Damien on… Bill Cosby
These days, Bill is in the news a LOT. But while I occasionally glance through what has been said, I find ZILCH about something that is CENTRAL to the issue – the way things WERE during the times his “offences” took place.
Of course, there are those who would say that wrongdoing is wrong, no matter WHEN it was done.
But this is horse-feathers. The list of deeds done by famous people in the past which would horrify today, but which were fine at the time, is INFINITE. Sex with teens, slave-trading, bootlegging and umpteen war-crimes for a start.
And Bill’s appear to be that he had sex with girls – and gave at least some of them Quaaludes.
However back in the late Sixties and early Seventies, the use of this relaxant (sold as Mandrax in the UK) was COMMONPLACE.
Indeed, the drug only started getting clamped down on in the middle Seventies, finally becoming illegal in the early Eighties – although its underground manufacture continued, until it faded from the scene in the early Nineties.
And when Bill was “in his prime” so was “Free Love” – man. Oh yes, “ludes” and “mandies” were a MAJOR part of the Hippie scene.
The reason WHY is easy to understand if you were THERE (as this writer was). You see, during those late Sixties and early Seventies, everywhere young girls looked, they were told they were part of the New/Now/Next/Me Generation – and the Sexual Revolution.
Movies and TV were PLASTERED with images of Free Love.
Thus the peer-pressure on these girls to dive into this new society was immense. The problem was, most of them had been brought up by parents who were part of the FIFTIES generation – easily the most REPRESSIVE period of the Twentieth Century.
And as a result, these late Sixties and early Seventies “chicks” found themselves ACHING to let go – but held back by their upbringing.
So at this time, many would ASK their dates if they had Quaaludes, which they then took EAGERLY. They did not have to be RUFIED.
Quaaludes were like condoms; all guys who considered themselves to be “players” HAD them.
Also, after more than a decade of “control” The Pill became far easier to obtain during this period – no questions, no age limit.
Plus AIDS was years away and the latest generation of antibiotics could take care of most other STDs.
And so it was that the late Sixties and early Seventies became for many a modern Sodom And Gomorrah, the only RULES imposed by the party-goers.
But all parties have to come to an end – and then come the regrets.
And with the passage of time – and a whole new set of STANDARDS in place – it is understandable how today, some of those now-grown-up WOMEN might view the things they did back then.
Of course, most would prefer to FORGET their drug-fuelled excesses and put those days behind them. A dodgy shag is just that – let it go.
But if your memories include an encounter with a CELEBRITY…
Which is where Bill comes in.
His alleged exploits began in 1965 – the year his TV career took off with “I Spy” – and apparently ran right through to 2008. But then, old habits and attitudes die hard.
He is clearly a product of an ERA.
Now although I was there during the period, I was obviously not there when Cosby was – or was not – partaking of the opportunities presented by the climate of that time. So I do not KNOW whether he is a VILLAIN – or just UNLUCKY to have been caught up in a mess.
I am merely trying to throw some light and texture onto a scene that young people today cannot possibly understand, attributing coeval standards to a period that passed by before they were even BORN.
And I am betting that MANY OTHER celebrities have packed go-bags for the time when THEIR past “misdeeds” catch up with them.
In the meantime, here IS Bill Cosby, doing standup – IN 1965…