louis ckLouis CK’s comedy often leaves me wriggling with a kind of self-recognition that finds its way to the middle of where I am most ashamed of myself. Last night, for instance, while watching his new HBO special Louis CK: Oh My God, I had the sense that his riff on the evil he can become when he gets behind the wheel could have been my own, were I genius enough to write and deliver such a one.

Same went for his “of course — but maybe” bit, in which he reflects on what might be called an organ of wickedness that seems to reside somewhere in the mind and that makes it possible for us to be horrified by the idea of slavery and, at the same time, to be taken by a companion idea that, historically, slaves have been responsible for some of the greatest feats ever accomplished (as in the Pyramids).

Because I often have the feeling that I am alone in the darkness I can spin myself into, I was comforted by the routine itself and by the nervous laughter that accompanied it. What I most appreciated, though, was his reminder that we have a pretty sweet deal here, both because we have somehow been able to take ourselves out of the food chain and because we are alive, which in itself is a miracle. It is good to be reminded of that, and to be reminded of how lucky we are to be able to eat bacon.


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