Louis C.K. is once again the target of an all-out blitzkrieg from the PC puritans. This time, the woke boys have taken offense to a set he did where he poked fun at the Parkland survivors as well as non-binary people. It basically boiled down to a rant but he’s Louis CK, one of the greatest comics of all time, so it still crushed. His comedy has always known no boundaries and his way of saying things is what brings it home.
But listen, we’re not allowed to laugh at Louis. He isn’t funny. If your stand-up doesn’t neatly fit into a set of made up parameters, the online mob will “cancel” you. Gone are the days where comedy was subjective.
If you talk shit about the LBGT community, expect to have some 28 year-old white hipster tweeting Beyoncé gifs at you. Make fun of straight people? No problem. Wanna get your “cheeto man bad” jabs in? That shit is groundbreaking and will get you thunderous applause; just remember that making fun of Obama’s freakishly large ears makes you racist.
Of course, if you don’t like what a comic is saying, you don’t have to listen to them and support their work. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to listen to a Louis C.K. set. If you prefer not to hear it, simply don’t.
But that isn’t enough for the PC brigade. They have to seek out every comic who doesn’t adhere to the approved list of topics and burn them down from behind a computer screen. Everyone has to have the same, smug “religion is the opiate of the masses” routine that’s been mainstream since 2005. In their eyes, stick to bashing the approved groups or get the fuck off the stage.
Lost on this crowd is the fact that comedy, like music, is consumer driven. If people weren’t paying to come see comics or watching their shows, there wouldn’t be any successful comics.
So how did we get to a point where so-called comedians are dictating to the consumer what they can and cannot listen to? The audience was laughing hysterically during CK’s set. But if you checked Twitter, you’d think it was a bomb of epic proportions. Every article being promoted was about how it “wasn’t funny” and the classic “if you need *insert banned topic* to be funny, you aren’t funny” line from the self-appointed guardians of fun.
You can easily tell that these people have never been to a comedy club. I mean, it’s a comedy club. The crowd is there to laugh and are generally always respectful of other comedians. Something that would sound terrible in polite society could easily play in a club (if done right) because the audience has already gone in with an open mind.
Self righteous, online outrage mobs have no respect for this mindset. They’ve been taught that there is a specific blueprint that must be followed in order to be successful. Only certain topics can be discussed and if the feedback loop approves, you’re funny.
With this way of thinking, it’s hard to see how we would have comics like Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr or even George Carlin. Remember, you gotta follow the blueprint for what can and cannot be funny like you’re studying for a calculus test. Even Seinfeld is now being targeted by the mob because it doesn’t fit.
Something that has historically brought people together is under siege. What was once an art form known for its lack of boundaries is being invaded by authoritarians who want to control, not entertain. They could care less about the state of comedy because, to them, it is just yet another vehicle to advance their agenda.
This isn’t some left-right political statement either. Louis C.K. is no “right-winger” just because he pokes fun at this absurd ideology. Just because I have different views doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear jokes about Trump, white people and Christians. No topic is off limits and there is comedic value in just about everything.
C.K., Chappelle, and other legends are known for making fun of everybody. If they can find the comedic value in something, they go for it. Some of the best stand-up works because it has shades of truth to it. If everyone keeps an open mind and respects different comics, people walk away with new understandings of each other.
This is all going to disappear, however, if we continue cowering to a vocal minority acting in bad-faith. Louis C.K. joking about Parkland doesn’t mean that he wants kids to die. Five years ago this would have been common sense, but now people will do anything for some quick internet clout.
If there is a takeaway to be had from all of this, it is that you should never apologize. I will always support the right of any comic, of any background or belief, to say whatever the fuck they want.
Also understand that there is absolutely nothing to be gained from selling out to this nonsensical ideology. Apologies will only be used against you as evidence of your guilt. If you’re not a racist, you don’t suddenly become one because some clown who doesn’t know you found some rap lyrics you quoted at 17. We need to bring back respect for other ideas and come to an understanding that people grow and change.
Louis C.K. messed up, there were consequences but then he apologized. If he wants to keep doing stand-up, millions of his fans are going to continue to listen regardless of what the mob has to say. Nobody should be intimidated out of speaking their mind or supporting those that do so and it is far past time to put a stop to this madness.