HOME   BACK to the Columnist INDEX JAN-FEB 2004 ISSUE

Bonnie McFarlane is a standup comic and writer based in Los Angeles.

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Like a lot of comics, I go through bouts of depression so severe, I can barely get out of bed in the afternoon. I medicate of course, with pot and alcohol, though an anti-depressant would likely be a simpler solution, at least when it came to getting the dosage right. Iíd probably show my ass to a lot less people. I found there is a certain combination of alcohol and pot which really perks me up but I never seem to have the presence of mind to write it down. And so, the experimentation continues.

Art makes me happy. I like going to the MOMA. Course, usually Iím high. Thereís nothing like a good movie to put a bounce in your step but a bad one can send you stomping into ranty-town. Iím a walk out-er. I do not suffer fools, not even if they cost me nine bucks. I think movie critics should have to list four of their favorite movies before their current review. The last four movies I left in the middle of: "Four Feathers", "Igby Goes Down", "The Italian Job" and "Bad Santa". Yeah, Bad Santa. I know it was the same guy who did Crumb and Ghost World. I thought it was dumb.

I canít stomach most television. Itís not just the bad writing, bad acting and fake reality, itís the tragic case studies that pop up between the shows. Whenever I see a woman in a Vagisil commercial or a dude hawking Hemorrhoid cream I think, "Wow, that big move to Los Angeles didnít really work out the way youíd planned, huh? I bet the folks are proud."

Luckily I know how to read and do it often and rarely when Iím high. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed reading Melville, Steinbeck, Camus or any of the greats because not only did they write brilliantly and often but they did it all without the ability to backspace. My mind turns that over constantly. How exactly did they do that? In this article alone Iíve deleted like, thirty thousand times and it still sucks.

Despite my harsh inner critic, I like writing. To me, itís the best escape, especially if Iím depressed. It fulfills in me my work ethic and sates my creative jones. I even like writing for television. I love being in a writers room no matter how lousy the show is. Being around other creative people is one of the most energizing experiences I know of. The paycheck helps, too.

Wake me when I get another job. HOME Back to the Top