We have all seen the “I’m 83 (or 76 depending on the version) and I’m Tired” meme or e-mail floating around in cyber-sphere that has been falsely attributed to Bill Cosby. Yet, in many cases, when you politely point out it is false, the general reaction is “Well, I don’t care because that’s how I feel.” Then you wonder, well how does Bill Cosby feel about this? This is how Bill Cosby feels about having a divisive email meme falsely attributed to him when he posted this on his site:
“There’s an email floating around – entitled ‘I’m 76 and tired’ – purportedly sent by me. I did not write the email, I did not send the email, I’m not 76, and I don’t subscribe to the ugly views expressed in the email. We are coming up to an important anniversary on Sunday, which is a day when we should all come together. Whoever wrote this email is not thinking about our country, or what is important. If you get the email, it’s time to hit DELETE.”
The “Sunday” Mr. Cosby is referring to was Sunday, September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
OK. So your online friend posted it and claimed that’s how they felt. No problem, all is fair in love, war and Facebook. But now it’s my turn (and yours if you so choose). I’m 49, a suburban resident very close to Mr. Cosby’s home city of Philadelphia, and I’m tired too.
I’m tired of hate filled propaganda and then attributing it to an African-American celebrity as if that makes it legitimate.
I’m tired about hearing about when you started working. The non Bill Cosby is whining about working at the age of 17, worked hard all his life without taking a sick day and now he cannot retire because of the economy. Well, who the hell do you think did the damage? Surely not the same people who also worked as long and hard as you did. If you are tired and want to retire, fine, you earned it, but do not bitch to me about the economy, bitch to those in power who won’t hold Wall Street bankers accountable for what they did to your 401k and the economy in general. Bitch to the same elected leaders who refuse to reinstate Glass-Steagall or other banking reforms. Besides, I’m paying for your retirement right now and you do not hear me whining. (By the way, if this was really Bill Cosby writing, why would he be worried about retirement? He could have retired right after the Cosby Show went off the air.)
I’m tired of all people who need government assistance being labeled as “lazy moochers” or somehow that they need to be drug tested. Never mind that such laws are a clear violation of the fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The “welfare queen” myth needs to end, once and for all. It’s funny that when I mention to friends, who have said this about people on government assistance, that I am (was) on EBT so I could survive while looking for work, the reaction was “Well, you’re different.” Really? How so? Am I different from “those” people because you know me personally, or I’m white, or both? Besides, the same safety net was available for you if hard times fell. You never needed it, that is great, but there are times when your fellow citizens do need it to live. Or do you subscribe to the pre-ghost Scrooge who said “Are there no work houses?” Oh, and guess what, I’m tired of my tax dollars going to corporate CEO’s because they own private jets or show horses. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
I’m tired of attacks on other religions for the sins of a few. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but that is what is being perpetrated. Just this week, the president of Emerald Aviation attacked a cab driver because he was Arab-American, the whole time shouting hate filled Muslim slurs. Never mind that the cab driver, Mohamed A. Salim, is an Iraq War veteran and continues to serve in our armed forces as a reservist. Yet, when you mention “Christians” like Timothy McVeigh or Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller in the name of Jesus, the reaction is generally that they are somehow different and not all Christians think that way. The ironic double-standard is lost on them.
I’m tired of hearing about all the bad things in the Quran, while being completely oblivious to stuff in the Old Testament. Did fictional President Bartlett teach you anything about a-la carte Bible thumping? I’m tired of the same willfully hateful “leaders” who cry out fear-based warnings about Shari’a law coming to America: they are the same “leaders” trying to pass laws based on the Bible and their scripture interpretation. I can’t wait for these fundies to try to pass laws to close down all the seafood restaurants in the U.S. because it’s in the Old Testament.
I’m tired of hearing people bitch about having their wealth spread to others while they defend tax breaks and loopholes for corporations. Well, maybe if you would support candidates who want to close those loopholes and offshore havens, your personal taxes could be reduced and we can still help people in need, pay for better schools, rebuild our roads and bridges, keep our national parks open and properly staffed, invest in high-speed rail, and generally have nice things.
I’m tired of those who wail against acceptance of other cultures. Imagine if that was the case during the first wave of immigration through Ellis Island and nativist of that time got their way. March 17 would just be another ho-hum day, not a celebration of Irish Catholicism. Good luck enjoying an Italian meal anywhere. That would be considered food of the “damn WOP immigrants here to take my job” if cultural tolerance was rejected.
I’m tired of climate change deniers who do whatever they can to undermine our environment for financial gain. The only “debate” going on is from those on the far-right who do not want to see their cash blood, fossil fuels, become extinct, which is kind of ironic because their whole financial existence is based on the remains of long extinct animals. Climate change is a scientific fact, the debate should be over. If you want to keep the climate change debate open, might as well reopen the debate on the shape or rotation of the Earth. You continue to debate, we will move forward with more sensible, efficient alternative energy sources, so that, one day, you and your dirty oil businesses will be extinct.
I’m tired of the Drug War and the lack of knowledge about addiction. Stop professing your ignorance about human biology. Yes it is a disease. Any addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and soul. People can be mentally or physically addicted to a lot of things, but we only stigmatize those who are addicted to illegal substances. No one sets out to become a drug addicts no more than one welcomes cancer, polio, or the common cold. Instead of locking non-violent people up as dangerous criminals, we would save a lot of tax dollars, and lives, by treating non-violent addicts as recovering outpatients. While I’m at it, I’m tired of the willful ignorance towards mental health. The human brain is the most complex organic organism that has ever evolved on Earth and it might not be done. It is not an easy thing to study because it is our own complex organic organism. Try using it to its full potential now and then and learn about mental illness.
I’m tired of hearing people complaining about spoiled professional athletes just because one or two knuckleheads do something dumb/illegal. For every Ben Roethlisberger naughty tweet, I can counter with Chris Kluwe, Rex Burkhead, or Brendon Ayenbadejo who have done good things for people and causes. I will grant you that our shiny spoon sports media only reports the “bad” or controversial athletes, but that is no excuse to lump all pro athletes with the worst of the worst. If you really do want to see good news about professional athletes, take a second and search our site for the “Sports Community Shout Out” series. It could go a long way in changing general perceptions.
I’m tired of hearing people bitch about what the youth of the country are wearing. Yeah, it may look a little silly that pants are now half-way below the butt-crack. But you know what, maybe your bell bottoms, hairspray drenched doo, platforms, and polyester shirts looked pretty f**king stupid in retrospect. Stop sounding like your parents, or the hecklers from the Muppet Show, or John McCain.
And finally, I’m tired of the reminiscing for the “good old days.” The only reason that you want to go back to the good old days, I would guess the 1950s, are because minorities were “in their place”, you had a decent paying job because America was a post-war economic monopoly, a white guy was the president, your woman dared not challenge you in any way or she would “get what was coming to her”, you could burn gas at a 6 mile per gallon rate without worrying about all that science, and foreign policy boiled down to what those “Pinko, commie, socialist Soviets” were up to. There is a reason the 1960s happened the way they did; many people were tired of the dominant Anglo Christian male privilege that denied them the American promise of equality. They were tired of having to conform to a society standard that oppressed their own dreams and aspirations. They were tired of their sons and daughters being treated as second class human beings. They were tired of “duck and cover” being the norm. They were tired of being shamed into rejecting their personal sexuality, straight or gay. They were tired of seeing loved ones sent to an unjustifiable war. They were tired of being outcasts because they did not want to live in your comfort zone.
The truth is your tiredness is not because of the changes to our culture and society, which you tried to regress in the 1980s. It is because a changing society has left your inflexible attitudes behind. That must be real tiring on an unexercised mind