Roseanne Barr, 13 years removed from her hit show “Roseanne,” said she has mellowed with age. Over the phone earlier this week from Los Angeles, she almost seemed… happy.
“I hate the word happy,” she said. “Happy is for idiots. It’s not a happy world. Content is a better word. I like content.”
The hard-edged frankness that personifies Barr’s long career has not worn off. Even though she’s been out of the spotlight in recent years, she still pumps out her opinions daily at www.roseanneworld.comand has compiled some of her thoughts into a book she dubbed “Roseannearchy,” which came out Jan. 4.
The book, her third in her life but first since 1994, is a mish-mosh of reminiscing about her past and thoughts on religion, her three husbands and the specter of mortality, to name a few. She will be reading from the book and signing them at Outwrite Books in Midtown Atlanta Wednesday at 6 p.m.
“While it’s a lot of rants and essays,” Barr said, “I also try to make sure there are laughs on every page.”
And while she readily admits to being a bit nuts in the head, she literally hangs out with nuts every day. Wealthy from her “Roseanne” syndication money, she now lives on a 46-acre macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.
“I just wanted a less crazy life,” she explained, “a head-clearing kind of place to get my hands in the dirt and do something real.”
Hawaii has given her time to think and to calm her demons. She has even learned meditation. “I like how I feel mentally,” she said “Sure, my hips ache like a [word that rhymes with witch.] But mentally, I’m fantastic.”
“The state,’ she continued, “is full of crazy, old hippies and old women with crystals, people who see a different and better possibility for the world. I love hanging out with them. We have great parties and art shows. We’re at the stage in our lives where we realize we can actually do some good things before we leave the planet.”
And though Barr still has a place in Los Angeles, she hardly spends any time there. “I’m scared of Los Angeles,” she said. “You can get a nervous breakdown driving the freeways. It moves too fast. There are too many people running around. It’s a walking nation of vampires. I don’t do well here.”
But she hasn’t written off the world of TV. She’s dabbled in a few projects over the years including a talk show and a comedy special. “People call me all the time with ideas. Reality shows. Game shows. Sitcoms. I turn down most of them,” she said. “All I need is the right team and the right people to let me be me. I’d like to do a show about going green in Hawaii.”
In reality, Barr is glad people still want her. And the blue-collar struggles of her fictional family on ”Roseanne,” still seen on Oxygen and TV Land, resonate with viewers to this day.
“So many people now are going through what the Connors went through,” she said. ”The basics about life being tough haven’t changed even though they lived in a world without cel phones and Twitter.”
Roseanne Barr, “Roseannearchy,”
Wednesday Jan. 19, 6 p.m.
Outwrite Books, 991 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog