Roseanne Barr has written the new book, "Roseannarchy." Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP
Say the name Roseanne and at least a few images immediately pop up: Sitcom star, mangler of the National Anthem, trainwreck of a marriage to Tom Arnold and outspoken star are just a few.
The 58-year-old comedienne is back with a new book called "Roseannearchy," a hilarious and often moving tome, in which she muses on class warfare, feminism and the cult of celebrity. The mother of five and grandmother to five grandsons, she says she's "writing funny, hanging out with my family and tending my farm. I'm living a good and happy life."
ParentDish: So I didn't realize you're such a Jewy-Jew.
Haha. A real Jewy-Jew, that's cute. I like that. I am an old Jewish woman.
PD: You're not that old.
Yeah I am. I'm old enough, trust me.
PD: You write a lot about how being a celebrity really screws you up.
You've got to be really strong to survive it, that's for sure.
PD: Did you lose your mind?
Yeah I think everyone does, that gets really famous, not that other kind of famous, not the everyday famous but the other kind.
PD: It may be because I'm not American, but I never understood the fuss over your national anthem rendition.
Well it did turn into the biggest deal. It was very difficult to live through and it still has tentacles in my life, so yeah it was a really big deal. I got death threats. I had to employ several people from the government and the L.A.P.D. to be armed around me at all times.
PD: Aren't there more important things to worry about?
Not to some people who happen to be at the top of things. It cost me a lot. Over the years when I've tried to close deals, it goes real well until it gets to the last two people and then I get turned down. So I have asked people to investigate, people who are on the inside, and they always return to me saying, 'so and so was very offended by your rendition of the National Anthem and does not want to sign you.'
PD: Does feminism today depress you?
Yeah incredibly so, until you actually meet a real feminist -- they're far and few between -- but when you meet a real one, an intelligent one, it's just fantastic, very cool.
PD: Why does it depress you?
Just how ignorant women are of it in this country and know nothing about it whatsoever. It's like Fran Liebowitz said, "It's completely suburban now." It means kind of nothing, really. I mean it kind of means something materially, but as far as the guts of what it's really about -- which is peace and ecology -- none of that crap seems to float up there, it's just about whether you can have 3.5 children, a career and all that middle-class bullshit, so it doesn't have anything to do with overthrowing a corrupt system that despises women, that's all been lost, that's what happens in this kind of society.
PD: Are you still angry?
Am I angry about injustice? Absolutely. Am I angry about corruption? Absolutely. Am I angry about the sex slavery of children? Yeah I'm angry about all the same stuff. Am I angry about the working class being totally disenfranchised from this political process? Yeah.
PD: Do you think you lost your mind when you married Tom Arnold?
I lost my mind way before that, it's not his fault I lost my mind, but I did absolutely lose it. But then I was always a little different because of the fact I'm as you say a Jewy-Jew. I was always a little out there on account of that. I always say I don't know where the line is between just being Jewish and mentally ill.
Tom was just one of the symptoms of me being a crazy person. To be fair, it drove him crazy -- he didn't end up the same person on the other end either. It just does that to people when you get a lot of attention and fame.
PD: Does it seem like a bad dream?
It's more like an exorcism. I think people can heal from fame, but not just being the biggest whore in the planet like some of those girls out there now. These young girls, they're not controversial, they don't actually take shots at power, and they just suck it off so it's a different kind of reality.
PD: Are you a good mom?
I'm probably a bad mother like everybody else, I'm not that great. But then some of the stuff that I would consider makes you a bad mother they say is being a good mother. Like raising your kid to be a conniving little bastard -- that's what they're saying is a good thing for people to do.
PD: Are you a good grandma?
I'm a fantastic grandma. I'm exciting. The thing they like to do most is, I have a Kawasaki Mule on my farm and I'll take them and their parents on it and I'll ride around on the farm and it'll be nice and calm and then the parents will let me take the kids and then we go down some hills. They call me Indy for Indiana Jones, but I always stay safe. I can do burnouts. I don't ever put anyone in peril but I can do some exciting driving. I also like to play rock and roll music loud and then we have dance contests and we like to eat a lot of sugar.
PD: I'm sure their parents appreciate that.
They get mad at me, but I'm like, ''What else am I supposed to do?" I do a lot of baking. I come up with some real sugary treats that kids like, and I like them too.
PD: You don't have kind words for Sarah Palin.
The bitch is stealing my act. It pisses me off. She doesn't have the right material that's for sure. Like I say telling a bunch of rich guys what they want to hear is not being a maverick. I'd like to slap her and if I ever do run into her I will slap her right across the head.
The great joy, the great light at the end of the tunnel is repentance because after repentance is great joy and that comes with just being nice. But Sarah Palin is not nice and so the only place I can legally be mean, according to my religion, is against evil and I think she's an evil person and that's why I'm going to be mean to her.
She's such a frigging smarmy liar and it just makes me mad how she lies to women and they go for it. That's why I'm saying I'm also running for President in 2012 against her. I figure running for President is not that much different from showing up and giving a speech every now and then.
Yeah! I'm running for President of these United States, as well as the Prime Minister of Israel -- it's a twofer and I will bring peace to this planet and the Middle East in one year because I know how. And I know how because I simply do as Hashem or God tells me to do. I suggest that other people do that as well.
Here's my plan for peace in the Middle East: I will gather all the believers, Muslims, Christians, Jews and we will simply have a group prayer asking all the aforementioned gods to come and allow us to have peace on the earth and then we will have a nice meal and treat each other nicely and behold all the miracles that are going to come out of that. That is all we have to do.
PD: Ever miss being on TV?
: Every so often I do and then I start working on things and by the time I go to the third meeting I'm kind of over it. If I could just get on TV and be funny, I'd do it, but you have to have all these meetings with lawyers. I don't enjoy that at all.
I'm doing porn now. I've moved on to that because you've got to have a porn tape, otherwise you're not anybody.