• Dave Namery

White Men(ace)

Weeks ago, I saw Louis CK do Stand Up Comedy. The following essay is a recap of that experience, which left me broken and shaken to my core....

The events which took place last night have left me a shell of my former self. When I entered that space I was wide-eyed and innocent. As I took my seat I was certain that what was to follow would be an enjoyable experience. Surely it wouldn’t shake me to my core and leave me a traumatized mess. I was deeply mistaken.

As soon as he walked out on the stage, I saw the devilish look in his eyes. It was a look which said, “Bow before me and my whiteness, for I am all that is man!” There he stood; his red goatee and balding head. What I witnessed last all of his privilege and arrogance...was Louis CK.

You may say to yourself, “Well hold on now Dave, wasn’t his name on the ticket you bought? And therefore shouldn’t you have known he would be performing?” How dare you? How. Dare. You. To suggest that I am not a victim. Are you suggesting that I am somehow responsible for this? You should be ashamed. How was I to know that a ticket with that horrible man’s face on it was a sign that he would be performing? I simply wanted to enjoy a nice night of laughter and comedy.

For me, a nice night of comedy entails a comedian abiding strictly by my criteria of what is funny. There are certain topics which I have deemed off-limits, and the comedian should know what these topics are. I shouldn’t have to tell him, he’s a grown man. It’s one of the reasons why I seldom leave Brooklyn. Last night, in a matter of seconds, I went from laugh-seeker to hopeless, disturbed victim.

I knew that I was the reason that he had shown up in the first place. I knew that he wanted to prove a point to me and me alone. I’m not just some nobody- I have a blog! Frequently I am critical of comedians on my blog! Do you think he did not know this?? Of course he knew!

Further, I had tweeted earlier in the day that I would be attending the Levity Live venue that evening. Yes, I only have 14 followers, but I have reason to believe that at least 11 of those are Louie CK spies! And so this was a deliberate attack. Am I to believe that Louie showing up at the same comedy club as I was some sort of coincidence? Ha! You’d love if I believed that! I’m simply too important. If there is one thing I know, it is good from bad and thus, good comedy from bad comedy. What I saw last night was bad comedy.

“Coming to the stage, Louis CK!” A phrase which will live in infamy for all of my days. He took a few moments to make his way up. The duration of the applause lasted from the time his name was announced, through his arrival on the stage, and for about two minutes thereafter. Clearly it was ironic. It was not true excitement! What evidence did I have that this applause and excitement was fake, you ask? Well, when you reside on the high ground of morality, it is accompanied by a particular type of intuition. That intuitive feeling should sufficiently serve as irrefutable truth that no one was actually happy to see this monster.

Plus, why should I have to prove it? If I make a claim, it is then up to you to prove otherwise! It’s as though people no longer understand our judicial system...sheesh!

Louie’s smug expression reminded me of so many entitled white menaces that had come before him. As a way of ‘breaking the tension’ he remarked that “if you get in trouble for masturbating in front of people, just make a joke about a school shooting. Apparently that’s worse!” Absolutely vile. Comedians aren’t supposed to break tension. I would compare him to Hitler but that actually pays the famous Nazi leader a compliment. Mass murder is one thing, but an offensive joke? A bridge too far.

Now, did people laugh hysterically at that joke? Yes. But why does that matter? Let’s be honest, comedy is not about being funny. Comedy is about not upsetting me! We need less Louis CK’s and more Hannah Gadsby’s! Five parts caring and compassion, one part funny. Or no parts funny. That’s the formula.

When Louie said that joke, it was just bad. It was as though he was trying oh so hard to be edgy and offensive. Well I’m not offended! Not even a little bit!! It has nothing to do with me writing this negative blog post! And it certainly, positively does not have to do with any jealousy. When CK told that joke and the entire audience erupted into laughter….a laughter which seemingly went on forever...I mean just kept going and going...probably two or three minutes of pure, loud, deafening laughter....laughter which people probably heard all over the huge mall where the comedy club is located...laughter that is the lifetime goal of so many comedians….it had nothing to do with that. I’m not jealous!

I am able to do comedy in a way where no one is offended whatsoever. Before telling my joke I ask each individual audience member for consent regarding the subject matter. I do this before every joke, even if it is a one liner! Does it take a while? Yes it does! The other day I did an open mic at the NYU student center. There were 40 people, I went around the room asking individually if I may make a joke where I poke fun at people of color. 37 of them agreed that I may proceed with the joke, but the 38th said she did not feel comfortable. At that point, my time was up and I had to get off stage. I received a standing ovation! That is comedy!

All Louie got last night was a plain old standing ovation as a result of how much laughter the audience experienced. Anyone can make people laugh hysterically. Laughter is cheap. But can anyone be respectful to an entire audience? I would say no. Especially not Mr. CK.

I will simply say in conclusion that I am by no means radical. I am simply someone who knows comedy better than anyone else does. As far as my moral compass goes...well let’s just say that if everyone possessed my moral standard the world would be a complete utopia.

Am I suggesting that you don’t go watch Louis CK do comedy? Of course not. Do what you want to do. Am I suggesting that Louis CK be imprisoned and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor? Yes. That’s precisely what I am suggesting. And, generally speaking, even though I hate making generalizations, if I think something is right then there’s about a 100% it is. In conclusion I will just say: down with Louis CK and down with the patriarchy. Any man who asks women if he may masturbate in front of them and they say it’s ok...well that man is a horrible monster and should burn in hell for all eternity.

-Rashida Wokedonovich

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