1/10/2019 1 Comment
"They tell you what to call them! — ‘You should address me as they/them because I identify as gender neutral.’ Oh, OK. You should address me as ‘there’ because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother’s c—t," disgraced comedian Louis C.K. said at a comedy club in December 2018.
Moreover, he ranted, "“They testify in front of Congress, these kids?! Like, what the f–k? What are you doing? You’re young, you should be crazy. You should be unhinged. Not in a suit saying, ‘I’m here to tell you…’ F–k you. That’s not interesting. Because you went to a high school where kids got shot? Why does that mean I gotta 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 talk?”
People are calling him a dick for his edgy jokes and new, very conservative, perspective...
But, really, what other audience could this man make his own right now? If he ever wanted to make a comeback in comedy, it basically had to be with this kind of audience.
That's one of the problems with the far left, and the whole idea of social media and mob justice.
It's like, when you commit a crime and you get caught, you're fined or sentenced. You pay your $50 or $1,000 or serve your six months in prison... but then, you're released. You've served your time. You can't go back to jail again for the same crime. Maybe you've reformed. Maybe you haven't. Either way, you still get a chance to move on with your life.
But this isn't the case with thought crimes. This isn't the case with telling a joke people found offensive -- several of whose stories are shared in Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Time after time, we've seen people, whether unknowns with 100 Twitter followers or celebrities like Kevin Hart (he's been in the news lately because he was supposed to host the Oscars... until someone dug up some years-old jokes that have been labeled homophobic), who still suffer years after committing a relatively benign "crime."
From a "justice" perspective, they'd've been better off robbing a store or parking in a handicap spot. Then, at least, they could serve their time and move on with their lives.
Which is... kind of what Louis C.K. wants to do.
Move on with his life.
But social justice doesn't forgive or forget.
Well, it doesn't forget the misdeed. It may forget some of the facts. According to multiple media outlets, from Vox to Deadline, Louis C.K. "admitted" to masturbating in front of women without their consent. I don't know if this is an intentional mischaracterization of his words, or if the writers just misremembered... but that's not what happened. As I wrote in According to Regressive Feminists, Women Can Never Give Consent, Apparently:
He asked some women if he could masturbate in front of them, and they said yes, so he assumed he had their consent. But, apparently, adult women are incapable of giving consent due to the "woman-as-a-child feminist" obsession with "power dynamics."
In Louis C.K.'s own words:
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. Read more >
He admitted that, although he got consent every time he whipped it out, he now realizes there were issues with the power dynamic -- which is very different from admitting you forced women to look at your dick without their consent.
Just as the left abandoned Aziz Ansari after an anonymous woman wrote about an unsexy sexual encounter that was not threatening, coercive, or abusive. Just obnoxious. As I wrote in I Went on a Date With Aziz Ansari. It Was Fun, And We'll Probably Do It Again:
That's basically how the whole night goes. Instead of being like, "I want red wine," she passively says nothing. Instead of saying, "I don't want to suck your dick," she puts his dick in her mouth when it's presented.
I doubt the left will ever forgive him for being dumbfounded and blindsided by the girl's follow-up article to their date.
Which is why he, too, has changed his tune. In a comeback appearance in fall 2018, he made fun of online debates about cultural appropriation (because, reality check: there is no such thing as cultural appropriation -- there is only culture, which is inherently dynamic) and complained that nowadays, “everyone weighs in on everything,” according to the New Yorker.
Aziz and Louis C.K. are both doing the only thing they can do if they want to keep doing comedy: finding a new audience who will forgive them for past transgressions.
Which... is actually kind of interesting.
The right will forgive Louis C.K. and Aziz for their past transgressions of being too liberal and "politically correct":
But the left likely won't forgive the comedians for their... honestly, kind of understandable misunderstandings about sexual encounters. (As Laura Kipnis writes in Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, "Sex is messy.")
The only thing these men can do, if they ever want to do comedy again, is appeal to a group who will support and forgive them.
And, who knows? They might burn out pretty quickly. Like, let's be real: Louis C.K.'s jokes about transgender teens and Parkland shooting survivors weren't funny. They weren't smart. They weren't clever. They had little to no comedic merit. That can't be fun for someone with Louis C.K.'s talent.
Maybe it's because he thinks a conservative audience is less witty or intelligent, so he writes dumbed-down and mean-spirited jokes. Maybe it's because the conservative audience is eager to support anyone who's willing to "speak his or her mind" -- that's the thing trump did that they loved so much, right? It's not about eloquence or nuance. It's about saying something that's not politically correct, simply for the sake of it. Maybe it's because "punching down" just isn't that, you know... rebellious, edgy, clever, or interesting.
Maybe it's something else.
I don't know. I'm no comedy expert. But I do know this set was uninspired. I loved some of the Parkland responses, though -- especially Aalayah Eastmond's. Because, see what I mean? Punching up is way edgier and funnier than punching down.
Yes, in the era of #MeToo, extreme inclusion, and political correctness, the future of comedy may be bleak -- as demonstrated by this contract, sent to comedian Konstantin Kisin prior to a charity gig at a university (h/t Banned By Everyday Feminism):
But if the left can't get over its hate problem and figure out a way to say, "Yeah, the world is going through a thing right now, and even well-meaning people don't always know what to say or do," it's going to drive a lot of well-meaning people out of comedy... and over to the dark side.