Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Easter weekend is here.
Out hops the stuffed bunnies in all shapes and sizes; they hang from windows, perch happily at mall cafes and frame chocolate isles of supermarkets. Its not a sin to be furry and cute. Its their duty. Their presence is considered appropriate to mark this ritual event. In fact, we expect kitsch to be at places of common ground only to reinforce our social distance from it. The masses allow for the elite to exist.
So it is no wonder that one feels unnerved when one sees these creatures in their furry glory infiltrate your exclusive moments at what you consider a classy Belgian restaurant. While a real French speaking hostess serves a four course meal and punctuates your dinner at strategic times to make sure your wine glass is full, you see Easter kitsch seep through EVERYWHERE!
As you sit by the window, a wonderful landscape view of the hills of the Ardennes is tainted by a nest of eggs on your table; a humble potted plant is violated by gaudy yellow feathers shooting up from its soil and in case the message hasn't come through potently enough, yellow chicks have been let loose on the table. Kitsch has taken over as you consume your quail with white cabbage. Nothing is sacred anymore. Elitism is fraying, losing its edge and if not careful, will get corrupted by the common man's taste! After all, when have you seen ritual parade itself rawly in its full regalia at a Tiffany store or the Four Seasons?
So what makes this kitsch in the first place? Why is kitsch easy to identify and just as difficult to define? Milan Kundera kindly illuminates us on this, "Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says:How nice to be moved, together with all mankind by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes Kitsch Kitsch."
Packaged sentimentality apparently is on the rise...there is no safety in low numbers anymore!