…‘cause we’re all made of dirt.
READ THIS ARTICLE WITH THIS IN MIND :
YOU DON’T HAVE TO AGREE,
I DON’T CARE THAT YOU DO OR DON’T,
I ONLY CARE FOR YOU AND ME BEING ABLE TO DISAGREE WITH LOVE AND RESPECT
Last week, an historical event happened in Paris.
Dimanche 21 Avril 2019, I went to see Louis C.K. at L’Européen.
As a stand-up aficionado I was so mad at myself for missing the first time C.K. was in Paris in November last year. I just came back from 2 years in London, where I started comedy, and I was going to open mics, performing in french, thinking I was “IN”. But I wasn’t, as the next day after his “under the radar” show, I saw on social media that C.K. did a gig in MY city, the one I came back to, without telling me… I was raging for having missed that opportunity to see the guy who lit comedy fire to my generation.
Notre-Dame could burn, I didn’t care that much, whereas missing Louis in France felt like a hard one, especially when comedy is your religion and Louis your second name.
So here we are, second chance, I got my ticket, I meet some fellow french comedians and we wait in the queue outside. I sneaked in a can of beer someone gave me, as if to say “here, take care of that”. I hide it in my pocket, show my bag in front of me to the security guy while covering the mischief, and we’re in.
What a night ! This gig was amazing, honest.
I won’t say much about it to keep the mystery but fuck yeah, he still got it and it was superb !
I was moved. Like when I saw Monsieur Fraize at the same place a week before.
Great comedy doesn’t make me laugh anymore, it moves me. I was thrilled he addressed the whole story, what happened last year, what broke him. He did it raw, honest, brutal, in the first 2 minutes. He killed us all, the vibe was mad. Fire in the room is easy when the audience is already so damn hot though, but still : History.
After a great Joe List warm up, C.K. entered the stage. I rarely seen so much enthusiasm and cheers, like he was a hero, coming back from war. And I smiled inside, thinking how us, the french, as great and shitty people, cowards, cocky and not really liked around the globe, were actually giving a standing ovation to a man accused of masturbating naked in front of women in hotel rooms. Ah ah, that’s a good opener !
I smiled at this idea and cheered as well because fuck you America,
he’s not Harvey Weinstein, he’s funnier.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m on Louis’ side, if there is any.
I’m on Blanche’s side as well when she decides to defend the guy.
I hate America for that prude and soft state of mind they are turning the world into. Everything is too much policed, people can’t agree to disagree, you have to reach consensus all the time and that’s hell.
And the best person to summarise the french point of view on this Louis C.K. thing is, the one and only, my mom.
Here is her view on this whole deal when I told her the story :
- “Ok maman, you have this guy, Louis C.K., he’s the N.1 comedian in the USA, hence, the world.
Then, scandal. Some female comedians say he masturbated in front of them, naked, in an hotel room. He admits. He would say to them to go up in his room to talk about comedy and tadaaa ! The truth broke out last year when his movie just got out, big loss, millions, blacklisted in America. The End… And that’s the guy I saw perform tonight Mom!
- I’m proud of you Renaud. (This part I added but thanks Mom)”
Facing this story, my mom first reaction was a sigh (soupir). She thinks these women knew what to expect, they are adult women, they know what’s happening when told to go up in the room.
What I believe my mom is trying to say is this : we are french, sex is life, part of our culture as well. We are less prude and fake about it. And knowing that, we also know that a naked man masturbating in front of you is not the same as a violent, direct, sexual assault. Let’s not put Louis C.K. and Harvey Weinstein in the same dirty basket.
Both are men, both are pigs, but it’s still different cases.
She is quite close to what Dave Chapelle has to say on this (listen), and I’d say it’s a good take on some of what the french think of these times.
And I tell her YES ! Of course these women knew…
But maybe he also used his power, his status as king of comedy, to have this situation happening. Because they were comedians, and he was the king, they were like both like “Ok, let’s go up".
Of course he is responsible, for abusing of his power, of his status. If Louis C.K. was a non famous 50 year old bald fat dude asking these ladies, they would have said “No way !” but maybe… because he was who he is, they agreed. Thinking of their comedy career and dream.
So when the show ended, and the whole room stood up for a standing ovation, I waited a for a bit, and stayed seated. Just because I couldn’t decide whereas I was comfortable to stand up for someone who used his power to take advantage of a situation and a woman. Didn’t know how to act. But I stood up finally, knowing I am not a saint, nor a devil, just a man who’s ok to accept the mistakes of other and is fine admitting he’s probably as dirty as any other man, but that’s alright as long as I’m not American.
I hope when clapping, the rest of the audience kept their critical mind as well, in order to realise he is not a hero, nor a murderer, just a really funny man who made mistakes.
He’s wrong, he’s a pig, we all are somehow, yes you too.
But he’s also a man, a dad, who doesn’t deserve to have his life destroyed for that.
And these women are victims, of course, but they are also adults, who decided to join another man in his hotel room, for selfish reason, hence their careers if we are real honest here. But celebrity and stardom blurred their mind, like it did with the parents of the kids who used to hang out with Michael Jackson…
I hereby engage, will you marry me?