Standing Larger

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I was joking to my husband that this week was Sex-Change Week!  Just to lighten things up, you know. Turns out there was no need. John’s been listening to all of Chaz's interviews with some astute commentary.

However over the past week(s), I seen a dearth of Cher-fans chit-chat on Chaz’s appearances. Not one comment on the Yahoo list about the documentary. Is that disconcerting? I hate to think so...but I am surprised. Although I understand, your generic Cher celebrity obsession does not equal a Chaz celebrity obsession. This is why we didn’t send Ceremony’s Hang Out Your Poetry up the charts. However, Chaz’s current transgender story is still solidly a part of the Cher story.  Honestly, my “peripherals” blog tag is just an ironic jest. Nothing is ever truly peripheral:

a) because everything Chaz or Elijah will ever do in their entire lives is still part of Cher’s story… but much more so this story because it represents loss for Cher.

b. because Chaz, in talking about his life, drops Cher-at-home tidbits. For instance, you learn that Cher once bought Chastity a Wonder-Woman jean skirt.  Which is an unprecedented look behind the curtain, a unique child’s-point-of-view peek into her private life. And I don’t care what you think you know about Cher’s private life. You don’t know shit. Cher’s a master of only appearing to be seen. Her interviews are like a Bob Mackie gown, you think you’re getting more skin than you really are. And short of a for-real Cher autobiography, this is as good as it gets.

Is the topic just too difficult for them? Let me explain my non-discomfort with the transgender topic. I used to live with my bff Julie in Los Angeles from 2003-2006. Everyone but our friends thought we were gay. My siblings and parents probably did too. We were on an Animal Planet reality show created by the Humane Society (where we won the adorable Edgar Winter Dog) and some viewers there even thought we were gay.  It didn’t bother me. Well it did bother me that I had such a distant relationship with my family that they didn’t know I had a crush on John Waite for 15 years. But mostly, it didn’t bother me because I thought of Katharine Hepburn and her heiress-bff Laura Harding living together and how everyone thought they were gay too…and that me being gay was probably a more interesting plotline than the love life I was living at the time…so let em run with it. 

But that’s really not the point, since we’re not talking about being gay. The point is, due to this conception about us, Julie and I had no problems talking about different kinds of sex and sexuality. As young Bitch/Bust feminists, this was just part of being feminist daily. We saw TransGeneration on Sundance. And for a while we really got into graphic surgery shows about kids and adults with unusual medical conditions. I’m not freaked out about surgical procedures anymore. So I don’t find transgendering or its surgery that disturbing, even if maybe I once did.

However, when Chaz story broke, I did think immediately “poor mom.” And poor all of us who will lose that little TV star Chastity forever. Which was an irrational thought;  because she existed and so will always exist.

The Poor Mom response was not irrational. A mom’s struggle, no matter what kind of major transformations their daughters will face, is harsh. And moms always get a large suitcase of guilt and loss to deal with. Most moms feel guilt; famous moms usually feel extra guilty.

While Chas was a daughter, she says she had an often rocky relationship with her mom. Cher herself has had a rocky relationship with her mother. Let me tell you, things aren’t always smooth sailing with my mom. Billions of women know this mother/daughter dynamic. Many, many mothers subconsciously discourage their daughters from self-actualizing in many ways for many reasons (their own fears, their own dreams). It’s so common it could be called natural. Except that it’s so painful. It feels structured to be painful.  And no one has yet invented an effective way to deal with it.

Even though Chas is now a man, he and Cher still had 40 years of that mother-daughter thang.

I’ve been watching The Judds reality show on OWN (I got accidentally sucked in last weekend). Talk about mother-daughter DRAMA. The episode I saw started with Mama Judd sobbing over Ashley Judd’s book and Ashley’s disclosure of her painful childhood. Mama Judd felt guilty. Winona Judd felt guilty. Mama and Winona tried to have a therapeutic moment together with a therapist; but the event fell apart over disagreements in their diverging memories of their traumatic few years living on Larabee Street in Los Angeles (it truly did sound awful). The session ended with Winona storming out because her mother “wasn’t hearing her.”  Sound familiar?

Add to that transgendering and it’s not surprising that the press has been relatively kind to Cher.  It’s mother-daughter drama to the hilt.

It’s hard not to be engaged by the documentary Becoming Chaz, made by the guys who gave us the gems of The Eyes of Tammy Faye, TransGeneration and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

This week, Oprah and Rose O’Donnel talked to Chaz about it for an hour each. Cher’s sister Georganne even made an appearance to talk about her initial issues with Chaz’s transgendering and how her husband, Ebar, helped her along. In the documentary, Cher also says it was her boyfriend who encouraged her to see Chaz after some time apart. So interesting that the men in Chaz’s family circle were stronger about it. Maybe because they were gaining a team-mate. Did they think, “who doesn’t want to be a dude?” Oprah was fully understanding. Rosie tried to wrap her head around transgendering as a gay woman.

But David Letterman tried to get his head around it as Middle America. His show proved to me that sometimes ignorant questions are just as important as good ones. They clear the air. His anti-depressants question was such a question.

Cintra Wilson’s review and interview is another good example of being off the rails. I was on NPR with Wilson years ago talking about celebrity obsession. We had something in common: we both think celebrity obsession is bad for society. However, I felt Wilson was either grandstanding her view for some kind of celebrity-like attention or she was authentically off the rails about it. I felt the same way about  her 2000 book, A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations (Can you see what I mean?). Her review and interview of Chas for The New York Times was no different. She asked the dumb questions: “Did the toxic culture of celebrity damage Chaz’s gender identity?” and “Did Cher’s almost drag-queenlike hyper-female persona somehow devour Chastity’s emerging femininity?”

It’s hard to take her seriously. First of all, Cher as hyper feminine? Has she seen Cher on a Harley? Was she around for the androgynous 60s? Or was that toxic too?

Toxic celebrity culture does not cause gender identity issues. It may cause body image issues. It may cause our distraction from society’s real problems. Aren't these things bad enough?  But Wilson’s theories are almost radically conservative in a way. In other words, wouldn’t life would be so much simpler without those dangerous moving pictures and pop songs? It’s good to get the dumb stuff out. So we can call it out for what it is.

Let’s be frank (no pun intended), people who are still anti-gay are not going to come around to an understanding of transgendering. Because these are essentially the same people who, in ancient times, would have drowned their own baby twins because twins were seen as being unnatural and unlucky. These people cannot tolerate anything unusual.

I devoured Chaz’s book in two days. He’s getting better at retelling the early stories. In fact, this book was more a complete story than the other two books, Family Outing and End of Innocence. There was a lot to digest but my favorite discussions were on gender tween-ness and society's massive need to see gender absoluteness in people. I also learned Cher’s fame takes a f*#@ing lot of work. And that everyone on Celebrity Fit Club was cheating with the Zone Diet. And that Chaz has returned to college. Which is really cool.

Oh, and I learned this too: I wanted Chaz’s childhood and the irony is he wanted a childhood something more like mine. Who knew?

Anyway, back to Mom. Because this blog is about Moms if it’s about anything, in the sense that I’m also the result of my mom’s not wanting me to turn into an adult Cher Scholar.

There’s a Rusty-Dennis-Mask lesson for us here. Wasn’t the take-home from that movie the fact that Rocky Dennis wasn’t so different from you and me, just that society treated him differently simply due to a roll-of-the-dice fluke of his DNA that made him look abnormal? Remember the ferocity of Rusty’s love in response?

What parent doesn't want a normal child? What parent doesn’t want to protect their children from an unhappy childhood?  Okay, maybe your mom didn't. But Cher’s mother did. Cher did. If I had a kid, I would. Chaz would too. It’s a universal desire. So everyone can sympathize with Cher (which doesn’t happen often).

Everybody has an opportunity to stand larger today due to this Cher story. Yes, this Cher story, this mother story, this daughter story. A celebrity sensation story is probably the smallest part of it.

Cher may not see it this way. Or maybe she does. Surely she must view this story as a mother before she sees it as an iconic celebrity. But my self-imposed job here is to look at this from an entertainment history perspective, 50-years down the line. This is a good trajectory for Cher, not a negative story. Why? Because it’s something more poignant and more modern and more full of humanity than the legacy she will have from a Bob Mackie dress, from “Turn Back Time” or Moonstruck or, God help us, “Half Breed” or even the legacy of Mask.

It’s obvious to me Chaz is standing larger. Gone is that tense, awkward wrinkled brow from all his previous interviews. I’ve been watching this worried furrowed brow since 1979 and The Mike Douglas Show all the way to last years’ Entertainment Tonight story. I have not seen the wrinkled brow all week. What I now see more clearly is Sonny. And what’s to complain about that?

As if by divine messaging, while I was typing this out the Joni Mitchell song “Let The Wind Carry Me” came up on my iPod shuffle (God speaks through my iPod, no?). This song couldn’t be more apropos for this moment. It’s a mother-daughter conflict song. The lyrics tear’d me up a bit because although the daughter in the song is different than Chastity was and she is different than I am…its not so different.

Papa's faith is people
Mama she believes in cleaning
Papa's faith is in people
Mama she's always cleaning
Papa brought home the sugar
Mama taught me the deeper meaning

She don't like my kick pleat skirt
She don't like my eyelids painted green
She don't like me staying up late
In my high-heeled shoes
Living for that rock 'n' roll dancing scene
Papa says "Leave the girl alone, mother
She's looking like a movie queen"

Mama thinks she spoilt me
Papa knows somehow he set me free
Mama thinks she spoilt me rotten
She blames herself
But papa he blesses me
It's a rough road to travel
Mama let go now
It's always called for me

Sometimes I get that feeling
And I want to settle
And raise a child up with somebody
I get that strong longing
And I want to settle
And raise a child up with somebody
But it passes like the summer
I'm a wild seed again
Let the wind carry me

Mama, let the wind carry Chastity. 
He is the proof God lives. And he is God’s gift to you.

(Chastity Sun, 1973)

  



TV and Movie Rumours

Cast The two rumours circulating this week were:

That Cher will star as the nun in the Farrelly Brothers' new Three Stooges movie:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/02/the-three-stooges-farrelly-brothers-cher-samberg-knoxville-benicio.html

Larry, Curly, Moe and...Cher?

The goal is for the singer-actress to play Mother Superior, the nun whom the Stooges terrorize.

"Cher is just the coolest chick ever," Peter Farrelly told 24 Frames. "It's hard to describe. You meet a lot of celebrities in our business. We're not cowed by many of them. But Cher is bawdy, she's fun, she's cool, she's lived a life, she's got experience, she's humble. It's the humility that struck me the most. She's not really a diva."  A representative for Cher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Peter Farrelly: “We’ve thought about it for 12 years. I literally lie in bed thinking about every single shot. I’ve never been more prepared to do a movie in my life.”

Chershow And that Cher will be in the 2011 cast of Dancing with the Stars:
http://sportales.com/shooting/dancing-with-the-stars-2011-cast-revealed/

Most not likely due to Cher having been very vocal about hating not only all reality shows, but having dismissed that particular reality show, and unlikely due to her having a bum toe, and unlikely just in general for Cher not wanting to expend that much energy.

Besides, The Cher Show was Dancing with the Stars.   

 

 


International Press & Outfits

GrahamCher was on the BBC Graham Norton Show on December 17. I love this hilarious show. She laughed a lot but she also looked unsure and a bit uncomfortable with Norton's antics. She sat with Norton and comedienne Dawn French (of French and Saunders).

After watching a Burlesque clip, Dawn calls Cher a camera magnet.

Thankfully the covered all Cher's recent wardrobe snafus so we don’t have to here (Oh the Spain premiere pics where she exposes the girls got the Cher Freaks into a frazzle!)

She talks also about Zookeeper: she was originally cast as a giraffe but got moved to the Lion wife of Sylvester Stallone.

I’m a quarter Cornish by the way and there were two unrelated mentions of Cornwall in the show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcB8ecObsPw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_3z-lpm3Rs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSeEbkxRWOA

The Paris Premiere

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The Madrid Spain Premiere

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(I had to learn how to use the eraser tool in Photoshop.)

Madrid Panel Interview: http://www.cherworld.com/news/?p=1536

  • Cher says Diva is such a bullshit word.
  • Kristen Bell calls Cher an "effervescent human being...people just have soap operas in their mind."
  • Cher "Sonny would say there is hard time and easy time and I would say that this was easy time."

Spain Lifetime Achievement Award: http://www.cherworld.com/news/?p=1549 (video clip)

Ricky Martin presented CHER with a lifetime achievement award at the Los 40 Principales awards.

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The London Premiere

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In London, signing for fans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKXeWcoLH4Y

The Berlin Premiere

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Footprints in Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood

Full-view

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All pics: http://www.life.com/search/?type=images&q0=Cher
 


Burlesque: How're We Doing?

This Burlesque shit is off the charts.

First, a year of fun pre-premiering with lots of kewl appearances, interviews and products…then all the scandals and intrigue.

The Murder:

Although one person of interest just committed suicide, the Ronnie Chasen murder still not solved to anyone’s satisfaction:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8191882/Murder-of-Hollywood-publicist-Ronnie-Chasen-solved.html

Her killing baffled investigators, who indicated it may have been targeted but could find no apparent motive. Her purse had not been stolen, adding weight to suspicions that she was not a random victim.

Last week Harold Smith, an unemployed 43-year-old with a string of past convictions, shot himself as he was approached by officers investigating a tip-off given to a Crimewatch-style television programme.

An anonymous caller gave the name of Smith, who was about to be evicted from his flat, and said he had bragged to neighbours that he was paid $10,000 to kill Miss Chasen.

But officers said Smith was merely "of interest" to them and was not a suspect. They said initially the gun and bullets he used to kill himself did not appear to match those used on Miss Chasen.
Further doubts that Smith was capable of the apparently sophisticated roadside murder were raised when it emerged that his only form of transport had been a bicycle.

However, at a news conference late on Wednesday, Dave Snowden, the chief of Beverly Hills police, said that it now seemed almost certain that Smith had indeed carried out the killing.
He said tests had found Smith's gun and bullets did match those used on Miss Chasen after all. "We believe that Mr Smith acted alone," Mr Snowden said.

"We don't believe it was a professional hit." Det Sgt Michael Publicker added that Smith "was at a desperate point and was reaching out and doing desperate measures". He added: "Most likely it was a robbery gone bad".

Smith had several convictions, including robbery and drugs offences, and was released from his second spell in prison in 2007.

The Box Office:

After spending its first week at #4, Burlesque moved up to #3 behind Tangled and Harry Potter for its second week, then went down to #7 for the third week, (the theater count went down as well) and this week has fallen to #11 in box office. I saw it again with my husband on Sunday (yes, he went twice!! And still insists he enjoyed it) and the tiny theater it had been relegated to was stuffed with 30 people for a Sunday 2pm showing. They all seemed into it. The average age of the audience was elderly. I enjoyed listening to the gay guy next to us comment throughout the movie. He was there with his mom. We all three, husband, me and gay guy (unbeknownst to us), all tried to see how much money Tess turns over to her ex-husband with that check dramatic check close-up…none of us could locate a dollar amount. We all vowed to freeze frame the DVD someday. 

To date the movie has earned $35,537,765. To make up its cost, it has to beat $55 million which internationally it should do.

http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/

The Golden Globe Nominations:

Cher’s song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" has moved up to #14 on he dance chart and has been nominated for a Golden Globe award, as has Christina's "Bound to You."

Other competition: Gwyneth Paltrow's "Coming Home" (from Country Strong), Mandy Moore & Zachery Levi's "I See The Light" (from Tangled) and Carried Underwood's "There's a Place for Us" (from Chronicles of Narnia). Christina said of the nomination:"I want to thank the HFPA for recognizing our song 'Bound to You'. It is a ballad Sia and I wrote from the heart and one that I am extremely proud of."

Me love me some Sia.

And...The 68th Annual Golden Globe nominations also includes the movie Burlesque in the category of Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and it was quite the controversial pick.

From: http://www.popeater.com/2010/12/20/burlesque-bribe-golden-globes-cher/

When the poorly-reviewed film 'Burlesque' earned a Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe nomination last week, many observers and everyday movie fans were left with stunned looks on their faces. A fun musical romp? Sure. But one of the best of the year? C'mon! Well, thanks to Patrick Goldstein of the the Los Angeles Times, we may now have an idea at just how Sony was able to swing such an honor from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Goldstein opened a can of worms when he wrote last week that HFPA members "took a Sony-sponsored trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert, then gave her film a stunning best picture nod."

This shocking little nugget leaves us to wonder: Did the makers of 'Burlesque,' which currently sports a 39 percent rating from film critics over at Rotten Tomatoes, grease the palms of the 81-member foreign press voting bloc in order to secure a nomination? Well, it's been done before, as The Independent notes:

"In 1981, the unknown Pia Zadora won a Best Newcomer award for her role in 'Butterfly,' a film which had been universally derided. It later emerged that the movie's producer, who was also her husband, had flown the entire HFPA to Las Vegas for a weekend holiday immediately before they voted."

All this scandal has angered one of the stars of 'Burlesque,' Cher, who I'm told had no idea Sony was flying the voters to Vegas to see her perform.

"Cher is furious that this happened," an insider tells me. "She meets hundreds of people backstage every week and never asks what they do for a living. She just assumed this group was another group of fans for her to meet and greet."

My source tells me that if it's somehow confirmed that voters gave the film the nomination because they got a free trip to Vegas, "Cher would rather they keep the darn thing."

That doesn’t sound like a real Cher quote, honestly. I can't see her using the phrase "darn thing." The phrase "insider tells me" also makes me wonder about that bit of news.

From: http://www.hotmommagossip.com/2010/12/20/golden-globes-nod-for-burlesque-uncovers-judging-corruption/

For years the Golden Globes were regarded as a signpost to the Oscars; If it won a Globe it was sure to get a gold man as well. Today, few in Hollywood respect them, and since Cher and Christina Aguilera got picked for ‘Burlesque’ this disdain has grown.

Released on November 24, Burlesque’s $55-million budget and withering reception rightly made it one of the most expensive Thanksgiving turkeys in history. So when it received a nomination for ‘Best Picture’ at last week’s Globes preview, even those whose medication prompts them to consider the awards vaguely relevant were confused.

But the cause of this error may have been found – Just before they cast their votes, the obscure collection of 81 foreign journalists who are the Globes’ voting panel received a lavish, free trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert.

I thought this was all very outrageous and scandalous and told my husband so shortly after he got home from work. He seemed to think it was non-news and said people are naïve if they think buying nominations isn’t how the dirty business works. I said this potentially taints Cher and the Globes. He said bolderdash and then I called him a Cherpologist, mostly because I just wanted to try out that word (yell it the way my niece Sarah once accused him very loudly at a family dinner of being a FISH AND TURKEY STEALER!) but also because I am finding it hard to get a Cher criticism out of him lately. 

He said he hoped my blog headline would read "Man Who Sets Cher Traps Becomes a Cherpologist"

 


Cher Interviews! Can You Get Enough?

The great thing about Burlesque press is seeing how friendly Cher has become again. In TV interviews over the past years Cher has seemed tense and stern. It's fun to see her smiling again. 

A good online Cher interview:

  • When asked her beauty secret: “There's a team of five dozen people and it takes them two hours."
  • Asked about making friends on the road vs on the set: “You develop a real shorthand as to who you like…”
  • “I’m never going to do a lot of films”
  • Her secret to longevity: “I haven’t got a clue. I think it’s luck. I really do think it’s luck.”

The Movie Phone interview between Cher and Christina was fun:

  • When asked about her favorite gift from a fan she talks about a painting, I think she's talking about that Ward Lamb picture again.

An essay on Cher's appeal as a gay icon:

  • “Every gay icon possesses qualities through which we live vicariously…and with Cher you get more bang for your buck. It’s wish fulfillment on a grand scale.”
  • "She’s 'a woman like no other.' That’s basically the front of the line for gay men.”

The New York Times Interview:

  • She talks about needing foot surgery, and having aches and pains everywhere.
  • The Times describes her as having “a magnitude of celebrity for which the word fame is pathetically insufficient...Cher has come to seem the Sherman tank of divas, sometimes under fire but seldom in retreat.”
  • The author expresses discomfort with treating her like a mortal.
  • The big news:  Cher will soon host and introduce old favorite movies to be shown after midnight on the TCM channel.  Can’t wait to watch old movies with Cher!!
  • On her movie role choices: “Look, I have a very narrow range.” Me, I think think Cher should choose to a bad guy character next. Bad guys are fun to play. And she can exercize her bitchy look.
  • She tells a funny story about Barbra Streisand: When she flashed back to her favorite exercise class in Beverly Hills decades ago, the fellow crunchers and squatters were Raquel Welch, and Ali McGraw…and Streisand, who “would go over, do two little things, and then walk around and talk,” Cher said.

Regis-philbin-cher-kelly-ripa-2010-11-19-14-20-23 Regis and Kelly

This was one of my favorite interviews, maybe because I could relate to Kelly's giddiness or because they asked really fun questions and got Cher talking about life at home.

  • Regis said "You can't get bigger than this next guest."
  • Kelly said: "This is the greatest moment of my life."
  • Regis made me laugh when he joked with Cher: "Have you missed me at all?"
  • Cher admitted she's a great cook (Sonny taught me) but she only cooks on special occasions. Her specialty is sauces (Sonny’s sauce). Don't you think Christy Bono, Chaz and Cher ought to get together to commemorate Sonny with book of his recipes?
  • At Chez Cher, they do a traditional thanksgiving: turkey, mashed potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes "with the bad marshmallows" and for Thanksgiving she dresses like a bum.
  • Cher and Regis have known each other since The Joey Bishop Show.
  • Cher says "We are all artists in our own life, all the star of our own life."
  • Kelly called Cher the original performance artist.
  • Cher said Lady Gaga's Meat purse “didn’t feel very nice.”
  • Cher insists she's not threatening or menacing and that younger men are attracted to her because "younger men were being rasied by women like me."
  • Cher claims she never sang in any of her movies? But she sang in Good Times, and for bits of Jimmy Dean, Mask (an entire song that got cut) and Tea with Mussolini.

Letterman David Letterman:

  • Letterman reminded Cher it was 23 years ago that she was on the NBC show with Sonny. (That makes me feel old.)
  • On signing autographs Cher says: "It takes as much time to say no as to say yes." (Can Cher do an intervention between autograph-hater Val Kilmer and the town of Pecos, NM?)
  • On expensive Vegas show tickets “My fans have a hard time with it.”
  • She has appreciated the Vegas show but likes arenas better. She jokes husbands must say: “I'll take you to see the naked old bitch and then I’m gambling.”
  • When Letterman reads out a list of men, Cher smiles the biggest for Gene Simmons. The name Michael Bolton elicits a “nooooo!”  Letterman askes "how many? and Cher says "we're not talking Cleopatra numbers."
  • November 13, 1987 was the airdate for the reunion with Sonny. On May 22, 1986 Cher called Letterman an asshole. For historians, Letterman said. Indeed, for historians. 
  • Discussions of Cher's gargantuan fortune seem to embarrass her.
  • Chaz thought about his gender change for 10-12 years. Letterman grapples with the difference between transgender and being gay. To my way of thinking: a gay man, for instance, likes men but also likes being a man. A man who wishes to become transgendered likes men too, but hates being a man.
  • Cher says she approves of Chaz's decision although throughout the process was not always calm about it. People have told Cher that Chaz is very brave (this got applause). 
  • They talked about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Paul Shaffer doesn’t know anybody “over there” and Cher says “there’s a cool factor…if they don’t think you are…” Letterman said it's all about timing (in a self-knowing way, almost like he would take care of it.)

Good Morning America-Nightline-20/20: Abc_cher_cynthia_101115_mn

The annoying Cynthia McFadden interviews. Yes, she annoys me…maybe through no fault of her own. She reminds me of an annoying woman I work with. But on some level I also think she reminds me of an annoying archetype, not quite smug, but smuggy. And I really do hate the big interview chopped up over three shows. Cheap, cheap, cheap. And you had to watch all three...because none of them aired the same soundbites.

Good Morning America called their segment “Cher Unplugged”

  • The intro claimed incorrectly that Cher has had a #1 hit in the last five decades.
  • There are still no clips available of the Vegas show…they always show Farewell Tour clips when talking about the Vegas show. Will we see a Vegas special soon??  Bette Milder's The Showgirl Must Go On special is airing New Year's Even on HBO. I wish I had HBO.
  • On Motherhood: Cher said maybe she should have had children when she was older.

Nightline called their segment “Pure Cher”

  • The intro compared her to the Statue of Liberty and claimed she has had a "hit record in last 5 decades."
  • When asked about toughness, Cher says "No one’s tough all the time."
  • She hates being called ma’am and "no Miss Cher."
  • When asked about her movie roles, she said, “This is my fault, I’m sure. I haven’t stretched myself. I've done comfortable things." (I'm telling you, play a villain!)
  • Cher likes Lady Gaga’s "balls to the wall" outfits. (I still think all her costume changes for the VMAs were a bit too much)
  • Regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Everything’s about being cool. Very little is about reality.”
  • She feels she's been a good mother "in fits and starts."

20/20:

  • The introduction traces her transformations from barefoot hippie (didn’t she always love shoes too much to ever go barefoot?) to sizzling singer to Oscar maven
  • This is Cher and Cynthia McFadden's 4th interview in 10 years.
  • Now the intro claims Cher has had "top 10 hits in five decades."
  • Cher says she was freightened for Chaz in the, beginning of her transgendering, feeling her doctor's  didn’t do due diligence on account of her celebrity. But that Chaz is "the same person. It made him happy."
  • When McFadden commented that now Cher has two sons, Cher said "I have 2 sons. Never thought that would be. You get what you get. You get what belongs to you.” That would have to be my favorite quote of all these interviews: you get what belongs to you.

ImagesCAHIZIN9 Jay Leno:

  • Leno and Cher talk about the specialness of getting her footprints at the Grauman’s Theater and her outfit snafu, the missing slip and the peek-a-boo turquoise g-string, Cher blanking on the spelling of her name. Where is the E? Jay said about adding Cher to the footprints: "You would've thought they’d have done it 20 years ago." Amen.
  • They talked about Cher dating Leno's friend Ron Zimmerman and Cher called their relationship "hillbilly cousins" and talked about meeting him on Facebook.

Parade Magazine:

  • They called her Malibu house "ponderously self-important."
  • Cher talked about having 4 miscarriages and about Sonny’s womanizing ("five women weren’t enough") and how she later asked him how he juggled all those women logistically?
  • She talked about Elijah's art shows and said he has been asked to design a Louis Vuitton label – considering the content of his last two shows, wouldn't it seem odd if he did that?

Vanity Fair:

  • Cher talks about Elijah's art show and says he has sold everything.
  • Cher says her kids both had the addictions of their fathers: heroin for Elijah, pain meds for Chaz but that Georgeanne and Cher didn’t get the addictions of their fathers. Georgeanne's Dad was alcoholic and Cher’s was addicted to heroin. Cher says she has "the constitution of a fruit fly."
  • Her Grandma recently died at age 96 and that she "was a mean bitch most of the time."
  • Interestingly, Cher's mom Georgia talks about her mother in the interview below: “my mother left when I was about 5…got custody of me at 12 and then she decided she didn’t want me. She told me to go back to my father." That sounds really awful.  How can that not affect you and your ability to mother? Affect your self esteem?
  • Cher speculated that "if sonny had agreed to disband Cher Enterprises and start all over again, I never would have left." She said he had such a tight grip.
  • She told a longer form of the old Johnny Carson story, where he kicks her out of the room.
  • Robert Camilletti still comes over to Christmas dinner.
  • Jen has been her personal assistant for 17 years; Deb has been with her for 34 years.
  • They called Bob Mackie "the sultan of sequins."

Whew! A lot of tidbits to slog through, no?

  


Gossip is So Rarely Kind

Cherron For that reason, I almost enjoyed the tabloid Globe Story about Cher and Ron Zimmerman last week. At least it was positive about their relationship. Even if they were lies, they were sweet ones. 

Things I like about Ron:

1. He looks like a cowboy.
2. He’s funny.
3. He creates a funny comic about cowboys.
4. Cowboys are rarely funny and this is a nice departure for them.
5. He looks strong enough to tip a cow if such a thing was necessary.

Things I don’t like about the Globe

1. You have to leaf through a lot of garbage to see the trash about your celebrity obsession.
2. Alternatively, it’s like a vortex of sin: you will never be able to find what you are looking for in its un-indexed pages while standing in the check out line.
3. The photos make everyone always look ill.
4. My horoscope inside said I need to re-assess my budget and seek professional help (it's possibly too late).
5. You feel dirty after reading it...literally. The ink comes off on your fingers.

   


The Old and New Ways of Celebrity Gossip

Cher+Goddess+of+PopIt aint easy being a Diva. Sometimes I need to lie down.

These two stories that follow are perfect illustrations of the diverging ways of old celebrity gossip and new celebrity gossip.

The first story showcases old-school gossip with Liz Smith. Although I think old school gossip columnists are usually more humane and star-friendly, they don't seem to have a grasp anymore of what is really interesting. Smith has such sleepy material and gets excited over things that don't interest me.

Allegedly, the two Liz's (Gossip Queen Smith and Publicist Rosenberg) were doing lunch when Cher called Rosenberg and Smith grabbed the phone to catch this "scoop":

“WELL, LIZ … I’m not really the star. It’s Christina Aguilera’s movie. But, I’m, you know – pivotal. Me and Stanley Tucci are the meat of the thing. But I’m not the star.”

Smith tries to trap Cher into admitting she's really the star of the movie and Cher accuses Liz of being Hedda Hopper, an even older-school gossip professional.

Read the whole thing here: http://www.wowowow.com/culture/liz-smith-intercepting-cher-burlesque-christina-aguilera-496717

 

These days most kids get their untruths, halftruths and scandalous scoops from nameless, faceless Internet "news" sites:

In a recent story about Cher meeting her men on Facebook, Chelsea Traille, (who plays Coco in Burlesque), is quoted as saying:

“Cher walks in like a rock star,” she said. “She had rock star jeans with leather crosses, hair flowing. She’s fierce. Her body is bangin’. Her waist is tiny. She’s a yoga master. We were all like, ‘What do you do?” and she said, ‘Yoga.’ ”

Read the whole thing here: http://www.newsoxy.com/entertainment/cher-facebook-14720.html

Which scoop is more interesting to you?

  


Vamp Dish: Cher Tweets

Chertweets Not sure how long the Cher Facebook page has been up but fans on the Cher lists have recently been discussing Cher tweets that have been feeding back in to it.

The first tweet was "Hello Twitter!" on May 4, 2010, according to twistory.

(I just made that term up...making up twitter terms, proves I'm so in the moment, no?)

Anyway, the fans have been debating the authenticity of this facebook page and twitter feed really being Cher. Apparently, Paula Abdul's tweet page says "Account Verified" and Cher's doesn't.

I was under the impression (from complete, un-fact-checked rumor) that Facebook was fully against people misrepresenting themselves (didn't Lindsay Lohan fight them on this?) but in Molly Ringwald's new book, Getting the Pretty Back (just saw her at a Google reading...she said I asked a good question about Parisian women owning their beauty... was totally starstruck but that's another story.), she claims to be practicing on FB under an assumed name. Maybe FB has relaxed that rule.

Who knows. All I know is apparently Allure Magazine things it's the real deal:

Cher Is Tweeting Beauty Tips!

June 17, 2010

Somewhere between Moonstruck and Kathy Griffin's hilarious story about visiting Cher's house, we fell in love with the singer and Oscar-winning actress. How could we not? Cher wore an 800-feather headdress on the red carpet. She danced on a battleship. And now she's giving beauty product recommendations on her Twitter page.


And she is not doing it casually, as she Tweeted yesterday: "I'll Never recommend anything Unless I Know it works! I've been around 100 yrs I know a Gazzilion cool things! I'm pass'n it on xxme."

She gives props to Proactiv, Jan Marini, and even Olay Regenerist (can you imagine running into Cher at the drugstore?) Check out Cher's thoughts on some of her other favorites:

M.A.C. Microfine Refinisher Gommage: "Pretentious name but it kicks ass! Oily Skins...Use [a] couple times a week then moisturize like hell!"

Fekkai Advanced Full Blown Volume Shampoo and Conditioner: "4 fine hair."

Hanky Panky lingerie: "Ok Best G Strings Ever "Hanky Panky" been wear'n em 4 ever! Great panties 2 I hear!" [Ed. Note: Clearly, Cher only wears g-strings!]

M.A.C. Brow Set: "always brush your eyebrows up a little! "Mac brow" set Or old toothbrush & hairspray! Spray little on toothbrush & brush eyebrows up right away! I Always do!"

http://www.allure.com/beauty/blogs/reporter/2010/06/cher-is-tweeting-beauty-tips.html

Okay, I admit, whether this is Cher tweeting or not--I tried the eyebrow hairspray with a toothbrush thing. If you've seen me, I have Oscar the Grouch eyebrows. It's a good tip! Molly Ringwald's book also talks a lot about the importance of having shaped eyebrows...more important than makeup even, she says.

Cher tweets: http://twitter.com/cher


In other Cher gossip:

Billy Bush interviewed Cher on Access Hollywood recently and she did not collapse backstage in Vegas as one tabloid recently reported dramatically:

Burlesque,” which opens on November 24,...has been filming for months and wasn’t easy on Cher’s feet.

Cher recently had to pull out of some of her shows at Caesars Palace after re-injuring her tootsies, and she said “Burlesque” didn’t help.

“You were [sidelined] for a night?” Billy asked.

“A couple of nights. Also, when I did ‘Burlesque,’ I was on 16 hour days in the highest heels I’ve ever worked on and it was hard,” she said.

As for her Vegas show cancellations, which occurred at the end of last month, Cher explained to Billy it had to do with her previous injury

“My toes [have] been broken a whole bunch of times so I was having a really hard time with it,” Cher told Billy. “I still am [hurt], but I’m working on [it]. It’s getting better.”

Updates in Vegas, Love, Charity and Oprah

Cherx-large While convalescing (which entails staying away from the computer, sad to say), I went to see Cher and Barry Manilow in Las Vegas during the first weekend of May. My friends Julie and Dave and Nellie went with us.  The opening monologue still went on too long and generally confused Nellie, a Vegas singer and dancer. But the show as a whole was pretty great, especially with the new Bob Seger segment - a seedy rendition of "Fire Down Below" spliced with a fun-loving version of "Old Time Rock and Roll. Cher comes out as a male pimp/gangster (see Mackie sketch below...the real image of it is far more amazing, however) with a gargantuan feather towering over her head. Like in the video "Walking in Memphis" she nearly successfully sublimates her physicality with masculine motions. She appears tinier as a result. Just as when she does Elvis in the video. She quickly transforms onstage into a sexy redheaded moll in a yellow dress for the second song. Great sexy set and a creative and exciting performance. It steals the show for me. She sings "Love Hurts" now from the big pearl.

The set list:Mackie4FireDownBelow

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Laverne segment
Fire Down Below
Old Time Rock & Roll
The Beat Goes On
All I Really Wanna Do
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
Dark Lady
Half Breed
Don't Leave Me This Way
Take Me Home
Love Hurts
After All
Walking In Memphis
If I Could Turn Back Time
Believe  

It was like a high school flashback to see Barry Manilow the next night. Actually, it was not my choice to see Barry. I've long lost touch with his career. But my husband chose Barry over a Cirque show, reasoning that Cirque will be in Vegas forever; Barry may not be with us forever. Since I was a pre-teen I've seen Barry quite a few times, including at the Hilton a few year's back when he first came to Vegas. His show at the Paris casino was very emotional for me somehow. Our tickets upgraded to the orchestra so I was closer than I've ever been and everything was much smaller scale and personal, including a lovely tribute the paintings of the Louvre.  He did a breath-taking (literally) rendition of "Weekend in New England" and no fans were asked to sing "Can't Smile Without You" for which I was thankful. It was very sad to think this may be the last time I'd ever see him.

But enough of that...Cher's Got a New Boyfriend!

Ron The news outing started here.

He's a comic and comic book writer. Here's his Wikipedia Page.

He had me at comics.

You can purchase his Ultimate Adventures book on Amazon.

He's also interestingly a Howard Stern co-hort and his dating  of Cher has been discussed on Stern's radio show:

HOWARD MIGHT DROP IN ON CHER

Howard looked forward to his weekend trip to LA, saying he might go visit his old friend Ron Zimmerman at his new girlfriend's house: "[I'm] probably going to go up to Cher's Malibu place and hang with her and Ron...Cher doesn't know anything about it." Howard joked that Cher would probably sequester him to a 'safe room': "Ron told me they have a special room for people like me at Cher's house. Like Ron's riff-raff friends."

Cher's New Charity Donation

http://www.peoplepets.com/news/celebrities/cher-bedazzles-a-dog-to-help-homeless-pets/1

Bedazzles a Dog to Help Homeless Pets

The one and only Cher is stepping up to help homeless animals this weekend in the Cherpetsbest way she knows how: with outrageous fashions and lots of sparkle! The pop diva is donating this crystal-studded ceramic dog to the Animal Foundation's Seventh Annual Best in Show event. Decorated with 11,520 Swarovski crystals, the dog will be available for auction, with proceeds going to charity.

The flashy canine was all the singer's idea, inspired by the glittery, sequined costumes of her current Las Vegas show. And though many Sin City headliners are donating similar works to the auction, Cher is by far the biggest name to participate.

Best in Show is a fund-raiser that showcases 60 dogs available for adoption from the Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas.

Josh and Cher on Oprah!

Oprah arranged a meetup between Cher and her huge fan Josh. I agree with Kitty's comment on the show positng: http://cherscholar.typepad.com/i_found_some_blog/2010/05/tv-alert-orpah-.html

It was very touching and I thought Josh was amazingly eloquent and possessed. Here is the experience in a nutshell (with a tiny bit of extra footage not seen on the show): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1xQb15ENtk

And finally, an astute Cher Scholar emailed me this clip of Paul Anka singing the song "Flashback" just like Cher sang it on her 1976 I'd Rather Believe in You album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5RzOlDE7mk

Speaking of album, many new Cher album rumors are flying, including one that Cher would sing a new single "Already Been There" on the May 18 World Music Awards. There was no hint of that on the WMA web site and not surprisingly it didn't happen. Cher is also stoking rumors that she will tour again to support the new album, rumored to be released in conjunction with her new movie Burlesque around Thanksgiving this year.