Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.
Like most brunette, glasses-wearing, liberal elitist, feminist blogger, and generally snarky vagina havers, I am an unabashed fan of Tina Fey. I’ve been a fan of her work since her SNL “Weekend Update” days, and followed her through Mean Girls and 30 Rock. Sarah Palin’s crazy voice and partial resemblance to Tina made Fey famous, which was thrilling for all of us who were waiting for someone so funny and smart to be celebrated. “Bossypants” isn’t a memoir. It’s a spiky blend of humor, introspection, critical thinking But it chronologically follows Ms. Fey through an awkward girlhood spent in Upper Darby, Pa., teenage years surrounded by a horde of gay friends, her romantically disastrous college years, her work at the famous Second City in Chicago and her eventual hiring at SNL. The book is no shock-and-awe campaign either; you won’t find any secrets here. In essence, this book is exactly what I thought it would be: 280 pages of Feytastic wordage.
Fey’s strategy for dealing with everything from entrenched discrimination to your everyday chauvinism is to write a joke, a better joke than the men in the room. Some of us have forgotten this basic point: Responding to a situation with humor, as opposed to, say, dead-serious self-righteousness, is a rhetorically effective way to get a political point across.
Take Fey’s response to the troll who posts on the Internet: “In my opinion Tina Fey completely ruined SNL. The only reason she is celebrated is because she’s a woman and an outspoken liberal. She has not a single funny bone in her body.” Fey’s retort in her book:
Huzzah for the Truth Teller! Women in this country have been over-celebrated for too long. Just last night there was a story on my local news about a ‘missing girl’ … and I thought, “What is this, the News for Chicks?” Then there was some story about Hillary Clinton flying to some country because she’s secretary of state. Why do we keep talking about these dumdums? We are a society that constantly celebrates no one but women and it must stop!
P.S. You know who does have a funny bone in her body? Your mom every night for a dollar.
Fey’s book isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it is a quick and hilarious read that everyone should enjoy.