I don’t usually link to long-g-g-g-g interviews, but I happened to come across two this week that are worth your time. If, for starters, you want to hear about what really hurt Frank Sinatra, whether or not Hollywood believed Marilyn Monroe committed suicide, how movie careers were built in the Golden Age, or who dominated the room when Marilyn and Liz Taylor were both in it, then you won’t want to miss Illeana Douglas with Ruta Lee, who, to be honest, makes more of an impact here than she did in any of the several classic movies I’ve seen her in:
If you want to hear about the effect the Superfly soundtrack had on an eight-year-old black kid who would one day be (falsely) accused of murdering Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, then please take the time to listen to Jason Whitlock’s interview with Twitter master and documentary filmmaker Curtis Scoon. (If you want to get an interesting perspective on that part of Black America which is not under anyone’s thumb, you should follow Scoon’s Twitter account, which you can find by typing “Curtis Scoon Twitter” into your search engine…don’t worry, when you’ve found him, you’ll know it’s him. Whitlock’s own Twitter feed is more of the same from a sports perspective, and often hilarious.)
This is something like seventy years of American history you won’t read much about in books in a little over two hours. If you listen to all of it, you’ll learn things.
Today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault.
Really, it was a non-event, but I found two interesting takes on Twitter.
First, Terry Teachout:
In the midst of all the other roiling chaos, it’s worth remembering—and strangely easy to forget—that what happened to Bill Cosby today will be remembered as a turning point in American social and cultural history.
Terry is a reliable indicator of conventional wisdom among what’s now called Never Trump Conservatism. He hails from a small town in Missouri and has spent most of his adult life inside the beltway, working for periodicals like National Review and the Wall Street Journal. He’s pretty darn sure Bill Cosby is guilty because, like most white people from small town America, he thinks this here darn system works pretty well and wasn’t the fellow convicted?
Here’s Curtis Scoon (an actual black man, who is not from small town America):
Now that Cosby is convicted for a crime he settled out of court for a decade ago every woman he’s ever bedded or attempted to bed outside of his marriage can now pursue civil lawsuits. Clearly this case was all about “justice.” What else could’ve been the motivation?
Followed soon thereafter by:
I have a question for the black ACTORivist/feminist types on twitter. You keep emphasizing the conviction of Bill Cosby as PROOF of his guilt, so why doesn’t Assata Shakur’s conviction prove hers’? Neither does Mumia’s conviction. George Zimmerman’s acquittal gets tossed as well.
I follow Teachout because he’s utterly predictable. That’s why I follow nearly everyone I follow–to tap into what the position is on any given issue from a given perspective. By following enough predictable people representing enough predictable positions, I’m able to discern what almost everyone is thinking because few people ever take any position that isn’t predictable based on even one previous opinion they’ve held and shared.
That’s the world we live in.
Maybe it was ever thus, but, if so, it seems Social Media has hardened the parameters of convention.
I follow Scoon because he’s the only person I know of, on-line, who isn’t predictable. And because he asks questions that have uncomfortable answers (like because it doesn’t jibe with MY narrative, that’s why!) which cannot be articulated by those being asked. No one likes to risk blowing their own mind.
I like to think he’s a kindred spirit in that respect. For instance, if I was on Twitter for some purpose other than following others, I’d probably Tweet something like:
Between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, I have no idea who is telling the Truth. Neither do you. No matter how much you think he/she reminds you of someone you knew in high school.