Tonight, Diana appeared on the American Music Awards to accept a well-deserved lifetime achievement award. And not only did she accept the award, she TURNED IT OUT with a medley of some of her greatest hits.
For the finale of her performance, she invited all of her family onstage, including her grandson who tried so hard to upstage her. I give him credit, but c’mon kid… Your grandma is Diana Ross. There is no upstaging the diva, no matter how many times you’ve watched her perform with Michael Jackson.
Anyway, her whole family was onstage with her, including the fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross, who did a great job hosting – and rocked many of her mom’s iconic outfits.
As if an epic Diana Ross live performance wasn’t enough, someone brought HER FANNY PACK ONSTAGE. I don’t yell at my TV very often, but I was SCREAMING with delight when this happened. Diana’s performance brought tears to my eyes and made me fundamentally happy. When the fannypack appeared, I lost it. LOST. IT.
My friend also found this interview from Jimmy Kimmel live, in which Tracee Ellis Ross provides background to the story and tells the world that, fashion be damned, Diana Ross always loves a good fannypack – but only one – and will use it until it wears out.
What mysteries are in this fanny pack? We can only guess.
As much fun as this whole fannypack saga is, I sincerely hope this jumpstarts a new appreciation for Diana Ross’ contribution to music and pop culture. Diana Ross has always been one of my favourite divas, and tonight on the AMAs shows why – she’s a consummate performer and ultimate Diva… And also a caring mother and grandmother.
I pretty much didn’t have to hate-watch this season… But that’s not saying there aren’t plot holes big enough to drive a bird-killing spray truck through.
**SPOILER ALERT #1** – This post will talk about some key plot points from AHS:Cult. If you haven’t watched the whole series yet, and still want to be surprised, you may want to skip this post.
**(NON-)SPOILER ALERT #2** – Despite a relatively linear storyline, Ryan Murphy once again Ryan Murphy’ed all over this season of AHS by leaving lots of “untied loose ends” and plotline dead ends.
I’ve watched every season of American Horror Story, and I find them entertaining and compelling. But every season, without fail, the show goes off the rails – whether it’s ridiculous plot twists or characters that appear, then disappear… Never to been heard from again. That being said, this season of AHS was better than most for this, but there were still some things that ALMOST turned me into a hate-watcher.
The Wizardry of Oz
First off, young Cooper Dodson did a great job on AHS: Cult as Ozzy. His performance was spot-on and, let’s face it, he probably saw some crazy stuff on set, even if it was “movie magic.” But Oz’s greatest power? Disappearing.
After his mom and nanny met their demise, you’d think Ally would spend all her waking moments with Oz… But throughout the series, he’d disappear for episodes at a time. Even if we assume Kai locked him in a room by himself, you’d have to think that he’s be pretty damn scarred. In the finale, he seems perfectly well adjusted.
Who’s Running Beverly’s News Show?!
It was good to see Dylan McDermott Dermot Mulroney as Beverly’s boss on AHS, and his death scene (along with that of his attic-bound “friend”) was truly disturbing… But by the end of the series (especially when reporting on Gary’s untimely demise), Beverly looked like absolute crap, and yet she was allowed on air. In reality, no news producer in their right mind would allow this to air. Reporters are (sadly) judged on their looks on a regular basis, and Beverly’s devolution into hot-messedness would garner more angry viewer voicemails than WNEP Scranton’s backyard train. Who’s running this show now that Bob Thompson’s dead? Another cult member? Did Bev get a promotion? We’ll never know.
As an AHS newbie, Alison Pill is a great addition to the American Horror Story family – also, she’s Canadian! Her cherubic, innocent face is the perfect red herring to disguise her character’s motives… Although keen, fashion-savvy viewers may have realized she was probably in on it all along.
But Ivy met her demise and was placed in the world’s worst makeshift morgue/lye dispensary.. But in one of Kai’s last visits to his parents, Ivy is nowhere to be seen in the room.. And in the finale, Ally visits Ivy’s grave. We can only assume that after the FBI raid, they found the bedroom/graveyard and gave Ivy a proper burial. Kai didn’t take credit for Ivy’s murder, so how did that go down? Was he found guilty anyway? Is it an unsolved mystery? Did Ivy get buried between her lye-ing and that time Kai started hallucinating? Did they blame Speed Wagon? We’ll never know, and are left to connect the dots however we want – But this isn’t Gestaltism, it’s FX. That’s not art, Ryan Murphy – it’s lazy storytelling.
From Shrill to Kill
Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Sarah Paulson… But AHS:Cult’s first few episodes were hysteric-Ally screamy and cry-y. Then, all of a sudden, AFTER her shrink and her partner bite it, Ally gets all super confident and clown-friendly. Coulrophobia is real, kids – and so is anxiety and many other mental illnesses. It’s not something you get over in a hot minute. I’m not buying it.
There were also the dead end plot points of the creepy spray trucks, Lena Dunham and Frances Conroy showing up because they wanted to, and many others. And the teased, much-hyped, then unceremoniously dropped bee plot point.
All this being said, once American Horror Story: Cult hit its stride a few episodes in, there were some great moments. Billy Eichner was a revelation, Billie Lourd is just plain awesome and, story-wise, the lack of “paranormal stuff to explain plot holes” was refreshing. I’m also hoping that Donald Trump stumbles upon the show and, confusing FX with Fox News, thinks that AHS:Cult is a documentary.
Call her Miss Ross – if you find her missing fanny pack.
The great thing about Twitter is that it gives famous people a chance to show their fans a glimpse into their everyday lives, and express their personal thoughts and feelings. I mean, yeah, Donald Trump’s Twitter is terrible… But Cher’s Twitter is pretty awesome – it’s kind of like if your 71 year-old grandmother was on Twitter… If your Grandmother was a super-progressive, politically active living legend.
Speaking of living legends I love, Diana Ross is also on Twitter. She isn’t nearly as prolific as Cher, but a recent post from Ms Ross has made me love her even more.
Let this sink in:
A) Diana Ross wears a fanny pack!
B) Diana Ross shops at Marshalls!
THIS IS AMAZING. Picture it, if you can: Diana Ross thumbing through racks of off-price sweaters. She sees a cute little cashmere number from Ann Taylor. Oh, but it’s a V-neck. She was looking for a crew neck. Hey, there’s an adorable blouse on that clearance rack! Oh, it’s Ivanka Trump. Diana Ross moves it to the back of the clearance rack, next to the clear-knee mom jeans.
Diana Ross takes a red sequinned gown that she found in the “gowns only Diana Ross could get away with” section, and goes to the Marshalls fitting room.
Oh, the red gown doesn’t fit. Diana Ross leaves Marshalls, wondering if the TJ Maxx down the street got a new shipment in today. Diana Ross, oddly enough, doesn’t shop at Ross Dress for Less. That’s a little too “on the nose.”
She gets home, and is craving a Scotch mint. She always keeps a few in her fanny pack because, you know, she’s 73 year old lady. But her fanny pack is nowhere to be found!! Diana Ross is inconsolable – it was a free gift with purchase from when she did that workout video in 1981, and it was the last one she had!
But then some kind soul finds it and returns it to her. Could you imagine being the person that found that? You see a well-worn fanny pack in Marshalls, you open it up, and you see DIANA ROSS’ DRIVER’S LICENSE staring back at you!
And Ms Ross was grateful to get her beloved fanny pack back! Like, two-tweet grateful!
I mean, if I lost my wallet, I’d be pretty ticked off. Could you imagine Diana Ross on the phone?
“Hi, this is Diana Ross. I need to cancel my Discover Card. I lost my fanny pack at Marshalls…. Yes, THAT Diana Ross…. Yes, a fanny pack…. Last time I used it? The Saks Off 5th at the Beverly Center. I found a wonderful feather boa at a price less than you’d find at department stores.”
It would be a pain.
So, to conclude – Diana Ross, the ultimate diva is also Diana Ross, frugal shopper, fanny pack wearer and grateful human being.
In 1991, when I was a young lad of 15 (and a half), I was still taking the bus to school. I lived in the country, and it was the only way I could get to school until I received my precious driver’s license the next year. I did have something that made my bus ride bearable, though – a Discman… Or – more specifically – a Toshiba portable CD player, and a dozen of my favourite CDs.
I first heard Deee-Lite (as many kids of the 90s did) at a MuchMusic Video Dance Party – the song, of course, was “Groove Is In The Heart.” Let’s take a look, shall we?
Now, for a 15 year-old from Brandon, Manitoba, this video was mind-blowing. They looked like they were from the 60s, but also from the future! Those colours! The cultural diversity! Those shoes (Fluevogs, it turns out)!
After seeing this visual treat, I bought the World Clique CD for $356,651 – or whatever obscene price CDs were in 1990. (They were expensive, kids. Ask your parents. We would even RENT them like videotapes.)
Fast-forward to today – the CD is still in my collection, and my iPod has a substantial amount of Deee-Lite on it. And you know what? It holds up. Here’s the thing about Deee-Lite: while they helped define 1990s pop culture, there’s really no other (mainstream) act like quite like them.
I did a quick Google search for the term “Bands Like Deee-Lite” – you know what I got? A bunch of dance-pop acts. Admittedly, good stuff – a post about the genius of Cathy Dennis is percolating – but I’m sorry, Black Box, C+C Music Factory, and even Ms. Dennis are none of the following:
They were also socially conscious (or, woke, as the kids say) before it was cool.
I’m sure commenters may prove me wrong, but for my money, there has been no other mainstream’ish act quite like Deee-Lite. While they may have influenced performers and musicians like Tove Lo sonically, and influenced fashion trends (I remember being so excited for my bell-bottoms from Le Chateau), I can honestly say that Deee-Lite were (and still are) one-of-a-kind.
They brought a unique mix of disco, funk, psychedelia, trance and just plain fun to pop music – Bootsy Collins, for heaven’s sake – to the world in a time of drum machines (Hey, Technotronic!) and grunge. And I bet if you play “Groove Is In The Heart” in any crowded room, a substantial portion of the people in that room will groove, sing along, or bust out some dance moves you never knew they had in them.
Although Deee-Lite is no longer together, Lady Miss Kier is performing, DJing, and still being ridiculously fabulous.
DJ Towa Tei is still DJing and creating music in his native Japan, with a decidedly Deee-Lite Influence:
First off, I want to say that I’m a big fan of positivity. There are many things I love, and this blog will likely cover many of them in excruciating detail. However, there’s been something on my chest that has been bugging me for months, and I need to unload.
Back in May, Katy Perry performed on SNL. Along with her single of the moment, “Bon Appetit,” she performed “Swish Swish” – and holy crap, you guys… It was amazing.
In full Beetlejuice drag, Katy turned it out. The song’s dark tone, paired with the fiercest dance line this side of Soul Train, was the kind of thing that screamed “Song of the Summer!!” – well, for, let’s say 10% of the population, at least. It was just counter-culture enough for mainstream America, and it was strangely both dark and fun at the same time.
And I was excited. Oh boy, was I excited! There was some epic fanning in that video! It wasn’t “silly, quirky Katy Perry” – it was semi-savage Katy Perry, taking aim at an unnamed target (whose name rhymes starts with T and rhymes with Taylor Swift.) I anxiously awaited the video.
Then along came the lyric video, and I have to admit, I was still pretty chuffed. It stars Gretchen, who is apparently big in Brazil and is – I’m not even kidding here – referred to as the “Queen of Butt.” Again – fun and a bit subversive, but with a nod to the fact that this song will fill circuit party dancefloors around the world.
I’m not going to even embed it here – you don’t have the 6 and a half minutes to waste, because, let’s be honest… This video is a hot mess, and tries WAY too hard.
We all know (and love) Katy Perry’s silly, whimsical persona. And on every album, she picks a single to give the cheesy, extended video treatment. Sometimes it works (Debbie Gibson! Darren Criss! REBECCA EFFING BLACK!), sometimes it just kind of fits the song, and sometimes.. Well… You get a steaming pile of video crap.
Now listen, I’m still #TeamKaty, and I still love LISTENING to this song. But this video is just plain awful. There are many people in this video whom I admire and appreciate – and they just embarrass themselves:
…and Terry Crews’ reaction was pretty much the same as mine when I saw the video.
I don’t even get who the target audience is for this video. It has stupid special effects that 10 year-olds would think are HILARIOUS, featuring people that don’t register in their world. I mean, for heaven’s sake, it’s a live-action cartoon.
And that’s not even the WORST of it. I mean, LOOK AT THIS! I did some video editing in college using SuperVHS tape and an ancient computer, and I’m pretty sure I could’ve done better than this.
Listen, I GET that Katy Perry likes to be silly and quirky and “adorkable.” But this song was NOT the place to do it. This video could have been so much more – heck, if she didn’t want to fire a direct shot to the unsinkable Taylor Swift battleship, at least she could’ve fought her “old” persona or something. That’s alway entertaining – right, Mimi?
“Swish Swish” takes a great song and turns it silly. I’m not mad, Kathryn. Just disappointed.
Look what you made me do, Katy. Look what you made me do.