The Unpersoning of Louis C.K.

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

Over at New York Magazine’s Vulture, progressive media critic and RogerEbert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz proclaims that “Louis C.K. is Done”:

Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein’s entire body of work has been retroactively contaminated by multiple accounts accusing them of sexually predatory behavior ranging from sexual harassment to rape. These stories change our perception of their art, whether we would like them to or not. This is not just unavoidable, it’s a necessary part of processing art and coming to terms with it.

When disturbing stories about respected artists come from the distant past, we treat them dispassionately, as just one detail among many. Present tense or near-present tense revelations hit us differently because we share the same world as the artist, breathe the same air, feed the same economy. We think of them as contemporaries, even as people we know. This kind of revelation changes the relationship between the artist and the art, in a way that places an unasked-for, unfair burden on the audience. This is what’s happening culture-wide. And it’s not the fault of people who didn’t report it, or audiences who aren’t sophisticated enough to separate the art from the artist. It’s the fault of the artists for being secret creeps or criminals, and the fault of the system for making it possible for them to act this way for years without being punished.

Also:

C.K. betrayed the trust of the women he exposed himself to. Their experiences should always be considered first when his name is discussed and his legacy debated…

There’s no reason to feel remorse for disinvesting affection we sunk into artists who are later revealed to be criminals or abusers. There’s no reason to have qualms about stamping their work “Of Archival Interest Only” and moving on to something new — not just new work, but a new paradigm for relationships in show business, and all business. The women who came forward opened themselves to being ostracized and re-traumatized. The only reason they spoke up is to make show business, and the world, safer and more humane. Time to listen.

While reading this article, I was struck by the finality of the judgment. Now that C.K. is a confirmed “gross” “sexual predator” (because so saith The New York Times), welp, it’s time for us all to leave him behind and move on. Off to the leper colony with you Louis, to join Cosby, Spacey, and Weinstein. Esquire reports that C.K.’s new movie will not be released while HBO, FX, and his previous friends are all cutting ties.

I’m not the first to notice that contemporary progressivism, despite its contempt for religion, is in many ways little more than a secular version of Christianity. For example, its rigorously enforced dogma (political correctness, no platforming), obsession with the Devil (racism and sexism), veneration of its saints, and uptight sexuality. But it’s starkly unlike traditional forms of religion in two significant ways. First, whereas traditional religions make distinctions between levels of sin — e.g. “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” a venal sin v. a mortal sin — nearly all of these Hollywood harassment claims are being treated as equally terrible. From Weinstein allegedly raping women to Weinstein coming on to women in his hotel room to Spacey hitting on a 14-year-old boy to Spacey hitting on a 18-year-old man to C.K. masturbating in front of women to Matthew Weiner telling a co-worker she “owed” it to him to let him see her naked to Dustin Hoffman telling an off-color joke — all are equally offensive and equally deserving of vilification. The idea that people might draw distinctions or even dismiss some of the charges doesn’t seem to occur many.

Second, going back to the Seitz piece, while traditional Christianity has a deserved reputation for harsh, condemning, fire-and-brimstone denunciations, that strain is counterbalanced by its root belief in charity, forgiveness, and redemption. What it takes with one hand, it gives with the other. Not so the proggy adherents of the Church of Our Lady of the Current Year. Seitz may be disappointed by C.K.’s exile, but the underlying, unspoken assumption is that permanent exile is the only solution. Perhaps I’m incorrect and Seitz would agree that Weinstein et al. can redeem themselves via the proper rituals: intense therapy, a Mea Maxima Culpa late night tour, and buying an indulgence, er, donating a ton of money to the right charity. But it’s still telling how that road isn’t even hinted at.

Related

  • In the comments to his article on his Facebook page, Seitz adds: “…I’m basically done with Woody Allen. I decided a couple of years ago that as a survivor of childhood domestic violence, I am obligated to believe Dylan Farrow. As a result, I can’t stomach his work anymore. And even if I still had doubts about that, the way he continues to rub the audience’s noses in age-inappropriate relationships, one after the other, is just unseemly. Like he’s getting away with something and laughing about that. My daughter is named Hannah because my wife and I loved HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, so none of this is easy for me to say.” It does not logically follow that because you were victimized by trauma X, you are therefore “obligated to believe” every other person who alleges to be victimized by trauma X. As a friend points out, it makes about as much sense as saying, “I’ve been mugged by black men, therefore I am obligated to believe anyone who says they were mugged by a black man.” Furthermore, saying you are “obligated to believe” or that “all women must be believed” is nothing more than saying, “I have faith in my church.” What happened to the use of our reason, judgment, and the weighing of evidence? Are the residents of Maycomb, Alabama in To Kill a Mockingbird “obligated to believe” Mayella’s charges against Tom Robinson? Were we “obligated to believe” all of the charges in the Satanic ritual abuse cases?
  • The same friend also wonders why Bill Clinton continues to get a pass in all of this. Remember during the 90s when fuddy duddy conservatives said that sexual sin matters and liberals screamed, “It’s just sex, get over it! Don’t force your private morality into the public sphere!” PEPPERIDGE FARM REMEMBERS.
  • Can someone explain to me why David Bowie’s entire discography shouldn’t also be stamped “For Archival Use Only”? Jezebel certainly seems to think so. (And if they don’t think so, why the fuck not?) Rebecca Solnit’s excuse that it was a different time and culture certainly didn’t apply to the Confederacy in the Civil War Statues debate, so why should it apply to Bowie? Isn’t this current Hollywood scandal the Confederate Statues 2.0?
  • In the 80s there was a dopey family sitcom called GROWING PAINS that some may recall. There’s an episode where one the kids meets his idol, a rock star played by young Brad Pitt. His idol turns out to be an asshole. The kid is upset. Cool dad Alan Thicke tells him, “Sometimes your heroes are assholes, sometimes artists you hate are nice people. Who cares?” To think that some cornball TV show has more wisdom and maturity than 99% of our respected thought leaders.

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
This entry was posted in Movies, Performers, Politics and Economics, Sex and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Unpersoning of Louis C.K.

  1. Maz says:

    What the hell is this about all these guys wanting to jack off in front of women? Is it a Jewish thing or something?

    Like

  2. JV says:

    My wife, a childhood sexual abuse survivor herself, said just yesterday that it’s getting ridiculous, and that the tsunami of accusations will result in a backlash soon enough. I totally agree with her. As you say, in the rush to judgement and virtue signaling, matters of degree are lost. And of course, as you point out about Bowie (my favorite rock musician of all time), hypocrisy abounds. Allen, who MARRIED HIS WIFE’S ADOPTED DAUGHTER, still gets to release films but C.K. doesn’t? Bill Clinton gets speaking engagements but Kevin Spacey is banished? And honestly, people coming forward because Spacey tried to cop a feel? For fuck’s sake. My wife’s gay co-worker did that multiple times to me back in the day when we were partying, should I report him? He was my wife’s direct manager, by the way. I did what a person should do in such a case: batted his hand away, told him to knock it off and laughed about it the next day.

    It is interesting, though, in Allen’s and C.K.’s cases, that the acts they are accused of perpetrating can be seen everywhere in their work. I still love Allen’s films, but in every damn one, there are moments that make you cringe based on what we “know” about him today. And of course, 50% of C.K.s act is about masturbation. Ah well. We listened to Cosby records with the kids on road trips well into his dismantling, because the work is so damn good. I’ll continue to watch Allen movies and I truly hope C.K., my generation’s best comedian, continues to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Will S. says:

    Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    It is surreal to observe the sudden current moralistic Hollywood meltdown over sexual indiscretions, perhaps long overdue; that it comes at a time when Christians are becoming less moralistic (e.g. electing Donald Trump, and shrugging at Roy Moore), is extremely amusing.

    The Left’s inability to practice grace and forgiveness, and leave ultimate judgment up to God, is nothing new, though; witness the fanaticism with which Nazi-hunters like Simon Wiesenthal and his ilk have always gone after old men rotting away in obscurity in places like Argentina and Brazil, arguing that there shouldn’t be any statute of limitations whatsoever on their Nazi-era misdeeds. Progs don’t forgive because progs aren’t orthodox Christians who actually are capable of believing in forgiveness and reconciliation, and much of Hollywood are of The Tribe – after all, they started Hollywood – and secularized liberal ones at that, who seek a social justice proggy ‘messianic kingdom’ instead of a Messiah any more – and we see what kind of hell their SJW ilk have created these days – and the lack of grace and forgiveness in their doxing campaigns, etc.

    So pass the popcorn; watching Hollywood melt down is vastly more entertaining than any of the shit they’re producing these days. 😉

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  4. Thursday says:

    While Louis CK’s alleged behaviour here is gross, inappropriate and maybe even criminal, I just can’t put his behaviour in the same league as the Cosby and Weinstein allegations, and it lacks some of the aggravating factors of the Spacey allegation. Cosby almost certainly raped a whole bunch of women and Weinstein has been accused of raping a few himself, as well as . His alleged offenses also don’t involve borderline children, like Kevin Spacey. I think CK can probably come back if he gives it enough time. Especially if he returns to his old form.

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  5. Faze says:

    Wait until they go after the rock stars. How many will be “over”? I pretty much think the whole Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will have to be emptied.

    Like

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