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Monday, December 12, 2016

The first Jewish president

Kathy Shaidle of stands tall in the blogging world, in part because she doesn't give critics a chance to define her.

Her piece on at Taki's Magazine, "From Joan to Donald" begins with one of the most irreverent jokes Joan Rivers ever told. I mean it is so toxic, I apologized to God for laughing:
“I lost my whole family in Auschwitz. Seriously: I waited in the gift shop for hours.”
Of course, there is no such thing. It's at Buchenwald.

Rivers was a pioneer in comedy not because she was a woman. There were women in comedy who predated her. Selma Diamond was part of Sid Caesar's team of great writers, which included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, and Woody Allen. But what made Rivers a pioneer was her willingness to be impolite on television.

Maybe you get to Richard Pryor without her; of course you do. But she preceded him. She was your aunt who knew the family secrets and would spill them just to shock her contemporaries, and amuse the younger generation.

Now how you get from Joan Rivers to Donald Trump is via her Republicanism.

From Shaidle:
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.
Makes sense. Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, and Woody Allen got a dinner because they were liberal.

President Trump never got the dinner because he was from Queens and he saved Manhattan, which Manhattan-ites always resented. It should have been one of their guys who did it, but their guys were in Stamford, making Connecticut great again.

From Shaidle:
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.
There is some Joan Rivers left in Kathy Shaidle.


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  1. As an ex-pat NYer, this line is pure brilliance:

    It should have been one of their guys who did it, but their guys were in Stamford, making Connecticut great again.

    Merry Christmas, Mr. Surber! Thanks for 'keeping it real'.

  2. Maybe Ms. Shaidle is a Druish princess. - Elric

    1. Or maybe she's just tired. Tired of being admired. Tired of love uninspired. Let's face it, people, she's tired.

  3. I found the treatment of Donald Trump during the election campaign by my fellow co-religionists highly embarrassing, especially by those of the Reform variety (I call them JINOs, Jews in Name Only), so much so I have renounced them and will have nothing to do with them in the future. Orthodox Jews treated The Donald much better, perhaps because they acknowledged Trump's daughter and son-in-law as practicing Orthodox Jews, but whatever the reason, they did not fall prey to the irrationality of the radical liberal Democrats who see Trump as the next new Hitler.

  4. Ah, Joan, never afraid to make jokes about the "Right" people.

  5. Well, they say he's part Jewish himself.

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  7. Don, thanks SO much for your generous comments! I may not agree with you 100% but I read you every day -- you were one of the great "voices" during the campaign, putting everything in perspective. Looking back (one whole month :-)) I realize the people I valued most weren't the Trump cheerleaders so much as the "Calm the hell down, people" writers like you and Scott Adams and polling expert Bill Mitchell (whose Twitter got me through election night.) Anyhow, my blog (and stats) have been down for a week and I'm just seeing your very nice post now. Thanks again.