louis c.k.’s guide to modernity: ‘stop being an idiot’

America’s king of comedy takes his scalpel to the 21st Century.

Louis C.K. is on a mission to navigate us through modern life
Oh brother Louis believes modernity is wasted on the modern, because we’re too stupid to appreciate how good things are. Image Portrait Jeff Vespa/WireImage

As Louis C.K. takes an indefinite break from his existential sitcom Louie, we fill the time remembering how he’s dissected modernity with forensic precision.

 


 

Money is nothing

“I just don’t trust any of it. Every time I read something about how there’s been another ridiculous climb of the Dow Jones, there’s a part of me that goes, ‘This can’t be good’. None of it is real money. It’s not like there’s actually more of anything – it’s just ideas. When people are getting richer and richer but not actually producing anything, it can’t end well.”

Social networking is an evil, unpaid, data entry job

“I killed my Facebook page years ago because time spent clicking around it is just dead time. Your brain isn’t resting and it isn’t doing. Twitter and Facebook and MySpace – all that stuff makes you warped. We’ve all basically given ourselves data entry jobs. I’ve actually heard people say things like, ‘Aw shit, I have to update my Twitter’. Really? You have to? That’s a big priority for you? I hate Twitter. I only have it so I can tell people when to buy things so I can have money. I think if Jesus came back to tell everyone everything, everyone would be too busy twittering to pay any attention.”

iPhones are a global conspiracy

“People are naïve about what they’re giving away when they use their iPhones. Apple want you to use the iCloud… they’re desperate for you to go to their Cloud. They say, ‘You don’t need your stuff, it’s fine, give it to us and we’ll put it on the Cloud’. And they sell it to you on the basis it’ll mean you can have a smaller device, because your things won’t be on it. People have forgotten Apple is a company that always knows where you are – are you nuts helping them?!”

We live in an amazing world and it’s wasted on the shittiest piece of shit asshole generation that ever lived 

Marriage is a union between strangers

“When you first get married, you have a relationship that’s so important to you, and you’re working on it together. Then you have a kid, and you look at your kid and go, ‘Holy shit, this is my child. She has my DNA. She has my name. I would die for her’. Then you look at your spouse and think, ‘Who the fuck are you? You’re a stranger’.” 

 

It’s not amazing, dude

“We don’t think about how we talk. We say about a basket of chicken, ‘Dude, it was amazing.’ Really? You were amazed by a basket of chicken wings? What if Jesus came down from the sky and made love to you all night long and left the new Living Lord in your belly? What are you going to call that? You used ‘amazing’ on a basket of chicken wings, so you’ve limited yourself to a verbally shitty life.”

Stop being an idiot

“Everything is amazing right now and yet nobody is happy. When I was a kid, we had a phone you had to stand next to and dial it all the way round. You would actually hate people with zeros in their phone number. If you wanted money, you had to go to the bank and when you ran out of money, you couldn’t do any more things. Now we live in an amazing world with mobile phones and online banking and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots who don’t care. We have phones – this bit of technology you can carry in your pocket. Before, the phone was a thing – a thing in a room. Now you can carry it around. You can use it to call in an airstrike or to look at your own head. It’s amazing, and it really is all wasted on the shittiest piece of shit asshole generation that ever lived.”

You just feel kind of satisfied with your products, then die

 You have absolutely no right to perfection

“I was on an aeroplane and there was high-speed Internet on the plane. Then it broke down and the crew apologised, but the guy next to me went, ‘This is bullshit’, as if the world owed him something he found out was available to him a few seconds before. It seems the better things get, the more miserable people become. Americans have it constantly drilled into their heads, every fucking day, they deserve everything to be perfect all the time. You don’t deserve perfection though, no-one does.”

Technology is a distraction from emptiness, death, sadness, happiness and life

“I think phones are toxic, especially for kids. It stops you building the ability to just sit there and be yourself – that’s what the phones are taking away, the ability to just sit there, and just sitting is being a person. Underneath everything in our life there’s that thing… that forever empty thing that makes you know you’re forever alone and its all for nothing; it’s down there. Sometimes when things clear away you start to go, ‘Oh, no, here it comes. I’m alone’, and this sadness visits upon you. That’s when you pick up your phone and text, ‘Hi’ to 50 people. Don’t. Just be sad. Stand in the way of it and let it hit you like a truck. I did recently, and it was beautiful. I just sat there and cried, like a bitch. Sadness is poetic – you’re lucky to live sad moments. After I cried I had happy feelings, because when you’re sad is your body releases antibodies that come rushing in to meet your sadness, so then I found profound happiness. Because we don’t want to feel that initial bit of sadness we get on our phones. Or else you jerk off, or have some food – all so you never feel sad. The way it is, you just feel kind of satisfied with your products, then you die. And all that is why I’m not buying phones for my kids.”

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Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1

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