"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The 70% Solution

plow There is a lot of good stuff to be found in Andrew Corsello’s GQ profile of Louis C.K. (never mind the “genius” part if you can). I especially like this:

“All of that”—the death of the New York club scene in the early ’90s, the Pootie Tang debacle—”has helped me form what I call my 70 Percent Rule for decision-making.” C.K. then describes a practical application of a worldview laced into many of his best routines—that “everything is amazing and nobody is happy.” If we just wrest our eyes, literally and figuratively, from our digital gizmos and the shitty, spoiling impatience they instill, we’ll see that this life, this planet, is amazing. That it is something just to be in the world, seeing and hearing and smelling. That for trillions of miles in every direction from earth, life really is blood-boilingly, eye-explodingly horrific.

“These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over.

“And,” he continues, “when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It’s incredible!”

[Picture by Randel Plowman via Just Another Masterpiece]


1 Dimelo   ~  Apr 24, 2014 12:18 pm

Loved that part!

2 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 24, 2014 12:51 pm

The guy has a knack for hitting things on the head. He's really an optimist. Sure, he's dark but he's also incredible vulnerable and curious.

3 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Apr 24, 2014 1:08 pm

(2) He's not necessarily an optimist. More like a realist who hopes things will turn out ok. (Sort of the anti-Yankee fan). I think he's weirdly also an inversion of Woody Allen. Both neurotic, but LCK doesn't glorify it.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 24, 2014 1:52 pm

3) That makes sense. Though I don't think most Yankee fans are downers either. Many of them assume things will work out. I think maybe a higher percentage of pessimists dwell online though.

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