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Lucky Louie (and now Louie)

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Kal

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Reply #240 on: January 02, 2019, 01:00:47 AM
The most annoying thing about that Soundcloud is whomever recorded it or whatever that person closest to the audio laughing non-stop like a knucklehead. I was not laughing at most of it and it stressed me out that this dude is laughing uncontrollably and the laugh is louder than Louie...

If you listen to the entire set, the Parkland joke and the other stuff people are making a fuzz about are less noticeable and seem more like his usual material. Lazy, not funny, but also not new. He always offends people on purpose and uses politically incorrect words. It's what he does. George Carlin did this too and depending on the context, you don't get mad at their intention. We definitely live in a more sensitive time where it's harder to do that, but also given what happened with him I would have hoped his comeback would be a little more mellow and sophisticated, like a Louie movie or even an episode or a short film or something where he goes back to showing what a great writer and director he can be, even when directing something so simple.

This just didn't do it for me, but again, I don't know if watching it without the incredibly annoying laugh of this guy in my ear would have made a difference.


eward

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Reply #241 on: January 06, 2019, 11:20:01 AM
I actually don't disagree with some of this - never thought I'd say that about something outta the National Review, but there it is...

Thoughts? Retorts?

They’re Lying about Louis C.K.

‘Transgressive’ is good, except when the Left gets offended

Is there any precedent for the outpouring of loathing and contempt from former admirers and peers that landed on Louis C.K. as 2018 ticked to a close? Fellow comics and comedy writers broke an unwritten rule and attacked one of their own, joining the usual Twitterati and culture cops in a rage-fueled online stoning. A bit C.K. had performed at a Long Island night club on December 16, with no intention that a national audience hear it, and that leaked online without his permission, was mentioned on the front page of the New York Post and New York Times.

“You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot,” C.K. said. “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’ve got to listen to you talking?” C.K. also made fun of hypersensitive, scoldy, uptight young people and their pronoun posturing.

The response from Andy Richter, Judd Apatow, and other comedy pros was to label this routine “hacky,” “lazy,” “shallow,” “easy,” and “fishing in a barrel.” (I think that last one is supposed to be “shooting fish in a barrel,” Andy, it’s important not to mangle the clichés you use.)

But what C.K. said isn’t hacky. A hack does a bit on how the Starbucks menu is too confusing or how women gain weight after marriage. And anyway, a hacky routine isn’t worth mentioning, much less getting upset about. “Parts of a comedy routine performed in an obscure club two weeks ago bombed” is not news. To mock the Parkland kids in even so mild a way as to suggest they have no expertise on gun control is to venture into a high-voltage area. It’s the opposite of “hacky.” It is in fact “edgy.” The edge in question is the frontier where “things that can be said” meets “things that cannot be said.” It’s where “funny” meets “offensive.” It’s where the audience will laugh while thinking, “I can’t believe he said that.” It’s where most of the top comics have wanted to live ever since Lenny Bruce inspired outrage for “mocking Jackie Kennedy.” (Actually the bit in question suggested that Mrs. Kennedy was guilty merely of being human, of trying to flee the limousine where her husband had been shot, rather than bravely seeking help. This was an edgy thing to say in 1964 but hit home because it was likely true.)

C.K.’s comments on youth weren’t hacky and trite either, because their premise wasn’t a kids-these-days cliché but something close to the opposite. He was pointing out that (first time in recorded history!) kids these days aren’t adventurous enough, aren’t frivolous enough, aren’t freewheeling enough. Somehow every kid these days wants to clamp down on others, aspires to be a cultural vice principal or a language Niedermeyer. That’s funny.

C.K. was not “punching down.” The Parkland kids are national heroes. They have been on the covers of magazines and dominated the conversation for weeks. They led a nationwide march. They logged countless hours of adulatory coverage on the television shows. They starred in a CBS documentary, 39 Days, and in a longish segment in the latest Michael Moore movie. Their views on matters unrelated to having been present at a school shooting are eagerly sought. Their youth isn’t a source of vulnerability but is central to their power in a youth-worshipping culture (that doesn’t much revere dumpy, balding, middle-aged white guys).

David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez have 2.5 million Twitter followers between them. Many of the Parkland kids were invited to sing “Seasons of Love” on the Tonys. C.K. wasn’t. They aren’t as rich or as famous as he is, but culturally speaking, they are lions and he is a masturbating rodent. C.K. is so loathed that the occasion of his venturing out of his apartment once to speak at a comedy club for 15 minutes inspired this New York Times headline: “Louis C.K. Slithers Back.” The attached column labeled him a “malignancy” and suggested he should work in a Gap rather than comedy.

The tone of Andy Richter and Judd Apatow’s tweets was not that they were disappointed that C.K. had done a bit that wasn’t funny at a show neither of them had attended. No, Richter and Apatow are outraged. And outrage is a double-edged sword, isn’t it? Comics don’t want to admit they’re outraged. Because outrage traditionally makes you a butt of jokes, a bit like the teenaged pearl-clutching brigade C.K. mocked.

What is driving this episode of cultural citizens’ arrest is that the Parkland kids are untouchable. They can’t be made fun of. They are . . . icons. Comics can’t say that because labeling the Parkland kids sacred cows would acknowledge the existence of sacred cows. And they want to reserve the right to barbecue everybody else’s sacred cows. Jesus Christ is worshipped by even more people than Emma Gonzalez, but no comic wants to abandon the right to mock his story. (And if attacking a dead guy who was crucified at age 33 for speaking his mind isn’t “punching down,” what is?) Louis C.K. went after icons. That makes him iconoclastic. And iconoclastic was a great compliment. Still is. Mocking the Parkland kids is taboo. And taboo-busting was a great compliment. Still is. C.K. was being transgressive. And transgressive was a great compliment. Still is. One almost begins to entertain a rumor of a hint of a suspicion that the culture cops don’t approve of transgression per se, but only of the transgression of boundaries cherished by people they don’t like.

The prototypical C.K. routine will be shocking (in that it ventures without euphemism into an area we don’t like to talk about), subversive (in that he stakes out a contrarian position), and funny (because its premise is nevertheless true, or at least true-ish). If you don’t agree with the premises, you’re not going to find them funny. But the premise of his Parkland bit is that surviving a school shooting doesn’t make you an expert on any public-policy question. This is not only true, it’s obvious. C.K. is doing the same kinds of bits he has always done.


Whether or not you personally found the material funny, and it's totally fine if you didn't, I think this article makes some fair points.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #242 on: January 06, 2019, 12:10:22 PM
Nah, that article's pretty gross in my opinion. It's just another right-winger crying about SJWs and obsessed with this idea of cultural capital and frustrated that they don't have more of it.

As a 53-year old, this writer's POV is nothing new. He's panicking that his generation is losing influence:

Quote
Their views on matters unrelated to having been present at a school shooting are eagerly sought. Their youth isn’t a source of vulnerability but is central to their power in a youth-worshipping culture (that doesn’t much revere dumpy, balding, middle-aged white guys).

I don't have strong opinions on Louis CK's set, but I do have strong opinions on this article. This trend of people being so upset that others are offended is pretty much the dumbest thing. I will applaud the writer branching out from "snowflake" and "social justice warrior" — "the teenaged pearl-clutching brigade" does at least sound different. But it's more of the same.

As John Cleese recently said: "Snowflake is a word used by sociopaths in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy."

And all the talk about free speech is probably their weakest argument. When your free speech is taken away by the government, I think we can all agree that's an unacceptable infringement of rights. When your speech becomes less relevant and influential because your ideas and beliefs are bad, that's called progress.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #243 on: January 06, 2019, 12:16:14 PM
To add onto that a bit:

Part of Louis CK's set does perfectly reflect Kyle Smith's point of view, and they are squarely in the same generation. You really get a sense from Louis that he's exhausted by cultural changes. And yes — losing privilege and power and relevance is not meant to be a pleasant thing. But it's inevitable.
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wilberfan

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Reply #244 on: January 06, 2019, 12:17:55 PM

Whether or not you personally found the material funny, and it's totally fine if you didn't, I think this article makes some fair points.


I think I agree with you, here.   I listened to the bit, and while I didn't find all of it hysterically funny, I could see what Louis was doing and appreciated the edginess and where's-the-line testing.   

Thought the article cleverly written, too. 
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eward

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Reply #245 on: January 06, 2019, 12:28:14 PM
What I agree with overall is that the material is nothing particularly new from Louie, but I also say that as someone who has consumed not only all of his stand-up material, late night appearances, tv shows, what have you, but also every last hour he recorded over the years on Opie and Anthony and various other outlets, which typically found him far more relaxed, subversive, dark, non-pc and beyond controversial, not to mention consistently hilarious. So none of it is really shocking to me. I also don't believe that just because he's taking a particular stance against something for the sake of a joke, whether you find it funny or not, necessarily implies that he holds those views in private, or that he doesn't have empathy for the victims of Parkland, or the struggles of the trans community.  I am one of these people that considers everything par for the course, if the joke is strong enough. These arguably weren't, that's absolutely fair. But I find the moral grandstanding hard to track sometimes. (To be clear, I'm a lefty! Hillary voter and all! Well, Bernie first, but I fell in line and oh god what happened  :shock:)
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wilberfan

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Reply #246 on: January 06, 2019, 12:31:45 PM
I also don't believe that just because he's taking a particular stance against something for the sake of a joke, whether you find it funny or not, necessarily implies that he holds those views in private, or that he doesn't have empathy for the victims of Parkland, or the struggles of the trans community.


Precisely what what was in my head listening to the bit.  I heard a comedian working a joke and not (necessarily) ranting about a personal point of view.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #247 on: January 06, 2019, 12:34:56 PM
Fair points.

And I will agree, a lot of moral grandstanding and watchdogging (on Twitter especially) is in fact unbearable. I have definitely unfollowed a person or two to avoid it.

In general, most of the obsession with cultural politics is a distraction anyway. Which makes it a little more frustrating that the Parkland students' very straightforward call to action on POLICY is being transformed into a cultural issue by people such as this National Review guy.
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Drenk

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Reply #248 on: January 06, 2019, 12:37:10 PM
It's very complicated to have this conversation when SJW is a word that exists, created by the alt-right. I'm not at ease with my generation. But I hope that the ugliness is temporary and necessary.

In a way, the reaction isn't surprising: C.K did better versions of those jokes, he was just going through the motions, and the set does reek of wounded privileged ego. The takes come from bad faith and passion. Seriously. The same ones could have been written with different quotes. An old set could have been released as a new one. But the way the articles present the quotes as if they're from a rally is...I get that it's an industry and that it works but...

When reality is complex but is presentedas a manichean circus nobody gains anything but likes.
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wilberfan

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Reply #249 on: January 06, 2019, 12:45:07 PM
manichean circus


[Whistles]  I know a little about a lot of stuff--and I've been around a lot longer than most of you whippersnappers--but I'll admit never encountering this word before today.   Props, sir!
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eward

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Reply #250 on: January 06, 2019, 12:49:33 PM
Fair points.

And I will agree, a lot of moral grandstanding and watchdogging (on Twitter especially) is in fact unbearable. I have definitely unfollowed a person or two to avoid it.

In general, most of the obsession with cultural politics is a distraction anyway. Which makes it a little more frustrating that the Parkland students' very straightforward call to action on POLICY is being transformed into a cultural issue by people such as this National Review guy.

I hear that. For what it's worth, I actually admire the Parkland kids a great deal. And policy-wise I'm pretty much right there with them.

And yeah, cool word, Drenk.  :) Definitely gonna whip that one out at parties. (Appropriate for a Louie thread)
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