Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Actually Posting About A Celebrity

Writing about celebrities as if they mattered more than, say, anybody else on the planet is something I don't like to buy into, but with the opening of a documentary about Joan Rivers she is in the news and I am reminded of something I saw her say on television once that I think is worth recounting. In itself it speaks to the celebrity-worship that our culture encourages, and it shows that in spite of the aspects of Joan Rivers's performance schtick that I find abhorrent there's something admirable in there.

My recollection is that Joan Rivers was interviewing some of the young cast of Beverly Hills 90210 during its popularity peak. She was trying to get them to dish about their castmate Shannen Doherty. She said something about how frequently she runs into, say, a limo driver who will say, "You wouldn't believe what the last person I had in the limo did" and go on to tell of some offensive behavior of Shannen Doherty's.

The young actors tried to be circumspect, and one of them said, "Well, Shannen says what she thinks."

Without a pause -- so quickly it was almost an interruption -- Joan Rivers said with an air of actual outrage, "To people who are not in a position to say what they think in return!"

Right there -- the issues of privilege in a nutshell, and even what I would call insight that applies to a whole lot more than the behavior of some particular celebrity of the moment. Not something I expected to hear while flipping through the channels.
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