Bleats

Woman Who Heckled Louis CK With During A Surprise Set At The Comedy Cellar Says It Was Worth Being Booted Out

We've found it: the only good heckle ever.

Louis CK is back performing in comedy clubs, after a professional time-out where he definitely thought hard about what he’d done.

And while it’s people’s choice whether they feel comfortable paying to see Louis CK, his unannounced appearances at the Comedy Cellar have been controversial. Surprise sets from big names are a standard part of the stand-up club scene, but if you’ve gone out for a chill night of comedy, there’s a big difference between wincing at a bad-taste bit, and having to pick between sitting through an entire set by a self-confessed abuser or getting yourself out of there.

But there’s a third option: Klaire Randall found herself in the front row at a surprise CK set at the Cellar, and after realising leaving was going to make a scene, sat uncomfortably through the first few minutes – before becoming a hero and a legend.

https://twitter.com/killer_klaire/status/1069482373484617728

Here’s what she told The Cut:

“I was giving him the finger as he walked up, but I don’t think he noticed. I just knew in my heart that I couldn’t sit there and be complacent throughout this set and also that I couldn’t laugh about it. Where we were seated made it very hard to leave. We felt stuck. … His jokes started out like “my life is hard now, I had a bad year, feel bad for me.” There was nothing like “hey I ruined my own life by masturbating in front of women.’

“Ten minutes or so in there was a little bit of a break, and he walked over toward the piano near where I was sitting to look at his notes. And in that moment I just yelled “get your dick out.’

“I wasn’t thinking at the time that it would become news, I wasn’t trying to make him mad or get laughs from the audience, I just knew that I could not sit in that room and let him think he had an uninterrupted stage. 

“He looked shell-shocked. He looked directly at me, full eye contact and said ‘WHAT!?’ I repeat myself like, “get your fucking dick out.’ 

Randall says a Cellar staff member immediately came over and asked her and her boyfriend to leave – and they were more than happy to at that point.

Let’s be clear: heckling comedians is incredibly rude. It’s one of the worst breaches of comedy club etiquette you can commit.

In fact, heckling is rude enough to get you kicked out of the Comedy Cellar – but if you repeatedly masturbate in front of your professional colleagues, you’re welcome to stop by whenever you want.

Saxon Mullins Is My New Hero, And Her 4 Corners Episode Was So Powerful It Could Change Sexual Consent Laws

Thanks to the bravery of survivor Saxon Mullins, serious questions are being raised about what consent really means in the NSW legal system.

There’s a lot to be horrified by in last night’s incredible 4 Corners.

The ABC’s in-depth current affairs program took a close look at one of NSW’s most high-profile rape cases after a year-long investigation: the story of how in 2013, an 18-year-old girl from the Central Coast who’d never had sex ended her first ever night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross having allegedly non-consensual anal sex in an alley with a guy who’d promised to take her to the club’s VIP room.

“You know, there wasn’t any request – it was a demand … From someone I had never met before. In a dark alleyway. Alone. And I was scared,” she said on the program.

The guy, Luke Lazarus, who is the son of the nightclub’s then owner, was initially convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to five years in prison – but he served less than a year, and was released and his conviction changed to not guilty after a judge determined that the teenager didn’t consent, but how was he supposed to know that?

The thing is, you are supposed to know. You’re supposed to be 100% sure that the person you’re having sex with really, really wants to be having sex with you. This is pretty basic stuff. It’s called enthusiastic consent.

Because if the person is only so-so about the idea of sex with you, why would you want to have sex with them?

However, the law isn’t exactly clear on this, and that benefited Lazarus – a guy who, if we’re to believe his side of the story, innocently believed a drunk 18-year-old virgin was totally cool with having anal sex on her hands and knees in a gravel-strewn alleyway behind a nightclub at 4am with a guy she just met five minutes earlier.

That’s the best possible interpretation of his actions and mindset.

“Whether or not she consented is but one matter. Whether or not the accused knew that she was not consenting is another matter,” the judge in the second trial said.

(That judge was found to have erred in her judgment in a subsequent appeal, but Lazarus was not put through a third trial as it wouldn’t have been “fair” to him. Right.)

Last night’s program saw the girl, whose identity was of course protected during the years of legal proceedings, shed her protective anonymity in order to go on Four Corners, tell her story and advocate for enthusiastic consent.

Her name is Saxon Mullins, and she’s my new hero.

This morning saw a stunningly compassionate response to the report coming from the NSW attorney-general, who announced that he would be asking the Law Reform Commission to review the way the question of consent is approached and interpreted in sexual assault trials.

“[Mullins was] humiliated in an alleyway at the age of 18, she’s had to tell her traumatic story in court, she’s had to face two trials, two appeals, and still, no final outcome,” Mark Speakman said this morning.

“What this shows is that there’s a real question about whether our law in New South Wales is clear enough, is certain enough, is fair enough.”

The NSW government welcomes input from the public – so if you have something to say about the review and reform, including any experiences of your own, you can make a submission to the review before June 29 here.

It’s not likely that the platonic ideal of enthusiastic consent – which boils down to “if it’s not a ‘F**k yes’, it’s a no”, and asks people to get verbal confirmation from any partner(s) that they’re definitely keen to have sex – will be enshrined in law.

However, reform might mean that the absence of affirmative consent means more in legal proceedings: that “they didn’t say no” isn’t as accessible a defence, that non-verbal fear or shock responses like freezing up or going limp are better taken into account, and that people in Lazarus’ position won’t be able to fall back on “How was I supposed to know she wasn’t into it?”

Because you are supposed to know whether the person you’re having sex with really wants to have sex – and what’s more, you’re supposed to care. So you check, and proceed accordingly. If you can’t manage that going forward, you don’t deserve to have sex with anyone at all.

If this story raises any issues for you, or you just need to talk to someone, you can call the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence helpline on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), Mensline on 1800 600 636, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. They’re all free and confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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