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Is it bad praxis for a comedian to speak up about sex pest Louis CK? Aimee Terese and her Skidmarxist comrades say yes

This skit by Skidmarxist hero Louis CK no longer seems quite so funny

By David Futrelle

The last time we checked in on the Skidmarxists — which is what I’m now calling the post-Dirtbag-Left collection of faux leftists who use Marxian verbiage to defend Nazis, attack feminists, and justify slur-filled shitposts — one of their own, Aimee Terese, was attacking lefty writer and podcaster Jamie Peck as an “ageing starfucker” for coming forward to talk about the predatory behavior of now-disgraced photographer Terry Richardson.

Now Terese and her shitposting Skidmarxist comrades are going after comedian Kath Barbadoro for committing the apparently counterrevolutionary act of … speaking up against comedy clubs that have resumed booking the unredeemed and apparently irredeemable comedian Louie CK, who in 2017 admitted to being a sex pest who used his power in the business to compel much-less-powerful female comedians to watch him masturbate.

This was the Tweet that set the Skidmarxists off:

Kath Barbadoro
‏
Verified account
 
@kathbarbadoro
Following Following @kathbarbadoro
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If you put Louis CK on your comedy stage I can't trust that you have my best interests at heart. This is a workplace safety issue and I don't want to work for someone who does not value my safety

An assortment of Skidmarxist influencers decided to weigh in on this with the absolute worst takes possible. On Instagram, Red Scare podcast co-cost Anna Khachiyan responded to Barbadoro with these garbage thoughts:

NARRATOR: Louis CK had in fact done something wrong … repeatedly.

On Twitter, she offered this bit of mockery:

this is the funniest bit by a female comic ever

Amber A’Lee Frost, a semi-regular on Chapo Trap House (and, ironically, the inventor of the “Dirtbag Left” moniker) offered up a virtual garbage dump of thoughts, also on Instagram.

In fact, sexual harassment and worse is common in the food service industry; it is neither “paranoid” nor “hysterical” to worry about it.

On Twitter, meanwhile, our old new friend fiend Aimee Terese offered up this baffling take:

If you're like literally the petty bourgeoise extracting surplus value from my labor, I can't trust that you have my best interests at heart

After I spent a while trying to figure out how a comedian could possibly be extracting surplus value from audience members who voluntarily pay money to see her, several Twitterers helped me to see that Aimee was actually trying to speak from the point of view of a comedian talking about a “petty bourgeoise” [sic] club owner.

As best as I can figure it, she’s saying that the interests of workers and their “bourgeoise” are so fundamentally opposed that we can only truly solve the problem of sexual harassment after the revolution – so why bring it up now?

Of course, by that logic, virtually any kind of labor organizing around working conditions — or even just for higher wages or minimal worker safety improvements — rather than immediate general strike and socialist revolution is a waste of time. Anyone who thinks that’s a Marxist position clearly hasn’t read Marx very carefully.

Then again, Terese also habitually spells “bourgeois” as “bourgeoise,” with that extra “e” at the end. (“Bourgeoise,” not to be confused with either “bourgeois” or “bourgeoisie,” means “a female member of the bourgeoisie.”)

In any case, this weird and muddled and decidedly un-Marxian argument — that it’s somehow self-indulgent to bring up the issue of sexual harassment before some imagined future revolution — helps to clarify what’s wrong with the whole Skidmarxist approach.

On the one hand, Terese is advancing an ultraleftist argument — that the only sort of labor organizing that counts is organizing for revolution now. But the practical effect of this rhetorical ultraleftism is that she ends up supporting a millionaire sex pest and his “petty bourgeoise” enablers (the club owners and festival organizers that book him) and trashing a working comedian.

Others in the Skidmarxist milieu, meanwhile, refuse to see sexual harassment in comedy as a workplace issue at all, most notably Nick Mullen, the alleged leftist co-host of the unfortunate and unfortunately named Cum Town podcast.

He was responding to this (obviously quite sensible) tweet from Barbadoro:

It’s like ur working for a company with the best cable guy on earth and he was jerking off in front of your other coworkers and instead of firing him ppl said u were virtue signaling for not thinking he should keep working there bc he’s a great cable guy

Mullen, who makes an extreeeeemely comfortable living doing a comedy podcast, replied by more or less declaring that comedy isn’t a job and that comedy clubs are not workplaces, at least not for the comics who appear at them. (It’s not clear if he thinks that they’re workplaces for the waitstaff.)

I think seeing this as “a labor issue” is mostly fake. I don’t think anyone really believes they’re in physical danger if Louis does sets at the cellar or skanksfest. I don’t think it’s likely he would “reoffend.” I think people want to see him punished more which, is fair

Never mind that comedy clubs are workplaces and that comedians are workers — and that only a few of them make as much as Mullen does from comedy, even fewer as much as Louis CK has. Never mind that there is no good reason to assume that there’s zero chance he’d at some point re-offend (perhaps not immediately, but later, after the heat dies down).

The real issue here goes way beyond Louis CK. Comedy has been rife with sexual harassment and worse for decades; female comedians put up with an astonishing level of shit. Any club owner who hires the largely unrepentant Louis CK, as Barbadoro suggested in her original tweet, is publicly announcing they don’t give a shit about the safety of female performers.

If they let Louis CK get away with it, why wouldn’t they also let other comics get away with it? The issue isn’t Louis CK jumping from the bushes; it’s a lesser-known comedian preying on some even-lesser known comedian backstage.

The ultimate irony here is that, for all the outrage they’ve directed at Barbadaro — and at other women complaining of sexual harassment- – some of the Skidmarxists have been remarkably quick to accuse others of sexual harassment and worse, often with no evidence at all.

Only a few days ago, in fact, the Skidmarxists and their allies from the Stupidpol subreddit were heading up a Twitter harassment campaign against democratic socialist politician Lee J. Carter, currently running for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates, after he declared on Twitter he was “FINALLY officially divorced from my abuser.”

One particularly unethical Skidmarxist troll photoshopped some tweets by Carter, who served in Afghanistan, to make it look like he was admitting to sexually abusing Afghan boys.

.@USMarineCorps come get your guy

Here’s a more readable version of the faked screeenshot; I took the liberty of adding the word “FAKE” in huge letters.

This is literally no different from the alt-right and alt-lite trolls — I’m looking at you, Mike Cernovich — who regularly smear people they disagree with as “pedoes” based on no evidence.

Along with telling Wilson to “shut the fuck up,” Terese also offered these thoughts on abuse in general that more than a few observers saw as a not-very-carefully disguised bit of innuendo directed at Wilson.

Intimate partner violence often involves the offender manipulating public perception, inverting reality in beautifully woven narratives. In an era where weaponised trauma becomes cultural currency, we all exacerbate that common abusive dynamic with alarming, invisible frequency.

Terese, for her part, insists that the tweet had nothing to do with Wilson. I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you believe her.

At this point I think we need to accept that the Skidmarxists, whatever their ideological claims, are not in any real sense leftists at all.

While most of them, I suspect, would insist they have nothing in common ideologically with the alt-right, in practice they have come down on the wrong side of issue after issue — attacking liberals, leftists, and feminists and siding, again and again, with antifeminists and reactionaries of all stripes. Their language echoes the worst misogynists (“starfuckers”) and retrograde assholes (“cuck,” “soy boy,” “shitlib,” “degenerate”). In their trolling campaigns, they are virtually indistinguishable from alt-right and alt-lite trolls — and the A Voice for Men flying monkey squad, back when that site was a going concern.

At this point the only genuinely leftist things that the Skidmarxists seem to support are Medicare for All and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. As writer Nina Illingworth put it on Twitter, these people are basically “just doing fascism with fucking healthcare.”

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kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Yutolia
At one restaurant a guy who worked there started stalking a woman who worked there. She got blamed for it and rumors circulated about her, that she cheated on her husband with him. She denied it, but everyone believed him. She quit and he started getting super threatening with the stalking and would get scary quiet with this look of rage in his eyes if her name was mentioned. At another store the district manager was raping underaged girls.

All of this was encouraged and you would get reminded your hours could easily get cut if you said anything bad about any of this. When you work minimum wage you can’t make rent if your hours are cut.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@kupo:

Ew. Just ew, ew, ew!!!!

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

@Kupo,

I am not trying to be dismissive of misogyny. I don’t always agree completely about the solution to it. If these people are conspiring to commit violence, one does not want to ignore warning signs. Also if they are harassing and stalking individuals we should go after them by covert cyber ops. And yet, I also don’t want to reward misogynist trolls with the attention and notoriety they desperately crave. The manosphere is the sewer of the internet BTW. I want that shit kept where it belongs.

As for this person, I do think Aimee Teresa is indeed a troll. And one that contradicts itself.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Pyxxxie
She’s a real person. She has a podcast. It’s not difficult to do a tiny bit of research before you start making ridiculous claims. There is absolutely no reason to call another human being “it.” It’s dehumanizing af to do that.

I am not trying to be dismissive of misogyny. I don’t always agree completely about the solution to it.

No one was talking solutions. You literally waltzed in here and called all these accounts bots because they’re inarticulate. And now you’re adding because they contradict themselves? That’s just a basic function of how the human brain works, my friend. I would like to introduce you to Twitter, where people are incoherent and frequently contradict themselves.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

There’s nothing dignified in baring your innards all over Twitter, as a civilian. As an elected representative? You’re making a fool of yourself and your constituents. Be an adult. Be a leader. Shut the fuck up.

What’s this? Aimee Terese can actually write a coherent tweet? She doesn’t need to resort to terminology unheard of by anyone not well versed in Marxism? No French? No sentences so convoluted and full of jargon that the reader has to take a break in the middle to collect her thoughts, pour a glass of wine, and start again?

What the hell! What good was graduate school!

The one comfort is that her opinion, as stated in this tweet, is both stupid and cruel. Some things never change.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
1 year ago

@Pyxxxie

If “don’t feed the trolls” worked (which is in essence what you are arguing), I have a question.

Why do we currently have so many trolls? From what i understand, that has been a fairly consistent rule on the internet and various boards.

If it worked, i would think that the troll problem would have been solved 30 years ago, after all the trolls realised that no one wanted to play with them and either saw the error of their ways, or just stopped.

And since that demonstrably has *not* happened, perhaps we could retire that rule? Because it doesn’t work?

Giving people attention isn’t the best solution, but when the attention is scorn, i think it is one of our best options. No platforming is also good, but a wide population base needs to understand the jargon, dog whistles, and in-jokes for the concentrated effort (and corporate blowback) to happen.

How does a wide population base learn about these terrible people and their terribleness, without mocking or reporting on it…?

Specialffrog
Specialffrog
1 year ago

It’s interesting how people who insist that working on anything other than the most important issue is a waste of time clearly consider complaining about people working on lesser issues to be the most important issue.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Specialffrog:

It’s interesting how people who insist that working on anything other than the most important issue is a waste of time clearly consider complaining about people working on lesser issues to be the most important issue.

I never thought about it that way, but that makes sense!

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@Yutolia, @Specialffrog:

It’s even worse than the people who have enough time on their hands to go around commenting that other people’s hobbies are a sign they (the other people) must have too much time on their hands.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

More proof that there is a big difference between being leftist on social issues and leftist on economic issues. Unsurprising to me, seeing how little women’s rights improved in Russia following the 1917 revolution and the rise of Stalin…and the less that’s said about that old lecher Mao, the better.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

<a href="https://youtu.be/K_BFKzwzDEc&quot;Shall I rewrite, or revise….my October symphony!………..As, an indication….to change, the dedication….from revolution, to revelation

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

Oops! I totally bungled that post but hopefully the link works.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 year ago

@Rhuu:
To be fair, “Don’t feed the trolls” did in the past work on some subclasses of trolls. There just aren’t really any trolls in that subclass anymore, and structural reasons why.

The basic principle that if somebody is obviously out for attention you should make sure they don’t get it is all well and good. Unfortunately, the online world is no longer the days when all of Usenet travelled over phone lines and it was theoretically possible for someone to follow everything. Now, the internet’s ability to assist in community building allows communities of trolls to get together in places where they write the rules, which means ‘starve them of attention’ is no longer possible because they will keep winding each other back up.

“Don’t feed the trolls” as valid online advice passed its sell-by date at least twenty-five years ago, probably more like thirty. The September That Never Ended drove a stake through any credibility that remained.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Moon_custafer: I hope it doesn’t sound like I was trying to say something like that!

I am on disability, and I board dogs out of my house for a living, and thus have nothing to say about any other people having too much time on their hands!

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@Yutolia:

No, I wasn’t complaining about you at all, and I apologize if it came out sounding that way — I was making an analogy to the “you’re not fixing the real problem but I have infinite time to complain about you working on the other problems” people mentioned by Specialfrog.