little manta drilled into your mind ad nauseam.)

Which is weird because as this world has demonstrated time and again, the entire point of getting power is to insulate yourself against responsibility. Duh! Responsibility is for the little people. Power is the gated community designed to make sure responsibility gets arrested for trespassing if it gets anywhere in their realm. Geez, Spidey, maybe you should bitten by a bit of radioactive common-sense.*

*Calm down fanboys, I'm a Spider-Man enthusiast. Really.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Note to Whoopi: Bill Cosby has already slipped "innocence" a Mickey

Whoopi Goldberg's refusal to own up to her mistake on this issue and double-down on her questionable defense of Bill Cosby diminishing innocence (like like those Republicans who refuse to back down from bad ideas because they value stubbornness over rational thinking) reminds of another annoying factor that's been hovering around this scandal and in need of a slight vocabulary alignment: the mindless repetition of "innocent until proven guilty." Now, this is generally a wonderful (and critical) component of our justice system, but a few things need to be considered to put the phrasing into the proper context.

For one we already have plenty of "proof." In addition to the numerous testimony of victims coming forward (which as pointed out previously is a form of evidence) with very similar story's we now have Cosby's own confession (in a court of law, even!) What more "proof" does Whoopi need? Does she need to go into his bedroom and see the act itself with her own eyes? Although somewhat understandable, people like Whoopi are confusing a conviction with guilt. They tend to be related but not always. For instance, the statute of limitations for many of Cosby's accusers has already expired (he's been at it for decades, remember?) For other's we've seen that he simply buys them off. So the unlikelihood of Cosby being convicted and jailed for these crimes is not an indication that we simply ignore the increasing evidence against his profession of innocence. And that's just in a court of law. Imposing that strict guideline on public opinion (which needless to say is not a trial) is particularly silly. The public isn't using irrational, arbitrary reasons for their opinion about Cosby's guilt. It's why prominent Cosby defender Jill Scott had to recant her defense and admit that she was rallying for the wrong side: Cosby's confession confirmed that it was no longer rational to do so, since this is Cosby being convicted by his own words.

Update: Demonstrating that sometimes shaming can be used for the power of good, evidence and good sense has made it's way through the stubbornness of Whoopi's relentless defense of Cosby, and she confesses, that yeah, those accusations may have some merit after all. She even acknowledges a point I made here about the statute of limitation laws factoring into why Cosby is not being found "guilty in a court of law" (Whoopi's main point of contention about the issue.) In fact, to give Whoopi some credit for finally turning away from excusing the inexcusable, I'll cite from the article linked and let her have the word on this:
“I have to say I thought that, yeah, here’s all the information, take his ass to jail,” Goldberg said. “I find out from you [Abrams] that that’s not possible. So I can’t say any more ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ because there’s no way to prove it. We are the only proof that folks have.”
Hello Mary Lou, Update 2 (4-27-2018): Well the good news is that we no longer have to confuse conviction with guilt because now that ol' Bill have been convicted of Cosby-ing at least one woman (out of, like, 60) we can stop misusing tired "innocent before proven guilty" rhetoric and come up with fresh new strawman arguments to rationalize sexually assaulting unconscious women (maybe a piece of false equivalency between a poor black teenager and a man who exploited his "beloved father figure" privilege and imagery to get away with raping his way through every other women without consequence for years perhaps?)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

That's NOT where your pudding pop goes, Bill Cosby!

I am not at all surprised by the recently unsealed court transcripts that said that, yeah, Bill Cosby did try to ply women with drugs in order to sexually take advantage of them. I mean at this point I think it would be harder to find women who haven't been taken advantage of by Mr. Cosby. I still admit to being disappointed by this conformation of Cosby's morally repulsive actions and the fact that he has been able to get away with this for so long by paying his victims off (But only if she remained a sufficiently educated rape victim, because Cosby's's not going to let a little thing like sexual assault get in the way of a little sanctimonious moralizing.) However it's always disheartening when a man that was so admired within America in general and the Black community in particular has fallen so far from the "image" he maintained. I talked a bit about my somewhat confused feelings about this on another post:

I never had any "hero-worship" toward Cosby, but as a black man (which of course means that I'm the sole voice of Black America), I did have admiration for him. Keep in mind that this was at a time when Black people were depicted as jive-talking buffoons and ill-tempered thugs...when we were featured at ALL (Hee, "the more things change" huh?) His show gave America a different (and sorely needed) look at a little-seen slice of the African-American experience. When you grow up in a society that constantly tries to limit your options, things like that can mean a lot.
So no, I'm certainly not going to "defend" Cosby here (Hey, when a woman doesn't want you to put you "pudding pop" near here her "Jello cup", you better well listen to her, buddy!), but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any admiration for other past achievements (Incidentally this is also the take I use regarding the Founding Fathers.). It's not enough to get him off the hook for "Cosbying" his way through a swath of women though.
Of course Cosby himself, hypocritically contributed to the "jive-talking Blacks" stereotype himself by chastising African-Americans who didn't follow the edicts he determined they should have, like listening to that rap music (which gives them the brain damage) or not going to college, or (gasp!) failing to keep their pants up (something that Cosby apparently had trouble doing himself.) By the way, that loud beeping noise you heard is the irony detector going off. Unfortunately by trying to preserve a "positive" image of African-Americans through condescending self-righteousness "How Proper Black People Should Act", Cosby just instead validated the false narrative of the "Good Blacks" who deserve rights and freedom from abuse and "Bad Blacks" who don't (and we've seen some of the damage that type of mentality can cause.)

A few other annoying point about this disgusting system of abuse. First regarding this particular incident that I linked, there is something important to keep in mind for those who say that this doesn't "prove anything." As I said on a message board:
Let's stop here for a minute to point out that having sex with a woman without her consent is rape, REGARDLESS of whether they took the drugs willingly or not (from the way most of the women describe the situation, I'd say they were drugged without their knowledge. However it just needs to be pointed out that Cosby wouldn't get off the hook if that were the case, since the point was that they were passed out past the point of consent in either case.)

Even before the court documents came out there was plenty of reason to doubt Cosby (and his somewhat vehement defenders.) One of the most irritating defense was people trying to invoke the ol' "her word versus his" tactic, the typical bane of rape cases. Now usually one of the reasons rape and sexual assault charges are so difficult to get is a lack of collaboration. The Cosby situation however, demonstrates the importance of the victims coming forward because it establishes a systematic pattern of behavior so the stories can then collaborate with each other (and for all the "not enough evidence" naysayers, let's remember that testimony is a form of evidence. There is a reason lawyers try to get so many sources of it.) The voices are now amplified, something that is needed when dealing with the wealthy and powerful (It's why class-action suits are a thing. Money has a bad habit of drowning out people's voices so they need to be particularly loud.) So it's not "his word against hers" but "his word against hers. And hers. And hers. Oh and hers. etc." Each new accuser that pops up is another dent in the credibility of America's favorite trifling Black scold father figure.

Update: And now poor Cosby will have to scold people people without his fancy honorary degrees in Condescension and Quaalude Distribution because some schools are rescinding them. Here's Fordham University's statement on the matter:

"That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women's reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale," the statement read.