Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby Behind Bars: Seperating the Man from the Art (Some Thoughts)

Well, Bill Cosby is in cuffs and heading off to jail for 3-10 years.

It's weird. I despise what he did. I find him a grotesque human being. But the art he put out into the world I admire greatly. 

It's hard to separate the man from the art for many people, I know. But The Cosby show is such an invaluable tool in teaching parents how to communicate with their own kids, and more importantly, in teaching non-native speakers the values of good communication in a family and among friends.

The Cosby show is an educational tool I rely on heavily in teaching my students good communication skills. And you might say, well, can't you use a different series? And the answer is no. Because there is no other series that does what The Cosby show did. And there's no other series that covered the importance of family values, of setting ground rules for your kids, and in teaching basic decency and respect for others to the same degree that this show succeeded in doing it.

It feels weird to see a person I once looked up to fall so epically from grace. It's weird to go back to the series he created knowing what he's done and find value in the art, even though the man in his real life was a piece of trash.

And that's the thing I think we all have to remember. The Cosby show is a work of fiction. The Huxtable family is the ideal family. But, in a way, that's why the show works so well. 

The Huxtables showed us what we could achieve as a family if we all worked together. If we took the time to talk about our problems and worked, as a family unit, to understand each other's points of view and worked together to overcome the challenges that life throws at us daily.

It contains very positive moral messages involving culture, music, education, work, along with valuable life lessons for both children and adults. Its importance in television history will not likely fade anytime soon nor do I think it should. 

Maybe some of you will disagree, and that's your right. 

But I for one choose to separate the art from the man and not let one define the other. After all, we don't judge the value of our hamburger cook on how well he made our burger before serving it to us. That would be strange. 

So, yeah, I will still allow myself to enjoy The Cosby show even as I find Bill Cosby repugnant. That's just my choice. Yours could be entirely different and equally valid. What works for one person may not work for all.

In the meantime, Bill Cosby will now serve his time for the crimes he committed.
That's my two cents at any rate.

(Just realized invaluable and valuable mean the exact same thing. Yeesh! English.)

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