MONDAY, JANUARY 26 This week of taciturn athletes, rap-related fatalities, and one passionately anticipated Super Bowl kicked off with another woman coming forward with claims of being drugged and raped by Bill Cosby. Today's subject: Cindra Ladd, a philanthropist and former entertainment executive who's been married to film producer Alan Ladd (aka the man who green-lit Star Wars) since 1985. As she writes in her first-person essay at the Huffington Post, Cindra Ladd met Cosby in 1969, when she was 21 and single and Cosby was 32, married, and a huge comedy and TV star. Things were friendly (and platonic) until the night Ladd had a headache and Cosby offered her a "miracle cure." "I asked a couple of times what it was," writes Ladd. "Each time he reassured me, asking, 'Don't you trust me?' Of course I did. This was Bill Cosby." What Ladd remembers of what followed squares with other women's reports: waking up the next morning naked in a strange bed, with a bathrobed Cosby pretending everything was normal. "It was obvious to me that he had had sex with me," writes Ladd. "I was horrified, embarrassed, and ashamed. There was a mirror above the bed, which shocked me further."
What separates Ladd's testimony from the many previous allegations is its eloquent explanation of her motives. Regarding her immediate response: "It never occurred to me to go to the police," writes Ladd. "When this happened to me, the idea of drugging someone and raping them was almost fantastical. It was years before 'date rape' drugs made the news... I just kept asking myself over and over in disbelief why this had happened to me... Like so many victims, my way of coping was to shove the memory into the back of my mind." As for why she's coming forward now: "As I write this, more than 20 women have come forward, many with stories that are remarkably similar to mine. In response to these brave women, I have read comments like, 'What took them so long?' and 'What are they after now?' I would ask these people to remember that up until relatively recently, prosecuting rape was a 'he said/she said' proposition where the victim was blamed for having worn 'suggestive clothing' or questioned as to why she went somewhere with her rapist."
In a closing double-whammy of badassery, Ladd first shuts down those who'll claim she's sliming Cosby for money and/or fame: "This is the first time I have chosen to speak out about that night. It is also the last time I intend to address it publicly. I have no plans to sue, I don't want or need money." Then she preemptively addresses Cosby's tactic of casting aspersions on his accusers: "Having come of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s before marrying in the mid 1980s at 37, I certainly have a history. The difference is that any other relationships were consensual... my encounter with Bill Cosby was most certainly not." Thank you, Cindra Ladd.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27 The week continued in Florida, where a man stands accused of fatally shooting his friend while acting out a rap song. As NBC reports, the scene went down last night, when 22-year-old Rodney Patrick and 17-year-old Douglas Winslow were hanging out at Patrick's Merritt Island home and listening to Waka Flocka Flame's "Bustin' at 'Em." "The song includes the lyrics 'ain't no talkin', homie, I'm jus' bustin' at 'em' and repeatedly plays gunshot sounds," reports NBC. "While acting along to the song, Patrick picked up what he believed to be an unloaded gun and pointed it at the victim, police said. The firearm discharged, killing the teen." Today Patrick was charged with manslaughter, with supplementary charges of tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28 In a weird twist for a Wednesday, nothing happened today, unless you count news of the letters sent by the US Armed Forces to Washington State's retail marijuana shops, warning them against selling weed to members of the US military. "The letters were sent last week by the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board at Joint Base Lewis-McChord," reports Reuters, noting that the legalization of weed in Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon has "put the states in conflict with the federal government, which maintains marijuana is illegal under US and military law." Nevertheless, "[Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Kubistek] said the base had no intention of interfering with the businesses' operations and that avoiding pot shops is the legal responsibility of service members," reports Reuters. As an American, Last Days finds it deeply disheartening that active members of the military—arguably the humans who most deserve the temporary comforts of weed—are forbidden from accessing it, and we hereby swear to serve our country by doing legal weed runs for any and all needy service people. (E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29 The week continued at the intersection of professional sports and performance art, thanks to Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks running back who earlier this week appeared at mandatory pre–Super Bowl news conferences to perform his near-silent monologue "I'm Just Here So I Don't Get Fined." Blending the stark presence of Marina Abramovic's The Artist Is Present with the transcendent absurdism of Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener," Lynch's headline-making performance was publicly addressed today by its creator, who detailed the motivation behind the work. "I'm here preparing for a game," said Lynch to media representatives gathered at yet another pre–Super Bowl press conference. "And y'all want to ask me these questions, which is understandable. I could get down with that. But I told y'all. I'm not about to say nothing... All of my requirements are fulfilled." Lynch continued by giving props to his teammates, his Family First Foundation charity, and his hometown of Oakland, California, before bolting—as always—after his contractually mandated five minutes. "Lynch has a history of avoiding reporters," wrote the Associated Press. "In November, the NFL fined him $50,000 for violations of the league's media policy in addition to collecting the $50,000 fine that was imposed against Lynch for violations last season." Bravo!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 30 In worse news, the week continued in Los Angeles, where today Marion "Suge" Knight—cofounder of Death Row Records, driver of the car in which Tupac Shakur was fatally shot, and perpetually troubled individual—was arrested after allegedly running over two men in a Compton parking lot, one of whom suffered fatal injuries. Details come from the Los Angeles Times, which spotlights the competing stories about what went down. On one side: Suge Knight, whose lawyer told the Times that Knight was fleeing an attack and was "in fear for his life" when he accidentally ran over the men. On the other: the LAPD, which believes Knight deliberately targeted his alleged victims, and today arrested Knight on suspicion of murder. The 49-year-old is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 31 Meanwhile in New Mexico, today brought the week's all-but-compulsory story of a gun-wielding toddler shooting his family. Details come from CNN, which identifies this week's kiddie shooter as a 3-year-old boy in Albuquerque, who today removed the handgun from his pregnant mother's purse and shot both his parents with a single bullet. "The bullet apparently exited through the father's hip and hit the mother in the right shoulder," reports CNN. "The father was treated and released from the hospital while the mother was hospitalized in stable condition. The condition of her unborn child is unknown."
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Seattle Seahawks' noble and contentious loss to the New England Patriots at Super Bowl XLIX. Dear Seahawks: Thank you for your inspirational labor, now please join Frances Farmer, Raymond Carver, and the entire roster of Sub Pop in the pantheon of awesome Seattle losers.
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