Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

Carl Wilson

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1441166777

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Let's Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.

At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dion's critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her "huge pipes" and even bigger feelings. How can anyone say which side is right?

This new, expanded edition goes even further, calling on thirteen prominent writers and musicians to respond to themes ranging from sentiment and kitsch to cultural capital and musical snobbery. The original text is followed by lively arguments and stories from Nick Hornby, Krist Novoselic, Ann Powers, Mary Gaitskill, James Franco, Sheila Heti and others.

In a new afterword, Carl Wilson examines recent cultural changes in love and hate, including the impact of technology and social media on how taste works (or doesn't) in the 21st century.

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as a whole: In age, for example, the Céline Dion buyer was seventy-five percent less likely than your average music buyer to be a teenager. Aside from a bump in the early twenties (perhaps because those people were teens when Titanic and Let’s Talk About Love came out), her audience skews to the over-thirty-five – in fact, around forty-five percent of Céline listeners were over fifty, compared to only twenty percent of music buyers overall. Add to that the fact that sixty-eight percent of her

threat. I’m not alone in that. At the same Pop Conference panel in which he made his faux pas about “black music, like Céline Dion,” songwriter Stephin Merritt argued that “catharsis in art is always embarrassing.” It’s a common belief, though seldom so drolly expressed. He was partly drawing on Bertolt Brecht, who held that the purgative release of catharsis can defuse social criticism. But like many of us, Merritt transposed that political caveat to a personal one, a matter of style. His

massive hit “Umbrella”) and, most unlikely of all, that chart-topping studio avant-gardist, Timbaland. It is almost as if Céline has figured out how to be cool, American-style. Meanwhile in the summer of 2007 in Toronto and Montreal, two separate fringe-theater plays featuring Céline impersonators popped up, one a satire based on her life called Céline Speaks and the other a drag-queen murder mystery called Saving Céline. And Elle magazine called me for comment for an article that questioned if

relativism is where we have always been, in reality – if it is an abyss. I loved Carey’s book because it bashed a lot of people I wanted to see bashed. Only after reading Wilson’s book, however, did I understand that Carey was bashing me, too. My own tastes, prejudices, beliefs, loves and hates were, it turned out, as crazily indefensible as those of any high-culture devotee. Did I judge people on the basis of their unfathomable tastes? You bet – but because I am essentially a populist –

Will Go On” with a little girl in the village of Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua – the song’s global reach making possible a small miracle of cross-linguistic, cross-cultural communion. Another time, in the Toronto barroom lecture series where I work the door, a speaker named Meera Margaret Singh relayed the tale of how, as a student teacher in Japan, she was “asked” (actually commanded), simply because she was Canadian, to sing a Céline song for a community cultural festival. She had never sung in

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