You Definitely Didn’t See Louis C.K. Or His Kids In Line At The Apple Store Yesterday

Out Loud: Louis CK - Fall Festival 2011 - Hofstra UniversityWhile most people waiting in line for their new iPhone 5S or 5C went home disappointed upon hearing the gold version is sold out for weeks, two people were devastated before they even went on sale: Louis C.K. ‘s daughters. The girls are apparently begging for smartphones and using the parental favorite rationale, “my friends have them too!”  Instead of caving to their demands, he is holding out.  He wants his daughters to be the kind of kids that other kids look to as role models, the ones paving the way, not doing what the other “stupid” kids are doing.

I think these things are toxic, especially for kids…they don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy. You know, kids are mean, and it’s ’cause they’re trying it out. They look at a kid and they go, ‘you’re fat,’ and then they see the kid’s face scrunch up and they go, ‘oh, that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.’ But they got to start with doing the mean thing. But when they write ‘you’re fat,’ then they just go, ‘mmm, that was fun, I like that.’

Makes total sense to me.  While community and meaningful connection can be made on the internet, it’s not a replacement for the lessons we learn face-to-face in social situations.  Seeing a person’s reaction to something you’ve said can speak a thousand words, and it often has a deeper and more constructive impact than 100 anonymous comments on your blog.

I don’t know the perfect time to let my kids have smartphones, and at two and four I know I have plenty of time to figure it out.  No matter what their age I hope they use it as a tool of communication and not a way to avoid pain like Louis C.K. goes on to describe.  This man is hysterical and profound at the same time, as evidenced by his most recent rant to Conan O’Brien.

And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’…then I said, ‘you know what, don’t. Just be sad. Just let the sadness, stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck.’

And I let it come, and I just started to feel ‘oh my God,’and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch. I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.

And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.

The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off or the food. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.


Freaking brilliant.  Someone needs to get that man a parenting book deal.

(photo: Hofstrauniversity)

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  • Blueathena623

    I really love his insights on parenting. Especially when he talks about boredom.

  • Angela

    He makes some really excellent points. I wish more parents thought about things like this!

  • MeLuRe

    I would definitely pre-order a parenting book by Louis C.K., especially after watching his last HBO special. I heart him!

  • Music Mamma

    He is brilliant. His bit about spanking is awesome.

  • Sara610

    I think this makes a lot of sense. The other problem that I have with kids having smart phones is the amount of technology that they instantly have access to, that they’re not mature enough to handle.

    There was a case recently in my hometown of some girls who took photos of one of their classmates changing in the locker room, and immediately texted it to several kids (but not before adding bitchy comments ridiculing her weight, hygiene and even her body hair). Of course, by the end of the day it was everywhere, comments included. I’m sorry, but a CHILD should not have the ability to take a photo of someone, without that person’s permission or even knowledge, and instantly send it to unlimited numbers of people.

  • kay

    his gay marriage bit is also good: “‘How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?’ I dunno, it’s your shitty kid, you fuckin’ tell ‘em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in LOVE but they can’t get married because YOU don’t want to talk to your ugly child for five fuckin’ minutes?”

    • Erin Murphy

      One of my faces too. I also like the bits with his daughter when she was three and the one about hitting kids.

  • Ptownsteveschick

    I love him so much. I have previously told my husband that should there be one 40′s, slightly pudgy ginger man I would leave him for, it would be Louis.

  • Cee

    Then you youtube the video where he says this and read all the comments of the stupid kids proving his point.
    I also liked this quote:

    “I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are
    texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with
    their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining
    their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because its so hard”

    Is it?!

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