Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Guest blogger who's funnier than me

Of all the rants on coping with COVID, this is the funniest I’ve found. Eileen Heisler is a TV writer who, among other accomplishments was the co-creator and a showrunner of THE MIDDLE (a show that deserved as much Emmy love as MODERN FAMILY). This is an article she wrote for WryTimes that she graciously allowed me to re-post. Thanks, Eileen.


I’m so fucking pissed at Adele.

Adele showing up blonde and skinny and looking like Katy Perry is just about the last straw of 2020 for me.

Seriously, Adele, fuck you.

And while I’m at it, screw off Instagram people who are finding this to be the most rewarding time of their lives.

The sourdough bread people.

The organizing their kitchen in the colors of the rainbow people—I tried it. Made it through a shelf of cookbooks (I don’t cook.) and my real work clothes in the closet (I don’t wear real clothes anymore.).

The look on the bright side people

The started a charity people

The singing with full choir and orchestra on Zoom people

The “I don’t miss that two-hour commute” people

The “getting masked coffee to-go in town is just like going to Italy” people

Fuck off all of you.

Are we labeling our years now? I hear it’s Rebel Wilson’s “year of health.” Well, guess what? It’s my “year of decline.” It’s my year of not producing, of not keeping it up, of not not-eating the things I shouldn’t. I have not used this time wisely, I have not gotten washboard abs, I haven’t kicked carbs to the curb for good. I have not self-improved. I have not found this to be the most rewarding time of my life. I haven’t bullet journaled my way to happiness, or set a year goal, made yogurt in the insta pot, finally read Jane Austen, learned a new language or baked my way through the Huckleberry cookbook…. I haven’t.

In a life that has been driven for years by the calendar, my March through September was ripped out and thrown on the floor.

What have I done?

I have not gotten Corona.

I have supported my kids through this unprecedented wrench thrown in all of their works.

I have missed my son who I haven’t seen in seven months.

I have hugged my mom’s foot during a masked outdoor visit and convinced myself that’ll do for now.

I got my mammogram.

I colored my own hair and then went back to the professionals as soon as I was allowed. Yes, boobs and hair, I learned clearly those are the non-negotiables.

I ordered cherry pie from Michigan ‘cause I couldn’t go in person.

I froze the pie in separate slices so I wouldn’t eat it all at once.

I ate it all at once.

I zoomed with friends.

I zoomed with family.

I zoomed with work people.

I zoomed reunions of television shows I didn’t even watch when they were on in the first place.

I started Breaking Bad from the beginning again and binged it on my phone for three days straight until I was convinced I heard mariachi music out my office window.

I watched I’ll be Gone in the Dark

And Filthy Rich.

And the thing about the amusement park that kills people.

I had sex.

I had a dead squirrel removed from my lawn by the department of sanitation.

I swept.

I swept, and I vacuumed, and I swept again.

And I waited.

Waited for a sign it was okay to stand down my guard.

Waited for an election that better bring change.

Waited for anything—anything at all—to return to normal.

For there to be something precedented, something recognizable, something to grasp on to— Something that remained as it was.

Which brings me back to blonde skinny Adele.

I’m waiting.

I’m waiting for her to gain back that weight. So the image of Adele is once again as expected. So in this insane period where nothing feels normal, I can see brunette, regular-person-sized Adele and feel safe.

I’m sorry I said fuck you, Adele. I’m happy for you. I really am.

But I’m really not.

Improve yourself later when Biden is president. When I can go to a play and meet my son’s girlfriend and hug my mom and see my friends outside of tiny little boxes on screens. Go ahead and rock your blonde skinny self then, and I’ll support you, I promise I will. Until then, I just found a piece of pie in the back of the freezer.

…Want a bite?


Sam said...

This isn't funny, it's sad. I don't get the humor in bashing people who are trying to make the best of things.

Saying fuck you to Adele because she lost weight is pretty shocking and mean. Why would she feel bad because it. Once again it makes me feel bad for the writer.

I understand being frustrated, bitter, or angry about the virus. It sucks. Its the worst crisis I've had to deal with in why life. I really feel for Mrs. Heisler not being able to see her son. But I don't get how this piece does anything to address her problems.

Don Kemp said...

I have to be honest. At first I thought that was supposed to be a picture of Heisler. I was all set to point that out like a pesky little poster would, when I realized it likely is what's become of Adele. Those eyebrows. Whoa.

For something to be funny it doesn't have to make you laugh out loud. I'd like to think I understand the point Heisler was trying to make here. She sums up the last several months for so many of us, male or female.

Steven said...

At the risk of offending Sam, I'd like to say this article was great.

I don't want to speak for "Mrs. Heisler" Sam, but I'm guessing she'd tell you to have some cherry pie from Michigan and relax.

Mmryan314 said...

This is a brilliantly funny piece. It seems to me that she writes completely from the heart and her own experiences, that I totally get, and that's what makes it so funny. Also the well-timed f-bomb at the beginning certainly didn't hurt it. I really enjoyed this piece.

Kendall Rivers said...

Correction, Ken. The Middle deserved far MORE emmys than Modern Family. Like, much more lol.

David Simpson said...

Sam, Eileen apologises to Adele later in her piece, and pretty much explains her comment.

Anonymous said...

This is so edgy and fresh, with all the "fucks". She is a brave woman, out there showing how woke women and so out there.

Dana King said...

She nailed my key point: I did not get coronavirus. I, too, have not seen my daughter in seven months, but I'm lucky that I spent a wonderful weekend with her and her husband right before the lockdown.

I only wish my mother had been as fortunate.

Kosmo13 said...

I enjoyed tremendously Heisler's sitcom 'Committed,' but, no, she's not funnier than Ken Levine.

Kendall Rivers said...

@Anonymous Tough talk for someone who hides through being Anonymous lol grow a pair, post your name and say that.

Wm. Adams said...

Excellent piece, thanks for sharing.

And co-sign on The Middle. Eden Sher should have a shelf full of hardware. Very funny and consistently funny show that not enough people watched.

Anonymous said...

It's possible for parody and satire to just go too far. This is an example of that. Not because it is offensive, but because it's just too on the nose.

We get it, she's trying for a slant parody about entitled white people. But it also just doesn't really say anything illuminating. And to be honest, it sounds like she really means most everything she is saying.

Comedy is not always about confession--sometimes you have to deliver a point.

Mike Bloodworth said...

It's not humor. It is just a rant. It could have been very funny if she had worded it a little more creatively.
But to add to her list: Fuck the "Zoom" people. They're just being faddish. But, she's one of them. So she's too close to the issue.
She had sex?! Fuck the "sex" people. Or rather DON'T fuck sex people. It has been a long, long time for me. However, my celibacy has had nothing to do with the pandemic.

I'm not a fan of either "The Middle" or "Modern Family" Both were big disappointments to me. And I'm also the only person in the country that didn't like "Breaking Bad."

She's not funnier than you, Ken. I guess you were just trying to be a little more "inclusive."


D McEwan said...

Loved this, and 100% agree. LOSE weight? I've gained 30 pounds since February. It's odd how sitting around eating, smoking pot, watching TV and/or reading just packs on the pounds.

And I generally loathe the overly-perky, overly-positive dorks anyway, even in normal times, as opposed to this, the worst year I've ever experienced in 70 years knocking around this globe.

Great piece.

Cap'n Bob said...

It had a couple of moments but mostly I found it unfunny and nowhere near as good as most of your stuff, Ken. People who drop f-bombs constantly betray a lack of creativity. That's my take on her rant.

stephen catron said...

I liked The Middle soooo much more than MF but this post isn't remotely funny. Just whiny.

Aaron said...

Have to agree with the nay-sayers. I missed the joke. (And some of us who were laid off 6 months ago are nevertheless working our asses off to get into better shape, find a way to make a living, and hustle on all those personal projects we really didn't have time for before.)

Astroboy said...

Eden Sher was robbed! Deserves a shelf of Emmys!

Johnny Walker said...

I relate. I especially recommend dating during this crisis, because why should your body be the only thing that picks up extra baggage right now?

Barry Traylor said...

Wonderful writing, I loved it. Tell her thank you from me for allowing you to repost it.

thirteen said...

I had no idea that was Adele. I thought it was the writer. A caption would have helped.

Coopersmith said...

Agree, with Ken, who KNOWS funny. This is a great piece. Tired too, of the overly cheery, "This is the greatest opportunity during a lockdown ever!" posts. These guys are just JEALOUS Ken didn't pick their work.

Greg Ehrbar said...

It's called "real." I call it superb writing.

MaryM said...

Totally agree!

OrangeTom said...

What a great piece! Share many of her sentiments but I could never express as eloquently.

I have been fortunate to be able to work from home since March, which also gives me more time to hang with my teen son, who is mostly a delight.

Yet the continued deviation from the norms of life have changed my personality. Mood swings out of nowhere and unpredictable sleep patterns.

Ironically (probably not the right use of the term), one of the positive respites has been The Middle in constant afternoon rotation on FreeForm. Rare show which never got stale and even the less flashy actors like Charlie McDermott and Neil Flynn are fascinating to watch.

McAlvie said...

There were some funny parts, but she loses points for gratuitous use of the f word. Not a prude, but overuse of any swear word just shows a lack of creativity … and vocabulary. Also, full disclosure, I am not a fan of either Adele or Rebel and have no idea why either of them are considered a big deal (no pun intended), but being mean to people who have never done anything to you is not funny. And as neither of them are politicians, it falls pretty flat.

There have been a lot of funny riffs on the current insanity, this just isn't one of them. Although the bits about people color coding every dang thing are pretty good. I'm pretty sure color coding your home marks a true low point on the boredom scale, and pretty much screams "I have nothing else in my life," so its pretty sad that they feel compelled to tell people. That they think its worth bragging about, now THAT'S funny.

Definitely not as funny as you, Ken. Not even as funny as many of your regular commenters.