Episode 151: "To Talk to You About Rembrandt"

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January 31, 2014


Karen Kilgariff

Origin of the episode title[edit]

What Sister Wendy is eager to do.


This week's episode features the great KAREN KILGARIFF! It's a fun chat that encompasses topics such as: why casting directors will be like "Could you be less angry?"; Sister Wendy's appetite for sexuality in art, how Irish peopledon't ask for help, and how Terry Sweeney looked like Nancy Reagan with no makeup on.

Plus! A fun elevator encounter with a labradoodle, how Gallagher and Charles Manson are basically the same person, Bill deBlasio's earlobes and how he's handling the cold, Camp Ramah and its scary stories, and why a relative would not write me a check on Passover.


  • Where Julie explains to Karen Kilgariff why there is so much repetition Jewish families. "It comes from the fear of not being heard because you're not listening either. It's like a pure Jewish empathy"
  • "We were tricked, Jerry."

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Episode Link

Monologue Transcript[edit]

Hello everybody. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW.

It’s Thursday night as I live and breathe and speak to you from my temporary apartment in Los Angeles, although everything is temporary. You do know that don’t you? I got a three month lease on this place and I have been here a week and it’s so nice. I probably talked about this last week, but I don’t remember because I am a gerbil. “I’m a gerbil and I am thirsty for water but put it in a bottle and put it upside down. Don’t put it in my cage. Put it outside of my cage. Line it with cedar chips. I’m a rodent and I live in your house in a tank for some reason. Did I say a cage before? I was lying.” The point of that character piece that I auditioned for the Aspen Comedy Festival with years ago is that my memory is very short so forgive me if I have already bragged about my Los Angeles apartment. It contains two fake plants, neither of which belongs to me and a washer and dryer that I was way too excited about using. Bounce sheets smell great.

I had a pretty good day although it was sandwiched between two pieces of shitty bread. I had a bad morning. It was stressful. It was one of those things where you go to the CVS on the corner of Ventura and Laurel Canyon and the pharmacist, Angel, who looks a lot like Nasim Padrad is very apologetic that one of your doctors has called half of your anti-depressants into the CVS across the street. Apparently there is a CVS directly across the street. If you tell the person who legally prescribes anti-depressants because they are working out beautifully, I must say, and you say the CVS is on the corner of Ventura and Laurel Canyon. They will call one of two CVS on the same exact corner. This is a recipe for farce and fun and silliness but not right before work when Angel, who could not be nicer, ANGEL COULD NOT BE NICER, and competent. I have no complaints about Angel. My complaints are, and this is not a wildly original observation about Los Angeles, and the differences between New York. I hope observations in this area are your oxygen, food, rest, and what else do people need to survive? Plants. The pace over here is really unacceptable. You guys really need to pick it up. It’s not ok. It’s not ok. You’re just too slow. It’s unacceptable. There is no reason to take your time like that. It’s rude. It’s just hostile at a certain point. The longer I wait for something and find out that a fax transaction has to take place. Somebody can’t just walk across the street or email something. “No they are going to have to fax us.” “How long will it take?” “Two Hours.” “Ok. Well this has been great. Thank you so much. We’ll try this again tomorrow and see how it pans out.”That was this morning. I came into work and ate something and everything was fine.

This evening after work I had a disappointment in terms of someone misunderstanding plans and not showing up which was frustrating. I don’t have time for this shit, Danny Glover. And then on top of that, oh someone on twitter t called me ‘Fat Reba.’ It’s not the end of the world. Should I be looking on Twitter for things like that? How is that my fault? Is it my fault for re-tweeting it? Yeah. Undo retweet. I love deleting tweets and not being famous enough for anybody to care enough to take a screen shot and say, “See what she did?” Yeah well, I made a mistake. That was ten minutes ago. ‘Fat Reba’… What hurt about ‘Fat Reba’ is that even though this guy was clearly just a sloppy idiot. I looked at his other tweets and it was stuff like ‘Rihanna gets beat up.’ Send your packet. ‘Fat Reba’ is funny. Not that I am. Is it? Maybe it’s an anagram from something funny. I was on television. People saw me on television. This is all good why do I have to focus on the bad? I don’t know. The point is that it is nice to take a bath. Maker’s Mark tastes good. Everything is fine. Tomorrow I am going to drive around and my windows will be open and I will listen to the Talking Heads. I like the Talking Heads, ok? I like the Talking Heads and I like Elvis Costello. Is that ok?

I’m so self conscious. I’m more self-conscious in Los Angeles now not even about being cool, but about what is cool and what is not cool. People out here don’t seem to care. They just care what makes money and who’s talented…not talented. Wait, I figured this out just now. Isn’t it exciting that you are part of the process, you are observing it. It’s a Heisenberg. Is that what it’s called the Heisenberg effect? Nobody knows what it means anymore since Breaking Bad. New Yorkers are concerned about being cool and what is cool. People in LA are concerned about what is hot, as in what is something everybody else is talking about. It’s very sexy and will possibly get me a better house in Malibu. That’s a bummer.

There were a couple of things that happened in the last week that I want to talk about with you. First of all since I have lived here in LA I have met a few Labradoodles, at least three, probably two. I wish it were seven. There’s a Labradoodle in my building and he’s enormous. I like Labradoodles because they are big and they’re good looking. I don’t know what their personalities are like. I know there are a lot of people that are racist against poodles but I happen to think that excluding their family tree, their origin story, I think they are fantastic dogs. I enjoy them.

The building I am living in right now is an interesting combination of gay people-there are a couple of bears that I cannot wait to get to know more about. That’s a tier. This is like a food pyramid but in reverse because bread should always be on the top. It goes gay people, prostitutes, then children, and douche bags. So there are these douchy dudes, these bros. Then somewhere in-between there’s some are you yuppies? Are you gay? It doesn’t matter because I don’t talk to people in the elevator and I certainly don’t talk to my neighbors because what if I need something? What? That doesn’t make sense. I’m on the elevator with a couple of other people. The door opens. “Are you going up?” it was one of those going down kind of moments but the dog didn’t know that. So the elevator doors open we are on whatever floor and all I see is this enormous beasty—a beasto supremo—and he’s the color of caramel. He’s got fluff everywhere. He’s not shorn. It’s just like a Bette Milder perm from Down and Out in Beverly Hills. He is pie-eyed and eager. He bounds into the elevator. Then there was the exchange, “You going up?” “No we are going down.” The guy who is on the other end of the leash takes the dog out of the elevators and says just as the doors are about to close to his dog, “We were tricked Jerry.” If that isn’t the best thing in the world to ever hear, I don’t know what is.

Then I am in the elevator with people who aren’t laughing. “We’ve been tricked Jerry.” I don’t understand how you cannot laugh at that. It’s weird to be in an elevator where you all experience the same thing and yet you’re reacting to it differently because it’s like being in a sports stadium and we’re all on the same team and then someone does something wonderful. Are we all rooting for the same outcome, for a dog to be great and a person to say something weird to it? I don’t know, I guess not. Maybe I’ve been tricked Jerry.

I have been thinking about Gallagher a little bit. He came up the other day at my work. Putting aside everything we know about him or don’t know about him from the Marc Maron interview and that he has a brother who tours as him and calls himself Gallagher II and the section of Block Buster Video I always found to be straight-up scary, because he was so ugly it was scary. I don’t mean, ugly like deformed but there was just something…Please, there was something about Gallagher, how can I describe it? If only it were broader. If only his look were more visible from across the room and he looked more like a 70s clown that that wouldn’t have even gotten a call back from Godspell. “We’re going in a different direction.” “But everyone else is dressed like me. “ “Yeah but you don’t see what’s under the overalls.”

Gallagher had covers of his VHS Specials at Block Buster. I would peruse every one of them. Gallagher goes Hippy-the 60s with Gallagher. There was one called Melon Crazy. His head was digitally removed and it was in a bin with other spheres-those were watermelons- his was not. There were a bunch of covers. They were all disturbing. I had no interest seeing them; they were just a presence in my life in the way that you see an old book and think oh my god, not the concept but the art of it. What I realized about Gallagher exclusive from all of that is that Gallagher seems like the kind of mentally ill drifter that would be to me what Charles Manson would have been had he decided to get into comedy and not music. When I say that, I mean, fundamentally, to me, Charles Manson was a musician. He was a contributor to the Beach Boys and he really got into the music scene. That was the point of him.

Gallagher scares me and if I ever saw him in a dark alley, or really anywhere dark; a suburban street, a city street, even just walking to your car with groceries and you’re loading your trunk, I don’t want to see Gallagher there. I don’t want to see Gallagher even if there is a hoard of people around me. Then I wouldn’t mind. To be honest if I were surrounded by friends and Gallagher appeared in a Ralph’s parking lot I don’t want to say thrilled, but I’d be delighted. I’d be tickled at the very least.

Speaking of prostitutes there are women in Los Angeles that are so clearly hookers that it is hard that give them the benefit of the doubt, I guess it’s easy to skip that step. Or it became easy to me after I stopped thinking of t hem as sluts with no style. I realized that these are not plain clothes cops, the plainclothes cops of sluts, in other words these aren’t women on some sort of unpaid internship. They are professional hookers. They have sex with men. I will also add that my primary experience as far as observation of this phenomena or epidemic, is observing them in dating situations. This is to say that Alex and Melissa, our friends took me to a sushi restaurant last weekend in the Hollywood hills near the Magic Castle. It was a beautiful restaurant. The food was exceptional. The space was riddled with prostitutes. They were like chocolate chips in a cookie. They were everywhere, everywhere you looked. I knew they were prostitutes because their breast implants created cleavage that did not need to be shaped by a garment. They were held up by the veracity of the implants themselves. There was a bicep-like quality; you know hoe biceps are muscles that kind of come up out of nowhere? That’s what these breasts looked like. Beyond that they are just wearing strapless mini-dresses that are bathing suits right?

I know I sound like an old marm. Where did that word come from? Did that mean mom? Was it a school mom? No because that would mean that she was homeschooling which I feel strongly about. I’ve discussed my attitude toward homeschooling in the past. There’s something inside of me that thinks it should be illegal.

So these prostitutes are out to dinner with these Johns. You see these sluts and they are wearing crazy hooker shoes. They are dressed the way they are dressed and having meals with men that are so clearly, not their bosses, because I imagine their madam or their pimp (I am sure there are different corporate euphemisms.) It is always fucking sushi. Just as sure as bipolar people love going off their meds—by the way we need to get better meds. I’m not even bipolar. I can tell you this if you know anyone who is bipolar or have had any interactions and have experience with someone who has bipolar disorder you will know that they don’t want to be on their meds. Their meds make them feel logey. We need to come up with better meds, that way they’ll be on their meds. It’s beyond that idea where I’m exercising so I don’t need meds, that was basically what Homeland became right? SPOILER-they hung Brody for 25 minutes like he was a goddamn effigy. Ugh! They had that moment form across the square. They locked eyes. I could not stop throwing up.

Women who work for escort agencies that assigns them out on prostitution dates at sushi restaurants knowhow to eat with chopsticks. Beyond that they are in every other way identical to other prostitutes. They are not better looking. They are nit smarter. They are not classier. They are not more charming. They probably give more blow jobs than any reasonable woman right? And they are empty inside but it is also society’s fault. When you see them on dates with men at these restaurants it isn’t that it’s a bummer, it’s just so weird. There are sleepovers at the zoo sort of events—spend the night at the monkey house- sounds fun but are the doors locked? This is sort of like that. What if we locked you up at the Bronx zoo? They are not going to be in their cages. Just tell us what your experience is. Well I’m alive that’s exciting, but it’s a real fish out of water experience for everyone involved.

I remember when I was reading People Who Eat Darkness about that Japanese sicko if I may; who would get escorts and kill them. He’d only kill them if the sex that he had, I’m sorry that rape that would happen while they were under, what was that Dr. Conrad Murry potion? That balm? You know what I mean? Chloroform? Is that it? What’s the one that makes plants green? Anyway every once in a while they would die during the raping and he would have to get rid of them...he was a terrible person. I’m not a fan of his work. He’s not a benevolent Japanese person like Yoko Ono who is delightful. Every time somebody over 35 or 40 makes a joke about how Yoko stinks, or Yoko is bad at singing, or Yoko broke up the Beatles, or just that Yoko stinks every time that happens a child is born and that child will help overthrow the Baby Boomer hubris-filled patriarchal institution that perpetuates jokes that aren’t funny and that come from false premises such as Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles, such as the Doors were good, such as Eric Clapton seemed like a good guy you’d just want to hang out with and hear his tunes and stories. That’s all fiddle faddle.

In The People Who Eat Darkness there’s a part of it that talks about how Anglo-Saxons have a hard time getting work in escort clubs. Escort clubs are not necessarily prostitution in the traditional sense of I’m going to pay you and you’re going to have sex with me, but it’s more of an opportunity for Japanese men to drop in and have women pour them drinks, listen to their stories, and laugh at their jokes, and allow them to touch them but I guess but not invasively whatever that means. It’s more of a socially submissive quasi-romantic but mostly just flirty sexual power fueled interaction that truly at the end of the day comes down to it there is so much more dignity just letting a stranger come inside of you. You know there’s a bag between him and you and we’re all just flesh. Flesh is dumb. I don’t want to offend any osteopath or aspiring physical therapists or even just people that paint the nude body and appreciate its glory and splendor. I certainly would never think to offend anyone who applies spirituality to biology. What could be more exciting?

However, as I have said before human bodies are bags of garbage and they’re encased by flesh. When I say flesh I mean skin. The more I think about my skin, the angrier I get at it and the angrier it gets at me. Then we are in this what cream would you like today madam? My skin says, “I don’t know why don’t you try all of them and maybe I’ll be an asshole.” “Very well. What should I start with?” “Something expensive. Something you don’t have.” My skin and I have a better relationship than other parts of my body and me. My point about the physical experience of sex with a stranger is that it is less intimate inherently, and by that I mean less degrading than having to pretend that a Japanese businessman’s jokes are funny, because they are not. Pretending any man’s jokes are funny is depressing and dispiriting and humiliating and devaluing especially when you are funny. You know you are funny and you also think this is a microcosm of how the world works, except it is heighten and therefore it’s surreal. That’s where I would beg for us, and by us I mean me to step back and say maybe I’m not sleeping overnight at the monkey house at the Bronx zoo. Maybe I’m actually just living in my own world as I do where I do. I am just sort of seeing heighten examples of what already exists for me. That’s just bad. That’s just fucked up.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves. There should be better ways for women to make money other than laughing at someone’s jokes…I think it is gross. I just think it’s gross. At a certain point if they just get on top of you and they pump a little bit it will be over. It will be fine. Or maybe it won’t but at least it will be fast. What would you rather do let this guy shake your hand or listen to him tell you about something that happened to him over the weekend and have to nod along? You’d rather shake his hand. Right? I don’t know.

There’s a rumor that Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall are lovers. I can’t handle this until I know that it’s true. Mot f me knows that it’s true or believes that it’s true. I won’t rest until I find out that it’s true. I’m not resting. Apparently Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall are a lesbian couple. This was reported in the National Enquirer. You can scoff at as much as you choose to but the National Enquirer is always right about this shit sometimes. That’s what I have been told. I don’t actually know myself. Ignorance is adorable. I am going to keep charging on with that sort of confidence. They broke the Rielle Hunter John Edwards story. Let’s all get ready for Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall to come out together as partners in crocs. Quentin Tarantino had a screenplay leaked online. It was called Feet, Feet, Feet and it featured footage of many ladies’ feet. I have been out here in California almost three weeks now. I miss New York in the following ways. I miss my cat terrible. I miss Jimmy Jazz. I’m getting daily video updates from Auntie Renate who is staying at my apartment, sleeping in my bed and taking care of Jimmy Jazz. She’s making sure he knows that he’s a prince which is something I try to let him know. She sends me videos of him. It does something to my heart. My heart is broken that I can’t be with him right now. It doesn’t make sense for him to be with me right now. He should be with Auntie Renate. He should know that mommy loves him and mommy will be back very soon. Mommy will give him such a mushing he will be a mushy. When I finish mushing him when I see him next he is going to be softer.

I saw that there was a snow storm this week. However deranged this makes me I was very sad that I wasn’t there during the snow storm. It’s nice to be inside. It’s nice to be inside when the snow is falling. You feel cozy. You watch a movie. You have a blanket over your legs. You’re on the couch. You’re in bed. You have a window and can see the snow and the cat watches the snow. I am a little homesick in that particular way. However I have been following the DeBlasio’s administration’s… tell me if I am getting this story wrong. I read it off some Twitter feeds. Was there some sort of reverse economic discrimination, some post-Bloomberg payback? Did he not send plows to the Upper East Side in order to cause wealthy people to suffer? First of all it’s hilarious. It’s unacceptable. You can’t do that to Carole Bayer Sager. She’s already lived this long. She’s had Burt Bacharach inside her. You guys have to keep this stuff in mind. Why do you have so much respect for Grande Dames toward the end of her real seeming love affair with Blake Edwards you’d think she had him inside of her. Same with Wendi Deng. These women are heroes because of the adversity they faced. It’s not because of what they accomplished. It’s how they adored. They really are like the Captain Phillips’ of our gender. I think we need to appreciate that a bit more than we already do.

I’m just happy that I’m not in DeBlasio’s New York City right now. Isn’t that snotty? It’s snotty. I’m being facetious. Now that Bloomberg is gone I miss Bloomberg. I know that it’s not ok. There’s a lot of economic disparity that was straight-up. The new Pope is into that. There are people that are poor, dying and starving and people should be looking out for their best interests and don’t care. They are very rich. I get it. I like this Pope, as much as you can like a Pope. I’m going to back pedal a little bit and say, not only is he still a Pope but the best thing this Pope has going for him is that he’s not the worst Pope of all time and that he was not a Nazi youth. You don’t need to hold your applause but sit down. Sit down. This is not an ovation matter.

Mayor DeBlasio who is married to a strong black woman who used to be gay and has two fantastically uniquely beautiful children, and seems a little bit square to have such a cool family, is an interesting guy. His earlobes are too big. I am curious to see how he will fare. I don’t think New York is going to go back to the 80s. Alphabet city might. That scene in Heartburn will take place in real life where Kevin Spacey takes Meryl Streep’s wedding ring on a graffitied subway car only in this version it’s one of Spacey’s costumed cabarets and it’s at the Box. Who else is there Tegan and Sara? Are they a vaudeville act or a burlesque act? That’s something I don’t need to know definitively so please don’t tell me. I will say this about Bloomberg, were the streets always plowed? They usually were. They were fine. Housing was disgusting and the economic injustice of it… I completely agree.

However, as I mentioned I have been in LA just a brief amount of time and I have heard more stories about crime since I have been here that are completely disturbing. Our friend Woliner was held up at gun point last week in Los Feliz around 7pm walking around in his very safe neighborhood. After that there were several incidents of the same guys with the same description being held up in an identical way. It’s terrifying. They good news is that they got them last night. They are in jail. As I was talking about this with Holly, our friend Holly who came over for a couple of glasses of wine and some microwave popcorn and some talking, she told me that this building is great. I love this area; Ellie Kemper was mugged around here. I didn’t need to hear that. I do need to hear it but I don’t need to like it. My point is Los Angeles; at least two out of three of you have been held up or mugged. I’d say Woliner was mugged, Ellie Kemper was allegedly mugged. I need to get the story from Ellie Kemper, who is lovely. I have never been mugged in New York City. I have never been worried about walking around. Obviously the later it gets the more likely you are to run into idiots, but I never felt unsafe as I do during dusk, not even at night, and I am walking just a few feet outside of my building.

I heard my security guard, who has a neck like a tree trunk, his name is either David or Michael, I can’t remember which one. I saw him outside on his cell phone when I went into the building and he was saying into the phone, “There’s a guy downstairs, he’s just wandering around in circles.” I thought that’s not good. That can’t be a nice thing. Then I went upstairs and double-locked the door. I’m never leaving this apartment unless I get in my car. I’m going to get my car, a Ford Focus and go to work. I’ll come home from work and I will watch Face Off. This season is the most extreme one yet which means nothing. I saw a program on television last weekend. It was called the Making of the Silence of the Lambs on the Bio Channel which is a channel for garbage documentaries that I love watching. So the Making of the Silence of the Lambs is not a documentary, yet it technically uses some things that are documentary like talking head footage of people trying to explain something that happened and they are being reasonable truthful. However it is the most artless series you will ever lay your peepers on. The shoplifting series I saw on CNBC was so much better. The Making of the Silence of the Lambs is essentially Jodie Foster who just got a blow out that day and Jonathon Demme who looks terrific. They interview Buffalo Bill, he looks good actually. And they interview more than a couple of other people involved on the film. At one point they interview the moth wrangler. This came out of Jodie Foster saying that after the moths that Jonathon Demme had ordered arrived they all died because they shot it in Pittsburgh and it was very cold outside. Jonathon Demme lost his mind. They had to get different moths. This weirdo had to put costumes on the moths. They were basically dressed up as other moths is what it comes down to.

They have an interview with a moth wrangler who could not have been more excited to be talking about moths. Someone has actually asked him about moths as opposed to every other experience he has had at the OTB or wherever he spends his afternoon. He was so animated. He was so excited to talk about the moths, how to deal with the moths, how to manipulate the moths. At one point a puppeteer was interviewed because some of the moths were made out of puppetry. It was not a good show. It was not a good movie but I like it.

I want to recommend Eagleheart to you, it the launch of the Season Three Series—Paradise Rising. We had Chris Elliott and Jason Woliner on the show to talk about it. I had only seen the first episode by then. I have since seen the whole Season. I have seen the whole series just to make sure you guys know that. It is extraordinary. I know that when I give advice to see something that my friend did it is always dubious, it’s tough to decipher whether or not I am saying it because I am connected to it socially and I like it but I pretend that I love it because my friend did it or whether I just don’t like it much at all but I don’t want to lose people in my life. How many casualties can one person endure socially? This is not any of the above. This is an example of how you forget that your friends are geniuses and you see the work that they do and are in awe of them. I cannot tell you how brilliant, how good, how weird, how unique, and how dazzling like nothing else I have ever seen before, Eagleheart is. Last season was extraordinary. Without spoiling it the last scene of the last episode especially for Bob Fosse fan will blow minds! It’s better if you are not expecting it but I will say that if you have seen all of Bob Fosse’s films, at least the iconic ones you’ll know what to expect. It’s everything you wanted and more. I appreciate how much they took it over the top. It’s a satisfying intersection of horror and comedy. The jokes are funny. More importantly it exists in this dream world that only Charlie Kaufman has been able to show in that gory subconscious way where you feel like you are in that sort of intermediate waking sleep. Like that house that was on fire the whole time in Schenectady, New York. Not that I like that movie although Jason Woliner loved it, I think he was going through a hard time.

There is that part in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where Jim Carey is in the bookstore and he keeps turning around and the books are blank. His head is blank. There’s a section of your feelings that are still chaos even as you are jaded and cynical and you’ve seen everything and you’re bored. You’re even over the part of you that wants to be weirded out for the sake of being weirded out because you can’t be anymore. You can be grossed out but can you be scared, disturbed, upset, and excited? Can you see things that you didn’t know were coming and you wanted, and there’s somebody at the wheel putting things together deliberately and spectacularly with the production value of a full blown fosse production number. It’s something I really appreciated. I loved it so much. I can’t recommend it enough.

I also just want to connect that to Looking. I saw the first half of Looking and didn’t finish it because it was boring. I will probably revisit it. I’m not going to weigh in on it because I didn’t see the whole thing. It looked to me like something that was very earnest and well intentioned and it had capacity to get a lot better. But I probably won’t watch. If I do it will be to talk about with Nate. Here’s the thing about me and Nate, we can talk about anything. We can talk about throw pillows. That’s awkward. He pointed out to me the phenomenon of millenials, young people in particular not only wanting but demanding to see representations of themselves on television that are so specific to who they are demographically, spiritually, physically, economically, it’s almost like they don’t know that historically there is no precedent. In other words they don’t know that it’s a revolution they are trying to get started. It’s harder to get that going on than getting Betty White to host SNL because television for those of you who don’t know for people like me and older growing up meant that there were reruns of Gilligan’s Island on TV. Gilligan’s Island was a very silly show that had stupid things happening to it with characters that basically wore Halloween costumes on camera, like the set f a middle school production of South Pacific. That was fine.

Am I saying that Gilligan’s Island was good? I am not. I’m saying it created its own world and it was silly, fantasy, and fun. As much as I like Girls, and I really like Girls, and I think Lena’s a genius. I think she’s a really original voice. But I think of Girls now in the same way that Scharpling talks about how Rushmore begat all of these other terrible movies. In other words it like Girls is great but what’s great about it is that it’s really well written because the person behind it has a specific point of view and a lot of talent. With Looking I know that it’s the beginning of something that is focused on what makes Girls work for the wrong reasons. Let’s show characters that are having authentic experiences in the world. Do you know what? I don’t want to watch TV to see that. I don’t want to see people who look exactly like me struggle through the identical tribulations. I’m not even talking about it because TV should be for escape as I am talking about the Razzle Dazzle of it. Where is your choreography? Where is your set design? Where are your unexpected things? At a certain point watching people my age have a conversation that could very well have taken place at whatever coffee shop in line for whatever snack with maybe a couple more jokes or not, I don’t know, all I know is that HBO in the last couple of years has really put the gentle back in comedy. It’s technically a comedy in the way LA pizza is technically pizza.

Spare me from gently funny. It’s the worst possible thing that’s ever done to comedy. I’m just saying that for every Looking there should be ten Eaglehearts. One of the great things about Eagledheart is that there is only one. There’s so much about Eagleheart that is David Lynchian and David Lynch trailing this generation pre-mumble core 70s rambling realistic organic breathing dialogue, real characters, I don’t want to say flabby as much as naturalistic film that were followed up with Blue Velvet. That’s exciting. I hope we get to see people who are as original as Lena doing things that are different than what Lena does.

I want to mention that Greg Kinnear is on a new show called Rake. In the billboard he’s holding a steak over his face. He has a black eye on the other eye which leads me to believe that he has two black eyes. Furthermore why would anyone, anyone, even a dog, especially a dog waste a steak on a swollen eye? That’s the most expensive ice pack in the world. Get some frozen peas you bourgeois yuppie piece of shit. By the way, why is Greg Kinnear back on television? Why was I not consulted on this? I would have roundly rejected the notion. I would have said get the fuck out of my office. “Remember him is Baby Mama?” “I do now, why are you still in my office? Get out of this building. I don’t want to see you here anymore.” I don’t know what Rake is about. I know that Rake has a steak and that steaks are stupid cold compresses.

33 1/3 Books sent me a goodie bag. I am excited about the new They Might Be Giants Flood. I am very excited. I started it and I’m geeking out. I also wanted to mention that my favorite website Howwasyourwiki.com is up and running. The more you update it with descriptions and quotes and categories the happier I will become. It’s my favorite website and I check it every day. Finally I wanted to mention I grew up going to a Hebrew School. I was at a private Hebrew Day School from kindergarten through eighth grade. We had this Israeli teacher who really just dressed the part of the stereotype from Don’t Mess with The Zohan. He’d wear his shirt open. He had a Hai on a gold chain he came back after a summer with a full head of silver hair that was a bad wig and nobody mentioned anything about it because how could you possibly even begin to broach that topic? He was gross. I remember we’d go away for Lag B’Omer which was a Jewish spring holiday, I have no idea what it celebrates, please don’t tell me. I beg you. Tu B’Shevat is coming up that’s the holiday where we celebrate trees. We all plant trees in Israel until our fingers turn into carob pods. Lag B’Omer is where we’d go to god forsaken Camp Ramah which was a sleep away camp; two things that couldn’t be more awful were combined to create pure poison. So would daven in the morning, which is a fancy word for pray. The big draw was that once you were in eighth grade Mr. (I probably shouldn’t call him by his real name; I’ll change something that is subtle.) Vachumi would famously treat the oldest students or campers of the week to a ghost story he would make up. I was very scared so I sat in the back and had my fingers in my ears the whole time. I just screamed when everybody else screamed. Was I nerdy? Why don’t you ask the copy of 331/3 They Might Be Giants Flood on my nightstand? Was I a pussy? No question. No question.

Without those experiences things that are scary didn’t affect you like that when you are a child how are you supposed to appreciate them later when they show up in art house stuff. Has anyone here ever seen Eraserhead in full? Do you like it? Don’t answer that question. Mr. Vachumi during school assembly when a guy from Green Peace was there, this guy who was a spokesperson took the stage and gave a presentation about what they do and who they are. At the end he opened the floor for questions. We were sitting in the back. I remember Mr. Vachumi raising his hand and the guy from Green Peace called on him. He said, “I have a question, where was Green Peace when six million Jews were being murdered in the Holocaust?” A wild wave of applause rippled through the audience. I was so embarrassed. At the time I was into animal rights and environmentalism. Not bringing everything back to the Holocaust. To his credit the Green Peace guy said I can tell you were founded in 1971…

That was a classic example of things that shouldn’t have happened under classier circumstances. That’s not the only incident of that. I remember for Passover one year during the Seder when the youngest child, me at the time, finds the afikomen a half of a piece of Matzoh wrapped up in a napkin and hidden in a room. If a child finds it she is supposed to get a prize, are you ready to be really charmed by how cute I was, for my reward I asked people at the table to donate money to green Peace or ASPCA or the Human Society. That’s what I wanted. One of my cousins or relatives refused to write me a check. She would not give on behalf of herself or me to any animal cause. I got a letter in the mail written with some farkakte loopy cursive handwriting, Dear Julie, I cannot support this cause because I truly believe that people are more important than animals. Honey, it’s not an either or situation. May I point out that with the amount of time spent arguing with a little girl about whether or not it’s ok to give money to a charity—it’s not that you disagree with? It’s not like I was asking you to give money to Free Palestine. By that point you could have I don’t know what this woman did for money or a jib, but maybe it’s not karmically ideal to spend that much time and effort fighting, battling the notion of maybe writing a check to a charity that you know is not doing anything horrible.

People are more important than animals. Ok. So what? There’s only y room to either plant the tree in Israel or go fuck yourself. No offense to Israel, I’m not going to be there to look at those trees or enjoy them. At a certain point enough with the long distance tree planting. It’s not helping is it? Of all the things a girl has to worry about not having enough trees is pretty low on the list. They do need more trees. The idea that they don’t have enough trees dedicated to people is weird. Please don’t send me an email about Palestine. I will never, ever, ever open or read an email about Palestine. If you ever want to make sure I don’t read something put the word Palestine in the subject header. I’ll see it. I will walk out the door. It’s like a think piece on Look Inc. or Women in comedy. I get a whiff of it and I’m gone, two blocks down. The office chair is still circling and the door is open behind me. My shoes are still there but they are burnt because I ran out of them so quickly.

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