There was a time that I virtually worshipped comedian Louis C.K. Caustic and acerbic as he could be, he seemed to cut straight to the heart of things, deconstructing and finding humor in ways only comics can do. I should also mention here that I have a number of friends who are stand up comics, and I think it bears mentioning that for many comics the stage is a means of therapy. There is truth that in pain comes creativity and Art, and stand up comedy very definitely is an art form.
On my MP3 player I have a stand up comedy file with better than a dozen different comics and an untold number of short comedy spots. But Louis C.K. held a special place. He seemed to speak from the middle aged white man’s point of view, speaking on rape, homophobia, sex and marriage, marriage, Cinnabon, airports, getting older and more. Louis C.K. had his own separate file. Then…well, I neither can or will listen to another Louis C.K. stand up ever again.
Jon Stewart knew, and said nothing. He’s done in my view, as well. People knew that Louis C.K. would act like some sort of animal predator, inviting female comics to his room only to begin masturbating in front of them. Who does that? Well, according to my wife and female friends, far more men than polite society wants to admit. Here is a guy who could and did have everything; money, notoriety, financial security, family, films, access, and who certainly would not have had any trouble meeting women, provided he wasn’t an absolute freak.
I found out about it last week when the news broke widely, though, as I said, apparently lot’s of people knew this was happening. Everyone around Harvey Weinstein knew about his perversion and even violence only to keep quiet as long as they got paid. And all of this moral outrage by an industry that facilitated Weinstein, Spacy, Louis C.K. and others like them is reprehensible in it’s own right. Roy Moore, a prosecutor, was trolling a high school in his 30s, and was banned from a mall for predatory behavior against under age girls! Now that the once mighty Rhino has been stumbled, finally all those long intimidated by his judicial power and bullying behavior has stepped forward. I risked my home and job speaking out against an egregious injustice committed by an airline CEO after September 11, 2001. Stand up, men, or you are just weak!
And please, Louis C.K., don’t attempt to explain this away as some sort of sickness. You failed to control yourself when you knew better. The quickness of your public apology confirms that. There is no apology Louis C.K. could offer. Forever what ever he does will be tainted by the specter of what he did to those young and only too trusting women.. How could you, Louis C.K. ? How could you do that to those women, first of all, and how did you ever think that fans would ever get past that in a million years. I’m not sure I would even want to buy a cup of coffee from you.
Angry? Yes, but more heart broken and disappointed more. You had bits that were more than stand up, but were brilliant transcendent observations of the human condition. What you did destroyed all that. It made that brilliance instead plastic and false, and there simply is no redemption except to take your millions and start from this moment striving to redeem yourself, quietly and anonymously, and where no one ever has to be reminded what they believed you were and what you actually turned out to be.
A touching tail? Sure, but not the one I ever wanted to tell.