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kinkade

We were driving around the countryside from garden center to garden center today, trying to find growing bags or strawberry plants or…some junk (I’m still unclear on the ‘gardening’ concept). One misty, flower-spangled leafy country lane after another. It was all very sparkly. Like the Ice-capades.

We drove through one tiny village and Uncle B said, “I think I counted six thatched rooves just then.” And then it dawned on me: I’m trapped in a Thomas Kinkade painting.

Y’all know this boo-boo, right? You should. He’s one of the most grinding self-promotional hustlers on the planet. Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light ®. He sells framed bubble-jet prints by mail, in dedicated Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery franchises and on the Home Shopping Channel for anything from hundreds to ten thousand dollars. For a print. To be fair, the really expensive ones are touched up with a bit of real oil paint by a registered detailologist. Or something.

I don’t hate Kinkade. His mixture of demonstrable technical competence, shit-awful taste, improbable Christian piety and rancid venality is…kind of…fascinating. Doing a Google images search this evening, I discovered he has moments of almost brilliance. And moments of such mindblowing gaudy crassness, it hurt like having my ass-bone broken and reset wrong.

I don’t know why the likes of Hallmark, Disney or the Salvation Army have anything to do with him. Well, I do — he claims to have pushed more than two billion-with-a-b dollars worth of merchandise. But he gives off a disastery vibe, if you ask me.

The FBI investigated him a few years ago for crippling his gallery franchisees with a combination of Jesus and strong-arm tactics. There have been allegations of heckling and groping and what Wikipedia called “his proclivity for ritual territory marking through urination, once relieving himself on a Winnie the Pooh figure at a Disney site while saying ‘This one’s for you, Walt’.”

See? How can you hate this guy?

sock it to me

May 13, 2009 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 20