Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roseannearchy, Roseanne Barr (2011)

It is a bit shocking that I not only read some of this book. But, that I read all of this book. I don't like non-fiction. I don't like memoir. And, I don't like funny literature. So, for me to have read this book does seem a little bit far fetched. But, Roseanne will forever hold a special place in my heart. I can't name a single woman who has made me laugh or cry as hard as Roseanne has in my life. When I heard she had a new book out, I felt I owed it to myself to experience something new from Roseanne. Roseannearchy is Roseanne's third non-fiction book. I have not read the previous books. I have nothing to compare this book to other than the TV series Roseanne and a couple of her comedy specials.

It seems Roseanne has been quiet for the past handful of years. She has always been blogging, but she has stepped away from the camera a bit. During her time away, Roseanne found a lot of inner peace. For her, it came in the form of religion, conversation, philosophy, and looking inward. Recently, she's appeared again, with intentions of running for president. Roseanne wants the truth to be shared with America. She wants everyone to understand and see through the lies we're being told by our politicians. Of course, this is all part of Roseanne's style of humor. A loud, in your face approach to getting everyone to listen to common sense for a few minutes. Sometimes it works and sometimes it back fires.

I was shocked to see the forward of Roseannearchy was written by Roseanne's first husband. The man she was married to before she became famous and was with at the start of her fame. I always assumed things were bad between the two of them. But, as proof to Roseanne's need to understand herself through her past, it makes sense that their past is brought up and cleaned up in such a mature manner. This is certainly a memoir of growth.

Much of what Roseanne writes about is aging. She does this with her typical blend of humor and truth. I did find myself laughing out loud a handful of times. This is something I rarely, if ever, do when reading. For that, I have to respect Roseanne's book. On the other hand, this certainly isn't the most well written book of the year. Not that anyone would go into this book expecting literature or grand ideas. I most certainly am not holding this to the typical standard of literature. Although, there are moments when it all feels a little too empty. Passages that feel like rambling. A few chapters are dedicated to memories of her childhood. At this point in Roseanne's career, I feel we're all more than aware of her upbringing. And maybe not always interested in reading ten plus pages of the past. But, I understand their placement within the text as a way to show how we really need to look back inside ourselves in order to change ourselves.

I think my favorite parts of the book are when Roseanne speaks about dieting and weight. We are all aware of Roseanne's weight struggles. In fact, her struggles are our struggles. We have all looked in a mirror and wanted to be something else. Someone else. A little thinner and more toned. Roseanne doesn't buy this anymore. With age comes wisdom, they say. It was nice to hear her thoughts on the weight obsession of her past and the way she embraces weight now. We do live in a society where people are bigger, but we are constantly told how wrong this is for them. Maybe it is wrong. But, at the same time, we shouldn't put so much effort into disdain for the overweight when we have so many other problems in our world. Reading Roseanne's passages on weight really struck me. Will they change me? Probably not. But, they'll make me think a little differently for a few days at least.

This is a presentation of ideas and revelations. Roseanne admits she smokes pot to help with OCD and other obsessive traits. She admits to drinking when she writes. Roseanne is never anything more than very honest. And, I will always respect this about her. This is very much not a memoir for anyone who doesn't just adore Roseanne. For those of us that do, it was nice to take part in a brief one sided chat with someone so admired.


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