Chastity Catch-up
Movie Director Robert Altman Passes

Rusty Dennis, the FCC and Africa

People79 Whoa, Nelly! It’s 15 days since my last post! I feel terrible. I feel rusty already. No pun intended. Rusty Dennis, the woman Cher portrayed in Mask, died last week. We should all watch Mask in her honor. Rusty was one of Cher’s best performances. You can read my review is on Cher Scholar. I need to update it for the newest DVD release from last year. Interesting differences between the studio version and Peter Bogdanovich’s Director’s Cut. The new version has director’s commentary (a must for the truly obsessed), phenomenal background/deleted scenes (Cher singing even!) and Cher's plug for the CCA. As a humble Cher scholar, I feel the need to have both versions on my shelf. The differences between the two raise pertinent questions for film-theory discussion, including “How does background music affect the tone of the film.” This issue spelled controversy when the film was released and is a valid study on soundtracking and attention to detail. I saw Peter Bogdanovich give a talk last year on the film. He spoke in his affected way about prefering natural background music. He said a lot of other things which will be included in an article for the next Cher zine. But hey, this paragraph should be about Rusty! She was a hard-living character and the story of her life is sad. Besides Rockey (Roy) Dennis, who died in his teens, she had another son who died too young. To her credit, her death was big news on the AP this week which means people remember her character and care about the movie. Read the AP news story.

Hard news to follow; but the reason I’ve been so remiss in posting is--I moved last week. I now live near the beach in Venice, California. I moved all of 15 or so blocks. Still, there’s been a lot of drama surrounding this move. For one, I moved in with my boyfriend. Last month, my parents asked me pointed questions about this like “will their be a bed in the spare bedroom?” Apparently, they weren’t thrilled about my living in sin (Trivia alert: Cher sang backup for Gene Simmons' song "Living in Sin" in the late 70s). I heard about my parents' feelings officially through their next door neighbor who emailed me. I told my mother I was 37 and too old to be pure.

Cher is too, apparently. Recently, the FCC said they would like to take Cher and Nicole Richie and wash their mouths out with soap. Okay…maybe that was my mother who said that. Turns out, way back during the Believe era when Cher was on The Billboard Music Awards in 2002 getting a lifetime achievement award, she said “F*#k ‘em!” The FCC has reversed an earlier ruling and decided the F-word is not an approved word for television, whether it’s used as an exclamation, noun or adjective. I don’t remember the F-word incident at all and I watched the show live from my apartment in Yonkers, New York, a dump of a place right off the Hudson river. But it doesn’t surprise me that Cher would pick her first primetime lifetime achievement award to swear like a sailor. She’s got a f*#king potty mouth, that one! I remember when I was nine years old and sick with the flu. My parents brought that People Magazine with the Vegas outfit on the cover to cheer me up. It was riddled with “swear-outs.” I was so disillusioned. I had probably just had my own mouth washed out with soap days earlier, but it didn’t matter. Cher wasn't like me; she wouldn’t swear! She was a glamorous lady, above such gutter talk. It took me a few months to get over it; but then I decided, if those words were good enough for me and my mother (who said sh*t every time something broke), they were good enough for Cher.

Here are some excerpts from the article on the FCC ruling:

“Broadcasters have alleged that the FCC inconsistencies, combined with its more aggressive enforcement and Congress' tenfold hike in maximum indecency fines, to $325,000 per violation, have chilled the industry...In 2003, the FCC's staff concluded that the "F-word" was allowed as an adjective, rejecting complaints about U2 singer Bono's use of the word in that way during the 2003 Golden Globes Awards telecast.”

Bono gets away with murder!

“But in March 2004 — amid public outcry after Janet Jackson's breast was briefly exposed during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime telecast — the FCC reversed itself, ruling any variation of the "F-word" referred to sexual activity and was almost always indecent."

Damn it, but it all comes down to Janet Jackson’s boob! Read the entire article.

I’ve said sh*t and f*#k alot this week. For some reason my most recent move has come with its share of breakdowns. I’m not talking about my breakdowns of which there have been at least three. I’m talking about technology and apartment malfunctions. I broke my boyfriends shower head and his favorite ceramic soup ladle. All my remotes have inexplicably stopped working. For instance, to play a DVD, one must now turn on the stereo receiver first and set it to CD. Hang on because it never makes any more sense than this. Then, you have to turn on the VCR and put in a video cassette so the VCR will switch itself to VCR mode. Then you must turn the VCR channel to AUX and press play on the DVD player. It took me three days to figure it all out.

All that plus tons of job interviews, not to mention this is the busy social season. We’re also hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner this year for four. I’m swamped, I tell you, and I can’t catch my breath! I’ve had absolutely no time for Cher thoughts. And yet…they have accumulated in my head like uninvited little vagabonds.

It was just reported on BBC news that Cher plans to take an African trip to help Robert and Eleanor Wood buy land and build a school for some little Kenyans who have no food or pencils. It's really great that Cher has been focusing so much time on charity work lately. The US holiday Veterans Day a week or so ago reminds us about her contribution to The Fallen Heroes Fund. The BBC article claims Cher told Robert Wood, “...when I start a project, I finish it.” She couldn’t have said that, I feel. Surely not. Or I’d have a Mame DVD directly in front of my two Mask DVDs on the shelf above my inexplicably complex DVD/stereo system at my new apartment.




Good news about the Cherity work...but what if Cher comes back from Africa with an African baby? That could be her true plan disguised as "building a school".

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