Bill and Jared: A Tale of Two Men

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of foolishness, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Darkness, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of despair, it was the winter of despair, we had nothing before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct the other way… Yes, I’m a plagiarist, with a twist. And no, my name’s not Oliver, nor would I like some more.

What do you do when you’ve written an article defending a serial rapist? Do you cower off into the wilderness, shrugging off all of humanity? Do you jump on with the zeitgeist and denounce the man you once defended? Do you parse words and engage in semantics like a run-of-the-mill politician in order to save face, as if the article was all about you? Do you get condescending and explain things plainly to plain people growing plainer by the day due to a decreasing amount of critical thinking skills in society at large?

No, I think it’s best if you do what I’m doing now, which is to reify the reality of the situation. Bill Cosby, like Bill Clinton, is an innocent man until proven guilty. Neither man accused of rape has been proven a rapist. Both men have been, I suspect, and as I suspected when I wrote the first article defending the former, horndogs for women. I also suppose that both men were especially horndogs for women during the decade when men were suddenly free to be horndogs for women, thanks largely to Quaaludes.

How does a Mormon boy know about Quaaludes? Easy. Government schooling. I sang that song about cocaine that all the kids had heard in the 70s. Some future-hippy chick brought her guitar to our elementary school and got us all singing along in the schoolyard. All I knew was that cocaine and ‘ludes (as they were called) were friggin’ awesome and frickin’ funny. We innocents were drug free but exposed to a drug-laden culture. That’s all any of us knew.

In the present epoch, an admission of buying and using Quaaludes for sex is all the proof our man-hating culture needs to convict and ruin what’s left of the life of America’s Dad. Quaaludes are no longer a schoolyard joke, a once-legal drug that was made illegal when people started enjoying it too much; now Quaaludes are one thing and one thing only: a date-rape drug that rapists use to rape.

What the ongoing witch hunt doesn’t want people to remember is that Quaaludes were popular with regular people back in the day for multiple reasons, one of which was sex. How popular? Well, remember my pledge to eternal doofosity when I tell you that I planned on spending however many hours it would take to research online and get concrete proof for the incredulous, when I happened to stumble on another doofus’s remarkable video. Doofus Law Section 4.4.33-9 paragraph 8 (dog-eared for ease of reference, and mind the dried chocolate cake over the word “opportune”) states quite clearly that when another doofus has made the point, the point is made, man:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. …Sorry. Back to the point.

Need more proof of what Quaaludes actually meant to flower children of the 70s? I didn’t think so. Apparently, when you ejaculate while high on Quaaludes, you feel like you’re on the moon. One giant leap for mankind, indeed.

Unfortunately, if you’re a moral leader, admitting to being a pill-popping pussy hound makes you a hypocrite. I imagine it is also humiliating. What if you’re a moral leader who remembers his horndog days with a tinge of regret? What if you took care of all of this in private with your long-suffering wife years ago? What if you indulged in parties at the Playboy Mansion and grew tired of it after a while because it was way too easy? What if in the midst of it all you discovered the love of Christ and repented?

Yet another Bill suffered the same fate. One Bill Bennett, the author of The Book of Virtues was outed to millions as being a gambler. The most embarrassing part of the revelations that I read about concerning Bennett was that they didn’t reveal a man going to the blackjack or craps tables, rubbing elbows with the guy sitting next to him; he was revealed to be just like those weird little old ladies you see in casinos each spending hours at one machine talking to no one, merely hitting the button as many times as their frail wrists can handle per second. He wasn’t just guilty of gambling, a no-no in our leftover Puritanical culture; he was guilty of the lonesome, can’t-help-himself sort of gambling, where his brain got an increasingly mild rush from clinking sounds and the occasional payout. It lends itself to the idea that he really didn’t want anyone else knowing about it. Neither of the latter Bills ever fully recovered his reputation from the revelations concerning his embarrassing private behavior, and neither will Cosby.

I wonder if Jared Fogle will recover his. You know the dude, that geeky-looking but determined individual who showed the world that you can lose the weight if you eat at Subway. He’s just had his home raided by the FBI who were looking for child pornography. Why are they doing so? Because apparently someone who worked with Fogle and to whom he was close was someone who peddled the stuff, and Fogle was once in his truck. (Perhaps the truck is made of Quaaludes?)

It doesn’t seem to matter that when he found out about his friend’s involvement with child pornography, Fogle disassociated himself from his former friend. It also doesn’t seem to matter that raids are performed on a regular basis that ultimately mean nothing. Everyone seems to forget that these sorts of embarrassing things are frequently the sorts of activities in which some government types participate merely for show.

We all know Fogle thanks to Subway. He’s a millionaire thanks to Subway. But because his home was raided and he associated with someone who indulged in child pornography, a mega-corporation (that I will never frequent again) publicly disassociates itself from Fogle, leaving him with his lonely millions and his long-suffering wife. Now, even if he’s found innocent, and thanks in part to Subway, the word “pervert” will trick neurons in every brain that bothers to be bothered by misandrist mass media whenever his name is mentioned.

So what does an online writer do when the culture lynches yet another black guy? What’s a boy to do when he stands by a white man whose home is raided by men with guns looking for perversion? Doofus Law Section 2A (you try navigating this damn book) states quite clearly that you should remind people that the former article and the present article are based on a principle that shines like a light in the darkness of human turmoil; an idea that, in the context of mankind’s intellectual evolution, illuminates the depths of every prison where innocent men have suffered immeasurably through the annals of civilization; a profundity on philosophical par with the abolitionist movement, The Enlightenment, The Industrial Revolution, The Age of Information, and the men’s movement: innocent until proven guilty.

I don’t say that these men are innocent because I know them. I certainly don’t say it because I’m omniscient. Their private lives haven’t been recorded, so truth-seekers everywhere are left with yet another uncomfortable truth: we cannot know and cannot tell. That is the meaning of innocence in that enlightened phrase. It is keenly tied to another wonderful idea that most people prize quite highly: privacy.

It is also sadly based on some discomforting knowledge that all humans share: that people lie. We lie for all sorts of stupid reasons. We lie out of fear. We lie to get gain. According to the book excerpt in this article, 1 in 25 of us is a sociopath, which, if true, makes many of us sadistic and opportunistic liars. We rationalize our lies. We sometimes cringe at our lies. Those of us who are not sociopaths can get ground down by our lying. Uncomfortable Truth No. 273 is that we cannot always tell when we’re being lied to. I’ve had honest-looking cops, judges, and car salesmen lie to me. I’ve had intimates lie to me. Hell, I’ve told a few.

So why do we bother? Jeez, that’s a question for the ages. I think when you answer that question you achieve Nirvana or something. Until then, practical philosophers like Thomas Jefferson remind us that the notion of remaining innocent until the accuser proves the accusation is sacrosanct. It does not mean that we write off the accuser as a liar until proof is manifest; it means we don’t know what we want to know and may never know. That means more emotional pain and mental suffering for us all.

I know what I don’t want, and it causes me pain. I don’t want the star of a show that I loved to be a rapist. I also don’t want these women to by lying or gravely mistaken in their retrospection, like the heroine of that wonderful story A Passage to India. Unfortunately, only one side of this public trial is right, and none of us knows.

That is why, like Whoopi Goldberg and Raven Simone, I stand by the accused, the same as why I stood by Anthony Weiner. As I pointed out in the article I wrote years ago about him, I don’t even like him. However, in standing by Cosby and Weiner I am standing by men in general, and against the disgusting rush to judgement, which will remain a pockmark on our culture even if Cosby turns out to be a serial rapist and Fogle a consumer of kiddie porn.

Nevertheless, if one or the other is guilty, you can expect the culture to do the superior dance of the victorious, even if it means disregarding the feelings of the victims, as they have done repeatedly right in front of Roman Polanski’s victim. Think about the nauseating debate over global warming. Or is it climate change? It depends on whether you’re blaming it for a blizzard or a tornado. In other words, it depends on your emotions. No one stops to think that if we have global warming/climate change, and if we have it because we’re pumping out too much carbon monoxide and dioxide, then global-climate-warming-change is also responsible for every single nice day we have. We hate the alleged phenomenon when Hurricane Sandy hits. We ignore it when the majority of days pass without deadly hurricanes. In short, we treat the idea the way we treat men.

As I’ve said in yet another previous article, we are governed almost entirely by our emotions. The emotionally-charged, politically-motivated thinkers that normally foment public witch hunts are not counting on your intellect. They want your viscera. Innocent until proven guilty, when you’re a woman who actually was raped and you can provide no evidence, sounds cold and cruel. A sanguine white knight, perhaps one like this Louisiana prosecutor who wants to kill more people, is just what you want. When you know a truth no one else knows and it hurts, how nice it would be to dispense with a principle that you want only when you or someone about whom you care have been falsely accused.

In a fit of passion, John Adams, the second president of America, passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Freedom, to Adams, was a fine thing for him when he had had enough of a Parliament thousands of miles across a treacherous ocean telling him what to do. Once he was in power, he did the very same thing. Jefferson came along and undid that doing.

Such a veto must have hurt Adams’s feelings. Whose emotions were more legitimate? We now have plenty of aliens living among us, and plenty of sedition; yet peaceful living goes on, with plenty of pleasant, sunny days. Jefferson and Adams remained friends for life and died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of their signing their names in virtual blood to a document that fed a cold, cruel reality to a King whose feelings were hurt by their words: Your Majesty, there are certain things you simply don’t do. One of these things is, or at least ought to be, leaving a man alone until there is evidence that numerous accusers have truly been wronged by him. Then Adams and Jefferson bound up their friendship, fought a war, and won.

How far we’ve devolved since then. In the movie version of A Passage to India, one Mr. Fielding stands by the falsely accused in flagrant and unashamed opposition to a community who rally behind the accuser. Against their ire and in the comfort of their race-segregated club, he proudly announces: “I shall await the verdict of the court. If he is found guilty, I shall resign from the college and leave India. I resign from the club now.” Almost as inspiring as Dickens: It was the suckiest of times, it was the suckiest of times…

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