I said I wouldn’t do this.
Dave Chapelle and Louis CK put out new stand up specials on netflix. I didn’t laugh much when I watched them but then again I don’t even know what funny is anymore. Modern entertainment disgusts me and popular culture is a landfill of spiritual wreckage. I’ve been reading the old testament and dreaming of cataclysms, yelling at colored children from a shadow swept porch.
So I’m not in a mood to laugh. Especially at crass, formulaic comedy.
Chapelle is bitter now. I’m not going back to review his old stuff but I don’t remember him being that much of a whiny cunt. Like any black comedian, or any black person in any circumstance whatsoever, he relies on the lazy, self pitying ideas of racial difference and black disadvantage. But at least he was funny once. At least he had levity.
But Chapelle’s new routine is acting like an entitled celebrity. A celebrity, who, despite all his success, feels left behind and forgotten. In the ten years since he fled to Africa, audiences have moved on and now watch Key and Peele and Kevin Hart. This apparently bothers him even though he thinks his fans are catchphrase spewing cretins and Hollywood is a slimepit jew racket that abuses and murders its stars.
If you’re a comedian and you don’t want idiotic adoration, well, too fucking late. Either no one knows you or everyone harasses you. It’s why most sensible people don’t seek fame and why Chapelle stopped doing stand up years ago.
So now he’s not the most popular black comedian. In addition, Chapelle the black man is no longer the most precious of society’s victims. Gays and trannies are getting just as much, if not more, attention than blacks for being oppressed. Just as he doesn’t like watching Key and Peel do his show, he also doesn’t like watching gays and trannies steal his downtrodden minority spotlight.
Yesterday’s victims are the victimizers of today. And Chapelle has privileges over people with severe mental disorders that manifest in sexually deviant, alienating behavior. An adult black man who’s parents lived through legally enforced segregation is now out of touch and offensive in today’s whiplash progressive circuit.
Chapelle’s jokes about gays and trannies lack bite but they’re almost the only semi funny or interesting bits in his new act. And he’s developed the annoying habit of slapping his own knees after every joke. It’s a helpful tic because otherwise it’s hard to tell when he’s being funny.
I respect a man who turns his back on fame and obscene wealth. Chapelle won a personal victory by shutting down his minstrel show and living a private life. But then he threw himself right back into the mess he spent ten years hiding from and obliquely criticizing. Does he need money and attention from people he doesn’t respect or have anything in common with? Maybe he loves the craft of standup, though it hardly shows through the tedious griping and affected cluelessness.
In the middle of his worn out special he says that the newest generation doesn’t feel anything because we see so many tragedies.Not even ten minutes later he says that we’re all angry. Are we all numb or are we all angry? Apparently we live in an age of spin, but it was never clear to me what he meant by that. It seemed that Chapelle wanted to flirt with making real, substantive statement without going all the way. He limps around controversial subjects and fails to hit hard every time.
Now on to Louis. In his latest of 57 specials released in the past five years, Louis puts on a suit and takes a massive dump on stage. He’s never dressed better or been less funny. It took me three different tries to get through the first half of the show. His audience barely even laughs until the second half, when it gets slightly better.
I couldn’t find the jokes in the first two or three bits. Louis phones in his trademark I‘m dark and depressing but I won’t say anything subversive or provocative to my already established fanbase routine. Women should be able to kill their babies. Life is okay at best and you should be be able to kill yourself. Christianity is the world’s dominant religion, just ask someone what year it is. It’s more dull fodder for the pathetic, malcontented dorks and aging, sad fat faggots he tickles with his flaccid schtick.
When we say that that a comic is edgy or controversial, we mean for other people. No one listens to a comic that genuinely offends them, they listen to a comic who they imagine offends other people. Louis CK is the emperor of fake offense in the eyes of an imagined other. Especially a majority other or an authority other. He hams up the life of a pig who loves eating, shitting and masturbating more than anything else in the world. It’s funny for a second but it doesn’t age well.
He has to work in some material about feeling gay or being curious about penises. There’s a joke about watching Magic Mike, which leads to CK contemplating, once again, sucking a dick. It’s a banal balancing act between disgusting humor and politically correct pandering that CK has mastered. Louis is a white man, but he’s sad and also probably gay. He can do stereotypical voices and be generally revolting but it’s okay because he’s okay with men fucking each other in the ass. When you get down to it he’s not judgmental. And by that we mean he doesn’t say anything mean about our dearest misfits.
The lesson of Louis is that you can be a wealthy white man in comedy and get away with it, as long as you act depressed and at least a little gay. For now, anyway. Soon enough they’ll scoot the chopping block a little farther to the left and we’ll have to reconsider.
CK jokes about a man dying and going to heaven. His wife then dies and rejoins him. The man is dismayed because he already has a new girlfriend in the afterlife and thought he would be done with his earthly wife. It’s a marginally clever bit that underscores the bleak, isolated worldview of this cutting edge icon of our age, another example of a comedic style that pretends to upend while sitting well with bored, restless, rootless hedonists who don’t have the will or the heart for a love that lasts beyond their lifetimes.
No one thinks that love is an overwhelming feeling that never wavers or wanes. No one ever said you had to feel butterflies in your stomach thirty years into a relationship. The intensity of young love should give way to the stability and continuity of a larger family structure in which two people perpetuate life and guarantee its upbringing in a nurturing environment.
Love endures through lines of genetic descent, not in periodic revivals of romance. And individuals find their place in time and the core of their belonging in relation to ancestors and children.
When people don’t feel connected to what came before or what’s to come, their lives collapse into the episodic pursuit of power, pleasure and prestige. Depression, addiction, perversion, the inward sinkhole of self obsession and self destruction; anything but living for the idea of eternity. It’s endlessly fucking hilarious to be detached from everything except your insatiable dick and gut.
So eat a pizza, take a colossal shit and jack off for the fifth time today because Louis CK is here to make you laugh until you cry blackened tears and forget you might have been meant for something greater.
I don’t get comedy.