Earlier today I contacted Marianne to see if she had bounced back from the flu sufficiently to resume her blogging duties today. She reassured me that she was just fine, then she said Liberace had just made her a mango peach smoothie and was rubbing her feet. When she said she had to go because Liberace was dangling snacks over her head and chanting, You must have a Cheetoh, you must have a Cheetoh, you must have a Cheetoh, I said I thought maybe it was best if she rested a little bit longer. Guest blogging for Marianne one more time and perhaps raising a small controversy in the process, this is The Dena.

We all crave love and approval, even (especially) Rufus Wainwright. I don’t have the hard facts before me to confirm it, but I would venture a guess that he more than likely sold out every performance of Rufus! Rufus! Rufus!, his excellent Judy Garland tribute. It so happens that Liza Minnelli, who is 67, has made no secret of her disdain for both Rufus and Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Not content to amend one of Judy’s song titles to “The Bitch That Got Away” in his onstage patter in shows from here to Australia, Rufus has now issued a new single called “Me and “Liza,” to be included on his new Best Of collection. At first listen it somehow manages to come across as both vindictive and forgettable, leaving me with no compelling reason to find out how it comes across at second listen.

To be completely fair, Rufus and I have been heading in different directions for some time. There was the time when I refused to pay $80 to see him perform a solo show at the Old Town School last year when I had paid just half of that to see his father do a killer show at the same venue. As a longtime fan who already owned a lot of the content, I was also put off by the apparent cash grab represented by the ostentatious House of Rufus package released in 2012, which contained unreleased material available to only those fans who could afford to spend $150 for a fancy velvet box and a lot of CDs and DVDs they already owned. Rufus never puts on a bad show, but I’ve been waiting since 2007 for an album as good as Release the Stars. It’s a damn good thing I wasn’t waiting underwater, because I would have been glug glug glug.

For every Rufus person who is digging “Me and Liza,” there are five of us who rolled our eyes when we first heard what this single would be called. The subject matter has become so awkward by this point that it is difficult for many of us to understand why Rufus seems so desperate to attach his name to someone who seems not to want anything to do with him. It is also difficult to understand the need for more Rufus repackaging, except that by sneaking this inferior revenge ditty in alongside some of his truly great material, Rufus can prominently give Liza the finger from now until the end of time.

I want Rufus to do well and I still think he’s hella talented, but I also think he’s lost perspective and no longer understands his audience. Before he starts releasing retooled versions of Broadway show tunes with titles like “Me and Me, But Mostly Me,” I think he needs to drop out of society and hike through Europe for a year or volunteer in a hospice or write a novel that is allowed to contain any word that is not me or I. Alternatively, he can just keep on traipsing down the path of perdition while I keep revisiting the extensive Mekons catalog on Spotify and waiting for the next great unknown artist who can move and transport me the way Rufus Wainwright used to do.