Sunday 26 December 2010

Merry Kitschmas

Bah, humbug! Now that the day has passed, it's time to reflect on the true significance of Christmas...


"Each year, Christmas time reminds us of the ‘holy’ power of kitsch."

Quotable words from Egyptian journo Ati Metwaly, writing on ahramonline.

Having never been to Egypt, I had no idea the Christmas season was a big deal there, but apparently so, and Metwaly has it pretty much sussed.

"Year after year, anything that could carry any artistic or aesthetic value is slowly but surely replaced by worthless plastic, sponge and glitter, glued to paper."

Then there's this neat quote from Austrian novelist Herman Broch:

“The maker of kitsch does not create inferior art, he is not an incompetent or a bungler, he cannot be evaluated by aesthetic standards; rather he is ethically depraved, a criminal willing radical evil.”

Preach it brother!

So how would you create a kitsch-free family Christmas tradition? Would Christmas even be Christmas without kitsch? The Coca Cola Santa Claus would obviously have to go, not to mention those schmaltzy (not to mention inaccurate) cards with snowy nativity scenes and shepherds hobnobbing with Wise Men. Rudolf and Dasher, Donner and Blitzen would be redeployed to the venison industry. And I'm all for anyone even humming "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (shudder) being thrown in the slammer till the New Year.

I'm partial to a dose of Handel's Messiah personally, then again, the libretto is unquestionably a pastiche, and I haven't been able to convince too many others of its benefit, whether or not they're big on pastiches.

Too late to purge the tinsel this year, but it's not too early to start planning, there are only 364 days till the next one!

1 comment:

  1. I understand the Sheriff's deputies around here have a new favorite carol:

    "Arrest ye merry gentlemen"!