Thought Catalog

Lesley Arfin

Lesley started her writing career at Vice magazine where she was a staff writer and columnist of the now defunct ...

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Portlandia is the kind of show you usually hear about almost getting made. It’s one of those shows that seems like it could’ve ended up in the swirling black hole of TV show pitches and pilots that never see the light of day, which are usually the funniest ones, living out the rest of their days in humor heaven with cutting room floor SNL sketches and alternate endings for Superbad .

I love drugs. I can’t help it. I love checking out and not feeling my feelings. Unfortunately I can’t really do life and drugs at the same time, so through the years I’ve found some loopholes.

I was miserable because I truly thought I was meant to be something better than just your average pedestrian teenager. There was no Freaks and Geeks yet; there was nothing that made me romanticize what I was. The Breakfast Club was funny but in the real life version of it we were all just a bunch of ugly kids with oily skin under oppressive fluorescent lighting.

It’s a pretty inventive lie if you ask me. I consider myself clever for coming up with it, but it didn’t spawn from a love of the supernatural—although that has always been a true love of mine—but from something else entirely. Something equally as forbidden!

In the Long Island hardcore scene, bands fell into two categories: “joke punk band” and “super serious hardcore band.” Hint hint. The movie was so stupid that we were like “We have to start a band based on this!” That’s what kids do. They take dumb things and make them dumber. I remember we had only one song. It was called “Mr. Jonathan” (named after the main character of Black Shampoo) and the only lyrics I remember were “Oh Mr. Jonathan/you are the fucking man!”

I was the Editor In Chief for two issues before we folded, but I SWEAR it wasn’t my fault. Or was it? I don’t know, but the founder kept her promise and was not mad at me. Staff morale was low because they missed they old editor and I didn’t do coke afterhours. The recession hit and someone said “PRINT IS DEAD!” and everyone suddenly believed it.

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