Against the Tide

I know she was an icon she could be funny but I find it difficult to join the throng of writers celebrating Joan Rivers. She’s gone and that’s sad for her, her family and friends and indeed her fans but when I think of her all I see is someone who was so obsessed with outward appearance that she turned herself into a monster and then made a living out of bitching about other people’s appearance and not in a funny way, in a nasty, evil, awful way which someone felt would make for good TV. Being awful about someone’s looks or what they choose to wear can never be a good thing and the irony of her being the one doing it never escaped me. Or have I been missing something?

Maybe I’m guilty of the same here I don’t know. I didn’t find her very funny but I think that was a lost in trans- Atlantic translation thing for me.

I hate celebrity deaths, everyone jumps on the bandwagon (oh crikey am I also guilty of that?) and I’ve seen posts from friends of mine who have never even seen the woman perform at all who are publicly lamenting the loss of a great talent.

Why do people feel the need to express such bullshit sympathy and put someone on a pedastal just because they’ve gone? I’m not even writing out of naivety I have experienced this first hand. I remember when my dad died, I saw a woman a few days later, a neighbour of his for years who he had not liked (unruly kids which he felt the need to inform her about and offer parenting advice on from time to time) there was no love lost between this woman and my dad. She stopped me in the street (pre-social media days when people talked to each other) and said she was sorry for our loss as a family and as a community, condolensces which I accepted. But then she proceeded to tell me what a wonderful man he was. I stopped her and laughed and said “You don’t have to pretend you liked him just because he’s dead we all know you couldn’t stand each other and that’s OK” she was silent a moment and then said “Well yes that’s quite true he could be a cantankerous old git at times” and we both just laughed about it. And it was good. In my grief I still needed honesty about who my dad really was, warts and all and it felt good to be able to laugh about him. Something in me tells me that Joan herself would raise a glass to a tribute which read “Ms Rivers rest in peace you made lots of people laugh but you could be one nasty plastic faced bitch*”

* in the less offensive English use of the word


5 thoughts on “Against the Tide”

  1. I agree with you. And I’m an American, but never found her even the slightest bit funny. Oh, and I really could do without seeing her plastic surgery overload face on every media outlet.


  2. I didn’t know she’s popped off, Michelle – but it surely must have been her time, eh ?! That we won’t be seeing that structured and restructured face any more doesn’t bring tears to my eyes.
    And I completely agree with you about the revolting habit of publicly mourning the passing of celebrities: most of the bastards have been such as to mean we should celebrate their leaving.


    1. She was in her eighties and was taken ill during a throat surgery apparently. Yes since the almost state funeral and near sainthood bestowed on the likes of Jimmy Saville one would expect slightly more caution, these people are just that at the end of the day people who I’m sure are appropriately mourned by their true loved ones.


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