A helpful guide to celebrity web logs
Even though the Internet–not to mention basic cable–has given the public near-total access to celebrity information, some big stars (and plenty of fading ones) feel the need to reach their fans without the likes of Bob Goen getting in the way. Enter the web log, once the domain of personal journalists in search of likeminded souls, now a means for the rich and/or famous to tumble, foot-in-mouth, into the everyday world. This roundup of notable celebrity blogs leaves the grammar and spelling of those celebrities generally intact.
Blogger: Billy Corgan
Claim to fame: Singer-guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan
Current project: Working on solo album, writing poetry
Overall tone: Conversational. Corgan aims his blog at readers who are already interested in his every move. Just in case they're not, Corgan does mention that mean-spirited e-mails won't reach himsomeone else reads them first.
Is God in the blog? All over the place. "I would not be here if it wasn't for God... One only needs to look at a bumblebee on a flower to know there is a higher power than lil' ol us."
Political leanings: He doesn't like George W. Bush.
Bloggings he may one day regret: Bashing his former bandmates. "The truth is that James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins... not me, not jimmy, but james... did it help that d'arcy was fired for being a mean-spirited drug addict, who refused to get help? No."
Only for the diehards: A brief summation of Billy's vacation with his friend, the author and "gifted psychic" Sonia Choquette.
Not made up: "I even love my enemies... that doesn't mean I want to hear them speak, but as one of God's children I say I love you, too... I am on a mission, to love, to rock, to heal, and to help light the path for as many as I can."
Blogger: Lisa Whelchel
Claim to fame: Playing that snooty Blair on The Facts Of Life
Current project: Christian motivational speaker, author, and mom
Overall tone: Cheery, but Stepford Wives cheery. "They sure do have plenty of churches in Texas and they all have such big buildings!"
Is God in the blog? Everywhere. The Holy Father spends an inordinate amount of time looking out for Whelchel. "God found us a house 20 minutes from the DFW airport and we can fly almost anywhere in less than two hours." God also had a hand in getting Whelchel and her husband a good price for their house.
Political leanings: She probably loves George W. Bush, but she never comes right out with it.
Bloggings she may one day regret: "I once had to call the Dr. because my one-year-old bit my 2-year-old on his 'toot-toot.' Imagine trying to explain that."
Only for the diehards: Her children's essays on topics ranging from "My Grandmother Is My Hero" to "If I Could Change Anything About My Community, I Would Change Nothing." And lots of information on her passion: home schooling.
Not made up: Sometimes the little things can get Whelchel down, like when the construction crew building her new house put a window in the bathroom where glass block was supposed to be!
Blogger: Gillian Anderson
Claim to fame: Playing Dana Scully on The X-Files
Current project: Theater, thinking about a second X-Files movie
Overall tone: Simultaneously confused and composed.
Is God in the blog? Several posts begin "Oh my God," but that's about as far as it goes. Also: "God, I love this city. God, I hate this cold."
Political leanings: Unusually deeply considered, for a celebrity blog: "I have spoken a few times with Gloria Steinem about many aspects of what's going on and listened to Madeleine Albright speak in someone's home about what possibly could be done by women to transform our governments' attack mode but it has gotten so out of hand that it's even impossible for the great minds of our time to ask questions let alone state opinions without being branded a traitor."
Bloggings she may one day regret: A memorable X-Files moment: "Shooting a scene in a rowboat in the middle of a lake all by myself for hours and my lactating breasts getting so swollen that I thought I might explode."
Only for the diehards: Anderson's ex-husband made a wooden cradle for her baby; it was special.
Not made up: "...this person who was in hospital with a form of cancer, found that the character of Scully inspired a strength in her and as she lay in hospital and was allowed to watch the series every week and in reruns, her t-cells gradually increased and she got stronger and, much to the surprise of her doctors, she gradually got better."
Blogger: Melanie Griffith
Claim to fame: Marginally famous actress married to slightly more famous actor Antonio Banderas
Current project: Unknown. Last film: 2003's culturally invisible Shade.
Overall tone: Defensive. She takes umbrage at every tabloid story about her.
Is God in the blog? Not apparent, though a messiah complex may be: "My friends, I hope you understand it is not so easy being famous, but for us it is very rewarding to reach so many people through our work, and to make them feel good."
Political leanings: She surely has no time to read The New York Times after she's done scouring The Star, though she does reprint a letter from Robert Redford urging action to help the environment. And, on Sept. 11, 2001, she posts "I WANT PEACE."
Bloggings she may one day regret: Pretty much all of them, but particularly "I have not overdosed on pills nor have I ever used heroin."
Only for the diehards: A fierce denial that Banderas wears lifts to make him appear taller on screen. Also, a recipe for red raspberry pie.
Not made up: "And once more, for the record, neither Antonio nor I have received death threats, nor is a terrorist group stalking him."
Blogger: Al Roker
Claim to fame: Recently slimmed-down NBC weatherman
Current project: NBC weatherman
Overall tone: Weathermannish, and filled with stultifying details. "I had some periodontal work done earlier this week and have some dental packing right where my front teeth meet the roof of my mouth."
Is God in the blog? Only with a mild sweetness, when Roker recounts his father's death.
Political leanings: Guest Michael Moore gets a little love: Roker, amid waffling about alienating his Republican friends, calls Moore "daring." A long passage from George Carlin is also quoted.
Bloggings he may one day regret: None, because he couldn't be less offensive. He loves everybody, and has the pictures to prove it.
Only for the diehards: His kid hates violin lessons.
Not made up: Turns out Roker is related, albeit distantly, to Lenny Kravitz.
Blogger: Fred Durst
Claim to fame: Briefly ruining popular music
Current project: Working on new Limp Bizkit material, enjoying his CD and DVD collection
Overall tone: Dense but heartfelt, and trying hard to philosophize. "you are one. no one will equal to your one. no one. no one is equal. everyone is superior to everyone. you are existing in a life that has never existed. and you will leave a life that will never be again. this is your contribution to you. when you feel complete you will have no reason to ever do anything again until you feel incomplete."
Is God in the blog? Superficially. "there were blind moments in early days as a teenager when i knew no better and just thought it was cool to do anything against the grain, even if it called for hurting someone else. at some point i just grew up a little bit and made it past that stage because i realized i was only hurting myself. thank God for that."
Political leanings: Not leanings, but musings: "i am amazed at the things i see and hear in the news about our world. i feel like i am in a bad robocop movie. the headlines seem so unreal. the chaos and decay of a species unfolding before our very eyes."
Bloggings he may one day regret: He's not the regretful type, though "it's like the demons of doubt are nocturnal and have their favorite spots to hang out, like inside of me" could one day prove embarrassing.
Only for the diehards: "i was wondering if you could post a comment and help me think of a cool girls name for a puppy i might get [my son]."
Not made up: "I'm reading threw the comments and notice that people are shocked at how deap you are. It's funny for me because I never thought that you were not a deap person." a comment from a blog reader called b1tchen_mama.