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May I Cole You Down on the Panny Sty?

November 13th, 2017

Sometimes Consent Doesn’t Help

Louis C.K.

Seriously? Louis C.K.?

Why, in the midst of the harassment apocalypse, are we not seeing the obvious names? Eddie Murphy. David Lee Roth. Frank Sinatra. Andrew “Dice” Clay. Sean Penn. Chris Penn. Russell Crowe. Kanye West. I’m pulling names out of a hat, here. I’m just thinking of celebrities you would pretty much expect to expose themselves or try to rape women. How did we end up with a real-life list that included Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, and not all that many well-known jerks?

Bill Cosby has always been a jerk. Ben Affleck has been fairly jerky. A number of the others don’t have that reputation.

I always thought C.K. was depressing and unfunny (except for the cult film Pootie Tang), but he never came across as an agressive pervert or bully.

More surprising than the multiple accusations: the confession. He says all of the stories are true. When I read that, I felt like giving him partial credit for manning up, but the more I think about it, the more I think his confession is just another sexual performance. I strongly suspect he got off sexually by admitting guilt.

Louis C.K. didn’t say, “I’m so ashamed I want to die. It is humiliating for people to know that I, a grown man, exposed my genitals to my coworkers. I can barely stand to discuss it. Please leave me alone with my pain.” He described what he did as showing women his principle organ of copulation, and he didn’t use a medical term to describe that particular item. He used a slang term. It was as if he was choosing the most arousing term he could. Like a man having phone sex. When you have phone sex, you don’t say, “I want to disrobe and engage in relations with you.” You use dirty language to heighten the excitement. At least that’s what I’ve heard. Shut up. Anyway, the confession reads a little bit like phone sex. I think writing it turned him on.

At least one female celeb tweeter is rejecting his statement. As she correctly notes, it was not a real apology. He just wrote about what he did and then said he was going to be quiet and listen to responses, as if he were asking for suggestions on improving a fallen souffle. I guess the lack of shame bothers her, as it does me.

Louis C.K. says the disparity of power between him and the women he abused made it unfair for him to ask if he could show them his member, as he describes his much-more-energetic actions. The tacit implication seems to be that there are circumstances under which it is perfectly fine to ask women you’re not married to if you can show that object to them and then gratify yourselve with it while they watch.

Am I out of touch? Is it normal, when you’re hanging around with female acquaintances who are your social and professional equals, to strip completely naked, grab yourself, and go to work in front of them? C.K. Seems to think his problem is that he doesn’t know the “right” way to do that. Is there a right way? Even if a man is not a Christian, I would think that even normal godless American morals would rule C.K.’s behavior out. Am I wrong? Is this something I should have been back before I turned back to God? Is this why I did so badly with women?

I’m a bad person. I have a lot of sexual sins on my record. I have done some crass and even gross things. Nonetheless, I feel that what C.K. did was insane and freakish. If a man did this to consenting women, I would think it was creepy and abnormal. I would think it was indicative of mental illness and a complete lack of social skills, such as you might expect in a person who was severely autistic.

Deep in our hearts, we all have shameful thoughts and desires (or maybe it’s just me), but most of us know they’re not healthy. C.K.’s bizarre statement makes me wonder if he’s a sociopath. They say sociopaths lack normal human emotions (like shame), but they learn to imitate them in order to get along with the rest of us. Maybe C.K. does not understand why his revolting actions disturb people. It’s not just the lack of consent, although that’s the main problem. It’s the fact that he would want to do what he did, with women he was not even dating, in the first place. Fantasizing about it…fine. There are some thoughts we can’t help having. But actually doing it? That’s a couple of standard deviations outside the pale.

“Excuse me; thanks for inviting me to your garage sale. Hey, would it be okay if I stripped naked right now and engaged in a frenzy of Onanism in front of you, or would you prefer I didn’t? I don’t want to do it if it offends you, so just say the word, and I’ll let it drop. No? Okay. Glad things didn’t get weird! Would you take five bucks for this tackle box?”

That would not be okay, even if the victim were a female billionaire with nothing to fear from C.K.

The other thing that surprises me is C.K.’s power. Former power. I think of this guy as a minor comedian. One tier below Ricky Gervais, who is two or three tiers below Woody Allen. In fact, C.K. had a relatively minor role in a Gervais movie that didn’t do all that well. Apparently, I’m wrong. They say people fear C.K., and I don’t just mean they fear he will turn their social events into soul-blistering traumas that will result in their having to have their carpets and furniture professionally cleaned. I mean he’s so successful, he can kill careers. He sells out Madison Square Garden. If he’s that powerful, how powerful is Jimmy Kimmel, a real household name with a huge TV franchise? He must be a sort of demigod.

Who’s next? Steve Buscemi? Michael J. Fox?

This thing is going to keep going forever. The gold will not run out, because male and female abusers have been filling the mine for eons. Kirk Douglas is a hundred years old, and there are stories about him which may still erupt, so that tells you about the shelf life of tales of abuse. We may be hearing about Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Gosling forty years from now.

I hope the disclosures will not convince us the actions and words of the abusers are normal. C.K. seems to feel that way already. If he pulls the rest of us around to his way of thinking, America will be even more disgusting than it is now.

2 Responses to “May I Cole You Down on the Panny Sty?”

  1. shreck Says:

    I’m going to admit to a bit of schadenfreude here. Years of listening to hollywood lecture me about how good and moral they are and now finding out the layer of slime was 6 meters deep seems a bit satisfying. I suppose we always knew, the casting couch wouldn’t be a thing if it didn’t actually exist. I am just surprised at who some of them are turning out to be. And to what the particular perversions are. I would never even think about masturbating in front of someone, if I am attracted to a woman, copulation would be the goal, not, well CK’s kink.
    I am wondering if this doesn’t open up the opportunity for bogus or simply vindictive accusations against people, in the current climate anything is going to be believed.

  2. Steve B Says:

    I think it’s quite telling how so many of these stories are coming out about a strange breadth of celebrities. Seems to be quite the culture of corruption.

    However, I also suspect there is a certain “bandwagon” tendency, which can border on a witch hunt. “In 1978, he said something that made me feel uncomfortable.” Okay. Sexual harassment is unconscionable, but is there a difference being a jerk, or having a joke fall flat, and “harassment?”

    That c.k. dude is just broke. Cracks me up that he has often come out against the moral do-gooding of Christians/religion. Might explain why.

    I also suspect/know that there have been or will be those who will use this “guilty until proven innocent and even then….” to lash out at men they feel that “wronged” them, even if it wasn’t sexual. How better to run a man and his reputation than to accuse him of something so reprehensible? There is no burden of proof on these. We must believe the victim, regardless of how many false claims come to light. I think it’s good that we are getting a clearer view of the moral cesspool that is Hollywood, but I also fear this train can get out of control in a hurry.