I can’t help myself. I love Louis C.K.
He can make me uncomfortable. He occasionally says things that cause me to feel actual revulsion. And yet…
My husband and I once stayed up until 2am arguing about one of his comedy specials, and there wasn’t even any late night make-up goodness. We went to bed reconciled but still pretty irritated with each other. And yet…
There remains something about Louis C.K. we find irresistibly appealing.
He has an F/X show these days, Louie, now in it’s third season. The first two seasons were kind of uneven, still good, but uneven. There were enough moments of brilliance that they got you through the moments that were a little too weird, but the weirdness was jarring. The 3rd season, though, has been exceptional. It’s all come together and the show is now comprised of brief, perfectly executed vignettes that create a vibe that manages to be beautiful in it’s downtrodden littleness.
The main thing I love about this show, and about Louis C.K.’s persona altogether, though, is the virtue he embodies. What? Says Scrupulous Rebecca in my head. Virtue? With all the random hook-ups going on? The masturbation? The foul language? Even the gorging on ice cream!?!
Watching Louie the other day, I was struck by how many famous and powerful comedians make cameos on his show. People really like this guy, I thought. Then it hit me: they like him for the same reason I like him. He is honest, so brutally honest that he is willing to openly admit his faults, his weaknesses, his failures. You know what he is? He is humble.
I have this stupid tendency to think of humility as some sort of cringing, abased thing even though I know intellectually that this is false. Real humility, like all the virtues, is attractive. It’s intriguing. It’s appealing because it is beautiful and true.
How wonderful to live in a world where any schlub off the street has access to this kind of strong, deep-rooted virtue even if he is far from sainthood! How wonderful, too, to see all sorts of people responding to that virtue, people who maybe aren’t ready to respond to anything more incitive.
Lots of people can’t help themselves. They love humility.