It seems there still exists one community in the world that hasn't been insulted, derided and mocked by that always irascible Tiny Dancer, Elton John.

During his show Thursday in the New Zealand town of New Plymouth, Sir Elton was presented with a specially made bird-feather cloak by the chairman of the Maori sub-tribe, the Ngati Te Whiti. The gift makes Elton an honorary member of the tribe, said the chairman, Peter Love.

Love said the cloak was "gifted as recognition of the enjoyment Sir Elton John's music has given to Maori over the years and his loyal continuance to return to Aotearoa to entertain." Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand.

Cusack on the war

John Cusack

has never been one of those celebs who think it's their job to make pronouncements about politics. He continues that tradition with his new film,

Grace Is Gone

, about a father of two who is widowed when his wife, an Army sergeant, is killed in Iraq.

Cusack tells Entertainment Weekly that the film tries to rise above politics. "I wanted to make a film about Iraq, and I didn't want to make a film that was about polemics," he said. "I thought in this one you could just tell the story. . . . I want the movie to transcend my views."

But Cusack also has a second new film, War, Inc., a biting satire about corporations and individuals who are profiting from the war.

Randy shares his heart

Randy Jackson

is a man who gives. And gives.

He gives advice every week to wannabe Britney Spearses and Justin Timberlakes on American Idol (albeit for a handsome salary).

Now Randy is giving his time for America's heart health. The Idol judge, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes six years ago, has made a handful of public service announcements about the intimate link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The PSAs are part of "The Heart of Diabetes," an educational campaign Randy is mounting in conjunction with the American Heart Association. Info: IKnowDiabetes.org.

J.K. shares her views

Thanks to USAToday.com for noting that

J.K. Rowling

, who had neglected her online diary (at

» READ MORE: www.jkrowling.com

) for at least a trillion weeks, has made a new entry! Rowling thanks her fans in the update, says

Deathly Hallows

is her fave Potter book, and assures the world she is deeply saddened that the Harry Potter series has come to an end: "I doubt I will be believed when I say this . . . [but] nobody can have felt the end as deeply as I did."

Kudos to Bana, Chen

Hulk star

Eric Bana

, the son of Croatian and German immigrants, has won the Australia Film Institute's best actor award for his role in

Romulus, My Father

, which also won best picture.

Based on Raimond Gaita's memoirs, the film is about the hardships faced by a migrant family in post-World War II Australia.

The top actress prize went to Joan Chen for The Home Song Stories, in which she portrays a nightclub singer from Shanghai who tries to eke out a living in Australia after emigrating there with her two kids.

Philly native on Broadway

Northeast Philly native

Blake Bashoff

(Washington High, 1999) makes his Broadway debut on Dec. 18 as the confused Moritz in

Spring Awakening

. Bashoff has done TV, commercial work and film, including the romp

Bushwhacked

.

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.
This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.