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Louis C.K. - One night in Paris, how the french don't care if you're a pig

…‘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 maybebecause 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?

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Screen

I pinch the screen of my device.

I press it against my head, I sleep with it, I live with it.

It knows all about me and I think I do too.

But it’s just a piece of metal and I never cared for something that much.

That is how much I am.

Au revoir Monsieur Hulot - Ushuaïa Marque

Post sur Facebook, puis petit message "Avocat du Diable" sur Twitter :

Facebook.
Ne trouvant plus grand intérêt à Facebook, on va essayer de se poser des questions les "amis". De créer du sens, légèrement, à notre rythme. 
Je ne cherche pas de réponse, de commentaire ou de long débat ci-dessous mais juste à me questionner sur ce que souligne la démission de Nicolas Hulot

Pour moi ça dit:
"C'est tellement la merde, je me dois de me casser, rien ne change, rien n'est fait en France sur ce sujet, ou du moins pas assez"
Il essaye encore une fois de nous sonner l'alarme, comme si l'on avait déjà trop abusé de la fonction Snooze... 
Que le mec soit bon ou mauvais, ça inquiète sur le sort de l'écologie en France. 
Du coup à nous de réagir, là, à nos niveaux (toi et moi et tous ceux qui le veulent), dans nos achats, nos réflexes de tris, nos réflexions sur notre empreinte, etc.

Je vieillis, les réseaux sociaux vont désormais devenir pour moi un lieu d'expression d'idées, une mini tribune citoyenne. ... Très "mini" je l'admets, mais on donne à Facebook l'utilité qu'on souhaite.
Récemment j'ai réalisé que sur pas mal de sujets qui me concernent (politique, éducation, citoyenneté, écologie) le pouvoir c'est MOI, à mon échelle.
"Moi" ça veut dire mes proches, amis, familles, voisins, avec qui je parle, j'échange... C'est hyper con mais hyper simple et le jeune vieux que je suis réalise ça tardivement. Je vais pas changer le monde mais je commence par voir ce que je peux faire de mon cas et des 20 personnes qui me sont le plus proche.

Je continuerais à poster une chanson que j'aime bien tous les 6 mois. 
Et parfois une photo un peu "cool".

Tu peux avoir la flemme d'écrire un post long pour défendre tes idées, je comprends, c'est pas "cool" d'avoir des idées j'ai l'impression... mais le copier/coller fonctionne aussi si tu partages un sentiment, une émotion, une inquiétude, un coeur.
Amour, parfois.

"Ici j'engage, veux-tu m'épouser ?"
Renaud2

Twitter.  https://twitter.com/Sanvitweet/status/1034497850271584256

@N_Hulot Nicolas Hulot, vous souhaitez "ne plus vous mentir" or si l'on recherche "Ushuaïa Marque" sur Wikipedia, le second paragraphe souligne une mauvaise foi ultime. https://goo.gl/DXDuC1 qu'en penser ? #NicolasHulot #hulot #écologie #macron #France #nature #Ushuaia #santé

 

Dega Nando's

1er octobre 2017.

Je suis allé chez Nando’s, j’ai rencontré Dega, la serveuse, somalienne.

Elle m’a raconté qu’à 12 ans elle est arrivée en France, à Lyon.

Je lui ai demandé combien de temps elle y est restée, elle m’a dit peu de temps, que la France lui a dit, à elle et à sa famille de retourner dans son pays.

Le pays était en guerre, il l’est encore. 

Je lui ai présenté mes excuses pour mon pays, elle m’a souri et m’a dit gentiment qu’elle aimait toujours les français. 

Je lui ai dit au revoir, avec mon sac à la main je suis rentré chez moi, ignorant du sort des autres.
Mon poulet avait le gout de la honte. 

George Carlin is not funny anymore, comedy's ghosts and monsters to come.

Comedy is a beautiful craft, being able to make me laugh with the dark truth of us all, as people and society, its flaws and lows. I love the way comedians make me question us as a whole, human beings, our twisted minds, habits, and laugh at the same time, laying down the pain for everybody to look at and make fun of, sharing.
The worst is still to come though and it might not be that funny at all in the end... at least we'll be real. 
Will the future of comedy be blunt truth, not looking for laughter but just pure honesty, as it is, saying the darkest truth and having the courage of honesty ? Just a thought. 

Louis C.K. was the first to put the light on this craft for me and many aspirant comedians. I deliberately mention him and his recent fall was a big punch in the stomach but not a surprise, weirdly I did not need a lot of convincing to accept it when I learned the truth. Deep down I believe he could do shit like that, how can you make me laugh so much with such dark shit if you are clean ? Do you have to fall low in order to dig up the gold, so low that moral has disappeared? There is some darkness and twisted mind for sure there but that's where I wanna look. 
I have this question in mind:  "Can happiness make us laugh?" I tend to prefer darkness. Comedy is a martial art, turn drama into laughter. 
Latest example of bad comedy was Kevin Hart show on netflix "what now?"... Just the intro made me cringe of sadness and when he started talking about his huge house, long driveway and wealth I did not laugh, nor connected to that. He is wearing a gold chain and trying to make me sympathise with his life and "struggles", him being too successful ? Well it failed, spectacularly, with special effects, fireworks and a whole stadium... That his audience could connect to that and laugh so hard was for me mind blowing, I understood why LeBron James could though.

That's not the point here. George Carlin is. 

It's been 5 years I dig deep into comedy's whole universe, listening to WTF podcast with Marc Maron non stop, diving into the brains of guys like Robin Williams, watching specials and stand up shows, I naturally looked into George Carlin as he was referred and looked up to by many of the funny geniuses I cherished.

I watched 5 of his shows : On location, George Carlin at Phoenix (or George Carlin Again !) 1978, Carlin at Carnegie 1982, Jammin' In New York 1992, Life is worth Loosing 2005 and It's bad for Ya 2008. 
There is still a lot to watch from him but I believe it's enough to start writing about. 

The last one I just watched is On Location: GC at Phoenix (also referred as George Carlin Again !), taped in 1978. 

I DID NOT LAUGHED ONCE. And I can assure you I was on it 100%. I don't do something else, I don't watched my phone all the time (just a bit of Instagram) and I tried to be fully focused, in the present. But it was too much of the past already...
This type of observational comedy doesn't do it for me, at all, or the observations are too dated. I especially didn't like when he observes random life stuff like people asking him :

- "Do you have time ?"
- "Not one me, I don't own time !"

and then proceeds to read funny news headlines : "A 107 year old woman in Florida is reported to be pregnant. Physicians claim that because of her advanced age she will have a grown up." 

or weird stuff he thinks of like: "Do you think directors dreams end with credits ?". It's smart and witty but doesn't make a crowd die of laughter now anymore, but believe me it did back in 1978. People are loving it, he is a real rock star, slick with his blue pants and shirt. Cheers of the crowd are huge. I wanted to be on his side, stylish and smart like he was, but hell I did not enjoy it and I feel terrible for that. 

Surely it was at the time mind blowing but now it's just  "kids play" with words, puns and imagination openly expressed, funny headlines like I can see a thousand on social networks in 2017... Nothing worth a 2 hours special. And I am amazed by that, 40 years later it's becoming real useless and tasteless comedy. No one of my generation would laugh hard to these and I find it fascinating. On a positive note, his energy, anger and denunciation of everyday bullshit, politics, society and flaws is to me truly inspirational, he says it blunt and gives the finger to them all, me first. He is the perfect Conscientious Objector, and for me it's the highest and most respectable thing to be, anytime. 
For that I look up to him. He would hate me and be right to. 

You're welcome. 

You're welcome. 

On the same period, as a devil's advocate, Richard Pryor's: Live in Concert, 1979 is on my top list of comedy stand up show... The year doesn't explain everything. I remembered being in south of France and watching Live in Concert with my brother and an American guy and I was dying, he was killing me and I loved it, especially thinking of the 40 years gap, the magic still being there and strong. Gold.

At that early age of stand up, puns and observational comedy, "weird shit thought of and said out loud" was the highlight and the material. Nows it's old uncles jokes. Or if you think weird shits, you tweet it, you have to fly real high because everyone is in space now. Being funny and original is not enough anymore, the level is way higher, or way deeper, darker... We dig nowadays, into our brains and minds, our pain, and it doesn't look good, but hell it's funny ! 

I like C.K. and Bill Burr because they show me their darkness, sadness, share it with me, and turn it into gold. That is real. Bill Burr I believe would be a serial killer if not that genius of a comedian. His anger is huge and he turns it into art. That sparks light in me, it's pure beauty.

When I watched Carlin latest shows (Life is worth loosing 2005, It's bad for ya 2008) first I was appalled, "How can this old grumpy man be my heroes' hero ?". These shows are 2 hours of an old 6O yo man's runt : "I don't like that and that" "THIS IS SHIT !"... Wow really.

Times change, and comedy fades away and it made me very sad not being able to appreciate the comedic genius of this man.
I respect him because I understand that at the time it was never seen, never heard and mind blowing. But when I watched these 5 shows I was nodding my head thinking: "This is not possible, I am not laughing once nor smiling AT ALL". And trust me it was not a challenge or forced.

He was a comedic genius that does not make me laugh. I'm sure I would have been a groupie in 1978 though...

I don't think George Carling is funny anymore. Good thing is, I don't matter to him and he will never give a fuck ! For that I love him sincerely and deeply. 

I hereby engage, will you marry me?  

 

 

 

The masterpiece of The art of the steal.

The art of the Steal is a 2009 documentary made by Don Argott and his 9.14 Pictures production company. It portrays the story of Dr Barnes' personal art collection, a breath taking hall of beauty, turned into a big pile of money for some men trying to get a piece of it, not for the art but for the dollar signs they see when staring at masters' pieces. It is a beautiful and moving story. 

I just want to tell you to watch it for it's delicate, true romantic vision of Art.
I won't say much as the movie is deep, intimate and philosophical in it's way, personal as art should be. How this culture around the world should be seen, made and shared to the eyes, I believe it's up to your own interpretation. 
The art of the steal raises amazing questions about the spread of art, shows and exhibitions around the world, not for art itself but for money and power purposes. How greed and men can destroy the vision of artists and lovers of the arts. 

I really found this fascinating here: should the most beautiful collection be kept to a small amount of art lovers, plumbers to students to enjoy, study and inspire or, should it be spread all over the world for the many masses to see, treated as a blockbuster.

Well, there is a little more to this simple equation in this documentary, you'll see that art, even if shown to the masses, which is a good will, can be sadly turned into a mass consumption product cashing up money for people with no sense of beauty, destroying the purity of it all. It's essence.

Deep one.
I hereby engage, will you marry me ? 

Louis and the nazis

 

Here in UK, they love Louis Theroux. He's a national hero. Lots of English friends told me about this guy and his documentaries, gonzo style with a funny twist. This goofy dude asking straight question to dangerous people like they are best friends on a school trip to Disney world, except one his a gangster, the other a nerd, and the bus is stolen. 

I watched two of his documentaries, the first one was “America’s most dangerous pets” and “Louis and the nazis”. I didn’t like the first one I saw months ago, I though it was too much scripted, like a Vice documentary, playing on the edge of reality and fiction. “Oh it’ dangerous but we are filming, the pressure is building but finally nothing happens”. The character was interesting and moving but the format was too trashy.

I listened to the WTF (with Marc Maron, my favorite podcast) episode with Louis Theroux and decided to give it another shot. I just finished the one about the Nazis, I believe it’s one of the most famous. I felt the same, a big sensationalism and emptiness, big talk and words for a dull experience, a love at first sight turning into a one night stand. 

The mother of two is interesting, deep and human, the rest is really superficial and blunt. Tom Metzger bit is worthless, no taste, no investigation, it can be summarised as: Louis goes to his house, hear him curse on blacks and jews, argue softly on races, going to a rally and scream 3 sentences about white revolution to finally get drunk in Mexico. Like a very bad trip with two elderly racist dudes. There is nothing. Nada. Maybe that's the point though.

I see the success of this guy Theroux on his documentaries, he choose a subject, a bit edgy, dangerous or unconventional and goes interview the people, all the entertainment resulting from the clash between this tall goofy-nerdy guy and his interlocutors, dangerous, strange and often criminal people on the opposite spectrum of clean and polite Louis.

As fun and weird it is to watch, once you get the idea, I can’t understand how people could watch more of it. The subject is treated superficially, there is no depth, no information, nothing to get out of it except saying to your friends: 

- Haha you saw when Louis asked the nazis “What if I'd tell you I’m Jew ?"

Well that’s not investigation journalism, it’s just clownery, and people like that. 

 

Quit Tv Shows.

I want to stop watching tv shows. I mean completely stop. But the problem is that the quality of it is amazing, making the addiction so strong. 

6 years ago, binge watching tv was a guilty thing, you'd watch crap like reality shows knowing it was shit and that you don't make yourself any smarter by watching that. But now, when you see the television and show market, the level has never been so high and the quality of the writing, acting and direction are high, real high. 

My problem is this : I go to work, I do what I do for a living, thinking of coming home to the latest show I'm watching ("The Trip" UK, Coogan, Brydon, so good...). My life is around this addiction, this need to watch a good tv show, and when I'm done the next one. And the dealers like Netflix, HBO have lots of good dope to sell. I still find time to read and watch movie, but it takes more time and more motivation out of me. TV show is easy, it's short, it's good and I don't need to engage myself in a 600 pages or 2h30 screening. 

But I also see a pyramid of culture being as follow : 
- first, books. They are the smartest way to learn, feel and dive into a story, full on. You read something that goes inside you, deep. I start a book I have to finish it, good or bad, I tend to read classics so I go through them fully, there's a reason they are classic. I also find I have less time to read so I don't want to risk it on books that are not good, as in known for years to be. 
- second, movies. The crew build a 2 hours story through amazing images, acting and writing. You dive as well, but for a fewer amount of time, two hours, three max in apnea, in a world that the people behind the movie offers you. 
- third, Tv shows. It's easy, you dive in, if you feel suffocating, you dive out. It last 20 to 60 minutes, my attention can wander easily. I am not engaged and I know there is plenty more fishes in the sea. 

There is also something perverse with this addiction of shows, that I believe I share with 80% of people of my generation. Other than the time spent is the "entertainment" part of it all. 

Take shows like Narcos and House of Cards, they show you in an amazing way the truth behind drug dealing between Colombia and the government of the United States of America basically acknowledging the role of US in the cartel as a key player in the existence and strength of it all. Bribes, politics and governments were directly influenced by the cartel of Medellin then Cali. 
House of Cards on the other hand shows you the reality of politics with men and women willing to kill and manipulate masses in order to achieve power. Wow ! That's amazing, these shows show you the hard truth, the reality in every sense of it all. But then what ? Then you watch this and you only think of coming back home to be able to stream the last episode or the new season. 

The perversity is here : it is an entertainment and you watch it like that. If you summarise the truth behind these shows, the citizen should be in the street, questioning their government and making a fucking revolution every week of the year. 

But no, you know it's real and it shows the dark side of it all, but it's too hard and it's easier to keep watching, instead of doing.  Because I feel down by all this and I am too lazy to overtake power. So I'll order my burger and watch my show.