Super Funny Louis CK Rape Joke
And shut up, ok, just shut up. I should know. All I do all day is listen to comedy albums and comedy podcasts. Louis CK is both the alpha and the omega, sort of, of comedy. I’ve written shit that’s all up on Louis’s dick and stuff, briefly, that was all like not on it. I’m an adult, and I’m allowed to have an informed, nuanced view of things.
Louis CK is mostly, I think, an asshole.
But Louis CK is sometimes a personal hero of mine, obviously. He throws a lot of shit against the wall, and maybe lately grossing like several literal million dollars via the internet has gotten him to a new place, but I think his response based on some fourth-hand knowledge (granted) of some stupid asshole ‘joke’ is stupid, and CK can be stupid, and sometimes we all fail at everything. Like with his raping Hitler joke, quoted in part above. I know why he thinks it’s funny, but it just hit the warning track. Not a home run. No, definitely not a home run.
I’ve never heard of Daniel Tosh before today, but reading things on what happened here, it seems to me that everything pretty much worked out the way it is supposed to. “Outrageous” comedian says something outrageous, and people are outraged. The outrage spread in such a way that it might have made a few people who used to like him not like him (?). So it potentially harmed his bottom line and and image, at least a little. Maybe he would be slightly less likely to say something this dumb in the future. Unless we’re talking about arresting this guy, seems like this is how it should go; the system worked. If we wanted to go further, people could picket his shows and that might also make him less likely to make these kinds of jokes. Or write the advertisers on his show. He might miss a booking or two. So it’s good that people responded how they did, which is well within their rights just as he was well in his.
I do think this Louis CK joke is funny. Because it’s absurd. It works on the same principle as Amelia Bedelia.
Think about how hard it is to stand in front of a crowd of people with a microphone and make them laugh with your own thoughts, your own language, your own delivery. Trying to find something new to laugh about, some weird idea that came into your head that you want to share and see if someone else gets it. Many of the people who are best at it work the line where they’re close to saying something horrifying. Which, again, when they cross someone’s line, people should get angry and speak out if they are moved to do so.
One interesting thing about Twitter is that almost everyone uses it to write one-liners once in a while. It has created a formal setting for people to try their hand at writing pithy jokes. So I think we’re all getting an education about how this form works. And I assume everyone who tries to write jokes on there at some point wonders, “Would people hate me if I made this joke?” I might think something is funny, but I might also understand how someone else could take it a different way. Sometimes you post it, and sometimes you don’t. You are not always right.
I also think that, since this was re-blogged by It’s Complicated, this whole subject is great fodder for a piece in the zine.
We’d love a piece on Louis C.K. As I (Judy) mentioned yesterday, I am a fan of his, and I think what’s really worth analyzing in his case is that his act is premised on the fact that he’s a white guy — and the subtext is, while he’s painfully aware of his privilege and prejudices, he often falls victim to them. Basically, he’s acknowledging the ugly, misogynist parts of himself in what often seems like an attempt to publicly problematize (sorry for the academic word) them.
What I see in the joke above (which I wouldn’t call laugh-out-loud funny, but then most of Louis C.K.’s stuff is more “makes you think” funny anyway) is a kind of deconstruction of the rape joke as it exists in a comedian like Daniel Tosh’s arsenal. It actually demonstrates why rape isn’t funny by reminding us what an absurd and pathetic act it is. And that’s what makes it so frustrating that C.K. would defend — and even worse, say he enjoys — a guy whose idea of a joke is, “Rape is hilarious har har har, what if five dudes raped this chick right here?”