James Franco’s name-check of Carl Wilson’s ode to Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love on the Oscars’ red carpet was an unexpected brush with the mainstream for Wilson’s tome, not to mention the 33 1/3 “book-an-album” series. Las night, Wilson appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss his book, which I am anxious to squeeze into my heavy work schedule of writing one day a week, typing my grandpa’s memoirs, thinking about starting to finish my final portfolio, and playing Fable II on my Xbox 360.
Not only did Wilson get to go on TV, he got the privilege of appearing on one of the funniest shows ever. Wilson acquits himself nicely, though an early mention of repulsion at Dion’s music is the type of thing that Colbert feeds off and keeps coming back to. The best part is Wilson’s mention of Dion’s treatment of crew and fans as a family (including the hiring of her family to work for her) and how they see her as very “real,” while outsiders think of her as “phony.” This scans with someone who had worked with Dion grousing at me for dissing her offhandedly; the person said that she treated her crew and backing musicians like family, paying them well, and that she was never anything less than courteous and even had a really goofball sense of humor.
The interview ends a tad abruptly, though Wilson’s observation on the problem with liking something ironically is worthy of further thought. Colbert asks if Wilson, as a hipster critic, shouldn’t like Celine Dion ironically. Wilson, decrying sarcastic views of taste, says, “The problem with taste is that we turn the people behind artworks into stereotypes.” Boy… uh, I’ve, uh, never done that before.
Also, Colbert invented a band name: Ogre Milk. Look for a band named in honor of this joke to be all over the blogs by the time SXSW is over.