Thomas Kinkade Further Ruins Christmas

The last trend in art--View and Barf.

I don’t normally wish bankruptcy on people, but when I read that Thomas Kinkade’s production company filed a Chapter 11 petition in June, I have to admit that I experienced gushes of guiltless glee. Thomas Kinkade’s art is to good taste what double-knit polyester is to high fashion. (I swear that if you put a Kinkade decal on your sweat pants it will make your ass look fat.)

Hooray! I thought—no more garish neon skies, yellow light shining in the windows of faux castles, stone-bridged s-curve creeks, or cottages that look like they were designed by bourgeois hobbits. My God! Good taste might break out right here in America.

As The Beatles sang, ‘Whoa-o-o-o I, should have known better….” Not only is Tom still committing aesthetic assault with a sabled brush, he’s just teamed up with the Bradford Exchange for a new offering that manages to sink lower than a shunned mole and be actively vile at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kinkade’s “The True Meaning of Christmas," a composition that features jolly old Saint Nick busily at work in front of his fireplace carving crèches. This masterpiece is crowned by a painting above the mantle of “Victorian Christmas II.” It’s by the old master himself, Tomasardo da Kinkade. (Maybe the reproduction rights to “Drink the Kool-aid III” are tied up in bankruptcy court.)

Jesus, Mary, and the Reindeer!!! How many ways is this offensive? All hail the new Trinity: Santa, Jesus, and Kinkade. Isn’t it bad enough that Christmas has become an orgy of consumerism without Kinkaide rubbing our noses in it? In friggin’ July no less. If we wanted to get all PoMo (postmodernist) about it, we could speculate on why Santa and the painting are much larger than the crèche. Let’s. After all, Santa’s bag is next to him, toys and a list flowing out the top. Somehow I doubt that Jack through Matti are on the must-have-manger list and the carving is too large to fit in the “Mrs. Claus” stocking. Guess the crèche must be destined for the next person on the list. Maybe “Mitt.” Mitt Romney’s actually a Mormon, but he’s willing to become a born-again if you promise to vote for him. (He’s be willing to become a gay raccoon-juggler from Seti Alpha VI if you'll vote for him.)

But wait…there’s more. Not only do we get nearly 11 inches of “lifelike” hand-painted resin, flip a switch and the painting illuminates. Push a button and hear minstrel Tom himself “narrate the Christmas story.” Which one, I wonder—the one told in the New Testament, the poem by Clement Moore, or the story by Charles Dickens? To really get in the correct spirit it should be the script from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or maybe NLCV II to provide symmetry with “Victorian Christmas II.”

All of this is yours for $99.99 plus $14.95 for shipping and handling. How much to contribute to the creditors’ fund in the bankruptcy lawsuit? Santadamn it! I want Kinkade to be sent to the seventh layer of hell where he will be body painted by elves for eternity.