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April 1, 2009 10:01 AM   Subscribe

"Get a grip, man. you can't let this wash over you. You have no control over what happens right now. But you can do one thing. Get up on top of the fear. Get above it. " Louis C.K. ( previously ) is writing about his recent experience on a USO tour in the Middle East. It's funny and genuine, and he's a decent photographer. Also, Dino Stamatopoulos was there.
posted by HumanComplex (37 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is fantastic, I'm a huge Louis CK fan anyway, but this just solidifies it. If anything, go near the end and read the part about his show in Kuwait, from the letter he wrote to his family.
posted by Mach5 at 10:38 AM on April 1, 2009


What a great guy.

He's totally right, NO ONE needs a laugh as bad as those kids.
posted by chronkite at 10:41 AM on April 1, 2009


Fantastic read. Thanks for posting this.
posted by procrastination at 10:46 AM on April 1, 2009


Wow, some very nice photos here. Nice to see someone so cool being sort of obsessive about gear.

Anyone else besides me love Louis CK, but not like his sitcom on HBO? I can't figure out what didn't translate.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:49 AM on April 1, 2009


hifiparasol, I think everyone feels the same way.

I was very lucky to catch Louis last Friday night, which apparently was the day after his divorce was finalized. It was the most brutally funny two hours of my life. I felt beat-up at the end of the show.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:51 AM on April 1, 2009


He's fantastic. Thanks for this!
posted by schyler523 at 10:53 AM on April 1, 2009


Thanks for sharing this link. Great read. Good job Louis CK.
posted by vito90 at 10:54 AM on April 1, 2009


Great first post -- thanks for this!
posted by not_on_display at 10:55 AM on April 1, 2009


Louis CK is brilliant. I had no idea he was a photographer.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:56 AM on April 1, 2009


Yep hifiparasol, I watched a few episodes but it didn't work for me, and I love his standup material.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:56 AM on April 1, 2009


He is a good photographer.

If you look carefully, you can see the horseshoe captured in the air against the sky.

You don't have to look carefully. That thing is framed beautifully.
posted by Quonab at 10:58 AM on April 1, 2009


Louis CK's entire series on his current trip is fantastic.
posted by Spatch at 11:11 AM on April 1, 2009


Good to know I wasn't the only one. The show was my first exposure to Louis and it took me a while to grasp that he's actually fucking hilarious.

I love the tone of his writing in this piece -- honest, a little scared, not deliberately comedic (not deliberately anything, really):

I'm ebarrassed to say this but I have to because it's true: These girls were really a comforting presence, and helped me not to be scared. Because they were totally cool and were just enjoying it. In that moment, I was a 41 year old father, taking my example of how to act on a helicopter from a 19 and 20 year old cheerleader.

More travel writing should read like this.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:12 AM on April 1, 2009



Anyone else besides me love Louis CK, but not like his sitcom on HBO? I can't figure out what didn't translate.


It could be because he was trying to write a sitcom about a happy family when in his private life his marriage was breaking up. Louis doesn't really draw a line between his act and his life they both tend to feed on each other. I notice that his standup has become less harsh since he ended his marriage, at least he's not taking it out on his kids anymore.
posted by any major dude at 11:23 AM on April 1, 2009


yeah, dude can write. Fewer grandiose journalists in war zones, more comedy writers, please.
posted by GuyZero at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2009


I enjoyed Lucky Louie, what can I say? It was like a pure sitcom with lots of swearing. Oh wait, I didn't like it.
posted by Edgewise at 11:41 AM on April 1, 2009


Reading his account of his photographic equipment and why he uses what he does is really very interesting. I tend to think of him as "that twisted fucker who makes me laugh so hard I pull muscles", and seeing underneath the hood on a hobby he obviously has a lot of passion for is quite revealing.

And yeah, he is a decent photographer. Can't be satisfied to be really good at just one thing, like being a very talented comedian? No, gotta be good a bunch of stuff.

Jerk.
posted by quin at 11:43 AM on April 1, 2009


Great post. Comes at a good time. I was starting to forget we have a war going on in Iraq. It's crazy but with everybody talking about Afghanistan now, those of us with no kin or friends overseas need that reminder.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:47 AM on April 1, 2009


It's crazy but with everybody talking about Afghanistan now

Uh, the war that's been sending dead Canadians home in boxes for 8 years now? Afghanistan's only news to people who have been ignoring it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:57 AM on April 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


FLying fast and low over Baghdad, with machine guns trained on the ground by two young soldiers is FUCKED UP. Sorry, I'm not a writer. It's just FUCKED UP.

This is great stuff. I enjoy his honesty and the "holy shit I"m actually flying into/around a warzone" tone he has. It's pretty cool to read a pretty open account about an outsider's view of it all.

He is hilarious, though. I'm glad he went. Thanks for the link.
posted by lullaby at 12:18 PM on April 1, 2009


Great read. Thanks.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:37 PM on April 1, 2009




Louis CK in Kuwait, 2008.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:34 PM on April 1, 2009


yeah, dude can write. Fewer grandiose journalists in war zones, more comedy writers, please.

Yeah, it really does take a comic to describe things the way they actually are. Comics like Louis C.K. tend to look at things in a brutally honest way and you can feel that in his writing about Baghdad.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:18 PM on April 1, 2009


More travel writing should read like this.

A few years back, I enjoyed reading his cross country travelogue where he drove from Los Angeles to New York. It doesn't seem to be linked from his main site any longer but it's still there if you're a fan of Louis C.K., travel, or dogs.
posted by dhammond at 3:02 PM on April 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I liked Lucky Louie, but then again I liked Enterprise, so what do I know?
posted by 1adam12 at 3:02 PM on April 1, 2009


Don't be surprised if he's reads this, he was hanging out on alt.standup.comedy 10 years ago. And was cool online, too.
posted by msalt at 3:31 PM on April 1, 2009


Don't be surprised if he's reads this

What I meant to say was, Lucky Louie was awesome.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:26 PM on April 1, 2009


I can't recommend highly enough that you read the part that starts with the words "After a couple of exhausing hours." (with the misspelling) It is really wonderful. You might otherwise miss it, because it is so far into the travelogue.
posted by ferdydurke at 4:55 PM on April 1, 2009


And yeah, he is a decent photographer. Can't be satisfied to be really good at just one thing, like being a very talented comedian? No, gotta be good at a bunch of stuff.

...and hot. Don't forget incredibly hot.
posted by tristeza at 6:01 PM on April 1, 2009


Shit, that passage where he described his stand-up act was a tear-jerker, imagining what that must have felt like to be able to bring some laughter to that place. Incredible fpp.
posted by docpops at 6:31 PM on April 1, 2009


Thanks for finding this. I'd never heard of this guy until a few weeks ago, when this bit went viral. I recall thinking then that this was a comic with real guts.

But this is the best war-zone reporting I've read since Dispatches . What shines through here is that Louis C.K. fuckin' cares about his subject; in this environment, he tailors his bits entirely to benefit his audience, without any regard whatsoever for the consequences.

This voice reminds me of Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:53 PM on April 1, 2009


I tried to like Louis C.K.'s act, but he's just so miserable, misanthropic and angry in his own life, and it comes through clearly in his "comedy", which seems more like a bitter, constipated delivery of forced laughs. Maybe that's changed now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:10 AM on April 2, 2009


I tried to like Louis C.K.'s act, but he's just so miserable, misanthropic and angry in his own life, and it comes through clearly in his "comedy", which seems more like a bitter, constipated delivery of forced laughs. Maybe that's changed now.

I really like Louis C.K's acts, particularly the miserable misanthropy (I tend to be unhealthily optomistic about things, so his shtick is like a mental vacation) but his last special made a little uncomfortable when he was discussing his marriage. It was such a dead-on depiction of a crumbling, unhappy relationship that I hoped he was exaggerating. Guess not. Yikes.
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 AM on April 2, 2009


I tried to like Louis C.K.'s act, but he's just so miserable, misanthropic and angry in his own life, and it comes through clearly in his "comedy", which seems more like a bitter, constipated delivery of forced laughs. Maybe that's changed now.

An interesting aside from when I saw him last week: he was in the middle of his very funny routine in which he berates people for being spoiled by technology when he stopped for a moment and admitted, "really, I'm just yelling at my ex-wife." I thought it was pretty telling that even his non-marriage material was inspired by his unhappy relationship.

However, even his most unhappy material made me laugh, so I suppose we part ways there.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:39 AM on April 2, 2009


I tried to like Louis C.K.'s act, but he's just so miserable, misanthropic and angry in his own life, and it comes through clearly in his "comedy", which seems more like a bitter, constipated delivery of forced laughs.

Every comedian discussed on the blue gets slagged harshly by at least one person. Can we make a rule that if you trash a comedian, you have to name at least one you think is great, preferably with a link to a clip, or say "Actually I hate all comedians"?

That way, we'll have some way to gauge the criticism. "Louis C.K. sucks, why can't he be like that marvellous Phyllis Diller?" or something like that.
posted by msalt at 2:45 PM on April 2, 2009


That way, we'll have some way to gauge the criticism. "Louis C.K. sucks, why can't he be like that marvellous Phyllis Diller?" or something like that.

Dane Cook is a genius. That work?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:47 PM on April 2, 2009


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