The What Were You Thinking Generation: Bill In Context

Just about every generation can be called, the what were you thinking generation. This is a statement made in a ‘new rules’ segment from Bill Maher on his HBO show, Real Time. The 11th show of the 16th Season, ironically was filmed 2 weeks before the Bill Cosby ruling. Found guilty on three felony counts, and facing jailtime. We do not want to excuse his alleged behavior with the women who came forward. Nor do we want to suggest that all women who accuse men of these matters are lying.  Rape and Sexual assault are two of the trickiest topics in our society. We don’t want to tune out women who have been victims of assault. However, do we want to build a society where a woman’s word, if corrobarted with enough other women’s word, alone, can put someone in prison??

Thrity years from now, will we look back on the Bill Cosby trial and hear people ask just what were you thinking? Is this truly the path we want to be on, and is it … already too late? ABC Coverage of the Bill Cosby trial below… with more commentary to follow from Bill Maher.

Will people instead, question just what were you thinking in defending Bill Cosby? How come you didn’t just go along with what, the ‘jury’ decided happened? This of course is something that never happened for O.J. Simpson when he was found ‘not guilty’.  The Jury does not always get it right as we saw in the Rodney King trial, when the police were found ‘not guilty’. The general discussion around jury decisions seems to vary based on who the defendant is.

Let’s get into the Context: The what were you thinking Generation:

“There is no acknowledgement that he gave the quaalude to someone underage, or to a woman who wasn’t consenting,” Brafman told TIME. “Quaalude was the love drug of choice in those years. Doctors were lawfully prescribing it in those years.” – on Bill Cosby’s Quaaludes Admission.

Context matters – Bill Maher just went on that. In his New Rules Segment he mostly focused on old tv shows, to discuss ‘The What Were You Thinking Generation“.  This is very important, as the Bill Cosby show was on during those years. Also, as the article from Time discusses, using Quaaludes was the thing in the 70’s. Today, it’s probably Xanax. People have been mixing drugs with sex for years, and the fact that so many of these accusers did not go to the police immediately, creates the rift. Even Andrea Constand, the original accuser who settled for a few million dollars initially, waited a full year before her police report.

Bill Maher’s commentary here is pretty excellent.

Obama was against gay marriage until his second term but I don’t think we need to pretend he never existed. You can’t enjoy any music movies or TV from back when for any length of time before seeing something we just don’t do anymore. But aren’t we adult enough to separate what we like about an old movie from what we don’t? We can watch BIG (with Tom Hanks) as a movie about a kid who becomes an adult and not as a movie about a grown woman who a 12 year old.  The most the most beloved and wholesome act in history is the Beatles, but even they wrote “she was just 17 you know what I mean”; which today sounds a little Roy Moorish ….

This segment was from Two weeks ago, (early April), long before the verdict was reached on Cosby. So it’s, mighty ironic that this commentary fits ‘so well’ with this entire story.

“Getting better” which is what we have been doing. It’s all you can do. Because every generation could be called the what were you thinking generation. In the early 1900’s heroine was a children’s cough medicine. In the 50s amphetamines were sold to housewives as diet pills. We used to drive without seatbelts and drink while we were pregnant and litter
indiscriminately; just throw shit out the window! We smoked on airplanes. We would board and enclosed aluminum tube with old people and children and asthmatics and
light up a Chesterfield. We had pageants where we paraded women in swimsuits and judge them on their appearance… and … oh wait we still do that!  Yes and that’s the point … We’re never finished evolving…

Then He really starts to close it out strong.

I hate to break it to you but no matter how woke you think you are you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years. Beauty pageants, mass incarceration,
putting our parents and old-age homes, how we treat animals. One day your kids will grow up and ask you what’s Facebook and why were you on it all day??  What’s a reality TV star and how did one become president??? We can’t believe people and old movies smoked they won’t believe we put the cell phone in our pocket next to our nuts!

Maher slipped in a reference to how this nation tolerates the discrepancy in policing blacks from policing whites, aka mass incarceration. In far too many situations, for too many generations, this nation has found ways to put black men in prison.  This commentary on how society tolerates these injustices, alongside other questionably acceptable past times, is spot on. How we tend to treat our elderly, and one another in our society needs vast improvement.

I don’t feel that a shift towards convicting people on hearsay, alone, is an improvement.

As we have pointed out here, and will in a few more pieces, many of the reactions have been disappointing. (especially from Black women.) Far too many black women are simply going along with ‘white narratives’, and have been for too many centuries now. Unfortunately black women at large, do not want to be ‘blamed’ for the repercussions of their decisions. So there is that. 

About the whole “Jury of his Peers”, major props to Ebonee Benson – who spoke through the Media Spin/bias/bullshit that we often see.

After pointing out the actual testimony from the accusers including their love of big black men, the Media head decides that isn’t the time. “Do you really want to go there now?”

After discussing sexual acts on television for several years now, suddenly they don’t want to hear about sex.  They always want to be in Control.  The desire to control extends into who gets onto the jury panel, which always impacts decisions. When you put a person on the panel who isn’t interested in hearing facts, that is a problem. This is a major flaw in our legal system, as many people who would do right, don’t Want to serve jury duty.

“Since when are all people honest? Remember Emmet Till?” – Ebonee Benson

After the point, that this was a legal lynching was made, Media Head, George Stephanopoulos didn’t want to allow this point of view through. Were you thinking they would have that kind of talk on their airwaves?

As both spokes persons for Bill Cosby made their point, that the jury pool was tainted George went ‘away’ from that. When even better points were brought up as to the credibility of the accusers, George ‘again’ diverts back to the Jury having seen all that evidence. He cuts them off by suggesting that a jury looked at everything and decided he was guilty. Nevermind going into all that stuff about Jurors who already decided he was guilty before trial even began.  These thoughts of view cannot be openly expressed, if the media wants to stay in control.

The very act of asking someone, ‘just what were you thinking’, causes inner self reflection. We’ve become a society where that rarely happens with people.  The outlets that could facilitate in helping us reflect more often, actually want less reflection. Too much, might cut into their profits.

So when Phylicia Rashad goes on TV and tells you that this is ‘media orchestrated’, she is right.

You see the examples all around you, as only ‘one version’ of the story is accepted. It’s how they seek to control narratives, throughout society. But it works because the viewing, dumbed down masses, often play along. They too, don’t want to hear what this black man and black woman are saying. All they see, are two angry, upset, ‘dishonest‘ black people. The thought that the women accusing Bill Cosby of these things could be ‘dishonest‘, however, never crosses their minds ….

At least, that’s the story.