I heard Louie C. K. being interviewed on NPR the other day. He talked about a scene from his new show in which a fat woman had a monologue. I like Louie's show but he can be ... oh...gross, or something. So I tuned in with a certain amount of trepidation. I liked the way he talked about it in the interview but it is not my experience that fat people are well represented in the media.
The show starts with Louie and a very fat man gorging at two restaurants. Other than giving me a mad craving for vidaloo and puri it didn't hit me in any particular way. And then the "fat woman" enters the story. And. It wasn't horrible. It wasn't perfect. But it was interesting. Afterward I thought more about how much had been packed into it, including the idea that Louie was embarrassed when his friend told the waitress at the second restaurant that they had already had a big Indian food meal. It's one of the running themes of the show. Moments when Louie thinks he has a chance with a woman and something goes wrong, which is usually about who he really is being revealed. The Louie on the show is a character written by Louie, based on his life but not actually him. And the character is frequently a jerk.
So. He's a jerk when the very cute and very smart and very engaging fat woman approaches him. No surprise. He's a jerk in the end as he takes her hand and looks around to see if anyone is watching. He might want to be a better man but ... he fails. Almost always and certainly with the fat woman.
However. There was the monologue. The monologue he wrote. I found it interesting. I intended to write about it but the day went by and I wasn't getting it done and then ... I read another blogger's reaction. I didn't have any argument with her reaction. I even had a few of the same thoughts. She is fierce and radical and smart. She didn't see anything to like in the scene and she has really good reasons.
It was a scene in a television show, written by a white man with all of the privileges of that perspective. It was really well acted. It lasted quite a while, in other words he sat back and let this woman articulate her feelings. Of course they were really his feelings, or what he imagines a fat woman might say. I get it. All true. But I found it interesting. I found it moving. It made me think. Not in the sense that I heard some truth I hadn't thought about before but ... it made me think. I find it some what hopeful that this kind of representation was on television.
Louie is problematic in so many ways. But he makes me smile. He makes me laugh. He makes me think. I find myself wanting to talk about his show but I always recommend it with lots of codicils. And I'm not defending him, or elevating him. I feel like I should do more of a line by line break down of the monologue but I'm not feelin it.
I think is awake. I think he is challenging. If I were twenty years younger I might ask him out.