Cosby Sentenced to 3-10 Years (On Art/Artist vs. the Receivers of Art)
The Disgraced Comedian Will be Behind Bars by the End of the Day
9/25/18, 4:36 pm EDT (edited 9/26/18 2:58 pm EDT)
“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,”
Those were the words of Judge Steven O’Neill of Norristown, PA after Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison for his 2004 assault of Andrea Constand, While it’s still in the air whether Cosby will appeal the conviction (he likely will), if the conviction stands, the one-eyed-shit-monster from shittiest-people-in-history land will serve at least 3 years.
Outside of logistics, the Cosby revelations of the past few years will likely take years, if not decades, to truly hit on a subconscious, mainstream scale. I say this in reference to facts beyond the obvious ones surrounding the #MeToo movement, and the fact that Cosby is the first major celebrity to be indicted since the movement began about a year ago. This is obviously a good thing, and I do not want to take any credence away from the importance of the event in that regard (I’ve had friends and family personally involved in it), only to point to a fact that I don’t see many others talking about. If you would like to hear about how simply great of an event this is, I am with you, and have found help here, here and here.
I remember attending Temple University in ‘09 and seeing multiple references to Cosby’s alumni there alluding to the fact that, regardless of the fact that obviously the man Bill Cosby was a piece of shit, his work had, however unfortunately, quite some influence on pop culture. We can argue over the morals behind admitting this, and to so indeed brings up one of the most important debates we should be having right now, but aren’t (telling those damn republicans/democrats how TERRIBLE they are is FAR more important): as far as human perception is concerned, which comes first: the art/the artist or the person receiving the art/potentially infinitely influencing all past/future art.
I would argue that it’s the former, but only for reasons assuming Absolute free-will as a possibility.
A little back-story: since the days of Plato (if you’re into it, Plato’s Parmenides has a lot to do with where I’m at with some of this), people have been arguing over where perception comes from and where it goes, or, in less nerdy terms: whether there is such a thing as free will in this world- the human world. The argument goes something like this: if there are an almost infinite number of factors determining human action before conscious human ‘decisions’ are made (like time and place, DNA, history, etc.), how can anyone claim any existence of any true ‘free will’?
Free will I define as Man’s ability to fully make her own decisions. I will further refer to free will as ‘Absolute free-will’ (or free-will, with the dash) to differentiate the simple act of committing free will (or: thinking you’ve made a decision) versus the ideal that perception is based 100% on this idea ‘Absolute free-will’ (again, with the dash) as more determinate for human action in general that the opposing ‘determinism’ (the idea that all decisions are essentially ‘pre-ordained’).
As implied, the ‘possibility’ word was the important one there. The idea that all decisions are pre-ordained cannot really be disputed: ‘I’ am one of an infinite amount of events, all of which have influenced at least on some minute level all of ‘my’ decisions, though some more than others (like the fact that ‘I’ grew up in the 1990’s has more to do with ‘me’ than the fact that some random grew up in the 1200’s never having had the opportunity to taste chocolate milk (however tough that may have been)).
To relate this to the art/artist question: if all of conscious existence is pre-ordained by other forces than me, ‘I’, as the creator of any artistic product, am only following the pre-ordained order when ‘I’ create that art. Only following the logical conclusion: any receiver of that art is therefore more implicit in any future art created than the person who cerated that art because without all that is the ‘infinite’ in this case (everything which went into making the artist (and therefore the art)) (and including all those, a potentially infinite number (concerning time), existing consciously after the art was created), the art would not be ‘what it is’.
Far more people will critique any work of art than will have tangibly made it. This is what the infamous ‘postmodernists’ proclaim: if a potentially infinite amount of people can critique this article I’m writing right now, versus me being the only person creating the thing, the reactions of those many people have much more to do with what the art is, and how it interacts with reality/perception, assuming time as consistently moving forward, than I do. All I’m doing is writing my thoughts down, which were influenced by everything outside of me in the first place (as I’m a product of my environment), and then trying to tell you that I’m smarter than you are because I can differentiate Bill Cosby the piece of shit from Bill Cosby the comedy legend who’s influenced arguably more comedians than any other comedian in history (which is true (and which does make me smarter than you if you can’t do the same (it’s called seeing things through other people’s shoes))).
But it is precisely that act of writing this down which constitutes my right to tear myself away from myself in this moment, and so establish a free-will in the place I now take in moving-time, a time and place necessarily ignorant of my place as an actor/perceiver in it, and so establishing the same Absolute possibility for any understanding of that ‘Absolute free-will’ as for the aforementioned determinism relegating all of reality to that of one void of any conscious interacting actor (thus producing a paradox in how humans, living in a world potentially understood as run both ‘Absolutely determinist’ or through ‘Absolute free-will’, assuming a ‘point of view’ from one or the other, but never possibly both simultaneously (unless with a higher understanding of subjective/objective time), but I don’t have time for that here).
When ‘I’ publish this article, it is no longer mine, as people will do with it what they will. As I’m writing it down now, all that has brought me to this moment and to these conclusions is what is being written down; I have no conscious decision in the entire (intellectual) process…
However, I am, indeed, writing this down, and choosing to press the publish button when I’m done (you’re welcome, haters). Whatever reasons the entirety of the rest of all of time and space may have made the act inevitable, I chose to press that button now, not two seconds from now, not two milliseconds ago, now.
Karl Marx defined the act of labor as “a process in which both man and nature participate, and in which man of his own accord starts, regulates, and controls the material reactions between himself and nature.” This is pretty established across the board; albeit with different endgames, Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises said “the natural conditions determining man’s life and effort are such that the division of labor increases output per unit of labor expended”, Adam Smith said “labour… is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities.” Nature and conscious man being two inherently different things, however connected through mutual obedience (conscious man is natural; nature evolves into conscious man), the transition involving any amount of objective plausibility is outside of both.
What went into making any act/work possible is irrelevant once an event/product has been made, as the decision to make or finish any thing (or do anything), and so put it up for external evaluation, consciously or not as that’s necessarily only relevant to the side which may be conscious, renders the subsequent process started after the event a different one than the one which went into making it in the first place. Call it the ‘singularity’ if you will, the ‘event horizon’, or ‘private property’; once that product has been made, it is inherently differentiated from the process by which it was made, or else it could not possibly be a ‘new’ tangible thing (subsequently, between man and nature), classically defined.
Which makes the idea that Cosby the piece of shit renders his art Absolutely admissible as morally incompatible with the way reality works, if we’re pretending that the only reason we’re doing that is strictly moral (morally, it is justifiable, but what we’re really doing is rendering Absolute determinism more in-time than Absolute free-will, both potentially, while the reality is that both are equal grounds for perception, a perception liberated into infinity (and so beyond any of us) through labor and the potential for artistic product).
I agree that his show probably shouldn’t be airing on primetime TV Land anymore. I’d also even say that we should give anything having to with him a bit of break, at least publicly (I don’t care what you do in your own time), but there’s so much rhetoric going on right now about how people need to be punished for the wrongs they’ve made, and which must include wiping all of their work from the face of the earth for all eternity, that I personally just don’t want to go too far with it. I’m all for wiping their ‘names’ (because names don’t really mean that much anyway (from any point of view not primarily political, scientific, or identitarian)), but, at the moment, I’m not sure how we do that without rendering the art less than it was before the artist was found to be a shit-head, which, again, doesn’t mesh with the reality that there is an inherent difference.
Perhaps this is because of the misunderstanding just described (an ignorance of the paradox that is arguing determinism or Absolute free-will)? I guess if one considers ‘humanity’, or: ‘Man’, to be higher than any individual consternation… But that brings all of this around a little too full-circle for comfort.