Louis CK and the universal problem of particularity

“I fly first class,” Louis CK notes near the beginning of Live At the Beacon Theater. “It’s only for another year at the most. Believe me, it’s not gonna last.” It’s funny because it’s true and, as an associate used to say, it’s true because it’s sad. You could argue—by you I again mean me—that here is Louis CK’s métier: things that are funny because they go unacknowledged, paradoxically because they are depressing. It is a project of recovering funny from the dumb and brutal world, the way the early naturalists used to talk about beauty. I submit that this process of reclamation offers a decent working definition of art.

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