Patterico's Pontifications


Joan Rivers: A Solid Work Ethic

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Comedienne Joan Rivers passed away today at 81 years old. It seemed people either loved or hated her. They either split a gut from laughing so hard at her acid-tongued delivery or were offended by her brand of frequent rude-and-lewd humor.

A few years ago, I watched an excellent documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. It was a fascinating peek into her life, from family to comedy to her personal tragedies, as well as an unvarnished look at a unique woman who endured. But what I am reminded of in her passing, was her staunch unwavering work ethic. She was a self-made woman who persevered – no matter the hurdles, no matter the odds, no matter the sorrows. In the documentary, viewers see the relentlessness with which she worked, even in her advanced years. And she reveals that her one big fear was that her calendar would have a day with absolutely nothing scheduled – no photo shoot, no guest appearance, no stand-up tour, nothing to do. She could hardly bear that. As a solid work ethic seems on its way to becoming a lost art form in our modern culture, Rivers exemplified it.

Here is a brief bit from an interview she did with HuffPo:

AP: Is there a secret to success?

Rivers: It’s having an idea that you totally believe in and then working at it. Not one person that we interviewed did not have a great work ethic. These people don’t say, “Boohoo, poor me, it’s a recession and I can’t do it.” Absolutely not.


23 Responses to “Joan Rivers: A Solid Work Ethic”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  2. Lost a great one there – my wife and I had one of the best times when she first made fun live of the outfits at some award show 20 years ago

    Good bye and god bless…

    EPWJ (c12453)

  3. Joan from the grave heckling a critic? From Mediates comment section:

    MyPartyRightOrWrong • 5 hours ago

    As an unemployed fat slob who posts anonymously from his mother’s
    basement, I plan on taking this opportunity to make myself feel big and
    important by ridiculing Joan Rivers, whose 60 year career in
    entertainment is nothing compared to my 6 months working the graveyard
    shift at Circle K. I crave the chance to feel superior by ridiculing
    Joan’s looks and her politics. Thank you God for taking Joan away from
    us, so I can glean moments of happiness and superiority in my otherwise
    worthless life.

    EPWJ (c12453)

  4. I wound’t want to be the malpractice carrier of the doc who did surgery in the office.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  5. Once Rickles goes, that will be the end of the non-PC era. Thanks Joan, you were a riot till the very end.

    Gazzer (26a83c)

  6. She was a “one of a kind”. She said what she thought and she lived it. No political correctness for her, thank goodness. She will be missed.
    Rest in Peace, Joan.

    Lynne W (105e42)

  7. She was great. May she rest in peace.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. I crave the chance to feel superior by ridiculing Joan’s looks and her politics.

    I believe she was rather unusual among at least 2 or 3 groups of people she was or could be most closely associated with (fairly or unfairly): The entertainment industry, the Jewish community, women. Simply put, she wasn’t a liberal. I won’t say she therefore was a conservative, but she apparently at least didn’t have the type of knee-jerk phony-baloney left-leaning bias that’s common among many people in her circle of friends or society.

    Mark (c7cd77)

  9. i won’t speak overly ill of the dead, but i admit i was left cold by her. i neither hated her, or loved her.

    I think my problem is this. I think many comedians start off speaking in longhand and then over time they develop a shorthand. So for me, by the time i came of age, she had reduced herself to shorthand, and so it was kind of leaving me out. Like half the time she would pop up in a movie and go “can we talk?” and i have no idea why that is even funny.

    I suspect that if i went back and saw her earlier routines i would suddenly “get it” and devolve to loving or hating her. I mean that is how i am with Bill Cosby. I haven’t heard him do a fresh routine in this century. But i grew up listening to his routines on my dad’s old reel-to-reel tape player (it was old even then, I am not dating myself). The Chicken Heart that ate New York. The story about the go carts. So when he went down to shorthand, there was a context i understood and i still enjoyed it. And i suspect that is why Rivers left me cold.

    Regardless, she was a pioneer, and for that alone she deserves to be well-remembered.

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (76f6be)

  10. Too much kinetic energy, too much verbiage, too much vulgarity (in both senses of the term), a regrettable affection for cosmetic surgery, and not an optimal vocational counselor to her daughter. Still, she was an appealing person in certain respects: an independent thinker, self-deprecating and un-pretentious, energetic (still working as an octogenarian), and (bar a divorce proceeding ca. 1958) quite free of notable personal scandals.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  11. Oh, snap!

    “Labor participation rate at 1978 levels” is deliberately misleading with faulty Englitsch.

    1978 population 225 Mil, 2014 population 310 Million. Yes, women have since entered the workforce in still greater numbers, school administrations, for one have, ballooned.

    But rates of employment were much higher, its the total number employed that is comparable.

    Twice as many left the workforce as were hired–by the BLS’ own redactors. Wait ’til Gallup reports for half-azzed honest results.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  12. To whom or what is gary gulrud responding?

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  13. A little light into the cave.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  14. I enjoyed her, immensely.

    JD (dc108d)

  15. No offense, Carlitos, but Gary’s posts are not meant for you. It sounds worse than it is. But them’s the breaks.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  16. I agree with the positive assessments of The great Joan. Even if i was shocked by the movie “Rabbit test”.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  17. I use the word “if” instead of “though” because, believe it or not, I have not come to a definite conclusion about it. Intent has a lot to do with it.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  18. Sad news. Appreciate what little time on this Earth she had to make us smile.

    Thad Pi (731f57)

  19. Yes that is an excellent documentary. The lady was a very hard worker.

    gp (5a38d9)

  20. 4. Mike K (90dfdc) — 9/4/2014 @ 7:51 pm

    I wound’t want to be the malpractice carrier of the doc who did surgery in the office.

    You wouldn’t want to be the doctor. To the insurance companies, it is just money and hey just pass it on. Malpractice insurance is priced wrong too – per doctor, nor per patient treated.

    The New York Daily News has a front page headline today, and the New York Times also had sme further (different) information on page A21.

    It maybe wasn’t the anesthesia.

    She had an unscheduled procedure she hadn’t consented to. And this procedure is never supposed to be done outside of a hospital.

    She was at an endoscopy clinic. They were going to do a diagnostic procedure to see why her voice had gone raspy.

    The clinic’s doctor noticed something on her vocal cords.

    Maybe they would have had to just stop and not not do anything further, or maybe do something else later.

    Rivers’ doctor, who was an ear-nose and throat specialist, was there, observing or consulting , I guess, or maybe ready to do something else, and he asked if he could perform a biopsy using their instruments.

    She had only consented to the endoscopy. (although who knows aboout the fine print)

    Then she had a laryngospasm. Her vocal cords seized up, and cut off her air supply.

    This was at 9:39 am Thursday, August 28, 2014.

    At 9:39:59 am an emergency call about a patient in cardiac arrest was put into to 911.

    At 9:45:37 a Fire Department company arrived.

    They discovered a defibrillator had been hooked up and a breathing tube put in, and they were giving her medications and CPR. Firefighters took over the CPR.

    Paramedics arrived at 9:47, and EMS people from the Fire Department at 9:48 in a separate ambulance.

    By 9:50, there were ten emergency medical workers present, including a Fire Department
    supervisor (standard on serious calls, ad this was a “Segment 1” the highest level prioroty for 911)

    At 10:08 am, she arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital, already on life support.

    She had a history of heart arrhythmia.

    A colleague of her doctor claims their lips are sealed.

    Maybe md can explain what this laryngospasm is.

    Sammy Finkelman (728434)

  21. Today’s New york times indicates that it may really have been the anestheologist after all.

    All the information is, of course, obtained by people speaking in violation of law or regulation.

    The New York Times doesn’t have anything about the attempted biopsy – it never did – or the aryngospasm, but it says that toward the end of procedure medical pewrsdonnel at the clinic (Yorkville Endoscopy on 93rd St in Manhattan) noticed that her oxygen level was crashing.

    if it was that way, it was the anestheologist, because the anestheologist is responsible for monitoring this – and it furtehr adds that Propofol, which was the anestheesia used, has a very small margin between teh effective dose and the toxic or fatal dose.

    It seems to me that the investigation is focusing on waht was possibly illegal, or a violation of regulations, and not on what was wrong.

    It’s like blaming alcohol for a crash, if the driver had any, and not what caused it. And here
    the violation is technical, and irrelevant to the purpose of the regulation.

    Joan Rivers brought in her own Ear nose and Throat specialist. Now there is a rule – it’s part of the licensing requirements, that the clinic not supposed to let anyone work there without reviewing the credentials and qualifications of the surgeon or whatever, and putting them on a list of doctors granted privileges.

    And (the New York Times manages to omit) let her do something.

    Now I think the legal defense would be that he wasn’t working for them but for Joan Rivers, except that she may not have signed any paper to that effect..

    But there is no question that she was a qualified doctor.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. The reason Joan Rivers went into the endoscopy clinic instead of a hospital was to avoid publicity.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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