06 July 2014

A Failed Attempt To Disguise Hate As Comedy

Looking back, I’m not surprised that Joan Rivers attained the peak of her popularity during the 1980’s.  After all, it was a time when everyone from the President (Ronald Reagan) to the actors in, and producers of, popular television programs like Dallas and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous were teaching people to identify with the rich and powerful and to despise those who made the mistake of being born the wrong color or the wrong gender, in the wrong country or social class, or to love the wrong people.  And those avatars of the culture managed to convince people that adulation of the more fortunate and hatred of those less so was really an affirmation of their own heroic struggles to survive in a world where the less-fortunate were given “special treatment” with laws that kept them from getting fired from (or not hired for) jobs, or from being evicted from apartments or refused services simply for being who they are while corporate executives who bought companies simply to blow them up and shipped jobs overseas were “oppressed” by taxes and environmental regulations.

In such an environment, “gay” or “lesbian”—not to mention “transgender”—are derogatory terms rather than mere adjectives or nouns.  And a woman like Ms. Rivers can put a man down by making a claim, however baseless, that President Barack Obama is gay –in her world-view,less than a man--and his wife is a “tranny” –in other words, not really a woman, for who else would be with a man who’s not really a man.

Mind you, I’m not a fan of the First Couple.  They are two of the most disingenuous people ever to occupy the White House:  They talk about human rights while taking money from the very banks and corporations that have done more to widen the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” than any other individuals or institutions ever could have.  After accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Barack—who was a Constitutional Law Professor—continued two illegal wars and arrogated unto himself the right to assassinate anyone anywhere in the world, with or without cause.  And Michelle’s hobby horse is an anti-obesity campaign that she finances with contributions from the very companies that have contributed to the epidemic that has, among other things, led health officials to reclassify what used to be known as “Adult Onset Diabetes” to “Class II Diabetes” after it developed in eight-year-old children.

Perhaps Ms. Rivers is unaware of such facts.  Otherwise, I believe (or hope) that she (or, at any rate, her writers) could have come up with more trenchant ways of criticizing, or even merely poking fun at, the Mendacitor In Chief and His Enabler.

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