Louis C.K. never asked us to admire him

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( CNN) Fitfully conscious, on his deathbed in 2005, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow turned to his friend Eugene Goodheart and wondered: “Was I a human or was I dork? ” His seem fear for whether he would be best remembered for his art or his life was well-founded. He had a Nobel, a Pulitzer and three National Book Awards in the bag, though his personal reputation featured a series of publicized divorces, vertiginous affairs, friendship-ending intellectual conflict and a rocky paternal record with his children.

Louis C.K. has more to wonder about in this regard than whether he is a dork. He is among the most gifted of those in the entertainment industry who have been accused of serial sex misconduct, which may amount to sexual assault — in his occurrence, whipping out his penis at various moments over the past decade and masturbating in front of younger women in circumstances that could be described as both physically and professionally captive. Once the New York Times made the allegations public, C.K. responded with a statementthat was part admission, portion apology … and, to many, wholly inadequate.

At its best, his comedy was liberal white guilt funneled through a postmodern Lenny Bruce. But his style, which earned him the mantle of comic’s comic and was aimed at awkward, hypocritical, toxic masculinity , now risks being seen as one long con, a dishonest, vaccinating confessional masquerading as social satire. Or perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. I hope I am.

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