This is mostly gonna be another Posts From Facebook entry, because I’ve been characteristically distractible today. To start with, I posted the following status:
“It’s kind of neat that in all the media I’ve seen about Louis CK doing a surprise set, none of them have given him any quarter.”
Which is true. At least from the pieces I’ve noticed from my usual channels (and that’s a big spot of bias right there) his return has been overwhelmingly condemned. Whether it was The AV Club, Vulture, or Dana Schwartz at EW, it wasn’t shown in a favourable light. A friend of mine chimed in with her support for, well, the lack of support. I agreed with her, but also didn’t want us to go off the notion that the rest of the world agreed with me. We all live in bubbles and my community is as insular as the rest. Anyway, here’s what I posted:
“Yeah. At the same time if we’re being realistic, while these elite media organisations are giving him shit, I don’t honestly think he’s been truly condemned by the mainstream. He got a standing ovation. If he dropped a Netflix special tomorrow, a lot of people would watch it.
While the movement is doing some really important stuff, and opening the conversation to create a ripple effect, I think it’d be incredibly out of touch to think it’s actually dented mainstream societal views. What we need is a total overhaul of dominant power structures. What we have is organisations doing the bare minimum they can to seem progressive as long as it doesn’t affect their bottom line.
Notice how so many people mention the “amazing” apology he made, but fail to remember how he fucking denied it to his death until there was absolutely zero doubt and then came forward with how contrite he was. If he was sincerely sorry he would’ve started with the apology.
People have a sickeningly short memory. Remember how we all ranted about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or how inhumane those TSA full body scanners were? It takes virtually nothing for people to swallow their moral objections if it means maintaining the status quo or continuing to have the things they want.
We’ve talked about this before, right? I was a colossal CK fan. I 100% thought he was one of the good ones. There’s a not insubstantial part of me who’d love nothing more than for him to pull back, do the work and eventually have a redemptive arc.
There’s a lot more to that notion though. “Doing the work” means more than empty lip service because of his career being on the line. It means extensive therapy, putting his money and influence behind acts who wouldn’t otherwise have access to those audiences. It means making a meaningful push towards reforming the horrible industry imbalance he was abhorrently complicit in. It means owning up to his bullshit and the lives/careers he’s ruined in a tangible manner. It means using his platform to educate those who idolise him on why his actions were so horrible and what consent is. That’s not remotely even the extent of it. I don’t fully know what redemption for him looks like, but I know that it’s exponentially more than taking 10 months off to sit with his money and write more dick jokes.
He’s a very talented comedian and writer, but those two things mean absolutely nothing if he’s a rotting piece of shit who’s learned zero from what he’s done. I want to be completely clear that no part of me thinks he *deserves* redemption. I hope none of the above gave that impression.”
It’s hard, because society at present has moved past integrity. I’m not saying that words were ever more than empty rhetoric, but they certainly ring hollow these days. Even corruption is irrelevant in a society where the truth is subjective. We’re living in a world where the only things that matter are preaching to the converted and good PR. And the PR doesn’t even need to be *that* good. You just need a receptive crowd who’ll parrot whatever you’ve given them as if it’s gospel. The “right direction” is all a matter of perspective and as such, doesn’t mean a whole lot. Prejudice is so often welcomed as “just saying what we’re all thinking”. Here’s the thing, if a bigot is just saying what you’re thinking, you’re probably a bigot.