Found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, the comedian Bill Cosby will be sentenced soon.
The guilty verdict came at the second time of asking, the first trial having ended in a hung jury last year. The second trial, however, did the business, helped no doubt by the now prevalent me-tooism.
Meanwhile, by way of a warm-up, the judge called Mr Cosby a “sexually violent predator” and ruled that he must undergo counselling for life.
Considering that he’s 81, that may not be a particularly long time. Nevertheless, the pre-sentencing ruling strikes me as odd.
Mr Cosby’s wooing technique involved slipping a girl a mickey and then proceeding to have a bit of how’s-your-father with her. One would think that, given his star status and influence in show business, he wouldn’t have had to resort to chemicals to get his jollies, but probably they do save time.
Now considering the mass hysteria surrounding such cases, one tends to question the justice of any verdict to convict – one tangible result of this madness.
But, assuming that Mr Cosby really is guilty as charged and convicted, he’s indeed a criminal. Lock him up and throw away the key, as the saying goes.
But what does counselling have to do with anything? Does the judge really believe that a man in the twilight of his life will reform as a result of regular meetings with a chap asking probing questions about Mr Cosby’s childhood urge to shag his Mum, kill his Dad and poke his own eyes out?
I know I’m oversimplifying the job of a counsellor, but I don’t think it’s by much. For it’s oversimplified thinking that’s behind this bizarre ruling.
The assumption seems to be that criminals in general and Mr Cosby specifically suffer from a correctable personality disorder depriving them of any ability to make a free choice between good and bad.
Hence an elaborate inquiry uncovering their innermost childhood cravings about their mothers or some such pay dirt may make them better men, less likely to reoffend. Such an inquiry is seen as a valuable addition to incarceration and often its replacement.
The notion of free will, without which our civilisation might as well pack up and go home, no longer applies. A sentenced criminal is no longer just a villain. In some convoluted way, he’s also a patient.
This tune sounds throughout society, and witnesses, especially victims, know they mustn’t strike discordant notes. Thus Mr Cosby didn’t just have sex without permission – because of his psychological disorder he inflicted a profound, lifelong trauma on his marks.
Just listen how one of them, Andrea Constand, describes her ordeal: “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others.”
Who on earth, what normal person, ever talks like that? How long did the defence counsel have to rehearse this oration with Miss Constand? Did he write it out and make her learn it by heart? Was there a psychologist involved, to make sure she’d sing the psychobabble song in every tonal detail?
I must say, had I been on that jury, I would have voted not guilty simply on the strength of that objectionable rhetoric. I would have simply refused to believe that Miss Constand was honest. That’s not how honest people talk.
Why did she and her legal team feel all that nonsense had to be mouthed? Surely, if Mr Cosby had indeed drugged and raped her, no verbal ornamentation of the facts should have been necessary.
The act, if proved to be what it was, should by itself be sufficient to make Mr Cosby celebrate his ninetieth birthday in prison. So yes, by all means punish him for what he did.
But in the process don’t punish the rest of us by making the law sound ludicrous, in hock to modern fads and pseudomedical perversions. Spare us the psychodin – and spare Mr Cosby the indignity of psychoanalysis.
He doesn’t need it – in fact, I doubt anyone ever does. He knew what he was doing. He knew it was wrong and he did it anyway. That’s a vile crime, not a symptom of mental illness, and it’s not something that can be treated.
It’s something that must be punished – and if any attendant rhetoric is deemed necessary, it should revolve around good and evil, and the God-given free will enabling us to tell the difference between the two.
Anything else diminishes every human being, by debauching the very idea of humanity.