“I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me” by Joan Rivers:
A Review

I hate when they charge you two bucks plus tax for a large cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City, and the clerk still acts like he‘s doing you a favor for buying it. I hate when guys in the locker room at the gym shimmy into their underwear underneath a towel after a shower. I hate a certain “doctor” on TV who dispenses weight loss advice to desperate female audiences, but who’s fat himself. I hate string beans… I also hate celebrity autobiographies that feature a boring, perfunctory “childhood” (AKA, “before they were famous”) chapter in the beginning of the book. It’s BORING! Unless it was a celeb whose early years were all fucked up by drugs, sex, or white slavery, then I’m not interested.

But I LOVE Joan Rivers’ new book, “I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me”. Thankfully, Ms. Rivers’ new book is not a biography or a memoir… although it is definitely a book that only our Joan herself could write. It isn’t that I’m not totally fascinated by every little detail about the life of this pop culture icon… but at age 79, shouldn’t Joan Rivers… well, just be Joan Rivers? It’s much more fun than Being John Malkovich (Yawn!) or Being Bobby Brown (Yucch!). This is Joan unleashed, baby… and no one is safe! When I say “no one”, I mean NO ONE… and that includes old people, child stars, gypsies, reality stars who act like they have talent, people who are too polite, waiters who introduce themselves, “people persons”, Paris Hilton (remember her?), etc…

This is actually Ms. Rivers’ 11th book. Her other literary endeavors have included everything from self-help, (“Bouncing Back: I’ve Survived Everything … and I Mean Everything … and You Can Too!” in 1997) to fiction (“Murder at the Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery” in 2009) to books about her jewelry. Given Joan’s work ethic and her seemingly endless vim and vigor (Make that vim, vigor and vinegar!), this likely won’t be her last book either. However, since everyone from the late Dinah Shore (who reportedly used to give cheap gifts) to Snooki get the Joan Rivers treatment, there may not be anyone left to offend unless “The Real Housewives of Akron, Ohio” comes to the screen fast. No one, living or dead, escapes Joan’s post-menopausal rants: In the chapter “Location, Location, Location”, she declares, “I hate Houston. It’s crawling with bugs. Oh wait, that’s Whitney Houston; I’m sorry, my bad. Can I just mention that Whitney looked fabulous at the Grammy’s? She was in mahogany from head to toe.”

She states that she loves gay and lesbian parents, but adds, “I think we need a law that says lesbians and gay men have to raise their children together. This way, the kids would not only know how to build bookshelves, but they’d also instinctively know how to decorate them.” She also hates forest rangers: “As an adult I know that bears really aren’t friendly, harmless creatures who talk to people about preventing forest fires. Bears are husky, hairy gay men who wear leather chaps with the asses cut out”. Snap! Surely America’s sweetheart, Betty White, is spared? No! “Everyone dies– except maybe Betty White, and I think it’s high time someone pushed that bitch in front of a train because I’m tired of losing the ‘sassy grandma’ roles to her.“

Not even animals are out of the line of fire, as evidenced when Joan explains why she hates free range chickens: “Why should chickens walk free while thousands of political dissidents languish in prisons all over the world. If Nelson Mandela can handle twenty-seven years behind bars, Henny Penny can deal with being in a coop for a couple of months… I don’t care if the chickens of the world are happy. I care if they taste good with creamed spinach and potatoes”.

So, to summarize, I am gonna borrow a line from the book’s jacket: “This is absolute Joan Rivers. You gotta love her. Even if she hates you.” Here’s one author who is declaring his love for Ms. Rivers in a public forum. By the way, I normally HATE public displays of affection… but for Joan, I‘ll make an exception.

“I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me“ is now available in hardcover. 


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