A Plethora of Parodies: Celine Dion fan goes Amiss


    It began with this all-caps note from a wayward discussion web surfer in Quebec, 11/3/98: "HI, I'M A BIG FAN OF CELINE AND I WATCH THE TWENTHIET GALA DE L'ADISC." Besides the acute spelling difficulties, this poster couldn't seem to complete a thought. But it didn't prevent follow-ups, like this inane , exclamation-riddled reply: "Hey! I'm a fan too! She's great! What's your favorite Celine Dion album?" This was sensibly followed by a different kind of question from the next discussant:  "and the connection to Martin Amis is???????"

    Which led to this exasperated site manager's post: "This is the kind of thread that makes me despair of maintaining the Discussion Web. Unfortunately, the way the software works, it is impossible to delete threads like this one without crashing the entire program--as much as I would like to. Let's see, Celine Dion: anorexic, soporific, insipid; would anyone care to pen a parody of Amisian prose that features a Celine Dion walk-on?" To which Stephanie added: " . . . and don't forget the nastier the funnier!! . . . .

    Make it so. Shortly after the midnight hour on November 4, the first parody appeared--from Andy by way of Money:

    Crushed in his theatre seat, engulfed in a blood-pressure raising miasma of popcorn fumes, John Self watched the images of Victorian clamor, class-baiting, Edwardian umbrage and paddy bravado all aswarm beneath a soundtrack of straining italianate arpeggios and mawkish lyrics. The story was one of an over-rated liner going down beneath a dangerously underrated northern sea. And he had seen it all before. He had lived it. Without the soundtrack, of course. A soundtrack he sought to diminish and kill beneath handfuls of codeine and intermittent but titanic swigs from a flask of some sort of grappa or strega or home-brewed aqua vit supplied him by the ever-helpful Fielding Goodney. The terrible keening of the soundtrack bored a fresh hole in his head.

    Later that same morning, at the ungodly hour of 4:37, Ed checked in with this entry, mixed from equal parts Money and The Information:       

    Selina Dean entered the stage, threadlike & razor-hipped in her clingfilm sheath & with all the sensuality of a collapsed paper bag, she looked as though she had at some fairly recent point had all the air sucked out of her, perhaps with the deft application of Richard's own newly subjugated vacuum cleaner. Stretching out her arms with the mute supplication of a panicked mime artist, she began to sing in English, or French or perhaps both at the same time, it was difficult to tell amidst the ghostly ululations emanating from her solar plectic convulsions.

    Some 12 hours later, a writer named "Brooklyn" "weighed in" with a scatological phantasia best confined to the bowels of the discussion web. Two days passed. Then Jack made his appearance with this Self-inspired paragraph, at 12:48, November 6:

    Self settled into his seat at the bar to listen to the pop star Celine Dion. Celine Dion was on T.V. alot. The entire time in fact. She howled banalities, and hit high notes of tedium. But the big thing about Celine, Self felt, was her work in the cot. That was the big thing about Celine--she was alot like Selina. Celine was a sack-artist's sack-artist. What with another couple Spectacular Brews Self might ask her back to his sock. He decided he would give her an incredible amount of money if she'd climb on board.

    Stephen P waited another six days before offering his Self-guided tour through the mawkish depths of Titanic, whose multi-million dollar soundtrack features that Canadian chanteuse who started this crazy thread. This sublime send-up of James Cameron's bloated epic, like the film it dumps on, takes the prize for length, and easily surpasses its subject in wit. It even reminds us of Self's great account of Othello--Shakespeare for the culturally challenged. Most importantly, it's the only Amis parody by way of Money that employs the appropriate first-person perspective.

   Heavy Water, anyone? Cheers:

   One of the consequences of this no-drinking gimmick or self-help kick I'm giving myself is the boredom. Desperate for displacement activity, I've taken to the local fleapit cinema to take the edge off the endless afternoons. Even when you can get a beer, in the arthouse foyers, it's so weak you have to drink enough to sink an ocean-going liner before a hint of the good stuff gets in the veins.

    Anyway, Fielding had me check out some Brit chick who's shrugging off her chiffon in the latest billion-dollar yawnathon as a possible stand-in for when Butch gets nasty.

    Now, I may be a mug when it comes to this kind of budget, but I'd seen the trailer for this flick the day before, and it seems to me that the last thing you want to do with your average whistle-wetter is give away the ending. So, pre-armed, I yawned at my neighbours with a practiced indifference when the iceberg hit and Captain Birdseye and the boys went belly-up.

    The plot was pretty cool, though. Our hero was a good-looking, multi-millionaire, raven-rugged Yank who I took to immediately. His frigid bim of a fiancee had got all overcooked in Europe about some Mannie or Monnie or Minnie who'd passed her a couple of his forlorn daubs.

    As a consequence of this, plus the fat-but-no-tits deal that an indifferent God had laid on her, she'd gone all gooey about some lowlife who, on some artful pretext, had her in the raw in no time.

    Anyway, our hero doesn't give up without a fight, and when the inevitable happy ending turns up and Leo goes under, the Spunk-lookalike searches among the survivors for his lost love. But, get this, she doesn't hear him calling her name. Well, I suppose I got all this mixed up inside me with that stuff I told you about with Martina and Shadow, and when some angel's voice pipes up with the signature tune, clear and pure as a wet finger round a wine glass, I must have lost it for a while. When the lights came up, the top of my shirt was plastered to my chest with the weight of my heavy tears. A group of four or five Puerto Rican kids were pointing at me and snickering.

    The exit sign gave me the green light and I bullocked into the alleyway, and from there headlong into the Yam Yam Girlie bar for cauldrons of rye and forgetful snow...

And finally, a belated parody (2/14/99) by Simon Brockwell, by way of John Self:

    Have you seen her? You can't avoid her over here. Something doesn't quite work with this bim, and I'm referring here to her singing, although none of the rest of it works either. She reminds me, in this strictly confined sensed only, of this receptionist from Tel Aviv we once had at Linex Carburton and Self who could sing along to every pop tune that had ever been played but could hardly speak a word of English ( She kept her job I hasten to add lest you be confused by the tale, by permitting me, and presumably Terry and Keith, a long daily peek at the twin tumescences of lustrous Persian flesh holstered in starbright brassiere that lived beneath her wafer thin silk blouses.

    The peeks, I took several a day, only came to an end when the Levantine princess got up to replace another empty box of tissues after wiping my tears off the reception counter) It all gelled when I caught Shuli or Shlomi singing ' Row, row, row your boat, gently down the street ... ' and it twigged; she doesn't have a clue what she's singing. Its the same with the Frog-Canadian unit, its quite clear that for all she knows she might be belting out the lyrics of the Polish national anthem as the ship sinks into the icy waters. And the rug on this emaciated warbling stick figure, as Thelonius - my current intermediary with the Medellin cartels would say: ' Dat a bad rug.'

    But the thing that really makes it hard for me to keep the wad of Blastfurters and Tuckleberry pies that bubbles away in my bloated stomach from adorning the shag pile of my room is the facial expressions. Every time she hits a high note her poppet mug bears a strong resemblance to that one might expect from someone whose having another extra large hard boiled egg forced up her tradesman's entrance.

    Fielding tells me that scientists have predicted, on the basis of her current pattern of weight loss, that she will weigh nothing by the year 2003. What's the gimmick here? I know fat nurses aren't everybody's cup of tea - if Selina doesn't wise up and sit on Poppa bear's lap from time to time I might be in the market for a fat nurse myself soon - but this little Belsen inmate look-a-like is, from the covers of the magazines found on the other side of the rack from where I find mine, meant to be sexy; something for the kiddies to admire as the epitome of womanhood. No wonder anorexia is the word on everybody's lips. I'll stick with the bendy, swervy, curvy variety if its all the same to you.


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