Another January Death

Alright, alright, I know I said I was gonna wait until Sunday. But this needs its own post and I don’t wanna clutter up the Sunday Service with this crap I already had written… I want Sunday to be a fresh start.

I am not one to speak ill of the dead, I hope you know that. But there’s something about all of this that just bugs me. I wrote this rant, edited it a few times, then left it alone. Mark Twain said if something/someone pisses you off, write it down in a letter and put it on the mantel for a few days. If, after those days, you re-read it and you still feel the same way, send the letter. If not, burn the letter in the fireplace and move on. Solid advice, and that’s what I did here – I’m sending the letter.

I could be very wrong about all of this. Maybe they were a perfectly lovely couple and it was true love and I’m just a cynical asshole for thinking this way. Feel free to disagree with me. And it probably serves nothing and helps no one that I even did this.

With so many famous person deaths this past bitter January, one wasn’t mentioned at all in these blogging circles, René Angelil.

It’s known that I have never been a fan of Celine Dion’s music, and I generally haven’t followed her life. I hope it’s also known that I truly do not wish death on anybody. I’m sure they loved each other and that’s wonderful. But when I heard that this guy got a national funeral (one step down from a state funeral, reserved for former premiers) in Montreal, I couldn’t believe it… I mean, I could believe it, because people will make a spectacle out of anything, and Quebec is pathetically desperate to cling to anything that gives them their own cultural identity (son of immigrants marries small-town girl turned superstar? Right to the front page!). But honestly, a national funeral? Why? Just because he was married to Celine Dion? Are we that desperate for celebrities? Apparently!

26 years her senior, he turned her into a star starting at 12, carried on a quiet affair with her for years before they announced they were dating…ugh… and this was a man who’d been married twice before and already had three children. That’s just all sorts of wrong. When she was 26, he 51, they married, a marriage her own mother opposed. Now, I know that love comes in many forms, and it’s wrong to knock it down when it happens, but I’m with her Mom. And never mind that technically they shouldn’t have even been allowed to marry in any Catholic church (he was divorced/annulled, whatever), let alone THE biggest Catholic church in the province. Never mind that the whole story just makes the skin crawl. Go on and believe what you will, I suppose.

Sure, the marriage lasted all these years, and for that they get all credit. But what else did he do? His own pop career fizzled, so he managed a few other Quebeçois artists until Celine hit it big… um… they bought the Nickels restaurant franchise, and part of Schwartz’s,  so I suppose he helped run that? Never mind the reports of a woman coming forward to say he was sexually inappropriate (and she and her partner were later paid off, and then charged with extortion, what a tangle), and that Celine wasn’t wearing her wedding ring and there was talk of divorce… until he got sick and the ring came right back. Surely that’s nothing.

Oh, and he had a massive gambling habit, probably mostly her (their) money. Neither of them were born to a silver spoon, so it feels way off that they wouldn’t have more appreciation. But the worst, for me, was their 15 year old son’s eulogy, in which he talked about how he was just getting to know his Dad (whut), and through his Dad’s interests (not his). And don’t forget to mention smoked meat because it brings it back to Quebec, even though they haven’t even lived in Canada in forever. And where were his other kids (from his previous marriages) in all this? From what I saw of the CBC’s coverage, it mostly showed Celine and her kids… The whole thing just feels calculated and gross, like a cover-up of some ugly truths.

Celine called herself Angelil’s masterpiece. Ha sure. Meanwhile it was her talent doing all the hard work, and right from the get-go the whole thing has been svengali creepy. Still, I’m sure there was lots nice about him, and a lavish funeral service in a big church (because they have money to afford it all) would be understandable. And maybe, many years from now when Celine dies, I could better understand a national funeral. But a national funeral, paid for by the province, for that guy? No. Non.

51 thoughts on “Another January Death

  1. stephen1001 says:

    I like that Mark Twain quote, not sure how I feel about the rest of the issues here, not sure if it matters how I feel though either. I don’t know much about him but Celine always struck me as a genuine person, it could have been calculated I suppose, but she was never offensive to me. I think Alice Cooper said it best (as he usually does!) when asked about his friendship with Celine, he said something like, she’s one of the world’s greatest singers he just doesn’t tend to agree with her song choices

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Phillip Helbig says:

              My all-time favourite “it’s not helping” comment was issued by the representative of the local tourist board. She was addressing a crowd at a campsite; she was there because the tourist board wanted to drum up interest in tourists coming to the campsite because they would then spend money in town, and the campsite was interested in more visitors. She was quite nervous. She said “I’m nervous. In my course on public speaking, the teacher said that if I were ever nervous, I should just imagine that the entire audience is naked. But it’s not helping!”

              It was at a nudist campsite.

              Like

        1. mikeladano says:

          Not really! This is his bread and butter. Always has been. This only came out a few months after Blood on the Bricks…and was a way bigger hit. Aldo has writing credits on virtually every Celine album. He’s more famous for that than anything else.

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          1. boppinsblog says:

            I meant rock bottom for a ROCK band.
            He may have mafe more money, and credit in this genre, but I prefer his Fantasy era as a rock fan.
            Just like Chicago, Foreigner, etc
            the sappy shit makes more money, but loses guys like me.

            Like

              1. boppinsblog says:

                Once a rick artist, that is all I remember.
                I only remember Ritchie Blackmore’s rock stuff for example, annnnnnd I want to see him tour this year. Yaaaaaaay.

                Like

  2. Phillip Helbig says:

    Three issues: state funeral, young bride, alleged rape. I suppose citizens of Quebec can complain about the first. As I said, I think it was uncalled for, but it’s not my decision. Young bride? I know many couples with similar age differences (not only with the woman much younger). I know a few (former) teenage girls who had boyfriends over 30. In no case was the boyfriend creepy and in no case was the girl exploited in any way. It really was true love. No, not all lasted, but that is par for the course for teen romance. Alleged rape. It is, sadly (especially for real victims), the case that sometimes someone alleges rape if the alleged rapist was famous, or has become famous in the meantime, in the hope of compensation, or publicity, or whatever. I say, innocent until proven guilty. If we drop that principle, anyone can ruin anyone else’s life just by alleging something. It is often impossible to prove innocence, which is why it is not required. I even know of a case where a woman claimed rape by a male superior, with the circumstances pointing to a false allegation with the hope of compensation. She didn’t know at the time that the superior was openly gay. Bad choice.

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    1. boppinsblog says:

      As a citizen of Canada I do not want someone, anyone that really did not do anything to help our country out, and hasn’t lived here in years getting a National funeral. Especially someone with a history of illegal and immoral acts.
      As for teens dating and having sex with older men, if they were under 16, it is called Statuatory Rape, it is against the law, and the men have to be registered as a sex offender.
      Just because the girls are too young to make adult choices and fall in love with their abuser, it still is illegal.
      Stats prove most abused women defend the abuser, so saying you love him does not make it right.
      Yes the rape may have been alleged.
      People lie, but the fact he paid the woman $2 million to go away is prove enough to me that he was guilty. If not guilty, let it go to court.

      Like

  3. boppinsblog says:

    I get the points about age difference, and agree if it was only the age difference I may not have a problem(although as the father of a teen girl, I would kick the ass of a 40 year old creeper hanging around her). The thing I do not like is he may have been an opportunistic, preying pedophile, secretly dating a child while still married and having a son older than Celine. Not surprisingly, his wife divorced him when he was dating(I mean managing) Celine. Also, there was at least one allegation of rape. To me, this sets a pattern, and he should be ostracized, not honoured.
    I would have loved to hear the eulogy.
    “We are here today to honour a known gambling addict, that has been accused of rape, and was possibly a pedophile.”
    If Jian Ghomeshi dies tomorrow, he doesn’t deserve a publically funded special funeral either(too bad for him he doesn’t have the kind of money Rene had to pay people off).
    P.S. I went on a bunch of sites that reported on this funeral, and the comments were full of people that opposed this special funeral, so the court of public opinion seems to agree with Aaron.

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  4. mikeladano says:

    I agree with Phillip. They had a true love that lasted, built a beautiful family. He’s all she ever knew, and now she’s alone. True love transcends age. I have nothing but sadness. I stopped being creeped out by the age difference decades ago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. keepsmealive says:

      That’s fine, I suppose it was their business. But if YOUR teenaged daughter was dating a twice-divorced guy in his 40s, you’d be OK with that? Really?

      Ah well, as I said to Phillip, this is only one point in the post. I still disagree with the national funeral for that guy.

      Like

      1. mikeladano says:

        I wouldn’t be OK with it when it started but 30 years later I have nothing but sadness and empathy. They proved everybody wrong who said it wouldn’t last. True love can take odd forms.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. keepsmealive says:

          I suppose, which is why I did add “Sure, the marriage lasted all these years, and for that they get all credit.” Those were some pretty long odds, for sure. He really liked the odds, by all reports.

          Big lavish funeral, sure, go for it. National funeral at the public’s expense just because he was married to famous? No. And sure, he helped get her out there, but it was her talent that did it all.

          I have empathy, I’m not that cold. I just disagree with a lot of it. Ah well, if we all thought the same, it’d be pretty boring around here.

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          1. mikeladano says:

            Well…I don’t agree that it is 100% her talent. She’s never written a song in her life. So obviously she’s had lots of help being a star. Managers always have song to do with it. That’s why we still talk about Brian Epstein today. Nobody is going to take away his accomplishments just because he wasn’t on stage.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. keepsmealive says:

              Which is why I said ” he helped get her out there.”

              As well as: “Still, I’m sure there was lots nice about him, and a lavish funeral service in a big church (because they have money to afford it all) would be understandable. And maybe, many years from now when Celine dies, I could better understand a national funeral. But a national funeral, paid for by the province, for that guy? No. Non.”

              Like

              1. mikeladano says:

                No, I get that you wrote that already. I’m not explaining my feelings not attacking yours or trying to circle around. The funeral just doesn’t bother me. If that’s what they wanted to do in Quebec, that’s up to them as far as my feelings go. I don’t care.

                Like

      2. mikeladano says:

        The funeral part I don’t really have an opinion about. I know they’re considered close to royalty over there. Doesn’t bother me personally, I’m more focused on the loss of Rene and the poor kids.

        Like

  5. Phillip Helbig says:

    Whether or not they were billed too high in Canada, I don’t see why you try to knock their relationship. There is a long history in rock music of young people being sexually involved and/or getting married. That’s sort of the point of rock ‘n’ roll, right? (Except for Rush, who never wrote songs about girls, probably because they are still together with the girlfriends they had when they were 15 (except for Peart, whose girlfriend died). Alex Lifeson became a father at 17; no need to sing “I can’t get no”.) Elvis and Priscilla? Jerry Lee Lewis? Everybody’s hero, David Bowie? Not to mention Brian Jones.

    Quote du jour:

    I was 14 when I first got married. My wife was too old for me; she was 17.

    —Jerry Lee Lewis

    Liked by 2 people

      1. boppinsblog says:

        Like Stompin’ Tom, I don’t agree with people making their millions andmleving outside Canada, then coming home to receive rewards and honours, while the people that stay here and support our country get ignored.

        Like

        1. keepsmealive says:

          Happens all the time. Canadian market just can’t compete (not yet anyway). I don’t think the bands here get ignored, it’s just the attention south of the border is exponentially larger.

          Like

          1. boppinsblog says:

            If Graham James dies and gets a funeral paid by the Government, you may blow up the internet.
            But, he helped make a lot of hockey players famous, so maybe we should ignore his pedophile stuff.

            Like

              1. boppinsblog says:

                It’s funny. A guy that helps someone be a famous singer get’s this funeral, but a guy that runs across our Country on one leg, unites millions of Canadians in one goal, dies in the process, and raises millions for cancer does not.

                Like

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