Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

Who can name more “artistes“?

In my latest post, I defined the term “artiste,” as follows:

There comes a certain time in every artist’s life when, in their minds, they metamorphose from an “artist” to an “artiste” [read with hoity-toity French accent]. They suddenly believe their view on all things artistic is somehow superior than everyone else’s, and that they have some God-given right to show the world how their aesthetics surpass everyone else’s. At this point, usually their work turns to shit and they turn into insufferable a-holes.

It occurred to me (actually, it occurred to a friend of mine, but since I’m writing the post and it’s my blog, I can give myself all the credit) that our modern world is rife with juicy examples of “artistes“: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find me examples of other “artistes.”

If possible, try for them to meet the following criteria:

1. Someone with humble beginnings
2. Someone who, at least at the beginning of their career, had some positive artistic impact on the world (at least according to some people)
3. Finally, someone who, after becoming an “artiste,” has turned into a veritable dick

I’m very curious to see what you’ll come up with! Up and at ’em! 🙂


September 23, 2004 - Posted by | Thinker


  1. I told you that Barbara Streisand was a good candidate, but now I am not so sure. I mean when has Barbara Streisand ever been humble? Didn’t think so. I did some research and I believe I have found a better candidate. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, allow me to make my case for Celine Dion.

    Celine was raised as the youngest of 14 children in a rural town in Quebec Canada, and she was not rich by any accounts. So, humble origins , check.

    Celine then has a nice career, and I must admit, I like her stuff. Nice little ballads, a lot of them composed by David Foster, one of the true genius composers of our time. Then she released “Falling Into You”, wins album of the year and best pop Album in the 1996 Grammy Awards, leaving a positive mark in the music world. So, second point of our criteria has been met.

    I pause here to point out that this was supposed to be it. This is were it was all supposed to end. Celine Dion would then go into the sunset, have a couple of nice albums. and we could all enjoy those great ballads in one of those love song compilation CD sets that Time sells. I would not even be writing this, I would probably be watching the #1 grossing film of all time for the gazillion time: Star Wars. But guess what, I’m not, because James Cameron had to do his stupid chick movie, James Horner had to write “My Heart Will Go On”, and they had to pick Celine Dion to sing the freaking song. My friends, this is when the event that trigerred the metamorphosis happened, and believe me, my world would be a hell of a lot better if it had not happened. Fucking Titanic happened.

    I will concentrate on Celine, and I will refrain from commenting on how all the people involved in this overrated movie rode its wave for close to two years, since this is a whole article by itself. (Really, would Leonardo Di Caprio had co-starred in a movie with Tom Hanks, would Cameron had been allowed to do that Dark Angel crap if it wasn’t for Titanic? No, did not think so.)

    This is when it happened, she became bigger than life Celine, The Diva, The Artiste. It is my belief that in her own mind, she always thought she was great, but the success of Titanic brought her own ego to unimaginable levels. I’m sure she thinks Titanic was the success it was because of her, singing that song. How much Celine could the world take? Well at least according to her, it had to be all Celine, all the time.

    I mean, literally, there was at least one radio station on any given moment in time playing “My Heart Will Go On”,I kid you not. And then it was playing in at least two stations at any given time when they came up with the version that had parts of the dialogue of the movie mixed in. I’m sure there had to be a techno version playing in the discos of Eastern Europe too. If that wasn’t enough, she released her album, “Let’s Talk about Love” simultaneously with the Titanic soundtrack. I mean, that was pure genius, this guaranteed it would be all Celine, in the radio, all the time! Then there were the SuperBowl appearances, the Chrysler commercials ,MTV Awards, Academy Awards, Grammys, the Divas special. Ladies and gentlemen, if this was not overexposure, I do not know what it is.

    I guess the most annoying part of all was her *very* public retirement to take care of her 100 year old husband, and to try to have a baby. She spoke and spoke of this on every single opportunity, on every conceivable show: Barbara Walters, Behind the Music,Larry King.. I mean, she was Celine, and people had to know about her struggle to have a family and take care of it. Then she finally has her baby, and comes out of retirement with a new CD, (which I bought by the way, as I said, I like a lot of her stuff), but imagine the terror, when you realize the whole freaking album is *about the baby*. I mean, all the songs are *about the baby*. It is bad enough having to deal with a new mother showing off her baby pictures to everybody, but at least I can walk away from said person as far away as possible. But noooo, I turn on the radio, there’s Celine talking about her baby in a song. I turn on the TV, there’s Celine,driving a Chrysler,singing about her baby. I go to freaking Vegas, and there’s Celine, on her custom made Colosseum, singing 5 nights a week about her baby. And just when you’re thinking “Well, at least she did not show me the baby pictures!”, you open the CD and there it is: photos of the baby! (btw, it is a very disturbing collage, the scary kind of collage of yourself that a person stalking you would have).

    So, I’m not sure this last part meets the criteria that she’s a veritable dick, but at the very least, it shows that she has become one of the most self-centered persons alive, she is annoying as hell,and she made me pay 14 bucks to watch her baby’s photo album, and that is close enough for me. Hell, she can even pronounce “Artiste” in perfect hoity-toity French accent. I rest my case ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

    Comment by Cesar | September 25, 2004 | Reply

  2. César, congratulations on the longest, funniest, and rantiest rant I have ever read! [Rafa claps]. Furthermore, you actually admitted to possessing, nay, purchasing, two of her CDs… and you didn’t even resort to the crappy excuse that it was for your girlfriend: for this, I salute you.

    Guys, if you have another rant like this one, feel free to post it! 🙂

    Comment by Rafa | September 25, 2004 | Reply

  3. I am currently at Cesar’s and he has shown me the collage contained in the CD jacket. It is truly the creepiest collage I have ever seen; it’s as though they paid a serial killer who then compulsively made cut-outs from ALL their baby pictures… “Must have baby all through the collage… must have moooore baaaby.”

    It even includes pictures of her geriatric husband, who looks suspiciously like one of those Muslim leaders that would order a fatwah on the American infidels. There’s one picture where he’s biting on a fake plastic nose that Celine is wearing for no reason at all, and he’s looking at the camera all sexy-like, as though saying “Oh, yeaaaah.” In another one, it looks as though he has taken a bite out of his baby’s face… which I guess redefines “so cute I could eat you up.”

    Please, Celine, stick to the singing and leave creepy collages to people who dream of killing their mothers and fashioning a garment out of other people’s skin.

    Comment by Rafa | September 25, 2004 | Reply

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