Nerdy Cher Stuff: Poetry & Statistics

Javier-collectionPoetry

It’s very exciting for me when my poetry and Cher blogs overlap. That’s the kind of nerd I am. And they have been overlapping lately.

I finished another year of the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge, which involves writing a poem a day for the month of April. No easy feat, especially when you commit to following the prompts, which I did this year.

The prompt of April 26 was to write a poem about how an archaeologist in the future would make sense of our culture. In my poem, archaeologists uncover my garage full of Cher memorabilia. To the left is a picture of Cher scholar Javier Ozuna's very fine Cher collection. Mine is not nearly this extensive but imagine archeologists coming upon this scene and trying to write up a thesis on it.

It’s rare that I do a Cher poem. I don't know why. I think I’ve only done two really crappy ones and those were over 20 years ago. I called this poem “The Relics of Very Tiny Religions.” 

I'm back to enjoying the Cher/Sonny & Cher shows on GetTV. There have also been quite a few skits that are new to me. Either previous TVLand of VH1 episodes skipped them or on was a fully new episodes for me.  This segment floored me. It's a bad recording from a bad recording but it’s Cher reciting the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling.  Cher references the cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, who you might recognize from 1970s MAD magazines and books. Cher, like everybody else, can’t help but recite in “the poem voice,” a kind of plodding tone everybody uses when reading poems for some reason. There are some prophetic moments of the cartoon and poem, including...

Narcissm If

 

 

 

 


...the bits about narcissism and political corruption.

There’s more Cher/poetry commentary to come because I’m really into protest poetry right now  and reading the mother anthology of protest poetry, “Against Forgetting, 20th Century Poetry of Witness,” the first section of which is poets of the Armenian genocide.

ReadersguideStatistics

At work I often do usage research on Google Analytics and keyword research on Google Trends. When I start to learn any new research tool, I always test it out by plugging 'Cher' into the system to see how it works. I've done this my whole life, since learning how to use the green periodical lookup books at the school library when I was a tween.They were very boring books but led to all the articles of Cher in People Magazine and Ladies Home Journal that I could check out in the library which was a great incentive to plunging into the nerd universe.

Anyway, plugging Cher into Google Trends led me to discover two great new-to-me Cher sites:

Paul_Revere_And_The_Raiders_-_Indian_Reservation And I've had Google Analytics on my blogs for over a year now. The most popular page result is a blog post I did in 2008 about the fact that Cher did not ever release a recording or perform live the song people search for as “Cherokee People” or “Cherokee Nation.” The song is actually a Paul Revere & the Raiders song called "Indian Nation." I tallied up the results from an entire year and 649 people made that search and visited my blog to be disabused of that erroneous belief. A huge amount of people associate Cher with that song.

Last month my search queries also showed a very funny result for “cher all i wanna do is make love to you lyrics” confusing bombastic Heart with bombastic Cher. Due to this I looked up that song. On Wikipedia it says:

Heart-80sAnn Wilson commented on the band's dislike for the song, stating, "Actually we had sworn off it because it kind of stood for everything we wanted to get away from. It was a song by "Mutt" Lange, who we liked, and it was originally written for Don Henley, but there was a lot of pressure on us to do the song at the time." Ann Wilson has made a number of comments on her dislike for the song, calling the song's message "hideous" in an interview with Dan Rather. In that same interview, Ann mentions that she's surprised at how many of their fans, especially in Australia and New Zealand, want to hear the song to this day when Heart plays live (Heart does not perform it live anymore despite the requests).”

Watch the video.


My Stupid Obsession

Marquee2Every Cher fan goes through this at some time or another, the Cher show you have great tickets for (6th row!) gets cancelled. Two weekends ago, I was one of these fans who trekked out to Las Vegas right about when Cher cancelled a weekend of shows due to illness.

As I was crying in the bathrooms of Sam’s Town, (the casino that inspired The Killers album/song),  I counted and this would have been my 13th Cher concert. Poor me. Some fans have yet to see one. I wasn’t literally crying in the bathroom. I was drunk in the bathroom and still managed to count all the Cher shows I've been to. I literally cried three other times: an aggravation cry in the car on the way to Vegas (around Laughlin) when I got the tragic email from TicketBastard, one short ugly cry in the hotel bathroom where Mr. Cher Scholar couldn’t see it, and one long soulful cry after I got home, a cry that was just as much about the collapse of all that is good and holy in this world as it was over missing that Cher show, but nonetheless a cry initiated by watching a bootleg video of the new show's opening Cher descent.

My weekend in Vegas was full of rationalizations:

  1. For me it's more about the stuff, right? (I felt much better after being able to buy tour swag.)
  2. We gotta wean ourselves off Cher sometime, right?
  3. This show's gonna come out on DVD anyway.
  4. How can you blame Cher for touching bohemian hands and catching fevers?
  5. I'm too fat to sit in the 6th row anyway.
  6. Concerts aren’t my thing anyway, right? I dutifully go for the stuff (see #1).
  7. I've pretty much seen this show already.

Then why was I having such a dramatic crisis of the heart?

It’s not like going to Vegas to see Cher is some kind of pilgrimage, right? That's where celebrity obsession needs a body check. There was one woman outside the casino, close to Cher’s looming picture (above), literally sobbing into a friend's shoulder. For like a long time! I was hoping her cat had died or that she’d just experienced a traumatic breakup with a pathetic loser because I didn’t want to think she was crying (1) that hard (and 2) in public over missing a Cher show. But I surmise the greater distance and effort you spend on the trip to Vegas to see a Cher show, the harder the cry. I only drove from Albuquerque.

And there were other repercussions of a cancelled Cher show. We couldn’t get into any other shows, (no Diana Ross, no Beatles Cirque du Soilel, no Absinthe). Shows half full on Friday night booked up quickly by Saturday afternoon. All those damn Cher fans set adrift. I can’t tell you how my party salvaged this weekend, (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas), but I can tell you it involved a very hot Robin.

I have now been fully initiated as a Cher fan, long suffering. Some very muted highlights of the trip:

I went to the Park Theater anyway to see the Cher stands and promos and dragged Mr. Cher Scholar on a mission to photograph all three "era" posters:

StandupPoster Billboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Standup near the back door / poster in the lobby / billboard on the south end of the strip (click to enlarge).

CherslotsI was also able to play the Cher slot machine which was set up outside the Cher swag store. Mr. Cher Scholar had to sit through my playing it only twice (I get easily bored gambling). I was very amused at the slot symbols that were made to represent Cherness: leather jackets, tambourines, VIP concert passes.

Thingrepresentingcher
When I would hit anything big, loud Cher music would play for such a length of time that nearby gamblers would move seats for ten minutes until the machine stopped bellowing. Good footage of the drama. You're seat would also vibrate if you won or came close to a win. I hope someday these things are cheap enough for home purchase.

Because there is pop-culture grace left somewhere in the universe, the Monte Carlo Park Theater Cher swag store was still open and I was able to get a program. The swag store does have a few new things but many of the items are hand-me-downs from Dressed to Kill tour.

Cherstore Swagstore2

 

 

 

 

 

Lobbystore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two sides of the big Cher store / the lobby store.

 

And the weekend wasn't entirely sucky with good food and good friends.

Notsosucky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Don’t Cry For Me Cherilina

ProgramAn ironic image for Cher's D2K tour: trapped by a virus.

Last week was a very sad week for me. Indulge me, but I’m thinking to make a list will be a cathartic process.

1. As of Sunday when I stopped in Albertson's to sit at one of those blood pressure machines, I've had to accept that this, my 45th year, I’ve developed high blood pressure. Three out of 5 recent tests over the last 6 months have been too high. Heart issues have felled everyone on my father's side of the family. So this is not happy news.

2. The Bill Cosby story is wearing me down. Not only have 16 women accused him of various sexual crimes, but he’s latest TV appearances (The Colbert Report appearance before the story even broke) and interviews have been eerily self-important and left an unsatisfactory taste in my mouth. It reminds me of the Woody Allen incest saga. I grew up on their work and my esteem has been felled by their tabloid scandals which are both hard to prove or disprove (at this point). But that really doesn’t matter because no outcome escapes a tragedy. In Woody Allen’s case, either he did commit incest with his daughter or Mia Farrow is crazy and has contaminated her daughter’s life. Both scenarios are awful. Likewise, Bill Cosby is a rapist or 16 women are conspiring to ruin his career. Problem is, they have little to gain after the statute of limitations. And if you think it’s impossible to keep such crimes a secret for 40 years within an entertainment organization, let me remind you of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky. There’s no pretty truth here. Just yuckiness. And it reminds me that as a society we place a heartbreaking amount of misspent worship on celebrities (no offence to Cher). From what I've seen, baring a few exceptions, Hollywood does not attract balanced, heroical personalities and heroes don't grow from the seeds of maladaptive narcissists. In any case, as Mr. Cher Scholar says, this story pretty much bankrupts Fat Albert, The Cosby Show, the jello commercials, I Spy, all the standup routines....

3. I found out Thursday my friend has brain cancer. She's been having seizures.This is the fifth calamity to befall her in so many years.

4. That same night the Chiefs lost to the Raiders. This was more depressing to Mr. Cher Scholar than it was to me but it did rub off.

5. Hours later I was online via email helping to talk down another friend from an emotional life-crisis.

6. I started the next day looking at my emails and was assaulted by a Facebook status message made by one of my poetry colleagues. The post, not directed at me, was a rotten spew of hatred regarding last week's political events. It was dumbfoundingly angry, hardly reality-based, and left me disturbed for the rest of the day.

7. The Ferguson story has also depressed me. The grand jury just came out tonight: no indictment on the police officer who fatally shot a black teenager. I grew up in St. Louis where Ferguson is a suburb. I can say many positive things about growing up in St. Louis. I can also say that I know first hand St. Louis has more than its share of racists. I know because many of them used to confide in me their racists thoughts. They did so from high school through my many post-college jobs. I do have friends in St. Louis who are not racists, God bless 'em. But let’s just say I knew more racists there than honest, God-loving people.  Stories appeared last week about guns selling out, the governor declaring a state of emergency and bringing in the National Gard. The KKK is asserting itself with great irony and evil. Interestingly, my St. Louis friends used to chide me about living in Los Angeles, with all its gun violence and rioting. There were zero riots or highway shootings the 8 years I lived in Los Angeles. And as it turns out you don’t have to leave St. Louis for those things. I’m so disappointed that city hasn’t evolved in the last 20 years since I left.

8. My depression and anger over these political events led my cousin, who is a psychologist, to diagnose me Friday night as having "Work from Home Syndrome" - a condition that allows you to stew in your own anger until you become irritable all the time. He suggested I stop listening to the news for a while until my brain resets.

9. Cher has cancelled the remaining dates of her tour. And although she says she hopes she can “finish what she started” and resume the tour next year, this does prove the tour has been sadly ill-fated. It’s also a somewhat drastic and alarming gesture that makes you worry about Cher's health. Upsetting for Cher, her fans, and even Pat Benetar fans. It also means we are coming to the close of an era: invincible Cher.

I was working on a new Cher Scholar site page when I found out, an addendum concert page that lists all her concert dates and available online reviews of each show as I find them. It’s a work in progress but if you want to read old reviews, here they are.

   


Fan Burn Out

FanaticThe big news (literally) in Cher World last week was that the man behind Cher World is stepping down. Personally, I love Travis’ very comprehensive web site and have for years. Many other Cher sites out there are quite simply shrines. Some are very good shrines, mind you, literal libraries of amazing images; but Travis always published something extra, not to mention staying on top of continually breaking news, something Cher Scholar will never be any good at.

Keeping up with Cher news not only takes a great deal of time but some extra patience to make your schedule available for breaking stories. (Such as the fact that a new set of D2K tickets went on sale last Friday for Midwest dates).

Cher Scholar did not make this breaking-news post because last weekend she was in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, getting a very affordable hot springs soak. In fact, due to lack of time this summer, even my posts will be slowing down. I just finished a finalized draft of my next book of poems and I’m starting on my first novel (very scary!). That and an upcoming camping trip, two sets of summer visitors, day-job demands and a big family reunion on the coast of Oregon and something’s gotta give.

It seems to be a tragic summer for Cher fan sites. CherNews is MIA and now Cher World is closing its doors.

The pertinent gossip on Cher World is that Travis was banned from Cher’s Twitterspace for discussing the fairness of how meet-and-greet access was being made available and whether or not there is a Cher clique of extra-special fans.

I can completely relate to the phenomenon of losing your enthusiasm for a fan site when you become a disappointed fan…which is the number one reason I don’t want to go there. Meet and greets themselves are a mixed blessing. Meeting the man behind the head of Oz can be problematic.

My one meet and greet with Cher was at a 1998 book signing in New York City. I would never have gone but I was sent by my co-editor at Ape Culture to write a story about the experience. My favorite part was hanging out with other fans on the street in a line circling Tower Records. My interaction with Cher was uncomfortable and without any meaning I can define. After all, what do you say to a stranger?

Offering up nothing to say is inappropriate. I found this out years earlier when I met poet Adrienne Rich in New Jersey at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Although I respected Rich, I was not a fan -- even though I somehow found myself in a line of them to get a book signed by her. My silence was met with sour disapproval. So for Cher, I tried to come up with something interesting to say. A futile exercise becasue how can you guess what a stranger will find interesting?

Neither of these meets were substantial or awful enough to change my respective feelings about either media personality but I did have one meet and greet that did. For years I had a crush on a well-known lead singer. When I heard he was offering meet and greets for a charity function in Las Vegas, I bought two tickets and dragged my only close friend from Los Angeles to the show. Unfortunately, my friend felt the charity concert was too loud and he plugged his ears for much of the time. This was a pretty small venue and let’s just say that during the resulting meet and greets, friendliness did not ensue. A year later there was a blow up on this singer's own website, a blowup allegedly between the singer and his longtime web assistant. Gossip-filled web posts and emails were exchanged between fans.

These behind the scenes snafus did a lot to disengage my celebrity obsession. Events like this, even when the drama dies down, provide a kind of perspective in the guise of an exit door.

Cher probably does have her cliques and mean-girl moments. Although she sure seems to have less drama surrounding her than most celebrities. But that’s still too much celebrity drama for me.

In full disclosure, I have entered two or three fan contests going back to that one for Not.Com.mercial and I did join one or two fan clubs. The last online Cher fan club never bothered to respond to my emails about being unable to access their site after I paid my dues. I had to literally stop a charge on my credit card to extract myself. Cher conventions have been fun to participate in but are full of their own dramas as well.

This time around, I didn’t even know Cher was doing meet and greets.

And now that I do know, these kinds of things should go to better fans than me. I’m not a good soldier. I’m not a good zombie.  In fact, I will go as far to say Cher the person is a threat to my enjoyment of Cher the product.

But I can relate to the other side of it, too. I have fans myself—three of them including Mr. Cher Scholar! That is if you don't count those 70 Tumblr fans who have mistaken me for porn-star Marie McCray. In any case, when a fan criticizes what you do, your first inclination is to ask, “Who the hell asked you?!”

And then you catch yourself and think, “Oh. I did when I asked you to buy my book and engage with it as a human being, one who is separate from me and sees things from another perspective.”

You ask for attention, you get opinions. That said, you do your best to be cool about it. But we're all human.

Which is what is especially interesting to me here: how fandom plays out on the Twittersphere. Fans now have contact with Cher’s daily thoughts (what we choose to read anyway) and Cher now has daily contact with ours (what she chooses to read anyway). It’s a contract of the new technology that can’t help but lead to human drama.

“It’s the human element,” my grandpa used to say, as if the world consisted of fire, water, air and human kerfuffles.

At the end of the day, I feel sympathy for anyone involved in the celebrity/fan symbiosis. I feel solidarity with my fellow fan-site maestro who feels let down and the celebrity who may have little inclination or power to please all fans all the time.

Oz is an uncomfortable place. You meet the wizard behind the curtain and he sends you off on some dysfunctional mission to kill the witch because you’re full of expectation and frenzy and he doesn’t know what else to do with you.

  


I Think a Song from Cherished Changed My Life

Cherished1Cherished was the last album Cher did with producer Snuff Garrett in 1977. She was also working with Gregg Allman on a duet album that year and this was the kind of confused personna mash-up that probably occured years later when Cher tried to work on her Vegas shows and her new band Black Rose at the same time. One album personna was gritty, another one was pop.

But if you were 7 or 8 years old when you laid your little hands on this album, you may have loved it as much as I did. I bought my copy, along with Bittersweet White Light and Cher's Greatest Hits (MCA), from a three-dollar bin at our local department store, Styx, Bear & Fuller. I listened to its dramatic story-songs in a constant looping rotation. My best friend at the time would come over and we'd re-enact them all out in our living room where the furniture-sized record player lived. We played the pregnant girlfriend of the pirate, the failed actress, and the groupie.

Flash forward 35 years and the Peter Allen song, "She Loves To Hear the Music" came up on my iPod shuffle. I had a weird epiphany about the song.

I've always felt there are different kinds of celebrity obsession. I'm the kind of Cher fan who collects the stuff. I'm a fan of the product. I never really looked to Cher to model my life after, admire as a hero, or fall in love with. But as a teen I had my share of those kinds of celebrity obsessions. I fixated on a given rock star here and there. With my friends, we'd plot backstage meetings and fantasize about hookups. But I could never carry it through (as if I could carry it through). But even if we ever came close to dumb-lucking ourselves into a situation, something always held me back. Some fact of pride actually. And listening to this Cher song again after all these years, it occurred to me that internalizing this song's story did in fact influence my behavior during these times.

Let's review the lyrics: Cherishedalt

She's just a secretary
at a small recording firm
and when it comes to music
there ain't nothing she can't learn.

Everything she lives and breathes
Is written on an album sleeve.
She can tell you who's hot,
who will make it and who will not.

She loves to hear the music.
She's got every lyric down.
She loves to hear them say
she's got the greatest ears in town.

Hangs around the studios,
ain't a rock star she don't know.
Sometimes they take her home
but she always wakes up alone.

Men that want to marry her
never satisfy.
In the rhythms that she hears

are all that keeps her high.

So they turn around and go
and leave her by her radio.
She didn't love 'em anyway,
not like she loves the men who play.

She loves to hear the music.
She's got every lyric down.
She loves to hear them say
she's got the greatest ears in town.

She's there at every studio,
the first to come, the last to go.
Sometimes they take her home
but she always wakes up alone.

Years will not be kind to her.
Her world is for the young.
Bands that played so tightly and knit
will soon become unstrung.

She'll be just another face,
out of time and out of place.
When the songs revive again,
she'll come to life and tell them when:

She loves to hear the music.
She's got every lyric down.
She loves to hear them say
she had the greatest ears in town.

She could of been somebody's wife.
Music men destroyed her life.
Each night she took one home
but she always woke up alone.

What a crazy lady, I thought when I was eight years old. I knew then this girl was ultimately a loser, in many ways. And she scared me. Who could throw themselves at a rock star if that legacy was looming over you? Not me.

I was conflicted about this for many years. I remember the day I decided to give up lusting after rock stars. I was in my shower feeling more tired than sad. I said to myself, today is the end of it. I started really looking at the men I was dating as real (and interesting) people after that. I met a string of quite amazing and facinating people before finding Mr. Cher Scholar.

I've seen, since then, how "bands that played so tightly knit" have in fact "become unstrung." Rock stars have come and gone with such unbelievable regularity that it makes the Cher phenomenon seem a bit bizarre.

Peter Allen was a great storyteller and the sentence structure of his lyrics: very bright. But I like Cher's version of this song better. Her voice brings the kind of authority the story needs.

Is it at all ironic that one of my childhood celebrity obsessions subconsciously cured me of my later heartthrob celebrity obsessions?

 


Cher Scholar's Visit to Another Cher Scholar

Mr. Cher Scholar and I went to NYC to see The Book of Mormon. We both loved it so much we bought the book and CD. Another reason I wanted to get back to NYC was for the food.

ThanksgivingMy Thanksgiving dinner from HopKee in Chinatown.

Prawns with walnuts and a white-wine sauce. A-MA-ZING.

(Click photos to enlarge) 

 

 
I also wanted some long-missed NYC street foods: bagels (scallion cream cheese on garlic bagel), a knish (from the truck behind me), and real pizza!

Bagel Knish Pizza

 

 

  

   
 

Cher Moments: Everywhere we saw these Moonstruck cafes, which I don't remember seeing when I lived there in the late 1990s. We also went to see the Katharine Hepburn costume exhibit outside the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, so I took the fountain picture from the scene outside the opera in Moonstruck. Also a picture of Cyndi Lauper's new Broadway show.

Cafe Moonstruck Cyndi 

 

 

 

 

Other cool finds: We stayed in a brownstone in Chelsea and our neighborhood CVS was a converted bank. I caught a leaf falling in Central Park.

Cvs Centralpark 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another reason I wanted to go to NYC around Thanksgiving was to see all the Christmas window displays. The most amazing included one in Chelsea/Greenwich Village that was inspired by pages of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time which Mr. Cher Scholar and I are both reading right now. We also visited the Macy's on 34th Street. One window had an interactive computer display which John modeled for.

Proust Macys2 Macys 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited Yonkers and Sarah Lawrence where I used to live and where went to grad school. We visited our friends Ann and Michael up there. The lion is from the ruins of the Greystone Mansion on the aqueduct trail.

Yonkers Sarahlawrence Hudsonriver  

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Cher scholar Dishy finally after all these years. He invited us over to his house to see his Cher Lair. Mr. Cher Scholar gallantly went with me and endured teasing over his mishearing of Cher lyrics, most notably his singing months ago, "The black lady laughed at me and lit the candles one by one" and that weekend's listening to Cher's new single and saying, "It's no Song for the People."

 

IMG_8354Dishys house is both tasteful (see left) and a neatly packed Cher library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is the most organized Cher collector I've met. He has his cassettes, 8-Tracks, 45s, books, albums, dolls and DVDs all contained in a very compact lair, easy to access if needed at any time.

8trackscassets

IMG_8378

Recordsbooks

IMG_8379

Reels 

He had to school me in what Reel-to-Reels are.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8343

 

I was very impressed with his Uninhibited display in the bathroom. This inspires me to try such at display in the guest bathroom of Cher Scholar.

 

 

 

 

 

He also had some nice items from Sanctuary, decorative wall items and incense (smartly displayed as related to Dishys Harry Potter library).

IMG_8350     IMG_8349 IMG_8340

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then Dishy had some beautiful posters and pictures. The most I can manage is protective poster covering from Michaels. Dishy really knows how to frame some Cher art including Dark Lady foregrounded with Half Breed through a door, a great Sonny, Cher butt and Farewell tour items.

IMG_8355

IMG_8342 IMG_8345  

 

 

 



 

Farewellposter IMG_8375  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dishy has some magazine covers I had never seen too, including this kooky one from the mid-70s!

IMG_8360

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8380Most amazing was the Cher stuff Dishy made himself including the poster of the Cher Special from 1978. This is not the actual poster but a Dishy repainted recreation! It's amazing.

Dishy also made the Cher CD box below. I love the cool stuff Cher fans create.

 IMG_8385

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But above all (and I'm not trying to be sentimental here), the best part of the afternoon was not the great abundance of Cher stuff, it was the Cher camaraderie. I really loved hanging out with Dishy because he's smart and fun.

He made us treats including and an awesome corn dip with chile peppers. Two Cher scholars Cher scholarin!

IMG_8353 IMG_8369

 

 

 

  2  

 

Dishy also took some smokin hot pics of Mr. and Mrs. Cher Scholar.  

All in all, we had a fabulous time in NYC and can't wait to go back. Coming back, we experienced a string of sad news: we got sick, a friend of a friend...someone I knew better when I lived in NY, Nova Gutierrez, fell seriously ill (and our prayers are going out to her and her family), two of my co-workers at IAIA started experiencing some dire events in December, the Connecticut school shooting...all sad stuff that make me look back to our Thanksgiving trip with, well, thanks giving.

I'll leave it with a common sight of Cher Scholar in NYC:

ShoesCher Scholar has a shoe-tying disability.

Here is Mr. Cher Scholar finally getting frustrated enough to tie her shoes for her.

 


Another Zombie for the Tribe

Alison Calthorpe, 17, 4073370is seen to the left, drowning in her Cher stuff. It's all too familiar to us isn't it? Soon her Cher stuff will rise above her bedroom window and drown out the sun.

David Sanderson of The Winnipeg Free Press did a story on Alison, the newest Cher Zombie to sprout in Canada, hooked on Cher after, of all things, seeing the dread-haired diva's appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

Cher Scholar is quoted heavily in the article, talking out of her ass no doubt. I hope I didn't say anything too embarassing although I am now questioning my comments on the prices of collectibles.In my head I was thinking about what I paid for both the Dark Lady and Half Breed posters when they appeared on eBay and how cheap you could get them a few years later.

I did almost faint after getting the Sonny & Cher Theater in the Round toy for my 8th birthday, although I didn't mention that to Mr. Sanderson in the interview. He picked it right off cherscholar.com: http://www.cherscholar.com/toys.htm. No matter how scholarly you try to appear, you can't hide the crazy collector within.

Welcome, Alison, to this motley tribe of fanatics. I hope you have a sturdy inheritance through which to burn for Cher doll outfits.

 


Cher Party!

400_cher_100thshow_091202 Cher parties for her 100th Caesars show; Cher Scholar parties for the sake of scholarship.

Yes, I missed a week of blogging and I have no real good excuse. All I can say is that I've been very tired from overtime at work and negotiations and all I've wanted to do was read the novel The Lost Night by Rachel Howard.

However, I did do my Cher duties last Saturday night when I threw a dinner and video-viewing party to gather some material for the next Cher zine. My husband was an amazing sport about the whole thing, helping me cook for 7-8 fans, semi-fans and non-fans, including me. All were tasked with sampling food for the obligatory zine food article and commenting on 27 of 28 Cher videos. I cut the live video "All or Nothing" when guests started getting antsy. Yes, I realize the irony of cutting a song called All or Nothing from a long Cher-video-watching party. But I was facing a mutiny! Sacrifices had to be made for the more artistic "The Music's No Good Without You" and "Song For the Lonely" videos.

John cut his finger cooking, among other sacrifices, but helped me pull it together. Overall it was a trying and tiring party. People crapped out at pretty much at video 16…but we had some interesting discussion as to what makes a legitimate video. Most agreed TV and movie segments do not count, only  a promotional film EXCLUSIVELY made to sell a single, not as content for one’s other projects. The food was a hit (with everyone else, not so much with me). My friend made a very delish jello though, as a cross-over project for her blog, Julie and Jello, which is a take-off on the book Julie and Julia.

Anyway, there are some awesome, awesome things coming in the next zine. Notes on the director's screening of Mask, interviews with pop-culture feminists (so awesome), an essay on the Phoenix, Arizona, sites for the movie Chastity,and a new piece on the new Cher dolls that have come out since the last zine.

However, we can still use a bit more content. If anyone has any personal experiences of being a Cher fan that you would like to share, please contact me.


Bob Einstein Helped Rescue Me From Nightshift Madness

CurbLast week was quite a bit challenging for me. The company I work for, ICANN, held a high-profile meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Terrorists threats were made against the meeting venue, notifications from high levels, many participants backed out, and therefore remote participation (meeting video, audio, transcripts) was in demand unlike for other more typical international meetings. My team coordinates with other IT personnel to make this remote participation work. Long story short, my work day morphed into a schedule that went from 2 am to 10 am. 

To keep awake, I played crime shows like Cold Case Files, First 48, Snapped, and The Investigators in the background (hoping to glean fodder for a novel) while I worked. All the murders...oh, the many many pointless and gruesome murders.. and the late nights of solitude drove me slightly bonkers. One night I saw an Investigators episode about LA celebrity-stalker prosecutor Rhonda Saunders who talked about Madonna's nutty stalker among other lesser-known cases. It was truly frightening, a notable quote being: "There's a thin line between a dedicated fan and a stalker." God, help us.

This quote inspired me to forgo visiting Elijah Blue's art show and instead spending my first day off, Friday, at Dog Beach with Franz and the hubby. There's always time for an obsession check, no?

Do one for yourself.

BrothersbiopageBut a Cher-connection-free  weekend in LA is slightly improbable.

On Sunday night I was fortunate to have been able to attend the Curb Your Enthusiasm cast panel at PaleyFest 2010. The awesome lineup included pre-teen pals Richard Lewis & Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and Bob Einstein, who plays the always-disgruntled Marty Funkhouser on the show.

Young people may only know Bob Einstein from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Or you may be familiar with the character of his alter ego Super Dave Osbourne going back all the way to the 1970s John Byner Show or the 1980s John Byner show Bizarre.

Or you may know the quirky bit of trivia that Bob Einstein and Albert Brooks are brothers. See them above with their other brother, Clifford. How bizarre is that? They seem at total odds: Funkhouser and Nemo's father Marlin, Super Dave and the comedic schlub of many an 80s movie, including most notably Broadcast News and Lost in America.

Or you may know that Bob Einstein and Steve Martin where the famous writers to come out of The Sonny & Cher Comedy HourSONNY-CHER-tvs freshly plucked from their historic tenure as writers for The Smothers Brothers.

Again, there's a world of difference between the comedy of not only what came before Sonny & Cher's show, the political and sexual boundary-pushing humor of the Smother Brothers' show, but what comedy came after Sonny & Cher: The Jerk, Super Dave, Let's Get Small and the hilariously vulgar and cynical humor that Bob Einstein displayed Sunday night for the Curb Your Enthusiam panel, jokes that made even the stoic Larry David laugh and Jeff Garlin hoot like an owl. He stole the show from a panel of brilliant comedians discussing today's leading cutting-edge television comedy.

I've been retelling his jokes all day. The guy's still got it.



Reasons Why I Will Never Run a Cher Fan Club

Nerdygirl  

Last week I joked about running an underground Cher fan club. But I've come to realize I am not a person who would ever do this.


 



 

  1. I am antisocial and the last person on earth who should be running a social club. I recently told my therapist that if I could get away with it, I would be one of those creepy persons who never left their house and had food delivered once a week. I’d only come out for my periodic garage sales which I would have in order that I wouldn’t end up in a Collier’s Mansion. I may be antisocial, but I hate clutter.
  2. It would leave me no time for Getting a Life. Time consuming.
  3. It's a muddy and thankless job and attracts fan-freaks like a mad-magnet.
  4. It would step on somebody's sensitive toes. Cher fans and their competing turf wars depress me.
  5. If you want a snarky Cher newsletter, hit File on your browser menu and click "Print"