Why The Shaming of “Cosby” Actor Geoffrey Owens Is The Distorted American Dream

The American Dream is a distorted version of the bulkiness of accumulated shit, that has been backed up ever since apps and social spaces convinced us that the notion of working hard for your money is a buzzkill, that needs to die with clicks of branding endorsements.

There’s also the persuasion of the media and how faux-success stories are ceremoniously displayed with callous audacity, and the damaging messaging that alludes to the dismal truth of just how far we’ve fallen from the grip of humanity.

Common decency isn’t so common, and there’s no adherence to the inherently-inclined gravitational pull towards the core values of honor and respect, for the rules of conduct — that dictate the statues of our most basic existence.

As summer draws to a close and the daily grind of a work week begins, many of us are returning to a lifestyle that demands so much, and yet the rewards are less than ideal.

Not too long ago, I was the typical New Yorker who rose at dawn and headed into the hustle and bustle setting of systematized chaos. It wasn’t the dream scenario that I had envisioned as someone who desperately wanted to write for a living in a capacity that permitted the privilege of not having to supplement with non-related fare — but I didn’t have access to a trust fund or wealthy spouse.

You do what you have to do to survive the hostile work force, even it means working as an executive assistant for companies that help the rich get richer and make the poor more destitute.

There’s also the more hostile society that comprises of regular folks who are needy in ways that create volatile relations.

It’s become a mandate to possess assholish views that propel the authority to be a snob even when we can’t afford it. This staple behavior is birthed from the tools that were created to secure the fantastical elements of a falsehood, that allows imprisonment in a mindset — catering to our destruction.

Snapchat is fueling extremes in the realm of vanities and how we’re inconsolable in our ability to successfully conform into the ever-changing demands of physical perfection.

Instagram is the leading platform when it comes to the great escape into the imaged landscape of price-tagged lives — that showcase the supreme amenities that come with living for free — without the duress of labor.

Facebook is a junkyard of the past and present strewn together to form the army that engages in a battle that leaves no survivors.

The media is also a complicated web of nefarious activities that is locked in a continuous tug of war with the grumbling leader with criminal tendencies — and the general public who earnestly try to decode the language of free speech.

It’s not that freeing for most — especially when the virus of clickbait overwhelms and tantalizes us into dishonoring the dignity of fellow humans — by exhibiting symptoms of shallowness that encourages selling out for nickels and dimes.

A couple spotted a familiar face at the Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey, and when the growing suspicion was confirmed after a quick google search — the only thing to do was to rudely snap a photo of a former TV actor and sell the evidence to the Daily Mail.

Geoffrey Owens was the unfortunate victim of a hostile climate that no longer honors the code that tolerates the good fortune of earning money through necessary avenues.

Owens, a Yale alum and son of former United States Congressman Major Owens, used to be on the Cosby Show, where he played the fumbling and dutiful hubby to eldest daughter, Sondra Huxtable.

And now the actor who enjoyed the ride of being on a highly-regarded sitcom, that has been tainted by the scandalous deeds of its once revered creator — is currently the victim of a diseased epidemic.

The distortion of the American Dream that builds on the ethos of achieving greatness through hard work in a society that claims to have few barriers blocking the pathway to success — is the greatest tragedy of all.

We frown on the population of workers who actually have to make ends meet using methods that aren’t deemed Insta-worthy.

We can’t stomach the sight of an actor who represents the accuracy of what the job market yields when you’re part of an age bracket that is no longer desirable, regardless of skill set and past experiences.

I’ve been quite frank about the ongoing tension between me and a workforce that has become a disarmingly abusive institution, that treats job seekers like used items that deserve to be over-worked and underpaid.

The media outlets that chose to shame Geoffrey Owens were assured that the reception to his epic downfall from TV star to grocery bagger would validate the intrusion into the life of a law abiding citizen — who broke the law of #livingyourbestlife by living his life without those pesky filters.

The real shame comes from how far we’ve fallen and how the media machine helps to elevate the scenes of our worst selves by lawfully hijacking personal trials and tribulations — and packaging them for the ravenous appetite of parasites.

Owens might appear pathetically vulnerable as the middle-aged guy who had it all and apparently has nothing to show for it. But to those of us who are still exerting blood, sweat and tears in an effort to keep a dying dream alive — despite our “advanced ages” — the targeted human successfully holding down a job is the epitome of what the American Dream should always stand for.

It’s not about stately mansions, fancy cars, and a wardrobe filled with ostrich jackets. It’s not about applying for a temp to perm position that promises six months but only awards two. It’s not about giving the best years of your life to an ungrateful company that releases you into the cold harsh reality of starting all over again without a compass.

It’s about the drugs of choice that have been produced to glaze over the societal betrayal of utter cruelty — that requires either robotic responses or the human touch that rejects the seductiveness of denial.

As an unemployed writer who lives with her parents after spending the best years of her life working hard for the money that was spent securing the modest studio apartment on the Upper East Side while managing two meals a day and using late nights playing catch up as a writer — Owens is the unsung hero of our times.

He deserves the respect that Kylie Jenner garners for being the success story that was never a story because you can’t celebrate a millionaire becoming a billionaire unless the world has gone crazy.

The world has gone crazy.

And everyone in it is trying to find the best route to happiness with schemes that bless us with titles as “influencers” or any of the other bedazzled statuses that guarantee very little force with plenty of returns.

But in the midst of all that rubble, is the old world that stands erect with durable fibers that most of us lean on for strategic comfort and survivability.

The American Dream may be unrecognizable to those who never understood the translation, or just simply don’t want to deal with the potency of delivery.

But, when an actor who used to be on TV is working his shift to stay afloat while also keeping his Dream alive — he’s not a loser.

He’s an American. And so am I.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store