Lately, the tenor of the conversation about Louis C.K. has turned rapturous, nearly mythological. He’s “America’s Undisputed King of Comedy.” The things he says are “painfully hilarious and true.” And while I sort of wish I could put forth an informed argument against this rapture (because isn’t that what the internet is for?), the truth is, I’m crazy about the guy, too.
Meanwhile, the conversation about texting and driving only becomes more sad and more serious every day. Just last week, a study found that texting and driving is now the leading cause of death for teenagers in this country. So when I came across a clip from one of Louis C.K.’s Conan appearances in which he aims his comic/sad/genius pistol at texting and driving, I had a feeling I might’ve found something good.
I was right. It’s worth watching in full.
There are, of course, many more basic and immediately pressing reasons not to text and drive. See this infographic for more. It makes a crash 23 times more likely. It takes your attention from the road for a full five seconds, which equates to the length of a football field if you’re driving at 55 mph. But still, according to current statistics, at any given moment 800,000 people are texting and driving. Like, right this second. (And those are just the people who admit to it.)
We think Louis’s argument adds to the conversation precisely because it is a philosophical, rather than practical one: Put down your phone for a second and just be a person—be alone. Be bored by traffic, or be overcome, as was in Louis’s case, by the brilliant sadness of a Bruce Springsteen song. “People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second. Because it’s so hard.”
The consequences of texting and driving can be devastating. But even if you somehow escape unscathed, the consequences of using your phone as constant distraction, Louis argues, are pretty dire, too: “You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kind of satisfied with your products and then you die.”