Posts Tagged ‘Louis CK’

Comedian Kathy Griffin is back in the news. A few days ago she posed with a mock severed head of Donald Trump covered with fake blood.

From Griffin, this isn’t terribly surprising; on a New Year’s Eve several years ago I channel surfed to CNN’s live Times Square broadcast just in time to see Griffin direct a hoary stand-up putdown to a heckler (this is paraphrased, but close): “Hey! I’m trying to work! I wouldn’t come to your workplace and knock the cocks out of your mouth!”

Once the photo hit the ‘net, the denunciations thundered down from all sides: from CNN (which axed her from their New Years’ Eve broadcast), to 37-year-old spoiled brat Chelsea Clinton, to Trump himself. The reasons for the outrage were what you’d expect: the photo was vulgar, tasteless, “over the line,” disrespectful of the presidency, and disrespectful of Trump as a human being.

My reaction was a bit different: This seems like a stupid thing to post; it seems like she’s doing Trump and his minions a favor. What’s the point? Is there one?

Then I wondered about the context. What was it? Well, it turns out that Griffin was doing a photo shoot, and posed with the mock severed head as a comment on Trump’s disgusting, misogynistic remarks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

But that’s still not a good enough reason to pose for that photo, even if Griffin had made the context obvious. That, at best, would have made the photo an expression of anger and contempt.

Why isn’t that sufficient justification for shooting and posting it? If Griffin was just an Internet troll, fine, whatever. But Griffin is a well known comedian, and if a comedian is going to use a shocking image it should at least be funny, and ideally be both funny and thought provoking.

Many of the best comedians — in days past, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, and currently Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, Bill Maher, Jim Jeffries, and Doug Stanhope — routinely “cross the line,” routinely use vulgar, deliberately offensive language and imagery; others, notably Steven Colbert, Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, and Seth Myers, use shocking language and imagery occasionally.

(If you want your comedy to lull you to sleep, comedy that stirs up no disturbing thoughts whatsoever, you’ll always have your Jerry Seinfelds, Jay Lenos, Jeff Foxworthys, and Bill Cosbys, comics with either nothing to say or who drastically pull their punches.)

What sets the work of Carlin, Hicks, Jeffries, et al. apart from the Griffin photo? Their use of shock and vulgarity is oftentimes funny and almost always thought provoking.

The Griffin-Trump photo is neither.

It isn’t funny, it doesn’t make a point, and it allowed the Whiner in Chief to whine — and this time with some justification. Kathy Griffin did Donald Trump a favor.

In the end, the only funny line (that I’ve seen) about the matter was delivered by an anonymous TMZ headline writer: “Kathy Griffin Beheads President Trump: I Support Gore.”

Catholicism graphic from The American Heretic's Dictionary

CATHOLICISM, n. A popular form of self-degradation involving ritual cannibalism.

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary


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And lest we forget what we’re dealing with, here’s Louis CK’s ever-timely reminder.

If, like me, you use a lot of freeware and shareware, you’ve almost certainly had bad experiences with previously trusted download sites, which recently have begun downloading malware along with the programs you want. Probably the worst sites are,, and They now download malware with pretty much every download. Why? They sold out. They went for the money. They decided to screw the people who trusted them.

Fortunately, there are still a few sites that offer freeware and shareware without the malware. You can find more on this topic and the URLs of the trustworthy sites here.

Next up, we previously recommended Louis CK Learns About the Catholic Church. If you want something equally funny, but far more brutal (and NSFW), check out Louis Ck’s Last Chance

Also, if you have Netflix, check out the indie film (gross first run about $50K, and a gross but funny film), Bad Milo, about murderous ass demons.

Then also check out Bobcat Golthwait’s incredible God Bless America. Two or three decades ago, I thought Bobcat was a gimmicky panderer.  I was wrong. This is probably the film I’ve most enjoyed since Downfall. Check it out. It’s simply wonderful–very funny, very pointed. Arguably, Joel Murray should have gotten “best actor”  for his role, Tara Lynn Barr should have gotten “best supporting actress,” and Bobcat should have gotten “best screenplay.” Bobcat’s 2012 standup special on Netflix is also very funny, and is what spurred me to give God Bless America a look in the first place.


Free Radicals front coverby Zeke Teflon, author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia.

First the sci-fi: Subterranean Press has put up Ted Chang’s wonderful novella about the emergence and evolution of artificial intelligence, The Lifecycle of Software Objects.  Free and highly recommended. (And if you’re wondering why they’d do this giveaway, consider the free publicity they’re getting on this and other blogs, and also consider that  many of those reading the free novella [including yours truly] will go on to purchase at least one of Chang’s novels.)

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One of the most obnoxious features of many sites is their use of slideshows. Why would anyone do something so calculated to piss off readers? Pay per click. If you have a list with 20 entries, put it up properly (scroll down), and you’ll get paid for a single click. Put it up as a slideshow, you’ll get paid for 20 clicks.

Sleazy, yes. But there is a way around it: deslide turns slide shows into decent, normal web pages. It seems to work on most pages, so check it out. (A special kudos here to sites that could routinely use slideshows but don’t; the most outstanding example that comes immediately to mind is, the sci-fi site.  In contrast,, the site of the SF Chronicle, almost exclusively uses slideshows for transparent, commercial reasons.)  Deslide will help you get by such sucky, time-wasting click-shows. It seems to work about 75% of the time. Try it. You’ll like it.

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And “Louis CK learns about the Catholic Church” is absolutely hilarious. There is nowhere to go after this.  You can’t possibly be more brutal. (The Catholic League–which seems to consist in toto of a web site run by  corn-cob-up-the-ass  right-winger William Donohue–has apparently taken down a denunciation of CK’s brilliant video–please guys, put it back up.)