Louis C.K. is a lot of things. Among those may be “disgusting human being,” as he was one of the celebrities wrapped up in the #MeToo scandals.
Despite C.K.’s disturbing behavior, a lot of people thought the guy was funny. As such, they still wanted to hear his comedy.
Over the holiday, though, the content of one of his sets was leaked, and now the left is outraged. Why? Did he brag about allegedly masturbating in front of female comedians? Did he unleash a barrage of ethnic jokes? Did he use a plastic straw to drink out of?
You see, Louis C.K. failed to bend over and kiss the rears of the Parkland bunch.
Slate called it “sickening.” Why? Because he’s not impressed with Parkland.
It would be tacky for a comedian who had not spent years whipping it out in front of unwilling co-workers to complain about people trying to explain to him what’s appropriate and what’s not. For Louis C.K. to write and tell those jokes would require a breathtaking, Kevin Spacey–level lack of self-awareness, and there was a time that self-awareness was C.K.’s brand. So what the f**k is going on here? For one clue, here’s a joke C.K. told at the expense of the Parkland teens, of all people, children who responded to an unthinkable tragedy by dedicating their lives to making the world a better place:
You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot, you pushed some fat kid in the way, and now I gotta listen to you talking?
I think what he was accused of doing is disgusting, but he also makes a valid point. These kids are free to take on whatever mission they want, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to them. His question, while dismissive of them, makes the point a lot of people are trying to make. What do David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez bring to the table that makes them interesting and worth listening to other than they went to a school where something bad happened?
They’re not even that well versed in the subject of debate. They parrot talking points from anti-gun organizations but offer nothing particularly new. They capitalize on sympathy because of “survivor” status, as if that gives them some kind of gravitas, but what do they actually do?
The thing is, while Slate is lamenting his comedy today, others argue that this isn’t anything new for Louis C.K.
As many have pointed out, C.K.’s latest stand-up routine sounds a lot like his previous work—which was never perfectly in line with “P.C.” values even when he was younger. So, no, C.K. didn’t emerge from his masturbation-reckoning a totally changed person, but this likely has nary to do with aging or a lack of commitment to consent.
Still, “dude’s out here doing stand-up as if he’s somehow impervious to the repercussions of [his] actions,” states Paste, making explicit the undercurrent of so much current outrage culture. The goal is to prevent people whom the appropriate online factions have deemed doomed from finding work, expressing themselves, or participating in public spheres in perpetuity.
None of this is especially novel at this point, alas, so let’s at least note the irony: C.K.’s set was private. A tiny group of people paying to be there could have been the only witnesses to this allegedly wicked man’s words. Now the internet is abuzz about C.K.’s set and his name is back atop headlines.
The “dude’s out here” being heard because of those allegedly aghast at him being allowed to speak.
It’s a fair point.
Look, I’m not a huge Louis C.K. fan. I never watched his show and I’ve never seen his comedy. About the only thing I’ve seen is his stint on “Parks & Recreation.”
But the man has a right to blast anyone he wants, and while I don’t condone what he supposedly did, he’s also promised to do a better job of listening and made a commitment to consent. That didn’t mean he was going to roll over and not point out things that he wants to point out.
And if that’s the stupidity of everyone kissing the Parkland crowd’s collective rumps, so be it.