12:20am on the last day of 2015. It's a sad last day of 2015, not because it's cold out and there's snow on the ground. And not because the Bears play their last game of the season in a couple of days and it's not even to get into the playoffs.
Nope. It's sad today because Bill Cosby is all over the news over allegations that he drugged and raped 60 women over the span of a lot of years. This isn't necessarily news. There's been snippets of this story all year. But today Big Bill went to court on one of the charges. He wore a gray sweater, unshaven, had a couple of people keep him steady as he walked into the courtroom. Cosby stumbled up the walkway. He looked bewildered. Stunned. As if he couldn't decipher the meaning of all of the reporters, cameras, people, lights.
We've seen this bewildered look before. It's an unmistakable deer-in-the-headlights stare that only a monster could produce. Predator. Abuser. Selfish. Evil. As Bill walked slowly up the ramp to the courthouse, I thought and thought - where in the hell have I seen that look before?
Aha, another Pennsylvania predator - Jerry Sandusky.
Another Pennsylvania predator - Jerry Sandusky. Remember when cops walked Sandusky to the squad car after he was found guilty and sentenced to prison? He walked out silent yet with an impending mumble. His eyes, uncomprehending, lost, floating in the gloaming, dumb, silent, not asking for forgiveness.
There it is. Sandusky the Penn State football coach. The predator. Sexual abuser. Sitting in a jail cell somewhere. And now Cosby, the Philadelphia phenom. Father figure to a generation, maybe even for the three or four of you. Bill Cosby walked into a courthouse today with the look of Jerry Sandusky, and that makes for a pretty sad end to 2015.
It's not that I was a huge Cosby Show fan. That was in the late 1980s and by then I just watched mostly Sports and movies that Alexis and I taped on our VCR. I was, however, a huge fan of I Spy in the late 1960s and, of course, Fat Albert in the 1970s. As the three or four of you may have done, I waded through the shitty early morning Saturday morning cartoons just to wait for Fat Albert to come on. Bill got it right with Fat Albert. Funny, socially meaningful, colorful, racially open. Just for a moment, at the end of 2015, I wish I was back on the couch behind Munster Lanes watching Fat Albert rather than blogging in the middle of the night about Bill Cosby being a monster for 40 years.
Did you see the cover of the New Yorker magazine? Sixty women have come forward to say that Bill Cosby, the legend, drugged them and raped them. One of the women said today on the news that a switch would go off and Bill would become some sort of demon. How could that possible be?
Not Cliff Huxtable, the kind old obstetrician. Not Fat Albert, Bucky, Weird Harold. Not Alex Scott, the perfect counterpart to Robert Culp. This can't be true. Innocent until proven guilty in America. Isn't that what I remind you of in the morning when another Lake County politician is indicted by the Feds? Don't I tell you to remember that in America, even people like accused serial killer Darren Vann are innocent until proven guilty?
Yes, I tell you that. It's my job to round up some reason in the middle of the chaos. And I should probably blog write now that Bill Cosby is innocent until proven guilty. And until a few hours ago, I might have indeed written that down in these pages of My American, Radio Life.
But I have seen the bewildered look of Jerry Sandusky resurface in the eyes of Bill Cosby, and on this last day of 2015, that's enough for me. I'm glad as hell that I'm taking a few days off from doing the radio show. I really wouldn't want to have to sit in the captain's chair in the morning to remind you - "Hey, it's America. Innocent until proven guilty. Remember?"
I couldn't say those words, not in reference to Bill Cosby. I'm sorry but it's true. Happy New Year.