Your mileage may vary, but I personally enjoyed Poehler’s frenetic energy and stream of consciousness-ish style. Inevitably, I have to compare this book to Bossypants by Tina Fey and honestly, I think I come down on the side on Poehler. Her writing is more rambunctious and louder, which is normally not a tone I enjoy, but I think it works in her favor. Her bold and brassy style, combined with several self-deprecating comments, really made her feel more vulnerable and relatable to me.
Because that’s the price of celebrity, isn’t it? You must be relatable and held to a higher standard than the rest of us. This concept of celebrity is one I struggled with while reading Yes Please because I’m not sure if I like Amy Poehler as a person. But should that even matter? She’s never returned my RVSPs for Galentine’s Day and I have yet to get a Christmas card from her. There are no conceivable events that could occur where we would ever cross paths and have to contemplate a potential friendship.
And even if we did, is Poehler not allowed to be human? Is she not allowed to make mistakes? Should I be giving her a break, because as Roxanne Gay says, “better a bad feminist than no feminist”?
Poehler has done a lot for feminism – she has her Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization, she took Saru Jayaraman to the Golden Globes, she consistently proves that women can be funny. But she has this throw away, little sentence in Yes Please about how, at an SNL sexual harassment training, she drew dicks with her other bestie, Seth Myers. Now, I have worked with people that I would be feel comfortable that they would be comfortable with my penis artistry adorning their notes. But it just irks me because I keep thinking back to the book We Killed, where several women spoke about how SNL was not a female friendly environment. And Poehler is drawing dicks during a sexual harassment training for the employees of the show. It really got stuck in my craw, which then got me thinking about how she is friends with Louis C. K. and Aziz Ansari.
But does she owe us anything? Celebrity status means all your faults and flaws are now fit to be dissected and endlessly speculated on, essentially having to give up being human. Because humans are, in general, complete fuck ups. I guess I just wish Poehler would fuck up in a manner that is more convenient for me.