Category Archives: Celebrity

Joan Rivers Gambles With Good Health

Celebrity, Healthcare

The great Joan Rivers, who has undergone countless facial procedures, should not have gambled yet again with her good health for no good reason. There is no such thing as minor surgery, as far as I’m concerned. If it’s meant to fix a “minor” matter, then surgery doesn’t need to happen. Living trumps looking good.

The 81-year-old was having surgery on her vocal cords at a clinic when she suddenly stopped breathing during a procedure. … She remained in a serious condition in a New York City hospital on Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor’s office during a routine procedure. (MailOnline)

From “Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism”:

Already in her 80s, the octogenarian is best-known nowadays for the sartorial send-up “Fashion Police.” The Rivers repartee is so ribald—it’s fair to say she’s the only woman who can get manly men to watch a show about fashion. While her humor has become a tad tame for me—Rivers once even disgorged, albeit with difficulty, praise for the loathsome Lena Dunham of “Girls” fame—she, nevertheless, stands out as the only public persona who flatly refuses to apologize for her signature wit.

Examples: Joan has compared the guest room she occupies at her daughter’s abode to the basement in which the “Cleveland kidnapping victims, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry, were bound, raped and tortured for years before their escape. ‘Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room,’ quipped Rivers.

Describing one awful outfit on “Fashion Police,” Rivers ventured that “on the scale of really bad ideas, it falls between marrying Charlie Sheen and using Oscar Pistorius’s bathroom.”

When Madonna accused Lady Gaga of stealing her “music,” Joan wanted to know how you could steal a rash.

And, Ms. Rivers walked in on a football party thrown for her grandson and his rowdy small friends by daughter Melissa. Looking on with disdain at the grubby little boys, Rivers blurted out: “I don’t know how Jerry Sandusky managed to do it.”

All wickedly clever. …


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UPDATED: Had Robin Williams Been Hopelessly Boxed In? (My Bad)

Celebrity, Film, Hollywood, Human Accomplishment

To be sure, Robin Williams was an enormous talent. This is reflected in the myriad interviews and standup routines playing on TV since his suicide. Although I’ve always enjoyed these impromptu exchanges when I caught them—I’m familiar only with the handful of dramas and thrillers in which Williams starred. And superbly so. As someone who despises silly slapstick like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage,” I have to wonder why a talent like Williams was typecast as the eternal clown. Perhaps this deadening dead-end made him so very sad.

The Williams of “One Hour Photo” was hypnotic in the depth of his portrayal of a lonely misfit’s unraveling. His role in “Insomnia” was less memorable, but nevertheless chilling, as it ought to have been. Roger Ebert panned “The World According to Garp,” but I loved Williams in it. I saw “The Night Listener,” too.

That’s as far as the Robin Williams oeuvre available to me goes. Sad that. Had Robin Williams of blessed memory been hopelessly boxed in? I suspect so.

Williams seemed a gentle soul. He had a sad, intelligent, twinkle in the eyes, and he always looked as if he was about to start bawling, for real.

UPDATE (8/16): My Bad. “Awakenings”: A doff of the hat to my young friend Kerry Crowel, who reminded me that “‘Awakenings’ starred Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro in a really heavy drama about a doctor caring for patients that have awoken from long comas, or something like that. I remember the critics loving it.” I loved it too. I saw it. Both actors were brilliant.

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UPDATE II: Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism (‘PC Demands Deadly Seriousness’)

Celebrity, Communism, Political Correctness, Pop-Culture, Propaganda, The Zeitgeist

“Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism” is now on WND. An excerpt:

WARNING: If you suffer from spineless conformity; a deformation of the personality often euphemized as political correctness—quit reading this column, NOW!

If you don’t quite know whether you are thus afflicted, ask yourself this: “Do I police what people say for political propriety? To the extent that I seek it out, do I scrutinize great literature, music, art, television or comedy for signs of so-called sexism, racism, elitism, homophobia, antisemitism and meanness? Am I incapable of appreciating a superbly written script or book; a sublime painting or symphony; a smart stand-up routine, if only because the material and its creator violate the received laws of political correctness?

Still unsure if you belong to the tyrannical, joyless tradition of cultural Marxism, read on. In the event that you convulse with laughter, give yourself a clean bill of health. If you foam at the mouth, fit to be tied, go away. And stay away.

Women who should make themselves scarce but won’t are the prototypical, inquisitor-cum-anchors plaguing leftist “news” networks. Acting anchor-enforcer for Fourth of July was CNN’s unremarkable Fredricka Whitfield. Fredricka What’sHerName’s would have left behind a sustained program of non-achievement. No longer. Henceforth, her claim to fame is that she attempted to re-educate an iconic comedienne, Joan Rivers.

Since cultural Marxists police speech for propriety, if not consciously, then reflexively, they will take pains to stigmatize and isolate those who violate standards set by the PC set. The term re-education is associated with this totalitarianism. It has been used in the context of both brainwashing as well as “reformation” induced in labor camps.

Through a series of loaded, snide taunts, coupled with unhinged body language, the prissy preachy Fredricka set about reeducating her featured guest about the rules of conduct in the post-personality era. “You shall not be mean” (*except to all men and all conservatives and authentic contrarians) is the latest monomania to grip the politically correct.

Alas, as the object of her pelting, Fredricka the fundamentalist was foolish enough to target the wrong funny lady. Rivers is too old and too independent for “rehabilitation.” …

Read the complete column. “Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Or,

UPDATE I (7/13): Writes my mom:

“I so enjoyed your article defending that great American satirist: in bone and blood Joan Rivers is a satirist. In intelligence and wit and comedy she’s far above others, she is a great. Outrageous, I love her.

UPDATE II (7/14): Jack Kerwick has a lovely column on same topic. A quote: “For certain, much of life demands seriousness, but our culture’s prevailing zeitgeist—what we commonly refer to as ‘Political Correctness’ (PC)—demands not seriousness, but deadly seriousness. … Contrary to the conventional wisdom, racial, ethnic, and religious ‘stereotypes’ are most decidedly not fictions sprung from thin air. They reflect enduring patterns among a significant number of a group’s members—even if (as is almost always the case) it is only a significant minority. When these stereotypes reflect positively on a group, all is good. When they are negative, though, there is no end to the inter-group conflict that they can so easily fuel. …”

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I Still Remember Franz Beckenbauer

Celebrity, Sport

As a small child growing up in Israel, I still remember watching the great footballer Franz Beckenbauer playing The Netherlands for the world cup soccer finals. On the political front, commendable is the classy manner in which “Emperor” Beckenbauer stood up to- and put an American inquisitor in his place. My soccer allegiances for the World Cup 2014 are still with the work horses of Europe, Germany (“perhaps the best team in the world”), as well as with the US, of course. (Portugal is too socialist to support. The team’s star is good looking in an oleaginous way, as are the fans, but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ll be pleased if either Germany or the US wins.

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Go Alweady, Bawbawa Walters!

Celebrity, Intellectualism, Journalism, Left-Liberalism, Media

Barbara Walters has promised to retire. But then so did that lip-licking lizard, Larry King. You can’t take them at their word.

In my journalism-school days one looked up to the brilliant and brave late Oriana Fallaci. Now, it’s mediocrities like colorectal crusader Katie Couric and Barbara Walters who’re considered cutting-edge clever. And they’ve sired a new crop of cretins. Can you believe that talking coifs such as Brook Baldwin and Erin Burnett of CNN are regularly asked to address university graduates? There is NOTHING these people can say that can edify or enlighten. Nothing. They are walking cliches. The same goes for the Fox News crop, with some exceptions (Gerri Willis, Elizabeth MacDonald, Melissa Francis).

As the author of America’s “Most Fascinating People List,” Barbara Walters had redefined the concept of “fascinating.” The detritus of humanity paraded by the reality TV racket is where the boorish broadcaster turned for “fascinating” figures. She was thus an integral cog in a coarsening culture. Some of her past picks for the List included Paris Hilton, Victoria and David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Justin Timberlake.

All Walters’ interviews make the flesh crawl. Paris Hilton’s porn debut, in which the woman made narcissistic love to the camera, (i.e. herself) was transformed by Walters’ syrupy “journalism” into a PG-rated tale of innocence betrayed.

And the Walters empathic posturing concealed a good deal of cattiness, even cruelty. Her idea of getting to the guts of a story: Bringing a supremely vulnerable celebrity to tears. The wicked Walters once prefaced an interview with singer Celine Dion by pronouncing, “You are not beautiful.” She then watched gleefully as tears welled in Dion’s beautiful eyes.

The only person to rival such bitchiness is sly Katie Couric. She once interviewed Hillary Clinton while drunk with love for Obama. Couric’s below-the-belt barbs and blithe probes about Obama—but not the issues—made Hillary appear elevated by comparison. Clinton was courteous where Katie was cruel. “Someone told me your nickname in school was Miss Frigidaire. Is that true?” Couric asked. “Only with some boys,” Clinton said, laughing. The answer was quick and classy.

Good newsmen are a dying breed. Good newswomen are mostly dead already. By the time she died, Oriana Fallaci had long since been buried professionally by mediocrities like Barbara Walters. For her contempt of Islam, Fallaci was forced to flee her native Italy. She came to America, where, needless to say, she did not make it onto Barbara’s List or as a “CNN Heroes” nominee.

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Hag’s ‘Humanitarian Posturing’

Celebrity, Foreign Policy, Gender, Neoconservatism

Someone has provided a much needed pictorial corrective to the “humanitarian posturing” evinced in the “#BringBackOurGirls” “hashtag campaign,” conducted by Michelle Obama and the gormless glitterati.

Writes William Norman Grigg:

“Michelle Obama spared a moment between lavish tax-victim-funded vacations and celebrity outings to join this year’s version of the Kony campaign, which seeks military action in Nigeria to liberate 276 Christian schoolgirls who were abducted by Muslim militants.”

The Twitter campaign — in which people pose with signs reading #BringBackOurGirls — is not directed at the terrorists and kidnappers, whose hearts will not be softened by such entreaties. The intent is to cultivate public support for a “humanitarian” military operation conducted by the same kind-hearted folks who have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people during the past twelve years, and who are lending financial and military support to Jihadis in Syria who are committing atrocities every bit as vile as those carried out by Boko Haram.

This isn’t to say that the everyone who has enlisted in this hashtag campaign is a cynical war-monger, opportunistic politician, or trend-sucking celebrity. The heroic Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel nominee who survived being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen as punishment for promoting education for young girls, has joined the movement as well. Malala’s moral authority comes not merely from what she suffered in Pakistan, but from her willingness to confront the Nobel-winning murderer in the Oval Office over his continuing campaign of state terrorism. …


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