The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo     by Amy Schumer

I try to ignore popular culture.  Yet I am a compulsive reader, so can’t help but notice it. Thus the author’s name rang a bell when I saw her book on CD with a shiny “new” sticker on it at the local library. No skips!  I can’t resist a “new” sticker so borrowed it.  I expected to toss it into the back seat of my car before the first disk was done.  Then it took a surprising turn.  It was interesting.

Prior to reading this biography, I knew that Amy Schumer was a comedian.  I never saw her act.  I barely recall seeing her in pajamas (I think) on a commercial. I recall thinking that she has a great head of hair.  That’s it.  That’s all I knew about Amy Schumer.

I don’t go to comedy clubs or watch it often on TV.  Yet I enjoy comedy in a casual way — sometimes. When I do run into comedy acts, I enjoy 50% of the them and I’m annoyed by the other 50%. I’ve noticed that comedians, at least the ones I like best, have suffered personal hardships.  Their comedy is their catharsis and their way of dealing with the pain, and fighting back.  My holy grail of comedy consists of Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Black.  Why would I, a middle-aged white woman, most enjoy three black comedians? Probably because they are the three best comedians ever.  Why? Because being Black in the USA must be full of pain and cognitive dissonance which gives them great inspiration and energy.  I think that Amy Schumer falls into the same category as my three favorites.

 This woman went through some serious personal adversities. She did not enjoy a princess upbringing. Her early life and coming of age experiences were full of pain and difficulties. Yet she overcame the hurts.  She also worked hard, very hard, at learning her craft. Amy Schumer has grit, discipline, and fortitude – in addition to being damned funny. It is not easy being a female in the USA, at least not one with ambition.  It is not easy dealing with poverty, or family tragedy, or a parent’s disability.  I also noticed that Amy Schumer, in her biography, is honest in the extreme. Many of the stories she tells, are stories of desperation. Somehow she turned her personal difficulties into comedy that transcends her own experience and speaks to the difficulties that women have in relationships, career advancement, and caretaking.

I particularly admire women who rise to the top of their professions.  For a woman to reach the top, they worked harder and longer than a man. That is easy to overlook when being regaled by interesting, poignant and often amusing stories.  Thank you Amy Schumer.  You made me laugh out loud.

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