WE caught up with Roseanne Barr in the restaurant on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which overlooks Manhattan’s Central Park, Columbus Circle and the Upper East Side. It was the afternoon, and she was having beluga and a chilled vodka. She takes over as host for the third season of “The Search for the Funniest Mom in America” on Nick at Nite beginning April 10. She is the grandmother of three, the mother of 11-year-old Buck Thomas and an avid 2 a.m. blogger.
You’ve talked about how the experience of “Roseanne” was insulating, and when it was over, you had to relearn about the world. Has your integration into reality been successful?
Yes, it was a completely different world. No, I decided to turn my back on it. I’m remaking it in my personal image.
Do you still live in Beverly Hills,
in that big house we saw in
“The Real Roseanne Show”?
And now you’re building your dream house?
I’m not doing it yet, but I will. I got my farm, and I want to build a big green bamboo witchy-type house like I thought I would when I was a kid.
Do you worry about Buck missing out on socialization because of home-schooling?
I hate socialization. I’m anti-socialization, and it’s all horrible. The Paris Hilton-ization of our daughters is really grotesque and disgusting -- and so’s the bullying. It’s just pimp culture. All of American culture is pimp culture.
Do you ever think about leaving America then, like Nina Simone did?
Yeah. I do, but then I think I’d want to go someplace safe. But there’s nowhere safe. The whole world is America. You’ve gotta just stay and fight. My son’s 11, and he said last week, “Where can I go where I won’t be drafted?” What’s more upsetting, if they don’t bring the draft back, it’ll be working-class and poor and drug-addicted people just out of prison. It has to be all kids. I’m pro-draft. Rich people have to pay too. That’s democracy.
You’re giving plenty of money away.
Yeah, I am, and I’m proud of it. I hesitate to say, I’ve given more money away than any other person in my position. When you ask people in Hollywood to give you money, they say, “I’ll show up for that benefit.” All these stars are so corrupt and sickening. You think showing up for a picture is doing something? ... They have these huge benefit luncheons where they get six billionaires, and they raise $200,000. It’s vile. I was happy to have it and happy to give it, and I still am. I don’t want to go to hell.
And you believe in hell?
I believe it’s here in your mind on Earth and in your choices. Hell is being wrapped up in yourself while everything around you is on fire.
You’ve been writing on your blog about Oprah losing her way a bit. How do you see that?
I just said that once. I didn’t like that she said that African American children in the inner cities aren’t worthy of her support.
But you’re down with her otherwise.
I’m not down with “The Secret.” I’m not down with trying to attract more material wealth to yourself. That’s sickening. Why don’t you give some of your money away? Five-thousand square feet should be the limit to how big a house you can live in when people are starving. There should be a maximum wage too. Like Jello Biafra said, no one should have more than $100 million. It’s making a slave class.
Is it Hollywood? Or is it New York, and D.C.?
I blame it all on that ... movie with Michael what’s-his-face. [The quote] “Greed is good” [from] “Wall Street.” That was the beginning of the absolute end. It’s killing our country and the world. Sharing is good. I think the time is coming when people who have wealth won’t be cool. When you retreat into materialism, you’re dead. All these people who live in gated communities, it’s a bus ride away from people who are heavily armed.
So it’s almost all over?
I feel like I’m supposed to be here to offer some kind of help to people. But I don’t like it. It is terrible already. Right now in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, those children scour landfills for stuff to burn in their homes to make heat. That’s America.... More no-bid contracts, more Halliburton, less freedom. I like freedom!
It’s a great privilege.
Gotta pay for it, though! And we gotta be free to petition and gather. But let’s have a toast to consciousness. It’s very cool. Long may it wave.