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Our first Jewish president

cnelsen

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“I lost my whole family in Auschwitz. Seriously: I waited in the gift shop for hours…” —Joan Rivers

The Jewish people and I actually have very little in common. There’s the whole “Jesus” thing, obviously. But, for instance, they obsess over food, while I find the very need to eat an annoying distraction.

Jews treasure their families; I was jealous of the kids in Lord of the Flies because they never had to deal with their parents again.

Even more heretically, I don’t think Mel Brooks is funny. In fact, the topic of comedy has proved to be a particularly touchy one: Whenever I declare that Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm foster more real-world anti-Semitism than the top 10 hate-iest Muslim hate preachers combined, my Jewish friends cast me piteous looks, because they love both shows.

I used to loathe Joan Rivers for the same reason.

For almost five years, I worked at Canada’s version of QVC, and the question I was asked most frequently was “Have you ever met Joan Rivers?” There was never a chance of that happening (I was nowhere near the production side), and that was more than fine with me. It wasn’t because Rivers hocked low-end costume jewelry; so did Ivana Trump, in the same studio, and I considered her a heroine—a savvy, unsinkable businesswoman who’d bounced back from the most notorious marital crack-up since Henry VIII.

But when Rivers did it… There was something so Fagin-esque about the way she fingered her wares, and rasped about “deals.” As I typed up descriptions of her faux Fabergé egg charm bracelets, I found myself fretting:

Was Joan Rivers good for the Jews?

Later, I kept hearing about how great the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work was, finally watched it, and agreed. I still found Rivers cold and scary (and her “self-made Russian aristocrat” personal taste appalling) but acquired newfound respect for her bottomless drive. Watching her win Celebrity Apprentice by outworking contestants one-third her age was inspirational (if exhausting by proxy). But Rivers seemingly devoted almost as much energy to hands-on charity work and mundane, under-the-radar mitvahs as she did on her career.

(That’s one thing the Jews have on us: Yes, they’re expected to do good deeds too, but without the added burden of having to be nice while they’re at it. “Nice” is for the goyim.)

That A Piece of Work wasn’t nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar left her newfound fans confused, but it was also weirdly fitting, given the film’s theme: that this pioneering comedian had been in the public eye for so long that we took her for granted, and didn’t give her her due.

Was it because Rivers was a woman? some asked. Because she was Jewish? wondered far fewer.

Here’s my theory:

Joan Rivers didn’t “get no respect,” she “never got a dinner”—because she was a Republican.

This fact is treated as ever-so-slightly freakish, akin to having a third nipple, by (otherwise detached if somewhat prolix) author Leslie Bennetts in the breezy new bio Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers.

In the book, Rivers confidante Sue Cameron sums up her friend’s reasoning: “I don’t want to be broke” and “I don’t want to be killed by an Arab” were the comedian’s two nonnegotiables, and she felt that the GOP were more likely than the Democrats to share those priorities.

It was the latter preoccupation that kindled one of the biggest controversies in a career studded with them (both authentic and overblown). In August 2014, a few months before her death, a TMZ reporter asked Rivers about then-raging Operation Protective Edge, and she lost it:

When you declare war, you declare war. They started it. You’re dead, you deserve to be dead. Don’t you dare make me feel bad about that. They were told to get out. They didn’t get out. You don’t get out, you’re an idiot. At least the ones that were killed were the ones with the low IQs.

Rivers added that Hamas were “terrorists” who “were reelected by a lot of very stupid people who don’t even own a pencil.”

All perfectly sound, so I was crestfallen when Rivers issued a defusing statement a short time later. Normally, she remained defiantly unapologetic, like the time a few months earlier when she quipped that sharing a home with her daughter was so claustrophobic, “those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room.”

Pearl-clutchers pushed Rivers to apologize for mocking two recently liberated sex slaves, but she doubled down:

They got to live rent-free for more than a decade. One of them has a book deal. Neither are in the psych ward. They’re okay. I bet you within three years one of them will be on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

Again: So what? I feel the same way about Elizabeth Smart, who seems awfully chipper for a girl who was raped three times a day by a dirty hippie. But what’s oddly revealing about Rivers’ retort is how weirdly it reflects, albeit in a fun-house mirror, the abiding concerns of her life: home, fame, sharing one’s dirtiest secrets—even avoiding the nuthouse: Her father threatened to commit young Joan unless she gave up showbiz.

And something else: Rivers’ sheer horror of failure and loss of control. She wasn’t so much grieved by her hapless husband’s suicide after he derailed her career and left her $37 million in debt as she was disgusted by what she saw as his weakness.

Those “Palestinians” too stupid to leave, those Cleveland women too weak to escape—hell, Who let themselves get kidnapped in the first place? you can hear her muttering—there was no room in Rivers’ otherwise charitable heart for such losers.

Sound familiar?

“I don’t like people who were captured.” That was Donald Trump making fun of John McCain’s stint in the Hanoi Hilton. Jimmy Kimmel’s fake Dr. Seuss-style children’s book “by” Trump, Winners Aren’t Losers, was so funny (even Trump laughed along) because it was so astonishingly plausible.

Most Jews don’t like Trump much, but a Jewish friend who does finds that hysterical:

They say he’s loud? They should hear themselves in restaurants; sometimes I have to leave. Trump has bad taste? You should see the inside of their houses, with the marble and the gold. He’s in the New York real estate businesses, he’s crazy for Israel, his grandkids probably call him “Zaidie”...

If only Joan Rivers had lived to see it: The first Jewish president. And a Republican, even.

From Joan to Donald
 

Ringel05

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You want me to read all that??!! Heck, I haven't even finished my first pot of coffee and currently have the attention span of a partisan hack in a detailed (factual) political discussion.
 

GLASNOST

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Our first Jewish president
Wrong! In fact the only american to serve THREE TERMS as president was a Jew. Yep! Franklin Delano Rosenfeldt was the american p_dent from 1933 to 1945. What? You think I should lie, maybe?
sc_nat-jewish-rabbi.gif
 
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cnelsen

cnelsen

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You want me to read all that??!! Heck, I haven't even finished my first pot of coffee and currently have the attention span of a partisan hack in a detailed (factual) political discussion.
I had to copy and paste the whole thing, the least you could do is read the whole thing.
 

Ringel05

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You want me to read all that??!! Heck, I haven't even finished my first pot of coffee and currently have the attention span of a partisan hack in a detailed (factual) political discussion.
I had to copy and paste the whole thing, the least you could do is read the whole thing.
I'm sorry, I was picking my nose. What did you say?


Oh look! Coffee!!
 

GLASNOST

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I had to copy and paste the whole thing, the least you could do is read the whole thing.
Come on, Nelsen. First off we'd have to think "the first Jewish President" is a cute or interesting subject. Secondly we'd have to have a high opinion of Joan Rivers (and her opinion). I have neither and I have no idea what the thread is all about, other than the fact that title doesn't tickle me. So I definitely will not be reading that whole thing unless you can give me some reason (briefly) why, after reading the whole thing, I will be glad that I did.
 
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cnelsen

cnelsen

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I had to copy and paste the whole thing, the least you could do is read the whole thing.
Come on, Nelsen. First off we'd have to think "the first Jewish President" is a cute or interesting subject. Secondly we'd have to have a high opinion of Joan Rivers (and her opinion). I have neither and I have no idea what the thread is all about, other than the fact that title doesn't tickle me. So I definitely will not be reading that whole thing unless you can give me some reason (briefly) why, after reading the whole thing, I will be glad that I did.
Come on, be honest. Tell me this is why you voted for Trump: Normally, she remained defiantly unapologetic, like the time a few months earlier when she quipped that sharing a home with her daughter was so claustrophobic, “those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room.”

They are sending us rapists...
 

GLASNOST

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Come on, be honest. Tell me this is why you voted for Trump: Normally, she remained defiantly unapologetic, like the time a few months earlier when she quipped that sharing a home with her daughter was so claustrophobic, “those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room.” They are sending us rapists...
I didn't vote for either of them. I am not American. If I did live in America I would most certainly have voted for Trump, however. For LOTS of reasons. The biggest problem we are facing in Europe today is immigration of the worst kind. This wave of immigration was kicked off by the US's greed for every fucking resource on the face of the earth. Hillary is a willing puppet, whose pulled strings are keen on perpetuating that greed. Trump (so it seems anyway) would rather end it.
 

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