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Old 01-27-2020, 10:49 AM
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How should Bill Cosby be remembered?


Bill Cosby has not died, but another recent celebrity death brought to mind the fact that Bill Cosby is 82 years old and may not be with us for many more years.

How should he be remembered when he dies?

Last edited by Cardigan; 01-27-2020 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:51 AM
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As a rapist, obviously.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:52 AM
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It's like there are two Bill Cosbys: the one we "knew" before the revelations about his behavior came out, and the one after. I don't think either one should be forgotten.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:55 AM
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Comedian, who was mostly soft-edged (i.e. bland) but did somewhat expand opportunities for African-American actors, and a serial rapist. Maybe put rapist first.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:02 AM
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Predatory serial rapist abusing icon level, celebrity and influence to evade detection for decades.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:07 AM
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Yeah, he can't escape his conviction. It will forever overshadow his comedic talent. As Thudlow said, there are two Bill Cosbys. I'd love to remember only the Cos that made me laugh my ass off with his stories of Fat Albert and his brother Russell, but I can't.

Last edited by cochrane; 01-27-2020 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:10 AM
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For I Spy, being a funny guy (right!), Noah (ping!), Jello pudding, Fat Albert, the Cosby Show, The Brown Hornet, The Bill Cosby Show.

You people sure are hard core judgemental.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:12 AM
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Sleepily?
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:15 AM
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Comedian, who was mostly soft-edged (i.e. bland)
There are two types of comedian, those who tell jokes (Take my wife, please!) and those who tell stories (I want you to build me an ark, Noah.) plus of course, those who can blend the two. I don't find a well-told story bland. Not all can be Mort Sahl.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:15 AM
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As a cautionary tale about the subversive power of celebrity. On several levels.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:25 AM
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If he hadn't been revealed as a rapist, his signature achievement was a smug sitcom that inspired a backlash of anti-Cosby sitcoms, including Married With Children, Roseanne and The Simpsons. He was a pioneering black TV star in the 1960s (I Spy and The Bill Cosby Show). In an era of black comedy "party records," he made some that also appealed to children and white audiences. He was eclipsed pretty quickly by Richard Pryor in the 70s and Eddie Murphy in the 80s. His peers were the guys he hung out with at the Playboy Mansion, like OJ Simpson (who murdered his wife) and Robert Wagner (who might have murdered his, too). Yeah, I think the rapes would have inevitably have come out one way or another.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:38 AM
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A very funny rapist.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:50 AM
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As a cautionary tale about the subversive power of celebrity. On several levels.
You think it was celebrity that made him a rapist?
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:53 AM
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A very funny rapist.
Why not a very rapey comedian?
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:54 AM
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Should? A convicted rapist.
Will be? No clue.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:56 AM
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As a rapist who was also a successful comedian and TV actor Same way I remember OJ: a double murderer who played professional football and acted.

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:56 AM
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A very funny rapist.


Every answer I try to put together for the OP keeps boiling down to that. At least his victims eventually got to confront him, got to see the effective end of his career, and got to see him behind bars. He is tasting at least some measure of justice. Not all recently deceased celebrities were held to such account.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:00 PM
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You people sure are hard core judgemental.
About serial rape? Yeah, I think that warrants a certain amount of judgementalism.

I don't see anybody arguing that, for example, the late Jeffrey Epstein ought to be remembered only for his notable acts of philanthropy, or the not-yet-late OJ Simpson only as a great football player. Why should Cosby's history be artificially sanitized, any more than theirs?
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:05 PM
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All of the above?

I mean, it’s possible to acknowledge his cultural impact while also acknowledging his criminal behavior, right?
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:07 PM
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You think it was celebrity that made him a rapist?
Being a celebrity did not make him a rapist. Being a celebrity certainly gave him access to victims and helped him get away with it for decades.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:08 PM
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Anita Bryant was a good singer, but I'll always remember her as an overly religious homophobe nutjob.

AND I wish she (and OJ) would disappear.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:55 PM
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About serial rape? Yeah, I think that warrants a certain amount of judgementalism.

I don't see anybody arguing that, for example, the late Jeffrey Epstein ought to be remembered only for his notable acts of philanthropy, or the not-yet-late OJ Simpson only as a great football player. Why should Cosby's history be artificially sanitized, any more than theirs?
But yet, that other celebrity, that did just died, no one cares about his rape allegations. The arrest, the out of court settlement, the admission that it "might not have been consensual" - all forgotten. People are just crying and acting like the greatest persons that ever lived died.

The Los Angeles Times' Robin Abcarian said in an essay in 2018, about Kobe and Weinstein and Polanski and #Metoo, "Why are the sexual misdeeds of some men forgivable, while others are not?" This thread proves it's still true.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 01-27-2020 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:02 PM
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There was ONE rape allegation against Kobe Bryant. Repeat: ONE.

OTOH, more than 60 women have accused him of either attempted sexual assault, rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, or sexual misconduct, all of which he has denied, and the statute of limitations had by the mid-2010s expired in nearly all cases. Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to three to ten years in prison in September 2018,

Get your facts right.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 01-27-2020 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:13 PM
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You think it was celebrity that made him a rapist?
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
Being a celebrity did not make him a rapist. Being a celebrity certainly gave him access to victims and helped him get away with it for decades.


Yes, this. It didn't make him a rapist, it made him a depressingly successful rapist. So successful that even now we have people defending him.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:17 PM
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You people sure are hard core judgemental.
How about, "funniest rapist in recent memory", any better?
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:20 PM
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I would never have thought in the 1990's that Mike Tyson would be rehabilitated in the public eye. A convicted rapist, wife beater, hooker thrasher and part-time cannibal and all-round nut case.
And yet here we are.

How Cosby is remembered even 20-35 years from now is basically unknowable.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:26 PM
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In random order:

Comedian who might’ve been funny in the ‘60s. Any humor he had then or subsequently has been so irrevocably tainted as to make it a moot point as to whether he was ever truly funny.

TV icon whose TV persona was believed by millions of gullible people to accurately reflect his true personality.

Owner – for less than one day – of a Cobra 427 Super Snake (one of two ever made), which he returned to Carroll Shelby because it was too much car for him.
https://www.musclecarfan.com/true-st...e-super-snake/

Serial rapist.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:27 PM
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But yet, that other celebrity, that did just died, no one cares about his rape allegations. The arrest, the out of court settlement, the admission that it "might not have been consensual" - all forgotten.
That's overstating things IMHO. I'm seeing plenty of people bring it up.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:36 PM
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You people sure are hard core judgemental.
This has got to be satire.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:47 PM
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Not at all.

Let him fall through the cracks into obscurity never to be brought up again outside of a few future scholars researching forgotten figures in mass culture.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:50 PM
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There was ONE rape allegation against Kobe Bryant. Repeat: ONE.

....

Get your facts right.
Oh, well, that's OK I guess. Only ONE. I'm sure the victim feels much better. He only raped one woman. Easy to forgive.

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This has got to be satire.
Just stating the obvious,
  #32  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:51 PM
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I would never have thought in the 1990's that Mike Tyson would be rehabilitated in the public eye. A convicted rapist, wife beater, hooker thrasher and part-time cannibal and all-round nut case.
And yet here we are.

How Cosby is remembered even 20-35 years from now is basically unknowable.
And don't get me started on Michael Vick.

Anyway, my reply to the thread title? Not at all.
  #33  
Old 01-27-2020, 02:05 PM
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I hope we will remember him as a rapist who died in prison.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:25 PM
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Could he be remembered like Fatty Arbuckle? I think he is more remembered for the bad stuff than his career.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:36 PM
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Could he be remembered like Fatty Arbuckle? I think he is more remembered for the bad stuff than his career.
Except it's likely that Fatty Arbuckle was innocent of the particular charges he was prosecuted for.

I don't know about anyone else, but I personally am not "mourning" Kobe Bryant, being largely uninterested in his field of specialty, and when I heard the news of his death, the first thought that came to my mind was the rape accusation.


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You people sure are hard core judgemental.
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This has got to be satire.
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Just stating the obvious,
It's not obvious to me what exactly you're trying to say. Do you think that Cosby's dozens and dozens of acts of sexual assault and rape are unmemorable?
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  #36  
Old 01-27-2020, 02:44 PM
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Oh, well, that's OK I guess. Only ONE. I'm sure the victim feels much better. He only raped one woman. Easy to forgive.
You are the one telling everyone in the thread that they are judgemental for calling Cosby a rapist, despite his 60+ rape accusations and having been convicted of rape.

It is inconsistent then for you to care that Bryant got a single rape accusation which was rescinded. By your logic, calling him a rapist would be even more "judgmental."

Of course, there is nothing judgmental about calling Cosby a rapist. Not only were there multiple victims, but he was convicted on a court of law and is in prison for rape.

As for Bryant, the point is that this single case is not nearly as clear. The case was dropped. The story itself was messy, where consent was given and sex occurred, but then consent was withdrawn. It is perfectly possible that Bryant did not understand that consent was withdrawn, as he claimed. The lack of any other victims does suggest it was a misunderstanding.

We know with 100% certainty that Bill Cosby was a serial rapist. We do not for sure know Kobe Bryant was a rapist. There is no inconsistency on the other side. Only on yours.
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Last edited by BigT; 01-27-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:00 PM
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There are also a huge number of Kobe fans who were at most kids when his scandal broke. It's essentially in the past for them. The fact of the matter is, he was able to shake it off.

There will not be a comeback for Cosby. He's going to prison. Is he gets out before he dies, he's not going to get back on TV or go on tour.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:04 PM
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Rapist. No contest.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:04 PM
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Bill Cosby was one of the best and most important Comedians of the 20th century and would be remembered for the influence he had on almost every comedian after 1970 and the door he opened for all sorts of African American entertainers as well as the tremendous amount of money he poured into philanthropy and making sure African American students had access to higher education regardless of financial means. He made a huge positive impact on the world.

He was also a serial rapist, and that's how he will actually be remembered, and how he should be. The serial rape pretty much wipes out the good in his legacy.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:20 PM
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Well, the serial rape and one good comedy skit (Eddie Murphy in Raw, not Bill Cosby himself)
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:27 PM
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Well, the serial rape and one good comedy skit (Eddie Murphy in Raw, not Bill Cosby himself)


Eddie's recent reprise is pretty good, and also appropriate to this thread:

Quote:
“If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet,” Murphy joked
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:29 PM
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I will remember him in the same way as a bad piece of pork that caused me to get sick from food poisoning. I will remember him as someone who acted with malice aforethought.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:39 PM
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When I talking with my mom the other day I mentioned the recent Isaac Asimov serial groping kerfuffle, and how I now need to ditch my collection of Isaac Asimov science essays.

She then told me how when the Bill Cosby thing broke loose, she had to purge her collection of Bill Cosby standup comedy records from the 70s--she tossed right out into the dumpster.

I guess creepy sex offender trumps amazing talent, at least in my little world. And that's a good thing.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:49 PM
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You think it was celebrity that made him a rapist?
No, but it enabled him to easily be one.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:52 PM
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Y

We know with 100% certainty that Bill Cosby was a serial rapist. We do not for sure know Kobe Bryant was a rapist. There is no inconsistency on the other side. Only on yours.
I'm not inconsistent - I dislike them both. I also hate Roman Polanski, but two of the three have more than a few defenders on this board, and many more in real life.

I dislike how celebrity allows so many to escape any consequences of their actions. They either buy off justice or just ride their celebrity to an acquittal. They never lose their jobs, their endorsements, their fans. So to see everyone ganging up on Cosby like he's somehow different from all the other celebrity rapists, abusers, and outright murderers that get excused here and in real life every day is galling. They're ALL bad, equally. So let's stop pretending Polanski was just misunderstood, and give him an Oscar, and that Ray Lewis deserved to keep his job and as long as he got his team a superbowl anything he does is A-OK.

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There are also a huge number of Kobe fans who were at most kids when his scandal broke. It's essentially in the past for them. The fact of the matter is, he was able to shake it off.
Is this supposed to be a good thing? He "shook off" raping a woman, and kept his career? Whoo hoo for being famous.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 01-27-2020 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:58 PM
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Is this supposed to be a good thing? He "shook off" raping a woman, and kept his career? Whoo hoo for being famous.
Where did I say it was a good thing? Where did Annie say it was good that he only had one allegation against him?

Last edited by enalzi; 01-27-2020 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:08 PM
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Could he be remembered like Fatty Arbuckle? I think he is more remembered for the bad stuff than his career.
Fatty Arbuckle was cleared of all charges (not just judged "not guilty" - the jury wrote a letter apologizing for the trial)
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:10 PM
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If my previous post seems overly harsh, I suggest you view the excellent documentary about Cosby and all the women he raped (and there were a huge number of them)

Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Hero

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6982858

Then, I suggest you consider that when a man rapes a woman, that pretty much destroys the rest of her life. She lives every day with the anguish and terror of that event. When you consider that and then consider the huge number of women he raped, I hope my opinion will seem to make sense to you.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:28 PM
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Even if he wasn’t a convicted rapist I don’t think appreciation of his work would have out-survived the generations that would otherwise have looked back in nostalgia. None of his material ages well. The funniest bit on his comedy albums was about child abuse and Saturday Morning TV and 80s sitcoms in general age badly.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:38 PM
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You think it was celebrity that made him a rapist?
Without the power and hubris of celebrity would he still have raped? I wish I knew.
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