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theatlantic:

The Filthy Moralist: How Louis C.K. became America’s unlikely conscience

Louis—I’ll call him Louis, because I can’t keep typing C.K.—is America’s current masturbator in chief and our most topsy-turvy moralist. “You can figure out how bad a person you are by how soon after September 11 you masturbated,” he riffs. “For me, it was between the two buildings’ going down.” Louis used to be a comic’s comic—hip, the toast of his more successful peers—but now he belongs to the nation. His comedy special Hilarious was nominated for two Emmys last year, and the resulting album won a Grammy. His subsequent special, Live at the Beacon Theater, which he financed, directed, and then distributed online, cleared sales of $1 million within 10 days of its December release. Louis used to write for Dana Carvey, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock; now he is writer/director/star of his own fever-dream semiautobiographical sitcom,Louie, also nominated for two Emmys last year and soon to begin its third season on FX.
All of which suggests that Louis—born Louis Szekely on September 12, 1967—has struck a nerve. Or located an absence. “I stick my finger in existence,” wrote Kierkegaard. “It smells of nothing.” Louis sticks his finger in existence and it smells of sad sweats and crispy tissues. It smells of dead spots and quelled rage, the funk of unaccommodated maleness. Here he comes again, with the jokes about jacking off, lurching through his loops of arousal and discharge. Look at him. Check out the pallor, the pudge, the eye-bags. He plods onstage like a diffident bouncer, a small ginger goatee the sole accent on his face. But then he tucks the mic under his chin and it seems to cast a lurid upward glow, refining his features, picking out the Mephistophelian arc of his eyebrows. In Season Two of Louie he is confronted by an anti-masturbation campaigner, an angelic young Christian woman. He argues with her bitterly—argues for his right to masturbate in peace. “That’s what’s so sad,” she says. “That you don’t know the darkness that you live in.” “Oh no,” Louis assures her, “I know the darkness.”
Read more. [Image: Getty]

theatlantic:

The Filthy Moralist: How Louis C.K. became America’s unlikely conscience

Louis—I’ll call him Louis, because I can’t keep typing C.K.—is America’s current masturbator in chief and our most topsy-turvy moralist. “You can figure out how bad a person you are by how soon after September 11 you masturbated,” he riffs. “For me, it was between the two buildings’ going down.” Louis used to be a comic’s comic—hip, the toast of his more successful peers—but now he belongs to the nation. His comedy special Hilarious was nominated for two Emmys last year, and the resulting album won a Grammy. His subsequent special, Live at the Beacon Theater, which he financed, directed, and then distributed online, cleared sales of $1 million within 10 days of its December release. Louis used to write for Dana Carvey, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock; now he is writer/director/star of his own fever-dream semiautobiographical sitcom,Louie, also nominated for two Emmys last year and soon to begin its third season on FX.

All of which suggests that Louis—born Louis Szekely on September 12, 1967—has struck a nerve. Or located an absence. “I stick my finger in existence,” wrote Kierkegaard. “It smells of nothing.” Louis sticks his finger in existence and it smells of sad sweats and crispy tissues. It smells of dead spots and quelled rage, the funk of unaccommodated maleness. Here he comes again, with the jokes about jacking off, lurching through his loops of arousal and discharge. Look at him. Check out the pallor, the pudge, the eye-bags. He plods onstage like a diffident bouncer, a small ginger goatee the sole accent on his face. But then he tucks the mic under his chin and it seems to cast a lurid upward glow, refining his features, picking out the Mephistophelian arc of his eyebrows. In Season Two of Louie he is confronted by an anti-masturbation campaigner, an angelic young Christian woman. He argues with her bitterly—argues for his right to masturbate in peace. “That’s what’s so sad,” she says. “That you don’t know the darkness that you live in.” “Oh no,” Louis assures her, “I know the darkness.”

Read more. [Image: Getty]

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    “Fuck you, man! … If you wanna tap out ’cause your life is shit—you know what? It’s not your life. It’s life … Life...
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