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Photo Credit :: Joan Rivers
Arts & Entertainment
An Evening with Joan Rivers at the Cutting Room
By Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
April 11, 2006 
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Thank heavens for Joan Rivers for breathing a bit of sanity into our world – which is a testament to how far the world has descended into madness when the voice of Joan Rivers appears to be a voice of reason. Which is not to imply that Rivers has lost any of her fabled edge, only that with each passing day, the world more closely resembles her acidic take on life. Nothing is sacred, and never has been for Rivers, but in a society where celebrity and money are the only real goals, Rivers makes it clear how mistaken we’ve been to believe otherwise. It’s always been about looks and money – and we were fools to have imagined that integrity, honor, goodness and virtue ever mattered. When a magazine offers your daughter $400 grand to appear topless on the cover, you tell that daughter to counter-offer with her pussy for a cool million. And given how successful Monica Lewinsky’s purse line has become, shouldn’t every mother be instructing her daughter how to take it down the throat? This is a world where all of us should have sent our children to Neverland Ranch – in order that we might live happily ever after on the $35 million pay-offs.

And as Rivers reminds us, the closer to death you marry, the more you stand to gain, as Jackie O. taught the nation in marrying Ari. Meanwhile, Rivers’ own daughter, Melissa, wants to set her up with Robert Blake, telling her to just sit in the car with the window open. No fool Melissa, she knows Mom has a successful jewelry line on QVC.

No one’s off-limits, not even Rivers’ good friends. Babs Streisand is such a skinflint that she’d offer a blind man a buck, only if she can get change from his tin cup. It’s all about the money; it’s all about the goods. Either you’ve got them or you don’t – and if you don’t, there’s no hope for you in the mirror of America that Rivers holds up to us.

Fueled with such ammo, it’s little wonder that Rivers cracks herself up. This is life in the looney bin and laughter the only recourse. In an incomprehensible world of genocide and terrorism, even the Holocaust and 9/11 have to be rendered with humor to attempt any kind of understanding. If you knew what we know now and there was no way around it, Rivers asks, who would you breakfast with at Windows on the World on that fateful morning? It’s a Beckettian question that Rivers volleys perfectly: how to make sense of the senseless?

As Rivers says, Death trails all of us, and while she hardly looks her age, she contends her tits have become her bedroom slippers. Because of course there’s no stopping the march of time, or gravity’s pull, and knowing this as we do, and with Rivers as our guide, it would appear the only way to live is to laugh all the way to the grave – with a side trip to the bank, for good measure.