Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The soft, luminous glow of the apocalypse

How can we go on without masterpieces like this?


The 8sails staff meeting is online this week, as a scheduling conflict prevents our usual Friday get-together. Despite the odd venue, we have important business to deal with: the passing of Thomas Kinkade.

Dead at 54 of "natural causes"? Who the hell do you people think you're fooling? Apparently behind the twinkly born-again glow the guy was a serious alcoholic and poon hound. My favorite tidbit: he was ejected from a Disney theme park for urinating on a statue of Winnie the Pooh. Given the character's name, perhaps we should be grateful it was just urine.

So now I envision a painting. Sunset. Pine trees twinkling in a gentle breeze. A babbling brook. Old-timey pick up trucks parked around a ramshackle building, a warm glow emerging from the open doorway. And up top, another kind of warm glow shines forth from a neon sign announcing "Live Nude Girls." Thomas Kinkade's "Love Shack."

What a fraud, Beria says. I hope that when portal to the motel of the mysteries is first breeched, the future Carnarvon isn't assailed by the scared religious paintings of Thomas Kincaid or videos of the orgiastic gospel weltanshauung  of Lawrence Welk. They'd just pull the backhoe up and bury the whole mess.

So now I find myself wondering if civilizations get some kind of advance warning when their time comes, sort of like individuals who can sense that the end is near.

Pharaoh: Okay, everyone. I just got the word from on high. Our civilization is going to come to an end, so we need to tidy the place up a bit. We don't want archaeologists 2000 years from now to think we were a pack of idiots, so I need you all to get rid of anything that might make us look bad. Take all those velvet paintings of "Ammuts playing poker" and "My dad drowned chasing Jews across the Red Sea and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" apparel out into the front yard and set fire to it.

We should be so lucky.