, 36 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Against my better judgment, I'm going to weigh in on Louis CK.

CW: physical and sexual abuse.
There are two easy responses to CK's complaint that today's young are boring because their idea of rebellion is talking about pronouns.
First: I understand, to your generation, that Millennials are forever seventeen, but most of the people talking about pronouns are in their twenties and thirties, and they aged INTO it, you has-been.
Second, teen rebellion these days also involves running harassment campaigns, sending rape and death threats to feminists, and defending the murder by police of Black children "for the lulz."

Also stanning for you.
So maybe rebellion for rebellion's sake wasn't a great hill to die on.
But, with those out of the way, here's what frustrates me most about CK's ugly rant (linked below): slate.com/culture/2018/1…
There is no counter-argument I could make to CK's bad opinions that CK himself did not already write.
CK is getting old and doesn't understand people younger than him and wants to yell about how crappy they are compared to his own generation?

He wrote a cold open on his show where a 24-year-old calls him out for exactly that attitude. vulture.com/2015/04/24-yea…
Relevant passage:
His transphobic screed about how bullshit being asked to respect people's pronouns is?

He wrote a scene on Horace and Pete about how it's not enough to tolerate a trans woman's self-identity, you have to share it.
Now, these scenes have always made me uncomfortable, because, however good one feel's the message is, it's weird that they were written by an aging, cis, straight, white-passing man.
These are both Louie having conversations with himself about his anxieties as the world changes around him, and putting the wiser half of that self-talk in the mouth of a woman of color to grant it legitimacy.
I would have felt a lot better about the young Asian woman calling out a privileged-ass man if she hadn't been written a vessel for that man to teach himself a lesson in empathy.
Nevertheless: At some point in his career, Louie clearly understood exactly why "the youth" behaved the way they did. He could speak their language and make their arguments, and at least PRESENTED as accepting - or TRYING to accept - that they were right.
Which means

a) he never meant it but was trying to pass himself off as woke
b) his ego is so fragile, he'll abandon his ethics over a slap on the wrist for shit that should've ended him
c) he knows he's wrong but is catering to bigots because progressives won't have him anymore
I don't really care which of the above is the case. But, despite my exasperation, I'm not mad about Louie.

I'm tired.
Thinking about this induces a bone-deep weariness. I'm halfway through this thread and I want to go to sleep.
Because right after all the rumors about Louie were suddenly not rumors anymore, and accusations were being corroborated, and then he publicly confirmed and apologized (er... sort of apologized), there was talk about how he could redeem himself.
It was a somewhat understandable response to the situation: To a lot of the Left, Louie was dead, scum, irredeemable. And I think we forget that, even when it seems Left Twitter is unanimous that Louie is over, that Left Twitter is not culture at large.
So "maybe he could be redeemed" feels like a dissenting opinion, like adding some much-needed nuance to a conversation that is speaking in broad absolutes.

The reality is that most of the world doesn't care that much, and being dead to Left Twitter carries no real weight.
I never felt there was any doubt that the world at large would accept Louie back after a brief hiatus.

This all happened the same year Mel Gibson - who beat his girlfriend til her teeth were broken - starred in family comedy Daddy's Home 2.
I felt the question of redemption - for him, Spacey, Weinstein, or whomever - should probably wait until they suffered any lasting consequences for their actions.

But I also understood the reflex.
Social justice folks' sometimes reflexive "THIS MAN IS DEAD TO ME" is often (in my opinion) a response to the fact that people like Louie never face real consequences.

He has to be dead to you, personally, because, no matter what you do, he won't lose his career.
Bad people still succeed, but they can at least succeed A LITTLE LESS if we boycott them, talk shit about them, make it harder for them to exist unchallenged.

It falls short of justice but it's as close as we can manage.
But this leaves the idea of restorative justice out of the conversation, and leaves us operating in absolutes. People are either allies or enemies, either they can be tolerated or their lands razed and salted. It leaves no room for remorse or reintegration.
So, yeah, I understand the reflex to put those concepts back into the conversation.

And that's part of why Louie's rather predictable return as an angry, humorless carbon-copy of Milo is so exhausting.

Because, really, all that talk of redemption was hypothetical, wasn't it?
A man confirms he's been a sexual predator, makes a seemingly sincere apology that never actually says "I'm sorry," disappears for a short while, and then comes back... with a respectful set and a campaign to undo the damage he caused?

When has that EVER happened?
Like, is that a thing that we social justice folks are so soapbox-y that we overlook? Are there shitty men all around us making amends and we just ignore them? Because I can't think of any.
Did we ever believe Louie was going to participate in any kind of restorative justice, or were we just saying, you know, technically he COULD, so we should, like, be willing to consider the idea...
I feel the reflex now to say "I told you so." But there's no pleasure in that.

Because what is that other than cynicism? And should cynicism be a virtue?
Does it cost us anything to entertain the notion of redemption? No. I don't ever want us to close ourselves off to the possibility of true reform.

But do any of us *actually* believe it will happen? Does it GAIN us anything to act like we do?
I know of a few people currently going through fairly intensive restorative justice proceedings, and, if I'm being honest, I don't believe either of them are sincere. But they move in circles where their credibility partially depends on a display of making amends.
No such system exists in Hollywood. So even men who might conceivably go through such a process - even begrudgingly - have no incentive.

They can have their career back whenever they want it.
I want to leave room for these conversations about redemption, because I want men who've transgressed to feel that there's a CHANCE that they will have community among progressives again. That they can make things better.
Because, if they think there's no point, it makes all the more sense to double down on being a shitbag.

But I wish it felt like there were any point in even giving them the option, because, historically, they never seem to take it.
And that is why I'm exhausted tonight.

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