Cher has a holiday shop on the web

I’ve never gotten the entire gays-and-Judy Garland thing. Babs Streisand is not my style.

But Cher. Cher is one of the only stereotypically gay things I love (aside from penises, of course).

The Cher holiday mug.

The Cher holiday mug.

And yet: her music is kicky and fun, but I don’t crave it. I’ver never seen any of her movies more than once save for “Witches of Eastwick.” I’ve never been to one of her concerts.

With Cher and me it’s all about her attitude. She just does not give a damn what anyone whom she does not know and/or love thinks about her.

That’s a mentally healthy place to be, especially for someone in show business. Hollywood types often live from one slight to the next. But Cher? Watch her Twitter feed and it’s all about how much she loves the cast and crews of her shows, how those shows went, Cher arguing with right wing trolls, and more ways for her make money, for which she makes no attempt to hide. (Sometimes the money is for charity, I should note.)

Cher loves nice things and those things take a steady stream of income. I’ll guess she craves the limelight that keeps bringing her back for her umpteenth farewell tour, but I will also guess she just loves the money.

The Cher holiday ornament.

The Cher holiday ornament.

Witness this latest incarnation of the Cher money-making machine: the Cher holiday gift shop.

This is all a little understated for the woman who made Bob Mackie famous, but it it still retains a bit of the over-the-top Cher, such as the Christmas ornament with a close-up of Cher wearing what looks to be some leftover beaded necklaces from West Hollywood gay pride draped over her face.

OK. So it looks a little overdone. But that is Cher’s trademark.

You could do a lot worse buying gifts for any Cher-o-philes on your list.

The Cher Holiday store can be found at this link. Click on either of the images in this post to go to page for those products.

I’m not gay no more. I’ve been DELIVERED! I don’t like mens no more! I said I like women! Women women women women!

With those words, delivered via YouTube and a St. Louis church convention, allegedly “cured” homosexual Andrew Caldwell minced around the cybersphere with a really gay voice and became a laughingstock so huge even the conservative church in which Caldwell delivered his speech distanced itself (somewhat) from the video.

Andrew Caldwell.

Andrew Caldwell.

I’m sure everyone involved, including Caldwell (who has a criminal record for fraud, BTW), wishes the clip would go away.

No such luck. The internet is forever and Caldwell’s bow-tied prance around his sexual orientation issues will remain the legend it deserves to be.

It was even named Jimmy Kimmel’s Clip Of The Year 2014, as you can plainly see from the video below. Once I saw the clips, I knew Caldwell had to win. It’s so over the top, it could have been taken from a sketch comedy show.

Although I think the rave organizer clip is a really close second.

I’ve been to parties like that. Actually, I’ve hosted parties like that.

The “dirtiest” restaurants in Chicago?

The Northwestern Memorial Hospital Cafeteria? Really? That is not good. Not good at all.

This is all from a number-crunching University of Chicago grad student named Brandon Harris, who is apparently getting more than he bargained for when he began his little quest to compile data from City of Chicago’s restaurant inspections, (note the added disclaimers) including the “Most Gag Inducing Violation Text(s)” which include:

And the award goes to NICKY’S CHINESE FOOD, 5231 S WOODLAWN AVE (Hyde Park) for both of the below violations!

Inspection 1491142 – 07/30/2014 – OBSERVED OVER TWO HUNDRED RODENT (MOUSE) DROPPINGS THROUGHOUT KITCHEN, ON FLOOR UNDER COOKING EQUIPMENT AND SINKS, ON BOTTOM SHELVES OF PREP TABLES, IN STORAGE ROOM ON FLOOR UNDER SHELVES AND ON FOOD/SUPPLY STORAGE SHELVES.

Inspection 1493314 – 08/06/2014 – STILL EVIDENCE OF RODENT INFESTATION. ONE LIVE MOUSE SIGHTED RUNNING ALONG KITCHEN FLOOR. RODENT DROPPINGS ON FLOOR IN KITCHEN AND STORAGE AREAS AND ON SHELF IN KITCHEN. ALSO AT THIS TIME SIGHTED OVER 30 LIVE SMALL FLIES IN UTENSIL WASHING AREA, KITCHEN AND STORAGE AREA.

(Good news for Nicky’s fans, they passed their latest inspection on November 7, so while the violations are concerning, they appear to heave done a good job cleaning things up).

Uh-huh. Sure. I’ll definitely go there.

You can find all the lists and the rest at this link.

Happy rodent dropping noshing!

The one person who is the best PR the LGBT community could possibly ask for

If some years ago someone could magically have created a dominant “spokesperson” via a cafeteria-style ordering system (a little of this, a little of that) the LGBT community could hardly have done any worse if they had ordered the following:

Ellen on Conan.

Ellen on Conan.

  • A woman, because lesbians are not as threatening to straight men as are gay men;
  • Cute, because let’s face it, cute just makes for a more popular person;
  • Loves animals;
  • Seems to genuinely love making others people happy by shining the spotlight onto others;
  • Is humble, but not to the point of annoying self-deprecation;
  • Has sincerely held beliefs, but rarely gets preachy about them;
  • Marries an equally magnanimous, smart, attractive woman who helps to tell the truth of the normalcy of same-sex marriage as it is being lived by so many LGBT people.

You’d just have magically created Ellen DeGeneres, of course.

In a culture that often seems to value (or at least be fascinated by) mean and shallow — Donald Trump, most reality TV, etc. — while conversely proving in so many ways that kindness and warmth are for putzes, Ellen is the perfect foil for a country that cannot seem to decide whether it admires or hates rapacious money grubbing.

She is the anti-Wall Street, even as she embraces some of it through her endorsement deals. (Try imagining so many years ago if you had told someone that one of the spokespersons for a major women’s cosmetics company would be a middle-aged lesbian who never wears a dress, and would therefore partially redefine what it means to be feminine.)

The whole thing is fascinating.

I’ve been thinking about our dear Ellen, once again, because of the clip below in which she makes a surprise appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show after Conan razzes Ellen on his show about her 12 Days of gift give-aways.

Make special note of Conan’s audience’s reaction when Ellen appears from behind that curtain. He thinks the applause is coming to an end at one point, realizes people are still cheering, and just goes along with it.

This is what we want from the larger culture: sexual orientation as afterthought. (Although some of the rest of us, it should be said, still have some things to teach the culture about not being so squeamish about human sexuality.)

Enjoy.