Dear Cher Scholar: If you hate your boss and have an opportunity to stop working for him but he says he'll buy you a Mercedes if you keep working for him, should you stay? Julie Wiskirchen, co-editor of Ape Culture
Well, if your "boss" is your husband, than I can help you here. You see, Cher was married to a man named Sonny for a very long time. He made her very unhappy and she came to not like him very well, if not "hate" him because, you see, he "bossed" her around a lot. He never let her make any decisions for herself. But, she stuck it out for a long time because...there was just so much nice stuff he let her buy. In fact, whenever Sonny suspected Cher was unhappy, he sent her out on a shopping spree with a stash of cash and probably even surprised her on occasion with, yes, a Mercedes. But alas, the kind of joy gained via material goods can only take one so far and so Cher finally, after much soul searching, left. In the end, she came out ok. But it wasn't easy. My advise to you: take the Mercedes, then quit, then sue him for it.
First of all Fred,
why the hell are you tearing down your own wallpaper? There are "people" who do that for you. They're called "laymen". Cher never tears down her own wallpaper unless it's an emergency. She always hires Ron Wilson, her designer of choice, to take care of such awesome particulars...I mean, what if the 18th century Italian prints don't match the 17th century gothic sconces? You can't take this all on yourself. And as I'm sure you have some Sanctuary catalogue items in your basement (Fred, you probably do and you don't even know it), I would leave the whole renovation thing to the kind of professionals who know what they're doing. Kudos for trying though. Fred, kudos for trying.
Dear Cher Scholar: How much of a tip should I leave at a buffet restaurant where the waiter only brings bread and water? And how much of a tip should I leave a masseuse when the business is her own? Ann Cefola, poet
How does a poet afford a masseuse, that's what I'd like to know. In any case, I would imagine Cher leaves a decent trail of tips 'ere she goes, although I can imagine Cher sometimes skipping the tip. Take for instance the Club Liquid fiasco of January 1999: Cher was all set to perform some very artistic lip-syncing numbers at this very popular gay Miami club. The management of the club, in some twisted attempt at "drink marketing", turned off the AC. Cher fans nearly fainted, as it turned out; and Cher, rumor has it, had to quit her set early and petition heavily for full refunds to disappointed patrons, her anti-tipping of sorts. But all to no avail. Management took the money and ran. So, I guess it doesn't matter whether you tip or not since most people are just greedy monsters.
Dear Cher Scholar: I have a sister who's head is always in the clouds. She's a poet, wouldn't you know it. Any advise on helping me get her feet firmly grounded in reality? Oh, and her little dog, too! Andrew Ladd, concerned and unpoetic sibling
I feel for you. I have many worried and concerned thoughts about my sibling as well. You feel your beloved sister is just a dreamer. Maybe she has unrealistic goals and spends 27 hours working on projects like websites about pop culture or something so frivolous that you worry about the future of world events and her lack of attention to them. Regardless of this, she sounds like a lovely little sister and you should shower her with presents so that someday she will be so weighed down by them that somehow her feet will sink back to the ground. It just might work. In the meantime, you must remember, Cher worried about her sister as well, but eventually her sister did grow up, get a job on a soap opera and marry a bodyguard. I'm sure your sister would be open to any of these events as well.
Dear Cher Scholar: Should the parents of home schooled children be required to possess certain skills or education in order to qualify them to teach their children? Should pictures be hung at the hanger's eye level even if he's 6'2"? Should parents be forced to "like" the movies their children recommend or should they just not say anything for fear they will hurt their children's feelings? Should parents have to like Pulp Fiction? If two people receive a joint gift, should the time used on the joint gift be equal? Should one person be allowed to delete another person's e-mail? That answer's pretty simple. When a wife retires from her outside job, should she be able to retire from her household duties as well or must she continue them until death? Estelene Ladd, mother of Cher Scholar
This is a lot for Cher Scholar to chew. First of all, there is nothing that obligates you to like the movies your children watch but sometimes, it's just a good p.r. decision to make it look like you're young and hip enough that you do. Cher pretends to support Marilyn Manson because he's a buddy of Elijah. Likewise, Cher is all hip to Chastity and her friends as well. It makes Cher appear open-minded and hooked-in. As for household duties, have you ever considered a hired staff. This seems to work for the always-on-the-go Cher. See the home decorating tip above. Cher doesn't even read her own e-mail. She's dyslexic. So she has a staff do that as well. Maybe if you had some kind of reading ailment, you wouldn't be so hung-up on reading your e-mail either. Tall people should be sensitive to the needs of short people and not exploit each others' differences like Sonny and Cher did on their old television show even though they were really approximately the same height. Even if one person is only taller because he or she is wearing heels...tolerance of the grotesque imperfections of others is essential for universal harmony. Squabbling over a joint gift is silly as well. Sonny and Cher solved that problem by always giving themselves two of everything. Two cars, two houses, two television shows. And as for home schooling, stupid people have the inherent right to raise stupid little people.
Dear Cher Scholar: I had been dating someone for awhile, but he broke it off, citing he's "not ready" for a relationship. However, it doesn't stop me loving him! And by the way he has been acting, he might just love me too. Trouble is, like Cher, I seem to have the WORST luck at dating, they get to know me and BYE! Everyone seems to think I am a "catch", but where are the "hunters"? I might be going out with someone, to see if I am ready to move on. The new guy resembles Ricky Martin. I also want to make the ex jealous. This has HAD to have happened to Cher at one time or another. HELP ME!!!! Denny
Well, I'm not so sure if Cher ever dated a "Ricky Martin" type. And therein lies your problem, dear sir. And Cher can help you here. Just look at the men she has dated. There were no Ricky Martin types...not even Steve Martin types. Look at Sonny Bono's nose, for instance. Imagine him making fun of her perfectly good nose! And by the way, what happened to that hefty-honker of his? Let's talk about Sonny's plastic surgery, ladies and gentlemen. Greg Allman has a chia pet growing on his face and Gene Simmons: frankly, his best look was behind that hanky. The Ricky Martins of this world should be left alone and miserable. As Cher's Moonstruck Mom once said, "They drive you crazy because they know they can." Amen. Shun them. And don't rush things. You don't want to be singing "I Wasn't Ready" and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" when you're "Early Morning Strangers". I'm serious, tread carefully with the sweet lookers. Elsa loved a cutie-pie in Tea With Mussolini. See what happened? In Moonstruck, Loretta's first marriage lead to death. We can only assume he had to be cuter than Nicholas Cage! Bob Hoskins: not cute. Dennis Quaid: cute but he almost got her disbarred! Your ex may dredge up the 'not ready' clause for millions of reasons which will be forever indecipherable to you. Don't waste your precious life playing his games. There's a world of love to be had out there, my friend. Cracking the bed-sheet of jealousy won't change anything. Look at Cher. Once it was over, she never looked back. Get over your separation anxiety and "Sing C'est La Vie".
Exhibit A Exhibit B Exhibit C Exhibit D
Dear Cher Scholar, We have a friend who loves to do drag, especially Cher. We do not have any issues with men who like to dress like women. In fact, we feel as though ALL men should experience the sheer pleasure of twisted pantyhose and a scratchy bra. After all, they are still exempt from childbirth! But, back to my original problem... my friend does not do a flattering Cher impression. This Halloween, small children cried at the sight, dogs barked and most adults said, "What the Hell is that?" How do we tell him nicely that he just doesn't do justice to our Lady? Megan & Kim
Dear Megan & Kim,
Before we talk about Cher drag, let's talk about Cher in drag. Sure you've seen your 6th-grade teacher in his push-up and fishnets, but have you seen Cher's nasty little impression of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? On one of her TV shows, Cher got the Hartman whine and lethargy down pat! Do you remember the heartless series of impersonations Cher did relentlessly skewering one of America's most beloved red-heads: Raggedy Ann? The outrage from the Raggedy Ann contingent was incalculable. They said Cher's interpretation was deplorable, at one low point calling Cher a skinny faced, yarn-wig wearing poser. Obviously (and this is my thesis), the joy to impersonate outweighs, by a large degree, the joy of seeing oneself impersonated. Artists claim to get a kick out of it, but a big kick in the pants is more like it. Would you love it if someone exaggerated your nervous tics for the face-slapping guffaws of irreverent strangers? It's one thing to have your best features homaged, your empowering strut, your deadpan delivery, your array of attitude. By God, the artistry of your torch song is the stalwart of drag. But more often, impersonators stick with the canned hair-flipping, teeth-licking, hand-hanging, fem-Elvis drawl-sing parodies. Justice doesn't even enter into it. It's just an underground, mischievous, hellavalota fun to do! Hence the sublime holiday of Halloween. Be you a sorcerer, a clown, I have been Cher one year myself. My date was a cow. Tell me, what's flattering about that? People dressing up like you for Halloween? Cows really hate that. If your friend does get barked at by a dog or two when he dresses-up like Cher for Halloween, little Toto is probably only alarmed by the Oscar-inspired, Ostrich-feathered Cher headdress. Which brings me to my next point, any Cher Impersonator worth his capped teeth would do good just to get the outfit right. One must find a Mackie of one's own, so to speak. The biggest problem I had with Sonny & Cher, The Movie a.k.a. And The Beat Goes On was not the factual inaccuracies, nor those uncomfortably amateur Sonny & Cher impersonations. It wasn't even that "Sonny" was a complete misinterpretation or that "Cher" had no rhythm. No, it was simply that Sonny & Cher wouldn't have been caught dead wearing such drippy, pedestrian parodies of Bob Mackie as seen on that docu-drivel. Bob would be rolling in his grave, if he were indeed dead. But what can you do? There will always be bad impersonators among us. Where there are icons, there will be spoofs. Accidental or on purpose, whatever the cause, the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell song remains the same: Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby. Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing!
Dear Cher Scholar: I found one thing you can rarely say to a person. When you are invited somewhere and you simply don't want to go, you can't say "no." You have to say, "I'm busy" or "I've got plans" for fear of offending the person. Wouldn't it be wonderful to say, "It has nothing to do with my feelings for you, but I'd rather stay home and read a book"? I find with close friends, I can be this honest with them and they with me. No one is checking off points or anything. Any suggestions for everyone else? Martha C. Adams
This is a very delicate question. Cher Scholar must be very careful lest she inadvertently reveal her own fiendish avoidance techniques and then not be able to use them on her own friends. The tragedy is rejecting people used to be a much simpler matter back in the 1800s. You would be invited to a fancy supper-party up-town and you could demurely say no and that was it. People backed off and you were never forced to say you'd rather be needlepointing Monet reproductions than listening to their boorish friends brag all night. These days it's not so easy to avoid such frankness. Everyone wants to talk you out of your r.s.v.p. resolutions. These days people probe you for reasons why: why can't you come, why can't you do that another time, why can't you simply rearrange your schedule, why, why, why—bullying you into saying "I don't want to go to your stupid Tupperware party!—mean, I buy Rubbermaid, thanks." You just want to spare their feelings, inject a bit of civility into the whole affair, but alas, you are doomed. Cher gets more invitations to parties, events and conventions than is humanly possible to attend. Sometimes she doesn't even attend her own parties. Sure, she can always fall back on the "I'm Cher, therefore I'm busy" excuse. "I have Mackie fittings" or "that conflicts with my tattoo removal appointment" just won't work for an average bear like you or me. We have to solemnly send our regrets, act disappointed (but not too disappointed) and then suggest an alternate meeting whether we really want to or not. Why bother with this charade? Think of your friends like a needy celebrity entourage and blow them off from time to time. If you are rich enough and famous enough, they will still hang around.
Dear Cher Scholar: I go to a very up-tight school and although I have friends, I don’t have very many any more because some people found out that my father is white and my mother is Cherokee. They actually call me half-breed and it’s starting to wear on my self-esteem. Do you have any suggestions to help me through this tough time? Unwanting to be half-breed
Dear Unwanting to be half-breed,
Do I have any suggestions? Sweetie! First of all, don’t go using Cher’s song "Half Breed" as your theme song. "Most sides were against me since the day I were born"? Stop being a victim. "Since then I’ve been from man to man"? Stop blaming your parents for your promiscuity! "But I can’t run away from what I aaaaaaam"? Now why would you want to? Inbreeding is bad. Don’t let the American Kennel Association tell you any different. Mutts are smarter, healthier and cuter. Pure-breeds tend to be stupid and far from the wolf divine that God intended them to be. So, are you saying you want to be a dumb, sickly, little frou-frou dog? Well, sure you do. You’re in high school. High school is a badge of honor we all wear when we’re finally out of it. High school is just a rite of passage, something to be gotten through. In college, your genealogy becomes cool, what makes you unique and interesting. In college your popularity derives from what makes you different instead of, as in High School, what makes you blend in and look the same. Two totally different pinball games, my friend. In college, fitting in so seamlessly is suddenly stupid and limiting and boring. So make amends with who you are as early as you can. And if anyone has a problem with that… pishposh! They are in for a big surprise when you start to kick ass in the world. Remember this: you’re not alone. Cher wanted to be a blonde frou-frou breed in high school, too. She didn’t get what she wanted. She got herself what we call in the self-esteem biz a blessing in disguise. Ka-ching! She capitalized on her uniqueness and now stands out in a crowd. She affects more people visually than 100 perky little Christie Brinkleys. My biggest piece of advice: beware of what you want when you’re young and learn from the mistakes of others. Close-minded people fail because they have no imagination. Open your mind to things including your own future. And don’t be a victim anymore. Fight back. Half-breed ridicule is a form of racism. Stand up against racism. Start an after-school group, band together. (This will also look good on a college application). Your fortunate heritage will come through for you. Be patient and don’t learn to hate the word. Cher had no idea back in the day that her life would turn out to be a big adventure and yours will be too.
Dear Cher Scholar: Sometimes I go out drinking/socializing/dancing on weeknights. While I really enjoy this time spent with my friends and exploring the city, I really don’t enjoy waking up for work the next morning. How can I get out of bed (without 'snoozing'), make myself look and feel great (including no cigarette stink in my hair) and get to work on time? [Name Redacted], sluggish NYC secretary
Cher knows something about being tired. She may be a party recluse these days, but there was a decade or so when her name and "seen on the scene" were always in the same sentence. The Sunset Boulevard scene. The Studio-54 scene. The roller-rink scene. You name it. She even found herself embroiled in a party-scandal one time when Average White Band members overdosed after a concert party. Parties can be stressful. Cher attended awards shows, presidential dinners and sometimes even threw her own occasional soirees attended by the likes of Rod Stewart and Britt Ekland. You know, back in the old days. And the next day, there was always work to be done: photograph sessions, album recordings, dress fittings, t.v show rehearsals, early calls on movie sets, concert tours, charity events. She even bounced back from chronic fatigue syndrome. How does she do it? I honestly don’t know. I get winded just writing this column. I suggest you read her book Forever Fit (co-written by Robert Hass) or watch some of her exercise videos Body Confidence and A New Attitude. In them, she says things like "exercise" and "eat right." It is my experience that these videos go good with a bag of cheesy-poofs and a coke.
Dear Cher Scholar: I am a struggling writer. The mail is always bringing me rejections. Success seems to be slow in coming. How do I keep myself strong & positive-thinking & working hard until my ship finally comes in? (I hope you don’t advise me to hook up with David Geffen or Sonny Bono to advance my career! Though, as you pointed out, hooking up with David Geffen is no longer possible for any female.) Po K. Reboundeaux
I really don’t see the problem here. Why should years and years of rejection in every medium give you pause? What, are you gonna give up? Because people tell you that you can’t sing? Bah! What are you gonna do, sell Equal packets for the rest of your life? Just because Mike Nichols not only rejects you for a part in his movie, The Fortune, but advises you that no other producers or directors will ever see you because common wisdom is that you are a variety show hack that can’t act? Because no one thought you were smart enough to make it after your divorce from Sonny? Because right from the beginning everyone pegged you as a flash-in-the-pan? Because you are a trivia question, a punch line and your only source of income is a Vegas lounge act? Is that what’s getting you down? Total critical annihilation? Everyone rubbing your life’s foibles in your face? Because you are constantly ridiculed in the press: "you are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, you’re morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, you have a lousy sense of humor and you smell"? You whole life could become one rejection after another. Why go on? Po, you said it yourself on your own VH1-Behind The Music special: "If you’re gonna wait for someone to encourage you to do something, you may as well give it up." And inversely, if you’re gonna let someone discourage you from doing something, you don’t want it bad enough. Sometimes the talented make it. Sometimes the untalented make it. The determined usually make it. And most likely you will outlive your critics just by standing your ground.
The first question I must ask, as Aretha would sing: Who’s Spankin’ Who? You spank? Hey, there’s no harm in that. But you’re being spanked? Whoa, Nellie! That may be like unwrapping the present before your birthday arrives, or like trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk in March or like getting a spank on the bum before you’ve done a naughty! A little randy for a first date, don’t you think? Gregg Allman sucked Cher’s fingers on their first date. She didn’t like it much. She was not that kind of finger-lickin’ girl. Everyone has their own idea about what a first date should entail, so to speak. It’s so hard to advise. You have to consider two things: electricity and trust. Do you trust this person? Ask yourself not only does this person turn you on but would he tie you up and then set your house on fire? More importantly, will this person respect you in the morning? Are they the spank ‘em and leave ‘em type? Cher is not a gal who plays by The Rules but neither is she an easy spank, despite the come-hither tattoos. Sonny may have spanked Cher. Let’s not go there. Frankly, I’d be surprised if Gene Simmons didn’t. Apparently all Cher and Rob did on their virgin date was talk. No need to get drastic, now. These days, celebrity dating is probably a pretty wary affair, what with all the bodyguards and the entourage hovering about in the back seat. Let’s face it, everyone’s a potential psycho. My advice: beware of men bearing false images. Beware of men sucking fingers. And beware of Gene Simmons, in general. God knows who else he’s been spankin’.
Dear Cher Scholar: I want to bid on one of Cher's removed ribs which is up for sale on eBay. The rib comes with a certificate of authenticity and a display case. But the minimum bid is $1,000! Can I be sure this is truly a Cher rib? Please advise. There are only 4 days left in the auction! The Elephant Man's Bones
EMAB, EMAB, EMAB (I'm pretty sure that's not your real name),
I think you're confusing eBay with Sotheby's. You may be able to find body parts of celebrities at Sotheby's, but I don't think you should be expecting to find such archeological exotics floating about on eBay. I've been offered more faux Cher memorabilia on eBay than I can shake a removed Cher rib at. Someone once tried to sell me a cheek-implant lifemask. Turns out it was just the Cher Makeup Center...a must, by the way, for any Cher fan's fireplace mantle. As much as you've heard the media hoopla, you cannot find Cher bones on eBay or anywhere else for that matter. You are smart, therefore, to speak with an expert before you blow your wad on one careless, over-excited, late night Cher rib bid. Here are the facts: In October of 1990, the original Cher body was inspected by a Harley Street surgeon in London, England. She was deemed MIB except for her nose, boobs, teeth (and as we can all see, her lips. You don't need to be a Harley Street surgeon to pick up on that one. Cher also had an accent surgically removed from her name back in the early 70s). From this British surgeon, Cher obtained her very own certificate of authenticity. She should be selling copies of those on eBay. She could be making a point and a buck all at the same time. I don't know where this insipid ribless Cher story started, but I'm guessing probably when the public started to confuse Cher herself with the plastic, ribless, cheek-implanted, clothes-horse slut that is the Mego Cher doll. The real Cher comes complete with a full rib cage. Conclusively, this removed Cher rib on eBay is a fake. Now that Cher dollar...when you've found one of those we're talkin'. Rumor has it those babies will be worth something someday. In the meantime, save your money for an Elijah Blue guitar pick, a Cher phone card or better yet, a velvet Cher. Good luck and say hi to Bubbles and Elizabeth Taylor for me. Speaking of which, I just saw two violet eyeballs for sale on eBay. How come nobody's bidding on those?
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