Recently, stand-up comedian Tom Segura, was a guest on the Joe Rogan show and they discussed, among other things, the likely return of the currently exiled Louis CK.
Speaking with a combination of refreshing honesty and intelligence they agreed, Louis will, eventually, inevitably, be back to performing.
This reminded us of several things. First, that following his collapse on stage, Michael Richards who had invoked lynching, in response to being heckled (by a Black man) spent a few years in isolation living off his Seinfeld residuals. Then began his return with an appearance on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and a few years after that on Curb Your Enthusiasm, in a meta-episode about a fictional Seinfeld reunion show.
And that, Bill Burr made a sly observation about this fall from grace and recovery industry when he pointed out that Paula Deen, herself revealed to have a fetish for plantations, was a whale and would, after an appropriate interval, be resurrected. It’s crucial to understand he meant “whale” as in the gambling sense where the house recognizes certain gamblers as being so wealthy, and so lucrative, that banishing them permanently is not an option.
That reminded us of a scene in the first episode of The West Wing where, Josh Lyman, (Bradley Whitford) having made a joke about and at the expense of a religious zealot, was on the proverbial hotseat and was expected to be thrown overboard by the new Barlet regime. The zealot in question, Mary Marsh, matter-of-factly, asked what she was going to get in the inevitable deal once Josh was turned into an unperson, and sent into exile or to a think tank to write articles no one read. The scene unfolded with the typical Sorkin use of floating opposites and some clever banter, but while it ended on a false note of civic grandeur and offered up a isn’t it pretty to think so ending, it also revealed the “whale” at work.
Short of murder, or rape, or pedophilia, (and even those categories are iffy given enough lucre) anything can be “fixed” because of course what matters is the money. And in a system where the “free press” is an illusion and is in truth a wholly owned subsidiary of corporations that are themselves wholly owned subsidiaries of corporations that are invested in the entertainment and communications corporations, everything is for sale.
The fact that CK didn’t break the law, didn’t rape anyone, and that what he did, however obnoxious did not (despite cries to the contrary) rise to the level of a felony, doesn’t really matter.
We are living in our version of an Orwellian police state. That our Brave New World does not look exactly like Mao’s China, or Stalin’s Soviet Union, or any number of other tyrannical regimes doesn’t mean it’s not a tyrannical regime.
CK won’t be on tour or performing any time soon. It’s going to be a while and like some Roman writer who ran afoul of the aristocrats or the emperor’s mistress, he will be silenced for a good long stretch.
But then things will change. First there will be the profile piece in a respectable media organ of the system. Rolling Stone or the New Yorker. After all if they have the power to banish you, they have the power to return you from exile.
Then a whispering campaign and some “debates” between “feminists” and someone else. (We note that Segura, in a performance currently available on Netflix mentions a woman trying to pick him up after a show and how she said to him: I guess you’re going to go back to your hotel now and spray jizz all over the place. That this was a reference to CK seems to have gone unnoticed).
And then, the mea culpa. Maybe a sit-down with…The Oprah, assuming she’s not too busy running the country. Maybe a spot on his old friend Conan O’Brien’s show.
And then, stories about him working out new material at some of the smaller clubs. Followed by comments by Rogan and others about how he’s raw and brilliant and hilarious and it’s all so crazy and good.
And of course, it will be all of those things because Louis CK is brilliant and hilarious and crazy and very very good at what he does.
And so it goes.
We’re not saying the mainstream media is slow but…by the time they catch up to The Ink we’ll probably be retired. Anyhow, here’s some mainstream type riding our coat tails on Louis CK’s comeback tour and we agree it will probably involve something “serious” like 60 minutes.
And additionally we take note of yet another piece of oddball faux journalism from The Guardian which seems determined to confirm every dreary and moldy right wing cliche about liberal media.
Here’s the occasionally interesting Hadley Freeman once again insisting that the distinctions the law makes between felonies and misdemeanors are at best false and at worst irrelevant.
And speaking of gross generalizations Ms. Freeman and The Guardian offer this:
“This argument has come up a lot since the start of the #MeToo movement, with men solemnly explaining to women that a grope is really not the same as a rape, which is super helpful of them because if there’s one group who really aren’t clear about the severity of rape, it’s women. But increasingly when I hear someone say, “Harassment isn’t as bad as rape”, what they seem to be saying is, “It isn’t that bad at all.”
Except of course not all men believe that and in fact here at The Ink we went to war with the media and tried to get The Guardian (among others) to cover the ongoing shit show of sexual harassment and fraud at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra but as The Guardian said in an article: Some people just aren’t famous enough so we won’t cover their stories of harassment.
But Ms. Freeman isn’t about to bite the hand that feeds her and isn’t about to admit that out of the billions of men there might be some who can think for themselves and don’t believe in gross generalizations.
But why let logic get in the way of a good rant.
We also draw your attention to a serious flaw in the argument about Louis CK. If, as Ms. Freeman and everyone else seems to insist it was an open secret for decades that Louis liked to be watched and that everyone knew, at what point is alright to ask: Well why the fuck did you go back to his hotel room with him? Ok, perhaps they were the only ones (all five or six of them not including the one who said sure I’ll watch you jerk off, and the one who said no and he said ok and dropped it) who hadn’t heard the stories even though we’ve been told everyone knew.
In other words, either everyone knew including the women who were then shocked that he did it, or everyone did not know which raises questions about the need to stop screaming in bold type headlines about how everyone is complicit.
But our greater wry amusement is reserved for the final paragraph where the utterly tone deaf Guardian editors and Ms Freeman stick the landing:
“Are the women these men exploited being interviewed about how their careers were hampered? How they were denied opportunities because they spoke up, or said no? The answer, of course, is ha ha ha. Increasingly it looks like #MeToo didn’t topple the patriarchy – it showed how tenacious the patriarchy is at enforcing its stranglehold.”
Gee, I don’t know Ms. Freeman, why don’t you pick up the fucking phone and call them and ask? Ya know, like an actual journalist who works for an actual fucking newspaper.
See the show here:
Right on schedule, he’s back.