“I Love You Daddy”—which Louis C.K. directed, edited, wrote, and stars in—is a disgusting movie that should never have been acquired for distribution in the first place.”
— Richard Brody
Arriving with the precise timing of a well lubed train full of collaborationists and their lawyers, and changing their tune as quickly as a preacher caught with an underage hooker, The New Yorker and one of its Torquemadas, Richard Brody, have decided to set up shop and start economically and culturally executing artists of whom they do not approve.
Let’s take a minute and contemplate Brody and The New Yorker’s use of the word “disgusting.”
It’s not just the ways in which the use of the word echoes the basic Steve Bannon gruppenfuhrer rhetoric of any number of fascists, nor is it the ways in which it echoes the standard knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, fire and brimstone bible humping rhetoric of any number of atavistic goons on their way to a torch-lit ceremony, or the vapid but toxic, vote for me pseudo-intellectual moral hermaphrodites of the National Front or the GOP. Though, it does reek of book burning and the sadistic fetishizing of deviant art by fascists, what matters here, is the belly-flop crash and burn stupidity of the “idea.”
That a corner of the liberal caliphate of Manhattan would use such a blatantly obvious example of gross stupidity to make a third rate argument while screaming – bring me his head – speaks not only to an intellectual and moral bankruptcy, but to a cognitive dissonance, ramped up to the spiritual level of your ears bleeding, and a case of hysteria that would make Medea seem boring by way of comparison.
Because of course, Brody and the New Yorker all know they’re standing on a stale cracker at the edge of a waterfall. They won’t admit it but they know it’s true. Instead they will embrace their hypocrisy and wear it like a jugum ring.
Since when has anyone’s sense of disgust been the criteria for the distribution of a film or any work of art? Well, since the last time some gang of malignant neo-fascist trolls got together to shine each other’s boots and ask who was in charge of rounding up the Jews, or the queers, or the Leftists, or…
And of course Brody and the New Yorker know that and they are familiar with the nearly endless list of disgusting people showing disgusting things or things that someone somewhere finds disgusting.
For example, I’m sure Mr. Brody, and the editors at The New Yorker would, after taking off their ayatollah costumes and Joe McCarthy masks, agree with me when I point out that T.S. Eliot’s call for Jews to be locked up so as to ensure the safety of society is…disgusting.
I’m sure they would agree that L.F. Celine’s support for the Nazis was disgusting.
I’m sure they would agree that Rimbaud was, by all accounts, a punk, an obnoxious asshole and that his working as a seller of slaves was…disgusting.
I’m sure they would agree that Caravaggio was disgusting.
I’m sure they would agree that Mishima’s sado-masochistic sexual fascism is disgusting.
I’m sure they would agree that millions of people found Piss Christ and Robert Mapplethorpe…disgusting.
One even assumes that they found the call for Salman Rushdie’s death to be disgusting but then again, when one is dealing with people who possess a gelatinous sense of morality, and a loose definition of courage, one can’t be certain of much. After all, they have kept their mouths shut about Kennedy Center Honoree Jimmy Page, having his own Lolita – a 14 year old child who he spent several years fucking – technically, raping. And mind you, that was after she had been raped by David Bowie. Thus the outrage machine once again displays its utterly craven hypocrisy.*
But were someone to call for the distribution of their works to be stopped I’m sure they would be outraged. Or at least, annoyed. Perhaps even, irritated. And make donations to the ACLU. And write pithy notes on the weak candle of freedom flickering in the dark and how it needs to be protected.
One could go on but why bother?
For example one could dwell on the rank hypocrisy of Brody and The New Yorker by pointing out how they try to maintain their first amendment bona fides and liberal street cred, by saying, forked tongue slithering between their clenched teeth – CK is free to make whatever he wants but no one should distribute it.
One could point out that they don’t even have the balls to just come out and say they want to impose a litmus test on art by establishing themselves as the arbiters of what is and is not disgusting (to them and on our infantilized behalf).
One could point out that by lynching CK for the content of the film, Brody and The New Yorker are indirectly asking the mob to turn its attention to the people in the film as well. After all, if the film is so obviously disgusting to the Mandarins of The New Yorker, shouldn’t the morally odious and greasy tendrils have been obvious to Helen Hunt and John Malkovich, Pamela Aldon, Chloe Grace Moretz and Edie Falco? Are they to be spared condemnation because they were blind but now, courtesy of the holy redeemers of culture they can see? Or are they to be banished from the ideal city state along with CK because they were complicit in the production of this vile sinful catastrophe? Are Hunt, Aldon and Falco no longer feminists? Are they bad feminists? Must they publically repent? Is Malkovich a pig and a bad feminist? Must he prove that he likes women and hates CK? Or, per the papal bull(shit) of The New Yorker, should we just call them a pack of idiots?
And make no mistake that Brody and the New Yorker, having lurched into total intellectual and moral irresponsibility and ethical bankruptcy, are reserving the authority to direct their illegitimate rage on those others – at a time and place of their choosing. After all that is the standard operating procedure for cultural police using the tactics of neo-fascist thugs. This is the danger of hysteria and witch hunts.
Notice of course neither Brody nor The New Yorker address these questions. Because their outrage is situational, expedient and as Groucho said: These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others. Instead they do what hypocritical demagogic neo-fascists always do – they stoke the flames and then stand back and watch the fire spread.
They do tell us that the relationship in the film between an older man and a (very) young girl/woman is immoral but then pull a bait and switch and point out that it’s never made clear if the relationship between Malkovich’s character and Moretz’ is sexual or not. Which of course undermines part of their brief against the film and CK. Precisely because part of the film’s point is, that if we allow rumor and gossip to replace evidence we will all be held hostage to chance in a tyranny of shadows. Precisely because CK is, as he has in the past, at pains to point out that the spectrum of behavior is vast and contradictory.
And consider this from a corollary screed in the same issue:
“The only generous way to read “I Love You, Daddy” is as a portrait of male cowardice. What kind of man would be so shamefully pathetic as to avoid confronting the famous geezer who may or may not be screwing his underage daughter because that geezer has offered to read his latest script? The same man, presumably, who winces but doesn’t intervene as his dumbo comedian buddy (Charlie Day) describes, at gleeful length, all the ways that the man’s daughter has probably been fucked on spring break.”
You see, there’s only one way to read the narrative. The New Yorker has spoken. And perhaps, CK’s point, among the multiplicity of outlawed other ways we might read the film, is that some men are in fact cowards? In other words here’s The New Yorker condemning male cowardice in the face of misogyny while at the same time denouncing a portrayal of male cowardice in the face of misogyny.
And they tell us this:
“The result is, in effect, an act of cinematic gaslighting, an attempt to spin the tenets of modern liberal feminism into shiny objects of hypnotic paralysis. The movie declares that depredation is liberation, morality is tyranny, judgment is narrow-mindedness, shamelessness is creativity, lechery is admiration, and public complaint is private vanity. And it does so with a jocular self-deprecation that frames its screed as a personal journey through loss to self-awareness by way of a newfound respect for women’s virtues and desires—and a newfound skepticism about moral verities. (It also pushes other buttons of cavalier affront in the guise of uninhibited freedom, as in Glen’s use of the N-word early in the film.)”
Well, how dare someone take issue with the “tenets of modern liberal feminism” (as if that is some sort of monolithic structure devoid of competing narratives) without permission from the people who have announced that they are in charge of what is, or isn’t to be distributed because they are also in charge of telling us what’s disgusting. And apparently “modern liberal feminism” is safe from the same distortions and private blood feuds that have impacted every other human effort at social change.
And as to conflating shamelessness and creativity and lechery and freedom – Perhaps The New Yorker would like to stop the distribution of work by Lord Byron and Baudelaire. Or Jim Morrison. Or T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Wagner. Or Charlie Parker and Elvis? And when the right wing goons call for stopping the distribution of art that they do not approve of Brody and The New Yorker can say, per Woody Allen, yes I’m a bigot, but for the left.
And of course, as CK said – saying “N-word” is just a way for some White person to get away with saying “Nigger” – by putting an idea in your head – because that’s what words are – ideas. Which means that disgusting man, William Burroughs was right when he said, language is a virus. And, to state the obvious, it is an issue as CK has pointed out precisely because banning words is not only a mug’s game and waste of time, it is the refuge of charlatans and thugs.
Except at The New Yorker. Where they are compiling a list of the words we can distribute and the one’s we can’t.
They might need help.
Where’s Jesse Helms and Francisco Franco when you need them?
One could linger over their limp totalitarian urges to shows us their vaginas and force us to watch them masturbate, while soaking the Bill of Rights in gasoline. One could linger over their hysteria and hypocrisy, or the spineless cowardice of America’s self-satisfied and smugly complacent liberals, who benefit from their situational outrage and collaboration with the system they periodically denounce. But what would be the point of that as we can see that Brody and The New Yorker are a pair of morbidly obese dead canaries in a toxic national mineshaft, full of harridans of both sexes braying for blood.
The irony here being that the liberals have lurched spasmodically to the right of the right wing in an effort to regain control of the national narrative. Humiliated by the odious behavior of a “Progressive icon” the liberal intelligentsia must now prove itself cleaner than Caesar’s wife in order to appease its neo-fascist left flank, and the traditional neo-fascists. Because if they don’t scream louder than everyone else about seeing Louis CK speaking with the devil, the thugs (of both genders) might come for them. Think that tiki-lit neo-fascist parade in Charlottesville was ugly? Well you haven’t seen a neo-fascist goon parade until the Volvo and Prius driving lords of the People’s Republic of the Upper East Side throw down, and start burning their birkenstocks and penny loafers. And demanding your allegiance. But don’t think they aren’t dangerous because they are banal and absurd. In fact, that’s always part of their ability to succeed.
The banality of the situation, of course, speaks for itself but then the banality of fascism is always part of its charm, for people who spend their time in the supine and paranoid crouch that is standard for fucking losers.
And here at The Ink, we said just the other day that there was a profound danger in saying that Louis CK’s actions were on par with rape.
Mr. Brody and the New Yorker have, quite obviously, proven our point.
The idea that you find a film or any work of art disgusting is up to you. The idea that it’s acceptable to block distribution of art because you find it disgusting because it doesn’t meet your standards for morality or aesthetics, or intellectual nuance, is flatout dangerous, neo-fascist bullshit and if we allow that then we are fascists.
But then, as that rutting pig of a man, Ernest Hemingway said: “There are many who do not know they are fascists, but will discover it when the time comes.”
Mr. Brody may not be a neo-fascist fanboy but if someone were to accuse him of being one, then based on his attack on CK, I’d be incapable of defending him. Or the collaborationist rag he writes for.
Or to put it another way. Hey Brody, they said you weren’t fit to sleep with the pigs. But don’t worry, I defended you.
See Brody’s jizz here:
*And keep in mind that Page was honored by President Obama at The White House. But not a word from the ayatollahs sharpening their knives for CK.
For a brief look at Page’s rape of a child, see the link below:
And for a look at David Bowie, as a child rapist, see the link below:
Here’s a look at The New Yorker threading the needle and praising CK’s guided tours through the dark Lynchian underworld of contemporary America – and doing so without a single nod to the idea that traditionally the tour guides tend to be a bit bent themselves because it takes a particular sensibility to explain the virtues of moral dumpster diving and the nuances of the cultural sewer. Of course, not a word from The New Yorker on its previous celebrations of CK’s genius. This allows them to pretend it didn’t happen but as we all know, on the internet, nothing ever dies.
In a spectacular example of the kettle calling the pot black, Masha Gessen has a new article in the New Yorker that not only manages to avoid looking in the mirror but also manages to be catastrophically, and dangerously flat out wrong.
The article is: When Does a Watershed Become a Sex Panic.
What is stunning in its blatant mendacity, is the following:
“In between lies Louis C.K., who had no physical contact with his victims. That is not to say that, in C.K.’s case, no assault took place – all available information indicates that his actions were sadistic and frightening.”
First, the legal definition of assault is specific. Despite Gessen’s statement to the contrary, no assault occurred.
Secondly, since the accusation of assault is false, it does not follow that assault took place because, according to Gessen, CK’s actions were “sadistic and frightening.” And even if they were sadistic and frightening, those are not criteria for meeting the legal threshold of sexual assault.
Thirdly, all the available evidence, includes one woman who said she agreed, when asked, to watch CK. It also includes women who said no and CK dropping the issue. And it includes two women who watched and then left but have yet to explain why they stayed not only during the masturbation but while CK was getting undressed.*
Fourth, sadistic and fright are subjective states not only undermined by the available evidence but are more about Gessen’s assumptions then about anything else.
Fifth, Gessen then performs a nice journalistic reverse sowcow and sticks the landing by ignoring The New Yorker being complicit in generating and benefiting from the panic she claims to be concerned about, and by pointing out that the law makes distinctions (crucial distinctions) between misdemeanors, battery and rape. As if to say, CK is not guilty of rape, but in our faux reasonableness we’ll create such an atmosphere of rage that the only people making note of the distinction will be the creeps at the funeral parlor who have to turn his body into a presentable corpse.
Gessen goes on to offer a tepid context for the atmosphere of panic but of course fails to mention Lori Maddox, Jimmy Page and David Bowie – not only because, one assumes she’s ignorant of the details, but precisely because doing so would require moral contortions that exceed the g-force limits of The New Yorker but also, precisely because, focusing on Page and Bowie would require focusing on the complicity and hypocrisy of the media. In order to be honest and ethical she and the New Yorker would not only have to attack Page and Bowie but would then have to demand that Obama make a comment and have the Kennedy Center rescind its award. If you’re going to be universally offended by creeps, then you can’t be selective about the creeps you find universally offensive.
So here we have The New Yorker again riding two horses with one ass. Brody plays fire and brimstone preacher and Gessan plays reasonable – a sort of good cop bad cop attempt to be both thought police and good liberals.
To borrow a phrase from back when The New Yorker actually mattered: It makes me want to thow up.
Sarah Silverman has made a public comment on her friend, Louis CK. It’s worth reading about for several reasons including the following:
“I’m still processing all this shit … the only people that matter right now are the victims. They are victims. And they’re victims because of something he did.
“So I hope it’s ok if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, but also sad, because he’s my friend.”
Crucially here is someone publically acknowledging the existence of a non-binary moral dilemma. And just as important here is someone missing the wider point – in addition to the women involved there’s the other victims…due process, civil society, justice, the law, and the clear and present danger of convicting them via social media.
Here’s an article about it:
The witch hunt continues:
While we usually find the morally flexible and journalistic seltzer bottle Jonathan Jones an irritant and find his habit of favoring censorship and then being against it a consistent source of disgust, we offer his latest as an antidote to the ayatollahs at The New Yorker and elsewhere:
And here is an intelligent “Pre scandal” review:
If further proof was needed (it’s not but here it is all the same) The New Yorker’s senility and complete abandonment of ethics is now complete. Below is a short facebook piece by Francine Prose complaining, rightly, and directly about what amounts to plagiarism by a hack and indirectly about the collapse of editorial ethics by a rag of a magazine.