An Open Letter (And Review) To Janeane Garofalo

I was flipping through channels the other day and saw Janeane Garofalo in something and was reminded how much I loved her comedic style and intelligent observations. Mystery Men is one of my favorite things she starred in, partially due to the over-the-top take on vigilante justice and co-stars, but mainly Janeane Garofalo’s deadpan performance-especially the scene where she asks her father’s skull (encased in a clear bowling ball)  if he wants to “go back into the bag”.

I immediately went to her website and found almost nothing of content, except that a special was taped called “If You Will”. So, of course I found that to watch. While watching the special, I learned several things about her that made me respect her even more than I already did.

But one of the things that I found out was that she doesn’t use a computer or any gadgets. I tried to look at it through Janeane’s eyes, but I actually started pitying how much *the world* is missing with her not being instantly connected through unfiltered web content. She reads the newspaper and comments on things found there, but in this world of instant news, a newspaper can only be 24 hours up to date. The entire planet could have changed in 24 hours.

I envisioned her being invited on Fox News again with Fox having more up-to-date information than she did, just to try to embarrass her.

Janeane Garofalo revealed several things in this special that I didn’t know about. One was being sober. I hadn’t heard anything about her being an alcoholic before, so this was news to me. At one point, it got uncomfortable with her talking about her interventions. I imagined the people who intervened watching this and realizing that she was extremely bitter about the intervention.

I know that people don’t get an intervention unless something very bad is going on while they’re drinking. She mentions “highly functioning alcoholics” in the show and those are the type of people who don’t have interventions. If she is living with her boyfriend, then he is the one who initiated the intervention. Janeane’s family may have been concerned about her drinking, but if you don’t live with an alcoholic, then you don’t see the bad.

I have known people who were “highly functioning alcoholics” and who would drink themselves into a stupor. No one could say a word because they brought home the cash.

Another thing that Janeane Garofalo mentioned was that she was on some medication. If you replace one addiction with another, you may have coated the problem for a while, but, as I mentioned before, there is bitterness that will rear its ugly head later on.

Janeane actually made several pop culture jokes and even some poop jokes in this show, which surprised and shocked me. She is known for Dennis Leary-style intelligent observations. Did taking the alcohol away affect her humor?

People who know me know that I am very anti-drug. I have told people that I don’t care what they do with their lives as long as it doesn’t affect me. If I get arrested for something *you* do, then we’re going to have a problem. But lately I have been wondering about how drugs affect/enhance/”give birth to” art. I have creative inspiration, but the attention span doesn’t allow me to finish a lot of stuff. I don’t blame it on ADD or ADHD because if it’s important, I finish it. In fact, I like to start working on things immediately to try to finish as soon as possible. I think that opportunity is fleeting and I have a horrible memory, so to combat that,  I send myself emails or texts with ideas or I write them down. I have found ideas I had that I didn’t understand after the fact. Some scribbles have been so incomprehensible that I didn’t know which way to look at the idea. So now that I have been pursuing my art, I want to get the idea down, thinking I will come back later and finish it. But who is to say that a piece of artwork is finished? The artist, that’s who. So every sketch or painting I do where there is no head on a body or an arm is missing-those are all finished pieces. I had the inspiration for whatever it ended up being. If I go back to it to touch it up, then it becomes a different piece of artwork.

Back to Janeane Garofalo. I find her extremely attractive. Yes, I admit it. A brain is more of a turn-on to me than model-esque beauty. What is amazing is that the intelligence actually makes her physically more attractive to me. I am not talking about sex. I am talking about attraction.

I wanted to write to her, but couldn’t find anything on her website (which she mentions in the show) for communicating with her. She sort of “downed” her manager stating that she didn’t have a web presence at one point and it shows on her site. If you are basing your salary on sales, you have to have advertisement. A website is mostly advertisement for celebrities. The internet is replacing television. She doesn’t have to have content on her site, unless she wants to take ownership of her brand in the new medium.

I understand Janeane Garofalo’s aversion to change and the new medium. I would like nothing more than to listen to records on a Victrola by lamplight, myself. (Look at the way they live in the movie “The Village” and see what I would love to try-until I needed an inhaler.) But to stay relevant in an industry like stand-up comedy, you will have to have relevant things to discuss. How did 99% of the people who bought tickets to your show do it? They bought it online. Then, before the show, they spent days trolling through youtube videos to see what was in store.

I did the same thing while waiting to watch “If You Will”. I perused youtube and saw the Janeane Garofalo of, apparently, alcoholic nature. She was witty. She was intelligent. She could hold her own with bullies on Fox News.

The Janeane Garofalo on this special was a more subdued Janeane Garofalo. It almost seemed like she was tired. Probably tired of fighting. She mentioned being asexual with her boyfriend of 10 years and I sensed something amiss there. Don’t get me wrong, if people choose not to have sex, then that’s fine. I know typical straight male, though, and saying that she’s not “putting out” would probably emasculate him. I would hope that he was as intelligent as she is and didn’t fall prey to that kind of mindset.

Janeane Garofalo brought in a sketchpad and admitted that she was using it to assist her in remembering what she wanted to talk about. I think Kathy Griffin uses the same type of thing and while it’s great (see above-I would need the same thing!) that she wants to make sure she covers everything, it gave me the feeling that without alcohol, she isn’t as spot-on as she would like to be.

I know someone who can’t remember something from one minute to the next (not just me!), but his affliction was definitely brought about by alcohol. Does this make him stupid? No. Is this something bad? I don’t think so. How often would you like to free your brain of bad thoughts? That’s what alcohol does. It takes you out of your situation so you don’t have to think about it. It’s like putting your body on autopilot. That’s why your inhibitions drop. You’re doing what your body wants to do. If that means watching a football game without moving for hours or creating your next great stand-up performance, that’s what your body wants to do. This is why I am reconsidering what I think about alcohol and drugs.

Janeane Garofalo mentions being in Overeaters Anonymous for a while and not understanding what the big deal was. It seems there is someone around her that is worrying too much about her. A hypochondriac? Here’s the deal, Janeane Garofalo. Enjoy your life! Everyone around you wants to make your life less enjoyable or tolerable so theirs can be better. You make your own life choices and then you live with the consequences. If you want to drink, then drink. If your partner doesn’t like it, then he shouldn’t be with you. If you don’t want to lose them, then you won’t drink.

I am not advocating everyone who is recovering to go out and drink. What I am saying is that if you want alcohol more than you want the people around you, then you should drink and distance yourself from those people. There are more than enough people who WANT to drink WITH you that you can choose from. And if you are a nasty drunk, you will end up alone, but happy, with your bottle. If you don’t want that fate, you don’t drink.

It’s simple!

Most people are obsessive compulsive. So if you’re not drinking, you’re overeating. If you stop overeating, you start taking prescription pills, which instantly legitimizes being addicted to something, Michael Jackson.

I feel your pain, Janeane Garofalo, with the food addiction. Some people like to eat to cover emotions or to satisfy a hunger. I eat for taste. Until the taste for something is satisfied, you will overeat. Since I came to that revelation, I have been much happier. If I want a banana split, I eat a banana split. I don’t substitute something else for it. If I do that, I end up eating a lot more substitutions and eventually eating the banana split as well.

Janeane Garofalo ends the special with (what seemed like) 15 minutes of fawning over Natalie Portman. I don’t know who she is by name, and I haven’t looked her up yet, but she went on and on about her being a perfect creature of nature. It went to poop jokes (which I appreciate as much as the next South Park fan) and then ended as if her time was up at the Improv. Very abruptly. Ironic? Possibly planned? Did she need to go poop after talking about Natalie Portman never pooping in her life? This diatribe went on so long, it got me thinking about the “asexual” comments earlier. Maybe she does want to become a lesbian? Lesbians have no problem drinking the night away. There aren’t as many women at AA meetings as men.

I appreciated Janeane Garofalo doing this special, no matter what feelings were evoked in me. The measure of success is NOT whether people like it or not, it’s emotional reaction. If people hate you, then you are important enough to be hated. That’s the Rebecca Black effect. The minute people aren’t talking about you or thinking about you is when you fade into oblivion. (Does anyone remember Paris Hilton at this point?) So, kudos to you, Janeane Garofalo, you are an amazing person and should remain true to yourself. Remember to consider this question-are you changing to better yourself or someone else?

Print this out and give this to Janeane Garofalo to read!

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