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Louis CK Is A Very Funny Bad Person | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Louis CK Is A Very Funny Bad Person



Louis CK King of Comedy -CQ

 

LOUIS CK IS A VERY FUNNY BAD PERSON

 

AN EXPLORATION


by William Thomas

 

 

First off, the King of Comedy does not need my defense. He’s an even more celebrated and reviled badboy having re-emerged from his two-year banishment for conduct most unbecoming with a knockout, sold-out, hour-long triumph. And good luck to anyone who wants to tangle with him, verbally or otherwise. 

     Klaire Randall did and became a widely-hailed “hero” for heckling a man who is quick to assure anyone he’s a “bad person.” As Randall later explained, she repeatedly interrupted CK’s surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar because he ruined her evening.

     “Men like C.K. have made spaces in all professions unsafe for women,” posted Kate Gardner, one year after the comedian’s sexual misconduct was outed by the New York Times in late 2017. Her comment seemed entirely appropriate, and certainly correct in its wider implications. But she went further, writing: “C.K. doesn’t just get to glide back onstage without dealing with repercussions.

     Oh, but he did have to deal with them, Kate. And not just onstage. 

     He still is.

     Turns out Ms. Gardner was also upset by some of CK’s jokes, which his fans would enthusiastically agree, can be in breathtakingly bad taste.

     Isn’t this the entire point of comedic skits?

        Still, all male comedians must be put on notice, Kate Gardner seemed to be saying. There are some things even well-paid and widely applauded (which she also found intolerable) wise guys cannot be allowed to say. Even in paid-admission venues advertising grievous social affronts in advance. 

        Not without facing unremitting blowback from those who – unlike Klaire Randall – bought tickets anyway, knowing they’d take offence

        Which, once again, misses comedy’s point. 

        Real comedy – of the George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Norm Macdonald and Louis CK “viral” strains – is society’s best defense against our worst impulses. And topping that list of fatal indulgences is not uttering naughty thoughts that ricochet between what some people consider funny and others, “unforgivably tasteless,” as Matthew Dessem put it.

        It’s flat-out denial. 

        It’s not getting the lessons we so perversely and persistently arrange for ourselves. The ones that invariably come back around, only worse. 



Louis CK One of the best -heightline.com

heightline.com


        This is why outrageously irreverent indigenous “coyotes” – and their English court-jester counterparts acting as royal provocateurs in the shadow of thirsty guillotines – were not only tolerated but protected for insulting respected leaders and turning social shibboleths upside-down. Chieftains and kings understood that only a specially-designated adviser poking fun at their most cherished delusions could save them from even grander folly.  

        In the absence of timely feedback, just looking around, anyone would have to agree that we are: A. screwing up massively and B. complicit in the actions of a few maniacs screwing up massively.

        But for frickssake, don’t say anything. Don’t offend anyone. Don’t say bad words that might upset someone eager to be offended. Not while millions upon untold millions of young among all species are uprooted, displaced, hurt and dying in agony and bewilderment behind our resolutely-turned backs. 

        With the entire planet collapsing in ways we’re taking such inordinate care not to notice, DO NOT HURT ANYONE’S FEELINGS! 

        As if a tiny microorganism that’s hit Pause on our suicidal rush to extinction – or all that wondrously heat-trapping methane bubbling up from the thawing Arctic (just as it triggered Earth’s previous mass extinctions) – give the slightest you-know-what about our feelings.

        But don’t take my word for how reprehensibly relevant Louis CK’s comedy has become... 

        “It’s wild and acidic. It’s misanthropic, it’s twisted, it ventures into some forbidding dark corners of psychic crawlspace, where the spiders and the worms lurk,” writes Kyle Smith, the National Review’s critic-at-large. “Louis C.K. has always invited us to consider the comedy payoff of rolling with our worst thoughts instead of cutting them off before they get disturbing… Why be offended at this stuff now, and not at the last 20 years of it?” 


        Pop Quiz: How many snowflakes does it take to start an avalanche that buries us all? 


        Oops! Quick! Silence all those howling coyotes. Shut off every comedic alarm. Then we can all go back to sleep and let the hyper-vigilant “woke” brigades finish reducing this wonderfully variegated, politically incorrect world of nearly eight-billion stubbornly original souls to a single sloppy mug of curdled cowardly homogeneity. 

        Then everything will taste sour.


FX Boss Misses ‘Louie’ -indiewire.com

FX Boss Misses ‘Louie’ -indiewire.com


“We all have our thing,” says a self-described compulsive masturbator who displayed his virtuosity before five women whom he said they said they wanted to see. 

     Actually, they didn’t have any choice. As CK insists he only belatedly came to realize  and all longtime predators count on for the rush  faced with such an outrageous request they would prefer to refuse, It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

     It most certainly was not funny. I checked in with a friend who related an encounter on a train in Austria many years ago, when she was suddenly confronted by a male masturbator sitting opposite. The incident was not only “disturbing,” she said, the shock and helplessness of seeing no other vacant seats still “comes back at inappropriate times.” 

     All these years later. 

     “What C.K. did was not done with consent. We never agreed nor asked him to take all his clothes off and masturbate to completion in front of us. But it didn’t matter because the exciting part for him was the fear on our faces,” remembers Julia Wolov – who was still receiving “consistent hate mail” and even “death threats from C.K. supporters” six-months after being quoted in the Times.

Six months after accusing Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct, comedian Rebecca Corry reflects on how the decision to speak out has affected her life. Photo- Courtesy of Rebecca Corry

     Rebecca Corry also accused Louis CK of sexual misconduct. “What CK did,” she says, “didn’t end the day it happened and won’t end any time soon for me.” For her, the only possible test of CK’s sincerity is no further offenses. 

     Louis CK's public statement acknowledged that he was forced to realize the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position… There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for.

     “No one wants to see anyone sexually victimized or abused. It’s a horrible crime and those who commit it should be punished harshly,” comments journalist, Micah Curtis. “But rather than promoting actual justice,” vigilante social justice “is a perversion of justice.

        After serving two years in virtual public-square stocks, that repentance and those admissions would probably have satisfied a parole board. But nothing short of self-destruction will satiate the ravenous unforgiving.

    So, having apologized for the searing damage he says he will somehow have to reconcile” with his nature, in his latest stand-up, CK goes right at his most scandalized critics, standing up to ask his audience straight out if they want to “hear about this.”

       They do.

       Rather than grovel and virtue signal for being a foolishly flawed human male, Louis CK claims he’s good at it, likes showing off, and has always craved an audience who might appreciate his special talent! 

        This special audience must’ve all been bad people – “a basket of deplorables,” as Slate’s Dessem described them. Or maybe his fans just couldn’t help themselves. After all, laughter is a reflex that explodes into grins and guffaws before the neocortex can hold its nose and exert political correctness. 

        Isn’t this the power of sincerely unseemly comedy? To peel back the dark corners of our psyche before we can look away? How much of the ire directed at Louis CK is really aimed by breathless vigilantes at themselves

        By not going after his detractors, and instead turning such seriously off-the-rails misconduct back on himself, CK’s unblinking “explanation” elicits prolonged laughter and applause. 

     Much of it from the women present.

    

       



So okay, Louis CK got it. He has apologized. Publicly, profusely, embarrassingly. He claims even Obama took note.

        You would think this would have completed his re-education and rehabilitation. (CK’s not Obama’s.) Speaking for my own wayward self, I’ve found personal shame to be the most indelible “corrective” to ethical transgressions.

        But CK’s humiliated remorse and years of no further incidents aren’t enough for the cancel culture. Even if he keeps it zipped, they want to Superglue his lips. Hordes and herds of hominids who were not there Tweeted and twittered, #MeToo Asshole! 

     Thank the goddess no woman has ever sexually abused a man.

      

In “I Love You, Daddy” Louis plays a rich New York TV producer.

In “I Love You, Daddy” Louis plays a rich New York TV producer who can’t help himself.


     How sweet must be their revenge for what the woke sisterhood continues comparing to those slimy rich slobs who exercised their own sick power-over by pushing young women against walls and sticking their grubby, karma-stained fingers where they absolutely did not belong. Problem is, equating CK’s reprehensible acts with Trump’s and Weinstein’s and Biden’s tearfully alleged and angrily corroborated rapes degrades and defuses those latter charges.

        Never mind. Just Us triumphed. On the eve of its opening, CK’s, “I Love You Daddy” got cancelled. (Which might have been a mercy, since critic Roger Friedmen called this “unwatchable” experience, “a painful, sad film that no one should ever see.”) Scheduled events evaporated, along with millions of dollars in contracts from the FX Network. As CK now says he hugely regrets, his family, friends, children and coworkers all took hits for their association with him. Plus, all his shows were removed from HBO, which just about finished off Louis’ livelihood. At least, this side of Poland.  



Life is a rough business. Without excusing the inexcusable, this unremitting piling-on years after such cringeworthy revelations seems vindictive and excessive. What if, as South Africa's Reconciliation so inspiringly taught us, forgiveness heals? What man on the public stage has not done something in the presence of an admiring woman he is not proud of? That he wishes he could take back? That he nevertheless learned from and became better for it? By never doing it again.

     “I don’t think there’s anything that can compare with a massive public shaming like that,” says Pamela Adlon, who was “devastated by and in shock after the admission of abhorrent behavior” by her friend and collaborator. But the continuing outrage was finally too much. “I wanted the world to calm down. I wanted a conversation to happen,” she told Rolling Stone.

     Far more egregious crimes are eventually pardoned.

        Which is only to say that with so much going on and going down – like this entire planet, for example – we’d be better off not policing comedians (whose detractors can simply boycott) and, instead, look at our own shit stuff unblinkingly, head-on and toot sweet. Because if we persist in ruling all self-examination and free-standing critiques verboten, if we insist on eviscerating every disgraced messenger, we are all of us royally fuc… screwed

        Hooped.

     Though not in the ancient sense, unfortunately. 

        Looking at all the carnage we've created and allowed, it appears we have surrendered to our unexamined shadowside. But thanks to CK’s muse, all attempts to muzzle him have only made his rabid remarks bite deeper.

        “It’s horrible, but it’s also very funny. It’s funny because it’s horrible,” Smith dares to write. “The horribleness is the point. Our comic selves venture into places our other selves dare not go. C.K. is a master at exploring that divergence, leading us down one path and then veering shockingly off course.”

        Auschwitz, black face, slavery, pedophilia, women moaning pleasurably during a clumsy sexual act just to get it over with – listen to those sharp intakes of breath in the theatrical dark during CK’s comeback performance.

        And the uproarious laughter that follows each punchline.

        Thing is, if a few people can decide that everyone else must stop talking about the things that make them uncomfortable not thinking about it in their barren windowless “safe rooms” – if no comedic housekeeper dares shake out our dirty rugs – what happens when all those repressed impulses finally erupt?

        Auschwitz happens. And CK’s not talking about, you know, what happened there that we’re not supposed to talk about.

        Why not? Because there’s a storm-trooper in all of us? Because referencing the Holocaust and its antecedents might segue into the present-day atrocities our tribe continues to perpetrate with such gusto on distant defenceless families of the wrong religion who have never threatened us and whom we’ve never met and couldn’t comprehend if we did?

        Nope. That couldn’t be it.


Louis C.K. Gets Standing Ovation During Comedy Festival ... dailycaller.com

Louis C.K. accepts an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Aug 25, 2014  -Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

        

But there he is, Funny Man Bad, up there on a brightly-lit stage talking about the death camp where his grandfather's entire extended family of Hungarian Jews was stripped, gassed and cremated. Given those horrors, aren’t we relieved that someone has finally questioned something as twisted as buying tickets to Auschwitz? 

        Be glad CK did not wonder aloud just what kind of “souvenir postcards” were sold in the “gift shop” he visited there. Still, he could have admitted that four of the five women he so grossly abused were Jews...

     As Sarah Silverman asks in the clip (above), can we still love a bad person?

     Can we laugh at their jokes?



In closing, my dearly beloved, I further confess that I’d never heard of this baddest of bad apples before accidently wandering into an online video review from a total stand-up comedy fanatic, who was so wildly enthusiastic, I ended up – what can I say – clicking on this download.

        Boy, was I in for a surprise.

        Is “Sincerely Louis CK” offensive?

        You bet.

        Is “Sincerely Louis CK” inappropriate? Absolutely. In fact, his new material is so inappropriate, it’s urgently appropriate

        One more time: 

        Isn’t this what comedians – good ones, anyway – do? The brave ones, anyway. The ones who have an off-kilter way of looking at stuff we’d rather keep buried and not notice. 

        Certainly, not to laugh our guts out. 

        Then, while we’re rolling around the floor, those barbed jokes catch in our throat and we have to look at why we are laughing. And even deeper than that, what we’ve just learned about ourselves that can’t be taken back.  

        Happily, hilariously, disturbingly, all attempts to silence CK have spectacularly backfired with his latest and, many on both sides proclaim, most outrageous release. Because the politically righteous never considered what they might be unleashing in a Louis CK with nothing left to lose.

        It was hard, but I didn’t transcribe a single joke. So your funny bone and your outrage can enjoy a fresh, untrammeled experience. 

        Sincerely. Click on his website. (The HD download’s a keeper.) Blip your eight bucks. Sit back in the dark and hit Play. 

        And for goodnesssakes, don’t tell anyone about your latest guilty pleasure. At least, no one challenged by any realities they’d rather not face as our shit ship goes down.

 

William Thomas

April 28, 2020




 

 

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