"Céline Dion is on another level of cool"
June 14, 2017 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Last year, a jaded Quebec hipster admitted that the burden of the secret I’ve been harbouring is growing too heavy for me to bear. By May of this year, MTV was on board. After her live performance at this year's Billboard Awards, it seems impossible to imagine that anyone ever hated her.
posted by clawsoon (85 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
My barber regularly has Céline Dion in the rotation alongside his torchy Italian songs. Now if only it became cool to have a picture of the Pope on the wall, it'd be a happening place.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:42 AM on June 14 [12 favorites]


Céline’s music is always going to be the most challenging part for me to embrace.

Yeah, this is the thing. She seems - like most Quebecers I've known - to be a down-to-earth, good-humored, cool-to-catch-a-hang-with kind of person, but the music? Tabarnac.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:47 AM on June 14 [23 favorites]


I recently went through a spell where "The Power of Love" was a recurrent earworm. Never thought it would happen to me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:49 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


She’s no longer someone people feel the music industry is foisting on them, but a comforting presence who’s always been there.

Perhaps -- but she definitely was being pushed everywhere and on everyone back then, and it was easy to resent that.

In 2017, it seems impossible to imagine that anyone ever hated her.


Not at all. I was in the crowd in Barrie for Canada's Live 8 portion, and Celine was going to perform. Not many in the crowd cared for Celine, and they really didn't care for the fact that she didn't show up, but only appeared via satellite (live? maybe taped? I forget) from Vegas. She was going to phone it in.

She was introduced by Dan Aykroyd. He announced her, and Celine was roundly booed by everyone in the crowd. A solid, united boo by 35,000 people. Dan blew that off with 'Oh, you don't mean that' or something, which led directly to 35,000 people booing Dan Aykroyd.

Celine was definitely being pushed on us back then. And I can remember quite easily how we all hated her.

Mind you, I had nothing against her personally back then, and still don't. She seems like a nice enough person, especially since her husband's death, and she seems to have blossomed. I just can't stand her music. When she sings in French, though, she's much better, and I can't stand it a bit less.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:55 AM on June 14 [13 favorites]


A friend of mine had a theory that Celine didn't understand what she was singing, and that if she spoke English fluently she'd be performing Liz Phair covers.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:04 AM on June 14 [15 favorites]


I don't care much for her music - I don't think it's bad but it's not my taste.

But I have to admit that she owns what she does. She's not apologetic. It's hard to dislike her as a person. Plus she just keeps at it, year after year. Can't fault her for working hard.
posted by GuyZero at 9:06 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


My only real issue with her is that she has a pretty unrepentantly grim view of love in her music. She's always singing about what labor it is, and how she survives and all. Life may suck, but I don't want to think about that when I am listening to love songs.
posted by Samizdata at 9:09 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I still say that France should've gotten Céline and North America Mylène Farmer.

(Actually, given that Céline Dion the performer seems like the apotheosis of a certain kind of 21st century camp, I want to like her more than I do. So far, tho, just not minding her is about the best I can manage.)
posted by octobersurprise at 9:21 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


I've always found That's The Way It Is irresistible in a "sing along at the grocery store" kind of way (love her little flourish at the end of the sustained note at around 4:00). But it's written and produced by pop genius Max Martin, so no surprise there.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:23 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


I still hate her.
posted by jonmc at 9:33 AM on June 14 [8 favorites]


So, Céline is the new Tony Bennett?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:35 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Maybe the new Barbra Streisand, complete with a Streisand Affect.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:37 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I was going to snark about how the avowed denial of any ironic appreciation actually functions as another layer of cool, but with the original climb-down-off-my-hipster-horse-about-Céline writer Carl Wilson weighing in on the FPP, I'm going to hold my tongue. Do buy that book (or the original Continuum single serving essay), it's brilliant.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 9:47 AM on June 14 [8 favorites]


Why, yes, there must be a Streisand affect as well as a Streisand effect.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:47 AM on June 14 [8 favorites]


My favorite book in the 33 1/3 series is one by Carl Wilson where he questions from all sorts of different angles why so many people (including Carl himself) have disliked her music so much. It's honest, humane and insightful--I think it's the best accessible writing that questions what musical taste does out in the world.

Upon preview: 2nding ten cold hot dogs
posted by umbú at 9:50 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


Dion is probably one of the least affected performers doing the sort of thing she does. She's pure Québécoise, completely comfortable with that hanging out there, over-emoting and shouting out to the crowd. She's a master of being herself on stage and shines most in live performance.

In contrast, every time I've seen Streisand, she's the epitome of self-control, always concerned with playing the Streisand persona perfectly. She has looks really uncomfortable live.
posted by bonehead at 9:55 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Her frequent collaborator David Foster shares some blame. His arrangements are syrupy to the point of queasiness.
posted by ovvl at 10:07 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


A Canadian friend referred to her once as "Squealin' Dion," and seemed embarrassed that she was at the time so strongly associated with Canada.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:10 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


It seems Celine didn't change, popular culture did.
posted by bongo_x at 10:19 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


Not a fan and that will never change, but, strangely I have a former student who not only looks exactly like her, but also has that same intense drive, and I have to admit I like her (the student) in spite of knowing she has not been nice to other people I like and that we do not share values. I guess humanity is complex and rich.
posted by mumimor at 10:30 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I went a long time without hearing any Celine Dion music or thinking about Celine Dion and I was perfectly happy about that but awhile back I was driving at night and "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" came on the radio and I just rocked the fuck out to that shit

so yeah
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:31 AM on June 14 [12 favorites]


Yeah, yeah. Everything old and square is cool again. You can seem like rebel by defending the thing that is already super popular.

You like Celine? Awesome. I mean, she's already sold enough records and tickets to be a multi-millionaire, but I'm sure she appreciates your public defense. Maybe you and Chuck Klosterman can go hang out in a faux-dive and talk about how Bob Seger is the real punk rock.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:34 AM on June 14 [25 favorites]


The Youtube video had already been shaded as a visited link in my browser when I encountered this post. That's all I will say.
posted by riruro at 10:40 AM on June 14


Maybe you and Chuck Klosterman can go hang out in a faux-dive and talk about how Bob Seger is the real punk rock.

No shit? You got Chuck's number?
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:42 AM on June 14 [4 favorites]




The confusion here doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Jim Steinman has always been an amazing songwriter. Songs he writes are a blast to listen to no matter who sings them. Celine Dion is a pop diva, which is what it is, her style is the old 80s-90s pop diva style, relatively bloodless and direct but serviceable at least. When she's singing Jim Steinman songs, it's fun to listen to her, because Jim Steinman writes stonking songs.

Of course the mediocrity of the standard diva is not as shocking today. All the secret calculations we all make of good and evil in music are altered in a world where Ed Sheeran exists.
posted by koeselitz at 10:50 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


umbú & Ten Cold Hot Dogs have it straight. Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love is pretty insightful and it is a fun read. And I will admit it did make me think about my own feelings about Céline at the time.

For me, while I don't connect to the music, I think it was that she is so (On Preview - as bonehead points out) unapologetically Québécoise - unabashedly cheesy, the embrace of camp and over the top emotion (she did sing at Eurovision afterall). For a French Canadian from outside of Quebec, she always has reminded me of that overly emotional heart of Quebec that always seems to lead them down a frustrating political and social path. This is a weird association I know (and you're gonna have to roll with me on this Metafilter) but to me she reminds me of the commercials of this leather store Screaming Eagle in Montreal.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:53 AM on June 14 [6 favorites]


My only real issue with her is that she has a pretty unrepentantly grim view of love in her music. She's always singing about what labor it is, and how she survives and all. Life may suck, but I don't want to think about that when I am listening to love songs.

You can't listen to most of popular music, then.
posted by Melismata at 10:56 AM on June 14


Diva pop or whatever you want to label this stuff doesn't do it for me. I listen to a fair amount of genres but nope, not gonna suddenly get behind this one. Which is why I if I listen to the radio it's an alt/roots/blues NPR station program.
posted by Ber at 11:03 AM on June 14


>>looks around guiltily<<
I don't hate her.
But I don't like her either.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:05 AM on June 14


to clarify, I didn't feel cool or like a rebel when I was headbanging to "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," I felt like a giant massive dork. But it was fun
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:07 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Céline d'Oignon
posted by chococat at 11:10 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I felt like a giant massive dork. But it was fun
posted by Melismata at 11:12 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Well, while we're here, we might as well look at Celine in the bubble skirt.
posted by JanetLand at 11:14 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


she has talent, no question, as this long ago Letterman rip into Valley Deep Mountain High attests ...

but she's got a long, long way to go before I can think of her as anything but a supervillain (ie: if only those talents could have been used for good instead of evil etc)
posted by philip-random at 11:17 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Cool? MTV hasn't been relevant for millenia now and Macleans wouldn't know cool if it firebombed their offices. Just because someone's have gotten the wherewithall to pull their finger out and say that, yes, "I likes me some Celine-ic music" doesn't mean she's cool. $885 for a sweatshirt isn't cool, it's just consumerism.
Throwing together a band and playing music when the act of doing so was pretty damned rebellious is cool. LOTS of people hated punk, especially in small towns. Three women playing music, saying what they want and without being forced to looking like sex objects is cool, therefore The Dishrags are cool.
(And Canadian, to fit in with the 150 years of BS incorporation.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:18 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


I mean, this happens with every purportedly "uncool" performer, no? They live long enough, they get "reevaluated" and everyone suddenly realizes that, wow, they've been great all along! Happened with Tom Jones, who when I was a kid was viewed as sort of a cheesy laughing stock but suddenly became some sort of grey eminence of hip-swiveling Vegas acts (or something). There are probably a ton of others like that I'm not thinking of. It also happens with rock acts, like AC/DC, who sort of had the same trajectory, as I recall; they were sort of a crappy heavy metal band without much talent, until 40 years passed and then they were consummate musicians. Nothing had changed, except it was 2003 instead of 1973.
posted by holborne at 11:24 AM on June 14 [10 favorites]


"Seems impossible" for anyone that wasn't alive or paying attention 20 years ago, because everything, including her positives as seemingly pretty decent person was eclipsed by My Heart Will Go On and being associated part of the Titanic backlash. One thing time eventually erases being played to exhaustion over radio and music tv and in-store music and elevators and everything goes back to normal, and that was the whole "uncool" thing about Celine Dion. Most people would struggle to name more than three songs of hers, and... well, a lot would struggle to name more than that one.

Also: numbingly bland and embarrassingly over-the-top. (A tricky combination, if you think about it.)
Nothing tricky about that. Look at a lot of the bottom tiers of shock rock, punk, hair metal, or the Chainsmokers. All numbingly bland, while trying to compensate and disguise that by trying to act larger than life.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:30 AM on June 14 [4 favorites]


...I had always just assumed that it's not that she wasn't cool or anything, it's that she was the type of music for a certain segment of gay men?

I mean, I myself don't mind it.
posted by anem0ne at 11:31 AM on June 14


Love or hate her, you have Eurovision to thank for Céline Dion. She won the contest in 1988, representing Switzerland. I think that explains a lot.
posted by zebra at 11:31 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


it's that she was the type of music for a certain segment of gay men

Like I said.
posted by zebra at 11:32 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I was always snobby about Celine Dion, until I saw Xavier Dolan's (excellent) film Mommy. There is a scene in the film featuring Celine Dion's On Ne Change Pas and it was electrifying. It was the perfect song for that scene and now I love that song unironically. As in, I've put it on repeat and bellowed it out at the top of my lungs and I don't care who knows I love that song!

Relevant: The Soundtrack To ‘Mommy’ Is A Music Snob’s Worst Nightmare--but it’s also kind of perfect.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


Maybe you and Chuck Klosterman can go hang out in a faux-dive and talk about how Bob Seger is the real punk rock

No, Céline Dion is the real punk rock; Bob Seger is the real Céline Dion.

Anyways, Céline Dion won't be *makes giant air quotes* "cool" until Thurston Moore cuts a 180 gram vinyl-only record with her in Jack White's studio. Take my word for it—it'll happen.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:35 AM on June 14 [4 favorites]


lumpenprole, will you marry me?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:37 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


This reminds me that my older sister had a Céline obsession when she was in high school. I thought it had to do with her speaking French. She just REALLY HATED Céline's husband for some reason. Then like a decade later my sister came out as a lesbian. Anyway I'm just making the connection now, so thanks!

I think my sister still listens to her music so I'll tell her she's cool now.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:39 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I've gotten a lot more openly pop-appreciative as I've gotten older, but Céline, bless her, remains mostly a bridge too far for me. It's not the sentimentality, or her voice, which is actually amazing; it's the songwriting and arrangements she tends to use that sink it for me. They're just so bland! Like, her version of "I Drove All Night" is pretty good, in a "Ray of Light redux" kind of way, but Cyndi Lauper's version is more dynamic and Roy Orbison's is cooler. Idk.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:40 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


lumpenprole, will you marry me?

I'll check with my wife, but she's pretty open minded.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:44 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


It seems Celine didn't change, popular culture did.

Ohhhhhhh...So this is an ironic love of Céline.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:44 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Relevant: The Soundtrack To ‘Mommy’ Is A Music Snob’s Worst Nightmare--but it’s also kind of perfect.

This reminds me of one of the comments on Wolfgang Voigt's last Resident Advisor mix:
"... it is true that this sounds like a middle aged woman's spotify playlist, however, I enjoyed it more than any other RA podcast in a year or more (with the exception of that disco / italo mix by that Japanese guy)."
(It's a fun mix.)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:46 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


So this is an ironic love of Céline.

Oh man, Louis-Ferdinand Céline Dion is totally going to be my new drag name.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:52 AM on June 14 [4 favorites]


Via Wikipedia: Dion first met her husband and manager, René Angélil, in 1980, when she was 12 and he was 38, after her brother, Michel Dondalinger Dion, sent him a demonstration recording of "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" ("It Was Only a Dream/Nothing But A Dream"), a song she, her mother the former Thérèse Tanguay, and her brother Jacques Dion had jointly written and composed. They began a relationship in 1987 and became engaged in 1991.

I sometimes wonder what her career would have been like without René Angélil and his musical taste.
posted by warriorqueen at 12:07 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Halloween Jack - I've met Klosterman a few times, he's a nice guy. And lots of Seger's early stuff qualifies as proto-punk, in fact when the MC5 made Back in the USA they used "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" as the sonic model for the production.
posted by jonmc at 12:21 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


Before you get fully onboard with a reassessment of Céline Dion as "cool", a data point:
the music video for "The Magic Man" from the soundtrack to the 1985 film The Peanut Butter Solution.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:22 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


@warriorqueen That is skeevy as hell! Maybe I had my sister all wrong and she was doing research as a teen even back when we didn't have the internet available in our home.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:31 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Per the re-evaluation of formerly uncool acts, the Carpenters certainly count.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


I would listen to Karen Carpenter sing the phone book before listening to a single Celine Dion cut.
posted by briank at 12:35 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


I didn't want to do it, but I guess no one else is going to bring up the AC/DC cover?

Yeah, that's the epitome of cool alright.

How about from now on people just say they like things, without the "Michael Bolton is punk as fuck" rationalizations?
posted by bongo_x at 12:59 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Celine Dion will never be cool. Dear god. She has however reached he same age as most of her audience so at least she's not weirdly uncool like when she was 24 and all her fans were 50 anymore I guess.
posted by fshgrl at 1:31 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


> I still say that France should've gotten Céline and North America Mylène Farmer.

Actually, Céline was born in Charlemagne, Qc and Mylène in Pierrefonds, Qc.
It's about 50km between the two cities
posted by CitoyenK at 1:54 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Dion, Streisand, Cher, Collins, Manilow, all make music for an audience that fundamentally doesn't get music or cares much about it.

And that's fine. Just don't pretend that you have to be a hipster to dislike their music or that it's better than it actually is.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:01 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I am Facebook friends with Carl Wilson, which is practically the same thing as being Facebook friends with Celine Dion, I think.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:01 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


MartinWisse: Dion, Streisand, Cher, Collins, Manilow, all make music for an audience that fundamentally doesn't get music or cares much about it.

Each of those artists creates music which produces a powerful emotional reaction in a large number of people. The audience gets the music, in a visceral way, and they care about it deeply. I'm not a particular fan of Dion's music - I heard she was cool again the other day and thought it would make a fun post - but I wouldn't dismiss it, or her fans, so readily. What is music for, other than to transmute sound into emotion, and where on that scale has Dion or any of the others fallen short?
posted by clawsoon at 2:36 PM on June 14 [9 favorites]


I can't think of Celine Dion without thinking of the time she was on CNN, enraged about the response to Hurricane Katrina.
posted by paperback version at 2:41 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


I don't care for her English stuff, but Cherche Encore is still one of my favorite songs. I was about 20 when it came out and I was trying to rescue some beautifully tragic guy, so the lyrics (which she probably didn't write) seemed meaningful. Albeit pretty codependent, 20 years later.

Cherche encore
Tant que brûlera ta flamme
Le paradis qui dort
Dans les secrets de ton âme
Cherche encore
Suis ta lumière et tes lois
Si tu peux, cherche encore plus fort
Et si jamais tu te perds
Je serai là

posted by AFABulous at 3:05 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Dion, Streisand, Cher, Collins, Manilow, all make music for an audience that fundamentally doesn't get music or cares much about it.

The Gay Mafia is going to come for you.
posted by AFABulous at 3:08 PM on June 14 [8 favorites]


Dion, Streisand, Cher, Collins, Manilow, all make music for an audience that fundamentally doesn't get music or cares much about it.

I feel like it might be a bit unfair to essentially say that gay men don't get music or care much for it.
posted by anem0ne at 3:20 PM on June 14 [8 favorites]


I'm straight and I have enjoyed Barry Manilow unironically since I was five.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:23 PM on June 14 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but do you fundamentally not get music or care much about it?

I guess since I sorta like 2 of the 5 there I only get music 60% of the time. Thank god Tom Jones and Mousse-T aren't on here.
posted by anem0ne at 3:25 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Dion, Streisand, Cher, Collins, Manilow, all make music for an audience that fundamentally doesn't get music or cares much about it.

Shit, even Céline Dion can troll better than that.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:41 PM on June 14 [7 favorites]


I don't think I've ever heard her sing.
posted by dobbs at 4:30 PM on June 14


In French, Céline has sung a lot of songs from Jean-Jacques Goldman (including Cherche Encore) and Luc Plamondon (she released an album called "Dion chante Plamondon" in 1991), who are both incredibly successful songwriters.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:31 PM on June 14


octobersurprise: Shit, even Céline Dion can troll better than that.

That may be the most hurtful comment I've ever read on Metafilter.
posted by clawsoon at 6:10 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


This seems like a good time to link to that time when Rob Zombie taught me to not be such a fucking hater.
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:34 PM on June 14 [6 favorites]


And anyone who wants to shit on Phil Collins can just watch this YouTube guy tear up one of Phil's early hours. Say what you want about his dopey pop songs, the guy played some electrifying melodic drums.

https://youtu.be/gnosPvtPWPQ
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:40 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I have always loved Celine Dion's music. I like big voices and big ballads. I also like a wide variety of other music, from Lady Gaga to Florence And The Machine to Christina Perry. And Barry Manilow, on occasion. And I have much love reserved for Sarah Brightman. I don't think anyone should be shamed for, or be ashamed of, the music they enjoy.
posted by lhauser at 7:36 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


Oh wow! It's easier to enjoy something on it's own terms, when you're not bombarded with it every goddamn minute of your day.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:05 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


Oh my god, it's OK to like Celine Dion. It's not going to kill anybody. People are acting like she's a crime against music, but she was as popular as she was because she made so many people happy.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:01 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


She's the reason headphones were invented, and her ilk are why I have to wear headphones in public.
posted by saysthis at 12:09 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Well, I think the FPP links cover more the idea that Celine has an actually funny, fun personality that was completely buried under her record company's quest to keep churning out megahit ballads in the 90s, and that's actually a phenomenon you observe with Whitney and Mariah, too. That particular brand of diva was fully expected to wear gowns and look pretty and sing, and not much else. Pretty close to a living Disney princess. AND it's interesting to see that all of them wrestled with significant public pushback no matter what their choices were. Whitney and Mariah got pretty constant criticism that they'd lost their voices whenever they strayed outside big-ballad land, Whitney got slammed for sounding too white, Mariah for venturing into hiphop and wearing bikinis, and Celine... kept doing big ballads and still got ridiculed.

It's almost as if the music industry has impossible standards for women, especially women that get as famous as them.
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:50 AM on June 15 [13 favorites]


Mehbe, not Mehbe not.
posted by y2karl at 6:24 AM on June 15


People who like Cher may not "get" music, but anyone who can resist the charms of Believe doesn't "get" the idea that letting a slice of giddy delirium fill you with pleasure and enjoyment is at the core of appreciating life without succumbing to the many, many ways that the world is shitty and eager to grind you down to a nub. If I'm expected to pretend that I'm just too cool for something like In The Air Tonight, why bother doing anything at all?
posted by zeusianfog at 8:53 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


My only real issue with her is that she has a pretty unrepentantly grim view of love in her music. She's always singing about what labor it is, and how she survives and all. Life may suck, but I don't want to think about that when I am listening to love songs.

You can't listen to most of popular music, then.


I can, but most of it strikes me as more about being not in love or being single again. I am neither currently in love and am currently single, so that's a thing.

However, when I am in love (or envying those that are), I sort of want to revel in it as opposed to hearing how horrible it is.
posted by Samizdata at 10:08 AM on June 15


That may be the most hurtful comment I've ever read on Metafilter.

Sometimes the truth stings a little. But I'm taking it for granted that MartinWisse was just dropping a little merde in the punchbowl because no one who is as big a sci-fi and comics fan as MartinWisse can believe that ignorance necessarily follows from a fondness for some popular entertainment.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:03 AM on June 15


in 2009 I was in Guam on a mini-vacation with two friends, and we woke up super early the last morning to take a cab to the airport. everyone's sleepy and silent, and our driver sets off with the music turned low. but what's playing? over 55 quiet seconds, I realize it's "The Power of Love." and without warning, the spirits coaxed all four of us, in darkness and unison, to belt out ....'cos I'm yourrrr LAAYYYDAAYYYYY....

turns out our 60-something driver had made his own Celine greatest hits mix, and he reached for every note. we all warbled along. "To Love You More" was right up next. greatest!

I was in grade 8 in Canada in 1998 and thought myself ALtErnaTiVe, and I most definitely understand the Titanic backlash / impulse to maim brought about by "My Heart Will Go On." (grade 8 grad ceremony, gimme a break.) but I won't ever change the station when it's her other singles. and Rich Juzwiak clip compilations (thanks blue t-shirt) really highlight her goofiness. so in private, you are convinced for 3-5 mins you've got pipes just like her, and on stage, she pulls out all the diva Vegas stops, and backstage, she's an endearing goober.

I haven't yet read the Carl Wilson book mentioned above, but they did a good Bullseye podcast interview a few years ago specifically about it. in particular, the audio of Celine talking about her background (politics, poverty) really added more colors to my view. really recommended.
posted by cluebucket at 4:30 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


How about from now on people just say they like things, without the "Michael Bolton is punk as fuck" rationalizations?
posted by bongo_x at 3:59 PM on June 14 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Yes please.

My feelings on Celine Dion aside (That Titanic song was overplayed, otherwise I don't care) I feel like I see/read sentiments like this regarding pop culture (or something) a lot since I've entered my 30s: like people are finally discovering there's a whole *World* outside of their immediate circle of influence, and write long-winded rationalizations that basically boil down to "I haven't thought about these things since I was a teenager, but now that I've finally aged out of a strict peer-pressure mindset where everything must be instantly slotted into the same 'cool/sucks' bins as all my friends, it turns out that *some* things are popular because they're well constructed and/or timeless!"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:16 AM on June 16 [4 favorites]


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