DNA Magazine - - CONTENT -

Cher’s con­sis­tent rein­ven­tions of her mu­si­cal and star im­age have long ap­pealed to queer au­di­ences, but what has re­cently ap­pealed to me is her con­tro­ver­sial, camp, and wellpub­li­cised Twit­ter pres­ence. Known pri­mar­ily for her ou­trage about Sarah Palin, stray dog mur­der in Sochi and un­rest in Venezuela, Cher has also grown a rep­u­ta­tion among fol­low­ers for her spell­ing mis­takes, overuse of cap­i­tal letters and com­plete lack of syn­tax.

Af­ter read­ing Cher’s tweets, many have char­ac­terised the singer as crazed, mad, and “off her meds”. Her feed may be filled with rants, di­a­tribes and in­com­pre­hen­si­ble sen­tences, but I find it just an­other op­por­tu­nity to en­joy her diva-ness. Be­cause Cher is Cher, the ex­cesses of her star­dom nat­u­rally fil­ter into her Twit­ter. You only have to look at her de­scrip­tion to re­alise this:

@CHER Stand & B Counted or Sit & B Noth­ing. Don’t Lit­ter, Chew Gum, Walk Past Home­less PPL w/out Smile. DOESNT MAT­TER in 5 yrs IT DOESNT MAT­TER THERE’S ONLY LOVE & FEAR.

I should start by openly con­fess­ing that I have al­ways kept Cher on a well-lit and glit­ter­ing pedestal, be­gin­ning when I bought a phys­i­cal copy of her sin­gle Strong Enough back in 1998 when I was only nine. I learned the lyrics and lis­tened to the en­tire Be­lieve al­bum on my dis­c­man for months. My gay­ness flour­ished (in the closet) along­side an un­wa­ver­ing de­vo­tion to this fig­ure of fem­i­nine ex­cess, age­less­ness and be­liev­ing in life af­ter love.

To­day, how­ever, Cher’s gram­mat­i­cally in­cor­rect, con­fus­ing, messy and over-thetop lan­guage on Twit­ter pro­vides many of us fans a new way of con­nect­ing with our idol. I have tweeted Cher on many oc­ca­sions and have re­ceived a hand­ful of replies. The most thrilling ex­pe­ri­ence was my at­tempt to in­ter­vene in con­structed ri­valry be­tween her and Madonna.

I was alien­ated by Madonna’s os­ten­ta­tious at­tempt at be­ing an ‘art critic’ when she staged a Q&A on Twit­ter about her his­tory in pop cul­ture and her new en­deav­ours to pro­mote art for demo­cratic pur­poses (yawn), so I tweeted, “Madonna’s planned art cu­ra­to­rial ses­sion on Twit­ter is like @Cher run­ning an English lan­guage class.” I was amazed when Cher both­ered re­spond­ing to me, “@ queer­ishly RU Cast­ing As­per­sions, Throw­ing Shade, Tak­ing the Piss? Does this mean I SHOULDN’T Teach My Ad­vanced Eng. Gram­mar Class Tomm?”

She no doubt en­coun­tered my bitchy tweet in her feed and be­lieved she ought to weigh in on the shade ses­sion. Cher’s re­sponse was won­der­ful and the sar­cas­tic, hy­per­bolic and con­fus­ing tweet was gold to this gay ad­mirer. To be in­sulted by Cher! What a thrill.

It seemed I was in the fir­ing line for Cher’s vit­ri­olic yet self-dep­re­cat­ing Twit­ter fury. This di­rect in­ter­ac­tion proved to be a

tran­scen­den­tal mo­ment in my his­tory of de­ify­ing a woman who could turn back time, hang with tramps and thieves and al­ways be my babe. The plea­sure of the ex­change boils down to the way Cher en­gaged with a trolling fan (a very un­usual prac­tice for any celebrity on Twit­ter) and ex­ploited her diva sta­tus by try­ing to outdo the fan in terms of wit and clev­er­ness. Nat­u­rally, Cher won in our ex­change.

I get quite a thrill when I see her ac­tive on­line and bang­ing out bonkers re­sponses to ques­tions about her up­com­ing tour, Amer­i­can pol­i­tics or her most re­cent foot surgery. The diva wor­shiper in me fer­vently and un­wa­ver­ingly de­i­fies Cher and sees her wigs, cos­tumes, mu­sic and stat­uesque, age­less body as the epit­ome of camp and queer clash­ing.

The camp­ness comes down to how Cher writes: the way she draws at­ten­tion to her abuse of the 140-char­ac­ter limit, her lack of un­der­stand­ing on how to fol­low people (she ad­mits hav­ing mis­tak­enly blocked fans) and the ac­ci­den­tal send­ing of draft tweets. Cher is so Cher that it doesn’t mat­ter she can’t tweet co­her­ently.

Al­though known more for ‘crazed’ mis­sives and con­vo­luted mes­sages to trolling fans (with way too many emoti­cons of a woman dancing), Cher on Twit­ter is noth­ing if not en­ter­tain­ing. Her pres­ence on so­cial me­dia (a pre­req­ui­site for any pop star to­day) is an (ironic and earnest) at­tempt to stay youth­ful and mod­ern, con­nected with fans and, im­por­tantly, rel­e­vant. The fact Cher is still so suc­cess­ful (any­one else catch her new record, Closer To The Truth?) in her sixth decade in mu­sic demon­strates her en­dur­ing star­dom in our 15-minute fame cul­ture. Per­son­ally, I couldn’t be more de­lighted than scrolling through her feed and see­ing tweets that make no sense at all.

It is this fa­mous quip about Cher that al­ways keeps me com­ing back, “Af­ter a nu­clear holo­caust, all that will be left will be cock­roaches and Cher.” … and now that in­cludes Cher on Twit­ter.

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