Boston Robb

Passion is the Genesis of Genius

Everyone’s anger at Louie CK is misplaced

Louie CK is again in the headlines. After admitting to and apologizing for his criminal like behavior less than a year ago, we now hear about his on stage bit that’s been leaked. Louie CK a veteran stand up, taking shots at gender neutral people and the parkland survivors. Neither joke sounded clever which  helped me come to my conclusion, Louie lacked effort, he left his talent out of his writing this time, he was wicked lazy. Not clever comedy is the worst (for me). But I hesitate to condemn the comic. Comics are supposed to speak about life, all of it. The good the bad and the ugly. It’s a joke. And the comics job is to make a joke. They may be bad jokes but it’s their job to find that out. It’s in the appropriate arena. Where this would be unacceptable is coming from the office of a company or school or the President. I will comment that within the arena of comedy, a veteran comic would have discernment over what topics to take on and more importantly how to cleverly jest those topics. *See Dave Chappelle’s stand up. Yet when a veteran comic is working out material for their crowd and it’s sent to the world, a lot of things can happen. Most importantly, the world has to accept that comedy exists in a place (sometimes far) outside of its own norms or morals or comfort level. Maybe that’s why comics perform late at night in underground clubs for an admission price and not on street corners during the day. 

When someone, who looks to be a Pastor, tweets condemnation to Louie online claiming they wouldn’t go low like that, I’d friggin hope so. That’d be the weirdest church service ever. And a bunch of people have come out of the woodwork to claim how “unacceptable” and “off limits” this is... but it’s not, not for comedy, nothing is off limits to the joke. And it never should be, I’m scared to live in a world that dictates comedies rules. And yet I find it somewhat understandable that the pastor thinks his line of work could possess someone who would say such things, most likely because in our emotionally fragile country we have a leader who does it regularly. And we’ve seen this rise in confusion, mistaking art for being a jerk. People mistake being a D hole for speaking out against political correctness. Let’s never confuse professions - presidents and comedians. We have a certain expectation of both of them and that line shouldnt be blurred. Comics must create art that provokes in any way possible, and hopefully is always funny. Just like a President must represent his people and lead always, in tough or prosperous times. 

The moral of this, of comedy, is... that if you were offended, then this comic isn’t for you. And trust me, this comic (Louie CK) has done some heinous stuff offstage making him “not the comic” for a lot of people. But I’m sure there’s a comic out there somewhere that will make you laugh. This bit (people are complaining about) does not mean the comic is bad. And definitely should not be calling for an end to their career. Just don’t support them, it’s just that simple. Don’t go to the club they perform at and capitalism will sort out the winners. The lesser lessons in this story is that veterans comics can be Lazy, selfish, unaware, and hacks. Lazy btw with a capital L. Lazy jokes are the worst. The comedy scene knows. 

But when your time starts on stage and you took time & wrote jokes as a comedian to entertain others, then no topic is off limits. At least in the free world. 

I understand how easy it is to want to get upset that Louie CK said these things. But don’t let the anger from his off stage stuff get blurred when critiquing the artist. And I know the off stage stuff is enough to write Louie off for good. Which I’m totally ok with - but keep it at that. Don’t start drawing lines for comedy to have to entertain in.

I remember right after my dad killed himself, I happened to come across a George Carlin special. I love Carlin yet this time he was talking about suicide. And I didn’t think it was clever but worse for me was how graphic his bit was on suicide. It was the first time I actually felt that comedy wasn’t for me that night. And I turned it off. I still listen to and love Carlin, yet that night I couldn’t watch his bit. 

You may not like it, it may upset you, it may be lazy writing but it’s comedy, it’s meant to entertain someone. It’s not like the president of the USA said it in a presidential address. Or did he..... 

Keep the free world free. Protect comedy. Whether the joke is for you or about you. It’s important our speech keeps its freedom.

I’d like to say a word.. “Plethora”… thank you, that means a lot.

I was severely disappointed to learn that my favorite Iced Tea has been misleading me all these years.

Anyone who knows Arizona Iced Tea (the greatest 99 cent tea found in any bodega), May have felt like I did & felt they tasted the Refreshing Arizona sunshine in every sip. Well, if like me you did, you’re wrong. This southwestern sounding tea is from the streets of Brooklyn. I was surprised to learn that and even more surprised that I never even thought to look it up before now. I mean I’ve been drinking this tea since junior high. I should have figured it to be too good to be true… as I imagined; Arizona Iced Tea was made somewhere hidden deep in the Grand Canyon, hand picked tea leaves being brought in on donkey back, to a place where the sun scorches pure river water filled mason jars, steeping the Arizona Iced Tea. Wrong. It’s made in New York amongst voices that probably could have been on the SNL skit coffee talk.

Nevertheless, it’s still the imagery I enjoy when I pour my Arizona Iced tea on ice and take that first quenching sip.

Is there some brand that you use which creates similar imagery yet has nothing to do with the actual product?

‘‘Tis the Season…. to join a cult.

I forget whether it was Vice, Complex, Vox or one of those media outlets with a catchy name & hipster reporters that did/does a special report on “The Believers”… it was Vice, you can check out the series on their YouTube. The series is interesting, a kind of mini docuseries on Faiths / Beliefs around the country. The first one highlighting a group located here in my town of Salem, called the Satanic Temple. That episode really didn’t bother me and I understood their argument for first amendment rights. What I felt watching the people who associated with the satanic temple is a great sadness. It made me think that a lot of the people who follow this temple are more in it for the pomp. They really like wearing black shirts while throwing up devil horns as they probably think of themselves as the “rock n roll” religion. Seeing some of the young minds attracted to it, and even some older, I had this gut feeling that most of them had never experienced real evil. Real evil isn’t what you think, it’s not the demented serial killer, it’s the family man who lies about his life and turns on the ones who depend on him and kills them when they aren’t looking - like that recent news story in Colorado. I couldn’t help but feel, when seeing these people who showed up for the satanic temple event, that almost none of them had been in real spiritual warfare. None had ever encountered a malicious spirit or demon, maybe they don’t even believe in that kind of stuff, but As much as I don’t encourage this - maybe they should to see how tormenting it can be. From all those I know who have encountered such, not any felt comfy and wanted to keep it around. I also felt that being mad at God isn’t reason to seek the satanic temple. Now the satanic temple is political, so they claim to be nontheistic. But they use the word Satan in their title to do more than evoke, they use it because it represents something. But enough of my ramblings on episode 1 of The Believers… my gripe isn’t with them, it’s with episode 2 of The Believers “Guns for God: The church of the AR 15”.

If you watch this second episode you may get a sense like I did, that this is a cult. Whenever I hear “mass arraigned marriages” - forgive me but my mind goes there.

This church has roots in Korea. It comes from the Unification church in Korea where the leader/founder represented himself as a messiah (again - how is this not a cult?). And this Unification Sanctuary church in Pennsylvania has an even more interesting take on things than their parent church. Their leader “Pastor Sean Moon” (which the followers of the old church were called Moonies) has based his faith is almost explicitly one verse in the Bible [deeply concerning] and that verse is from [the most sane of all biblical books - sarcasm] Revelations. Pastor Sean says a ton of times in this episode how the Bible states the phrase “Rod of Iron”, which thankfully Sean is on earth to translate this into today’s language as the AR 15. Now he must have some charisma because he has a following, but like so many leaders I see today - they hide behind some words they’ve mangled into representing their cause and their actions are… suspect. Whenever you have to “level up” in a church, I have a hard time believing that’s what Christ wanted.

Here’s my reality, outside a few Christian church’s, I have such a hard time relating to most of Christ’s followers today. I’ll give you my recommendations at end of this blog for the guys I believe have Christ speaking through them. But it’s because I feel so many have wandered off the path. And Christ was pretty straight forward. He told us Live is the greatest of these things I tell you to do & to love your neighbor (of course it delves deeper) but when your faiths focus is on an AR 15 and you level up to wear a crown of bullets, I feel Christ message gets lost in a tiny bit of idolatry. I hope and pray for these leaders that they guide their flock back. But if your cause is guns, then just say that, leave Christ out of it.

I don’t mean to write any of this out of anger, but rather when I watch these things I feel this deep connection to humanity and our search for faith or to believe. I have compassion for all those who wander and yet I also have a profound connection to what is recorded that Christ said, and it saddens me to see it misguiding others. It’s a basic example of love one another, forgive as you’ve been forgiven, and let your faith allow you to believe in this. I pray you reading find that Faith that helps you believe.

The one one man I listen to regularly whom I believe you can hear Christ speak through is Max Lucado. The other who I don’t listen to as often yet loved his message when I did, is Miles McPherson.

I leave you with this…

“We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭GW‬‬

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