Monday, September 01, 2014


The New York Daily News reported today that Joan Rivers is being brought out of a medically induced coma:
"The waking-up process has begun and will take until Tuesday," a source close to the family told the Daily News. "There is real concern that the part of the brain that controls motor skills may have been compromised, leaving her as either a vegetable or in a wheelchair."
This offers Wesley J. Smith, National Review's "Human Exceptionalism" columnist, the opportunity to harrumph on behalf of Rivers:
Whatever the future holds for Joan Rivers, who may have experienced brain damage during surgery, she will always be an exceptional human being deserving of equal rights and perceived moral value.

To put it another way, contrary to some stories describing her potential health outcome, she will never be a carrot. Carrots are vegetables, human beings never are.
Um, here's Joan Rivers herself, in the memoir she published in July, Diary of a Mad Diva:

Whoops! Guess Rivers herself doesn't share Smith's outrage at the use of this word.

Smith's sense of the dignity of all human life makes him, needless to say, an unswerving opponent of abortion; here's Rivers on that subject:
When TMZ asked about Lindsay Lohan's miscarriage, Rivers said, "I hope she kept it." And when her daughter, Melissa, showed disgust, she continued, "I was born with a coat hanger in my ear."
Smith, in his post on Rivers, writes:
We need to stop using the V-word to describe our brothers and sisters with profound cognitive disabilities. That word is just as bigoted as the N-word for people of sub Saharan African descent, the K word for Jews, or the C-word for women.
The C-word? Here's another Rivers joke:
"Although in fairness, the autocorrect isn't always wrong. Everytime you type the name 'Joan Rivers,' autocorrect changes it to 'Insufferable Cunt.'"
Smith is defending the wrong person. He's defending the dignity of someone who's made a career of mocking dignity, including her own. So he should probably let it go.


Victor said...

In the words of that great English actor, Edmund Kean:
"Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."

justsomeguy05 said...

I saw elsewhere that Melissa Rivers asked everyone for their "thoughts and prayers". My first thought was that Joan would have responded "when did we become fundamentalist Christians" ?

Palli said...

To late to rethink her joke in all seriousness about Palestinians: "You're dead, you deserve to be dead. Don’t you dare make me feel bad about that"?

Roger said...

Who refers to parapalegics as vegetables?

The insult is meant to refer to the brain dead (as in the medical diagnosis, persistent vegetative state).

Further, even if you enjoy jokes in had taste, Rivers' joke isn't particularly funny.