Bienvenue, 2018!

        It seems appropriate, after more than a year’s hiatus, to begin again at the start of the year. I’ll say “Hello” to a new year “Good Friggin’ Riddance” to 2017, please let the door hit you on the ass on your way out! There’s no fancy Latin title to start this year – this time it’s French. Heh!

        “Why French?”, you may ask. Because I have also put South Carolina in my rear-view mirror and moved to Vermont! As such, I am currently hip-deep (not quite) in this year’s wintry high jinks. I haven’t seen this much snow since I was in Japan more than 35-years ago. It’s been good, though, and I have no complaints – much.

ascutney-vermont.jpg

This is Mt Ascutney from my front yard

Ascutney Snow

Mt. Ascutney in the snow.

         I’ll get to the shortcomings and nonsense I see in the world eventually, it’s cathartic, you see, but for this installment of the Digression, I’ll touch on a few things here and there and, perhaps, address certain topics more completely at a later time. I suppose I’ll just lay into the belly of the beast and scatter the snowflakes of both left and right. Here it goes:

Politics

        After an election between two of the worst candidates imaginable, America elected a narcissistic idiot. All I can say is that we, both left and right, live in an age of government control; no, not the kind of government control you’re thinking about, but the kind of control that encourages people to think “we can elect any dumbass we want and it’ll be all right”. No matter how imbecilic Trump is or how flawed his policies are, someone in government will clean up his mess and kiss our boo-boos and make it all better. It just isn’t going to happen that way and you better get used to it. Actions have consequences and America fell for a snake oil salesman. Trump promised jobs he can’t get back. He’s promoted the worst people to his cabinet positions, likely by design. And he lies: about showing his tax returns (whether you think he should or not, he made that promise), about the shady characters in his staff, about voter fraud, about Obama’s citizenship, about state’s rights, and about the size of his inaugural crowd (as if that brag really meant anything at all); he lies about reality.

        I’m not going to pore over every stupid thing that Trump has said and done, but America, you elected this nincompoop, so you deserve the misery. You elected the supply-siders’ wet-dream candidate and every bad idea the Republican Party has ever had is now in danger of being passed because they have the numbers to ram it down everyone’s throat and a willing signatory in the White House. You’re not going to get jobs when there is no market (the only economic law that means anything is “supply-and-demand”) or when profits are at stake. You’re not going to get more affordable healthcare. You’re not going to be safer by building some ridiculous wall or treating immigration as would the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. There is a lot of frustration in America – and hate; Trump tapped into that and played his supporters like a fiddle. If you think there’s a Nero allusion there, it may be apt.

        Does anything about this strike anyone as strange that these guys, who are wealthy, who run multinational corporations whose concerns are only with the bottom line and their shareholders, who pay their executives obscene salaries, are saying that the tax system, under which they, themselves, became wealthy, is broken and needs to be fixed? I think “fixed” is the operative word here. Do statements like these that the Republicans continually trot out not smack of a con? I know you Trump supporters don’t like being called stupid but, as Bill Maher put so well, “you gotta meet me halfway and stop being so stupid.”

        The only silver lining I can see to this comes from Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special where he recounts the obscenity that was the Emmitt Till murder trial. Out of that injustice came civil rights legislation that was supported by people who demanded that this nation do better by all its citizens. Trump supporters probably think demanding this nation do better is exactly what they did, but they’d be wrong. What they did was give the affluent a tax break they don’t need or deserve, and this nation a leadership that does not respect science, facts, the Constitution, or the very electorate who voted for them. This nation has to do better than allow the self-interested greed of the wealthy and short-sightedness of those who oppose anything they deem smacks of liberalism or feminism to turn this country into just another failed empire that collapsed upon itself through its own inequity.

Language

        I am an unapologetic grammar nazi, as most of you who have dared traipse through my screeds can attest. It strikes me as astounding that people cannot grasp writing skills in a medium of communication that depends on clear, coherent, and readable thoughts and opinions. If anything, this state of laziness in writing has been so omnipresent in internet forums that it is being passed over, to the delight, I’m sure, of the “you know what I mean” crowd. Lazy is lazy and “you know what I mean” doesn’t change that one bit. “Comments aren’t a term paper,” you say? Maybe not, but if you think your opinion is correct, why not be just as correct with the way to communicate it? I’m not obliged to decipher your sloppiness and nothing you scrawl in a comment forum is going to be a revelation anyway. At the very least, make an attempt to want to not appear like you slept through school! If you can’t differentiate between you’re and your, or to, two, and two, or there and their, etc., I will skip over whatever you’ve written because I’m just not going to waste my time when you clearly didn’t give a shit. By the way, “etc” is the proper abbreviation – contrary to the way I’ve seen it written too many times – because it stands for “et cetera” not “ectcetera”! For those who don’t believe me, look it up in a dictionary (I’m certain that experience will be a new one for many of you!).

        But even more irritating is that the constant bombardment of buzzwords and stupid phrases through the media, social and otherwise, is affecting how people speak and write and how obvious it becomes that they aren’t even thinking about what they’re saying. Listen to any show on television with someone who’s trying to be up-beat or “positive” and you will invariably hear them use the word “super” as a hyperbolic modifier: “super-excited”, “super-trendy”, “super-jazzed” (I nearly threw up in my mouth with that last one), and on and on. Is it not enough to simply be “excited”? Why does it have to be SUPER-excited? Are the people in charge of these shows marketing to pre-adolescent girls who draw circles over their lower-case i’s instead of dots? Or maybe they think the collective intellect of the viewing audience is merely that of little girls? You can tell the people speaking haven’t put one second of thought into what flows out of their mouths; they have to maintain a “positive” image because so many of these shows or the topics they cover are just so much fluff. Thanks, 24-7 programming! I definitely have more gripes on this subject matter for future articles.

TL;DR

        This last part is about how the “troll mentality” that pervades every aspect of our lives now is ruining every aspect of our lives. The overarching lesson to be learned about the internet is that when people don’t want to admit they are mistaken, misinformed, or just backed the wrong side, in many instances, they will shut down any attempt to burst the little bubble in which their misconceptions live. I blame a lot of this on the “ratings and sensationalism is more important than truth” model, but a lot of it points back to simple laziness – again!

         If you’re locking into Fox News or MSNBC or NPR or Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones and not seeking to find information elsewhere to figure out if these guys aren’t just feeding you a line of bullshit, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you get dismissed. Just because someone has a “source” doesn’t mean that source is credible. The old standard in the newspaper business was to have three sources for a story. In this day and age of instant gratification and “breaking news”, that’s a hard standard to meet, but damn it, that’s the standard that needs to be met! Everybody in media today is so concerned about being “first” that speed to print or upload is primary and mistakes will be fixed later. That’s a great recipe for getting a reputation for being sloppy with the facts. The adage “speed kills” applies to reporting just as well as it does with idiot drivers. You go too fast and all you’ll do is drive right into a wall or over a cliff. A slower, more deliberate pace allows time for consideration and avoiding mistakes. Cooling off before responding? Proofreading? A dictionary? “Hot takes” are usually worthless, chatty opinions that serve as nothing more than programming filler. Reduce your fat intake; start with the garbage you feed your brain.

And Finally:

        I realize a lot a what I scribble is ranting or complaining about something, but there are a lot of things in this world that are beautiful and worthwhile and I don’t want to see them go away. What I complain about largely are the things I see us doing to ourselves for no reason or selfish reasons. We have developed into a society that pays lip-service to a lot of ills and balks at the notion of getting our own hands dirty. Instead of the wrong-headed griping about Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem, we get off our asses and actually address the problem of the way police do their jobs (because stop-and-frisk is fine so long as it’s happening to someone else, right?). Instead of translating female “empowerment” into unrealistic action movies and TV shows (I’m looking at you, The 100), we acknowledge that there are places where we all are rightfully and sensibly equal and places where creating a false narrative to supplant reality is… chaos. Just because you want something a certain way doesn’t mean it can be – or should be –  that way! As Joe Rogan once said about female MMA fighters to a guest, “They’ll fuck you up!”, which is fine if you aren’t trained to fight. But you pit a female fighter against a male fighter and reality will prevail. So things go in all areas in life. Some people, undoubtably, will say I’m being negative, but I say, if you want to call reality “negative”, why do you want to go through life with your mind so screwed up? “No limits” is just marketing fodder for those folks who have to have a buzzword to get off their asses. I don’t respect that kind of mentality, I pity it.

        More than anything, as I traverse the melange of the superficial that is the internet, I will occasionally see the phrase, “get off my lawn” as a response to something that comes off as complaining about the younger generation. It seems to me that complaining about millennials is sport for all generations, not just the older folks. But, really, the “get off my lawn” response is just more trolling from people who either aren’t serious or don’t want their opinions challenged. Just because a person is old (or older) doesn’t mean they don’t have a good thought or opinion – so long as they can back it up! A lack of willingness to listen to an opposing view is what I’ve been talking about in this article. Don’t dismiss things out-of-hand unless you know the FACTS! Believing is not knowing. Faith is not knowing. Only seeking facts until other possibilities are eliminated is knowing. This is how logic works, how science works, and how our government should work. So what’s wrong with this picture?

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Till We Meet Again

When I was younger, I called my mother “Momma”; I think all of us kids did at one time. 

Sandra Kay Tucker August 28, 1939 - October 26, 2016

Sandra Kay Tucker
August 28, 1939 – October 26, 2016

She was a compassionate person, a caring person, an encouraging person. As I grew up and explored my interests in writing and art and music, there wasn’t a story or poem she didn’t praise, a picture she didn’t appreciate, or a tune I played on my guitar that she didn’t enjoy – even if, in hindsight, it wasn’t that good.  She always had a good word for me.  She laughed at my jokes and told me how clever I was.  That doesn’t mean she was always pleased with my “cleverness”.

She helped make things possible and made tough choices for us, while, later, allowing me my own choices for she gave me the knowledge that my life’s choices were mine to make.  In contrast to that side of me that valued logic and seriousness, she was the part that said, “take a chance”.  She celebrated my successes and consoled me in my failures.  But in her eyes, there were no failures, my siblings and I were her children and she was proud of us all.  We are her legacy.

She was a dreamer, an indomitable spirit, a singer with a powerful voice, yet even among us children, we knew her in different ways, but that is how life works sometimes.  She had her own choices to make, as well.  To me, she was simply Momma, and without her guidance and understanding and patience…and love, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  She was what a mother should be and I could have asked for nothing more than the blessing she was.

A few days after I spoke these words – or a facsimile thereof – at her memorial, a poem came to me.  She was always fond of showing me the various shells she had collected when she went to the ocean.  I hope she would put this in her collection:

Seashell

I found a shell today
as I walked the beach
by the sea.
It glittered in the sand
as if to be seen
and I thought of you.

It had whirling patterns
etched in translucent white.
And it seemed to fold
into itself somehow
and I thought of you.

And I held it to the sun
and looked at how it was made;
and it seemed a mystery to me
alone, where it was laid.

And the salty water splashed
over the beach
by the sea.
And the places I had walked
were washed away
And I thought of you.

©2016 James Montgomery

Vikings Fan Here… Yep, I’ve Seen It Before

I guess I have to write something about the Vikings after all that’s gone on this week.  Even before Teddy Bridgewater had his freak accident (what else do you call a non-contact dislocation of the knee and a completely torn ACL?), sports pundits were either complaining about Teddy’s arm-strength or saying he needed to step up to “take it to the next level”.  Those who use that mindless phrase need to be put in a pit with the others who say “giving 110%” and be set on fire.  Just ignorant, empty phraseology which belongs in my JockSpeak™ listing.  Let me say this about sports pundits and sports writers, in general: I respect Joe Posnanski because he writes well-researched and thoughtful

Yes, I have a Huddles Vikings doll…

Yes, I have a Huddles Vikings doll…

stories; the others are seldom worth the time to read and certainly no smarter than any meathead at your local sports bar.  In fact, your local meathead probably gets his defective sports thoughts from the national punditry or *gasp* ESPN.  I’m not even going to dissemble on the Twitter-rific train wreck that is CBSsports.com.

Getting back to the Vikings, I go back to the Purple People Eater days and remember those years between Joe Kapp and the return of Fran Tarkenton.  In 1970, the Vikings went 12-2, just as they did in the Super Bowl IV season, the year before, and they went 11-3 the year after, in 1971.  Their quarterback? the committee of none other than the inimitable Gary Cuozzo and Bob Lee, with Norm Snead jumping in later.  They made the playoffs both years and ran into some bad luck against the Cowboys and 49ers, respectively.  The point is this: neither Vikings team had what anyone would call a bonafide starting quarterback and they certainly did not have a dominant running game in an age where run-first was de rigueur for the NFL – especially at the Met.  What the Vikings had was a dominant defense (just like now) and a great coach in the person of Bud Grant (now they have Mike Zimmer).  The Vikings are going to be just fine with Shaun Hill.  He is a competent quarterback who can run the offense – with Adrian Peterson! – and make smart decisions.  Bridgewater is the future of the franchise, Hill is the quarterback for times such as these.  The entire Vikings team has to win, not just the quarterback, and I hope they do, just to shut up some of these idiot pundits.

*Of course, the Vikings do it to me again and, while I’m writing, they go out and deal for Sam Bradford.  It’s not a bad trade, but for a first round, in 2017, and fourth round, in 2018, with the potential to move up, I would have liked to have seen a player who is significantly better than Hill.  Yet, this still doesn’t change my feelings on the potential for the Vikings this year; you still have to play the games!

Accepting the System

I’ve played plenty of online games (as have most people who have computers).  I find it strange that we play games that offer different levels of “difficulty” and we don’t think twice about it.  Solitaire is the game that got me thinking about this.  Solitaire is Solitaire – 52 cards, win by stacking in numerical order by suit, everybody knows the game.  So how, exactly, does a computer game add difficulty levels to such a simple game?  Whether you play with a 3-card draw or a one-card draw, it’s 52 cards.  The answer is that the computer program alters the probability numbers – in other words, the games are rigged – and we seem just fine with that.  There is no such thing as a more difficult game of Solitaire than another without an overt change in the rules.  But that’s not what’s happening here; this is a deliberate alteration to make a game unfair and call that “difficult”.

This is what we’ve come to accept in today’s world as the norm.  How many of us actually understand what goes on in the computer world where we can say that our online transactions are safe?  More and more, we put our financial lives and our personal privacy at stake through online activity and we trust nameless and faceless entities to protect us, never knowing that they may be the first link in a long line of betrayal – and we wouldn’t know the difference.   It’s not so unlike the games: we don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t seem to want to be bothered with demanding better.  Have we become so collectively incurious that positing the questions concerning corruption or legal parlor tricks is asking more of ourselves than will ever happen?  After Assange and Snowden how do we know that anything has really changed… because somebody said it did?

How many other systems do we take for granted and just accept?  How many are rigged against us?  Is it too late to fix it?

Confessions

I took a hiatus from writing on this blog, not because I am tired of writing nonsense, but I am getting very tired of writing about nonsense; unfortunately, there is plenty of that to write about.  The stream of stupidity from the Republican “adults” seems endless and it just isn’t worth the effort to talk about while those who are getting paid to do it (Jon Stewart, et al) are doing a rather clever job with it.  But while we have a major reckoning with the Confederate flag (again), it’s time for a little truth-telling – about the flag and about myself.  I’ll tell on myself first.

There was a time, when I was in my early twenties, that I wore a Confederate flag on a jacket that I frequently wore.  I didn’t wear it because of any racial animosity or anything other than as a “Southern” thing from someone who grew up in Alabama.  There truly was no more thinking into it than that, that is to say, there was no real thinking going on about that flag at all.  I was finally forced into thinking about it one night as a black man I worked with, a Marine who went by the name of “Slash”, asked me about it.

“Montgomery, you’re a really good guy and I just can’t figure out why you wear that damn Confederate flag patch.”

“Well,” came the feeble reply, “I’m from Alabama, you know, I grew up in the South.”  Yes, it rings just as stupid and hollow in my ears today as it likely reads for you.

“Well, so am I! I’m from Alabama, too!”

If I had a reply to that, I don’t recall what it was.  What I do remember is Slash saying something along the lines of “think about it”.  I did.  That night, after coming to some conclusions about the flag, I took that patch off and refused to make any rationalizations about it since.

The rationalizations that surround the Confederate flag have to do with “heritage”.  Well, that’s all well and good if you’re a white Southerner who doesn’t think that holding slaves in a country that made the pretense to freedom and liberty is hypocritical.  If you happened to be a descendant of those who suffered under such a myopic society, your views of such a heritage might feel a bit differently.  Regardless, the flag has nothing to do with “heritage”, it is straight up bigotry.  The Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups didn’t adopt the Confederate battle flag by accident – they know what it means and what kind of a culture supported its cause.

Honoring one’s ancestors has a curious quality about it: those who are ostensibly being “honored” don’t know anyone is doing it; they’re dead.  Ultimately, the recognition is on display for the living to view.  What must be “honored” is the act of defending one’s home against the invaders.  Well, why were the invaders invading?  Could it be that the Confederacy declared war on the United States and fired the first shot of the war?  They did this in the name of secession, something the U.S. Constitution did not expressly give them the ability to do.  Then the defenders of flag and heritage will have to begin to lie so to perform the mental gymnastics inherent in defending the flag while disassociating it from the cause of the war.  They will tell you that the war was not about slavery, and maybe they are correct in a very technical sense – the war was for secession– but all paths lead to the driver of the economic engine of the agrarian South: slavery.  One only needs to look at the articles of secession issued by various states and the Confederate Constitution, where the rights of slaveholders were declared and protected, to see the lie.  There is no doubt that the South feared the loss of slavery and viewed secession as the remedy to maintain the institution.  There are no lies to tell, no diversions to employ, that can undo this truth.

Yet, there will be those who will continue to try to hide the truth.  I can only hope that a portion of those will have a similar experience as I did and stop and think about what that flag really means.  Maybe that portion aren’t really bigots, they’re just, as was true for me, unthinking.  I had the courage to admit my mistake and I changed.  Change is coming and it is good.

The Force Binds the Universe Together … and Goes to Sleep?

I let the dust settle a bit on the teaser trailer for Star Wars – The Force Awakens that had fanboys and haters all geeked out over the weekend. I have watched the offering from the new Sith Lord of the Star Wars Universe and, as you might expect, if you read my previous thoughts on J.J. Abrams’ misuse of lens flares, I was going to be hard to impress. I was and still am. J.J. has his work cut out for him if this trailer is a sample of things to come.

Star Wars means more to me as a movie fan. I was never much of a Star Trek fan because Shatner’s overacting was obvious even to my kidself and Kirk was too much of an asshole that even Spock’s ears couldn’t save it for me – but I did like the phaser beams. (Maybe the effects are what today’s filmmakers are taking from their childhood memories). But Star Wars had a different feel to it. The universe of Luke Skywalker and company wasn’t antiseptic the way Star Trek seemed to be: the ships were dirty, the people seemed to be more than character cut-outs (although the stormtroopers could vie with the red shirts as to who were more useless and expendable), and the world just seemed to be more than a Hollywood casting call for stuntpeople and actors in hokey makeup. Star Trek, in all its incarnations started off as “exploring new worlds” and eventually devolved into some form of militaristic crapola while Star Wars made no such pretensions.

But the thing that made Star Wars such a financial success was ultimately the siren’s song of Lucas’ undoing: merchandising. It became rather apparent during the Return of the Jedi days that some things (cough, cough, Ewoks, cough, cough) existed only as things to be merchandised because they sucked as story elements. Star Wars has always been susceptible to the putting in “fanboy-cool” things that are really bad ideas, AT-AT’s, for example. As “cool” as the sheer size and threatening nature of those things may be, if you can fly, why would you design something so ridiculously inept? The Star Wars franchise has a lot of this type of faulty thinking running throughout it and I shudder to think what horrors are to come because of “cool” and merchandising.

The funny thing is that a fan video was put out that fooled some media outlets into believing it was the real release. After seeing the real thing, the similarities are a bit disconcerting. Maybe there have been too many productions, such as Troops, focusing on the stormtroopers in a Cops parody, that are made with enough professionalism in shooting and editing that someone can wade through the myriad of material available and cobble together a respectable fake because the real release looks like a fan film! The moment John Boyega popped up into frame, the feeling of yuk hit me because it looked amateurish, unpolished. And then there was Daisy Ridley riding what looked like a part from an old television set with an ability to suspend and propel itself even more improbable than Luke’s landspeeder or the pod racers. I won’t even comment on the rolling ball thing. A lightsaber springs to life in the dark – with a laser handguard? Folks who are deeply into Stars Wars lore probably have a name for these devices, but I have one, too: crap.

I did like the shot of the X-Wings flying over the water just to capture the sense of speed, but overall, the thing could have been spliced together from previous films and video game cut-scenes and held up just as well. Of course, in an obvious attempt to utilize the 3-D technology, the Millennium Falcon spins and whirls through the air because who can make a movie nowadays without bilking the public through the eyesore of 3-D? Afterwards, a couple of TIE fighters narrowly miss the Falcon and take a few shots which begs the question, if the TIE fighters were gunning for the Falcon anyway, why weren’t they shooting at it when it was helpless in its ridiculous aerobatics demonstration? Ah, but there I go infusing some sense into the discussion.

I guess the point of all this is that, sure, the teaser “teased” people and the hype builds – just as it did with the prequels. We don’t need to go through that again!

There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?
The dark side…  and the light.

Even for a trailer, that’s pretty stinky writing.  I’m not looking for more of the original, I just want something good and a hell of a lot better than the prequels!

And then there are the lens flares… oh, god… the lens flares…

Heyba, Mamby, Who Be Raybbin?

You’re travelling through social media, a dimension of insinuation, of gossip, of unprovable nonsense; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of agendas and biases and a willingness to accept things at face value. At the allegations up ahead, you’ve entered The Prattling Zone.

Some random stand-up comic said something about Bill Cosby and the internet blew up.  Yep, Bill Cosby. The Coz. Fat Albert. The black-youth-need-to-get-off-their-asses man. Shall we add “Serial Rapist” to his resumé? With thirteen (and counting) women coming forward to tell similar sordid tales of roofies, and ‘ludes, and unwanted advances, The Court of Public Opinion™ is having a field day while the Department of Due Process and Innocent Until Proven Guilty™ is struggling under the weight of circumstantial evidence that will never be tried in real court. What is one, who cannot escape the inescapable news feeds, to do except see this for what it is? And what is it? Empty.

My wife thinks I’m victim-shaming or “-blaming” or some other type of “-aming”, but that’s not it at all. I fully realize that slipping a woman a mickey to get into her pants is not the thing to do and to downplay that is inexcusable; I mean, duh! But at what point are we allowed to demand that people take responsibility for their own actions? It’s not like Cosby was accused of slipping something into a drink in every instance, some of the women say that they were handed the pills and told to take them. Why did they? A bad decision is a bad decision, whether you are star-struck or not. And some of these women continued to associate with Cosby after the incidents they describe as “rape”. (If you want a blow-by-blow account of their accusations, this is not the venue for that.)  It’s not that I don’t believe their stories, it’s just that taking into account the entire relationship with some of these women makes their accusations harder to accept… and after more than thirty years. I’m sorry, I just like things to make better sense than what I see here.

For one woman, money was enough, as there was a civil case brought against Cosby which was settled out of court and, also, in which many of these same women were prepared to testify but never got the chance. If they were ready to testify, why didn’t they strike when the iron was hot? The rationale of “no one would have believed me” or “it was harder for women then” may have some merit, but at some point, those wear thin especially in light that Cosby had just settled a case and there was a potential line-up ready to hit him with suits again and again. Yet, only when one woman broke her silence more than thirty years later did they come forth. It didn’t have to be this way and that’s what frustrates me about the way they handled this violation of their persons.  All because some random stand-up comic said something and a video went viral.

Is this a catharsis for them? In most cases, very likely. I can’t say that I even have the mechanism to relate.  But what is the difference when many people today won’t believe them or suspect their motives from when it was “harder for women” at the time of the assaults? The very fact that they waited in silence for so many years hurts their case as much as anything Cosby could say in rebuttal – if he was saying much at all. He’s all lawyered up and this will all come to nothing. Perhaps that is the most aggravating thing of all.

I like justice. I like to know that when someone has been victimized, their offenders will be brought to justice and properly punished. That’s not going to happen here. Whether the stories of the women are true or not will never be tested; the statute of limitations has run out. What does that say about our system of justice? If this crime happened, isn’t it in the interest of society that the facts of this are examined rather than put them to an arbitrary timetable that an offender only has to wait out? Yet the crime of rape can be dismissed after a certain length of time even if the mental scars will survive a lifetime. Where is justice?

I suppose an argument can be made that there is no evidence, so any type of trial will have little more value than the decrees already handed down with impunity from the self-appointed and faceless arbiters of guilt and innocence who, of course, can see these things more clearly from their vantage point on the internet than those folk from the Department of Due Process. But there are more sins to go around than just the ones’ Mr. Cosby committed – allegedly (Gah, I hate that.) What other sins, you may ask? Why, the women who were violated didn’t speak up, so they allowed this predator to continue to do what he was doing and the only means for warning off potential victims was the comedy circuit grapevine. That worked really well, didn’t it? Some, doubtless, felt intimidated to say anything against a celebrity, but some were also thinking of their careers in their silence. Yes, maybe they were raped, but their inaction assured that others were in danger, as well. Courage thirty years after the fact doesn’t look much like courage to me.

I have no particular regard for Cosby; I didn’t watch his show and his comedy is definitely a take-it-or-leave-it proposition for me. The Fat Albert cartoon was pretty unwatchable and the Jell-O commercials were just a dirty joke waiting to happen. I am not defending him, but I am defending the idea that an accusation has to carry the burden of proof and a mob of voices speaking in concert is not proof. Because with every subsequent woman who comes out against Cosby is another who said nothing and did nothing when action would have meant a hell of a lot more. What can possibly happen as a result of all this? I want more than internet noise. I want proof and there is nothing. I want justice for victimized women and there is nothing. I want a justice system that says a crime is a crime and the passage of time does not change that. Short of a miracle or a crisis of conscience, all the angst will amount to little more than yet another empty media event… and some random stand-up comic got his 15 minutes of fame.