Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Crap will Ruin Your Life

I hate to be harsh, but crap is out to ruin your life. If you have lousy taste, people will think you're stupid, and will cynically take advantage of you.

Case in point - Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light". He is now under FBI investigation for fraud, but some of the allegations make you wonder how stupid people manage to get their hands on money to invest so poorly.
Those ex-owners alleged, among other things, that the artist, known for his dreamily luminous landscapes and street scenes, used his Christian faith to persuade them to invest in the independently owned stores, which must sell Kinkade’s work exclusively.
. . .
After investing tens of thousands of dollars or more, former gallery owners alleged that the company’s unfair practices and policies drove them out of business. They alleged that they were stuck with unsalable limited-edition prints, forced to open additional stores in saturated markets, and undercut by discounters that sold identical art works at prices they were forbidden to match.
Gee, ya think you might lose money by opening a gallery that sells crappy art exclusively? What, couldn't you get the franchise for selling sad clowns??

In searching for links to use for this post, I came across even more horrifying news. A housing development called "The Gates of Old Hawthorne" in Columbia, Missouri, is being built with a Thomas Kinkade theme.
About 100 luxury homes will feature architectural designs inspired by the artwork of Thomas Kinkade, the "Painter of Light(TM)" and world-renowned artist.
. . .
"The homes will be reminiscent of Thomas Kinkade's charming cottages that are found in many of his works," stated Rann Haight, Director of Architectural Design for HST Group. "We will also be concentrating our efforts on creating a village atmosphere and neighborhood streetscapes such as those found in Thomas Kinkade's painting, Lamplight Lane."
For Pete's sake, people! Can't you see that a builder who thinks you have crappy taste and poor judgment is likely to cut a few extra corners?

In a tangentially related note, I was stuck on an elliptical machine yesterday at the gym and the TV in my line of site shifted to a Tom Bosley infomercial for SMC - an opportunity to lose whatever money you may have by trying to sell crappy, ugly figurines and vases to other people without any taste. It was fascinating, especially since the other TV I could see had some bizarre woman who looked like a cross between Condi Rice, Oprah and Skeletor preaching about how God expresses His favor through wealth, and that it is Christian to seek money in abundance. In any case, my sick fascination led me to this page, which must be one of the saddest pages on the internet. If you want a look into the heart of people who want to get rich quick, this is the place to go.


Anonymous travelingal said...

Sad to see the Christian faith drug through the mud once again. At least they aren't promising 72 virgins if you blow yourself and others to pieces. I have a feeling people like that will be shoveling coal for eternity.

8/30/2006 9:16 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I think there's a special level of hell for those who use Christianity (or any religion) for greed. Several levels worse, though, is the level for those who would kill for their religion. I don't think we disagree here, and I don't blame Christianity generally for the Christians on TV or for Thomas Kinkade's "art", either.

8/30/2006 9:31 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

We do agree, Dan. It's really maddening for me to see people who profess to be "Christians" use religion to deceive others.

The above link is to a source I respect which addresses the concept of Hell. I'm in a Bible study group in which the topic of Hell and description of same frequently comes up. Of course, no living person can prove what Hell is or is not, but I do believe there are different levels of Hell. I don't believe there is anything wrong or sinful about debating or questioning Christian concepts. It's part of learning and I personally trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in the right direction.

8/30/2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger les said...

Hey, two words: "Precious Moments." These folks just picked the wrong schlock. It's the American way. I recently read of a "Christian merchandise" expo, which are proliferating accross the country and where, more and more, the goods have nothing to do with christianity. The money quote, from one of the sellers: "Slap "Jesus" on it, and it'll sell!"

8/30/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Precious Moments, indeed! Imagine a "Precious Moments" themed housing edition where all of the residents have to get surgery so they have those big, spooky eyes! AAGGGHHH!!

"It's really maddening for me to see people who profess to be "Christians" use religion to deceive others."

In my humble opinion, all religions are all about deceiving people.

Telling you there's a Supreme Being.

Telling you there's an Afterlife.

Telling you you are Special and Unique.

Telling you everything happens For A Reason and that the universe isn't really a random, chaotic, often cruel and unpleasant place where you are a submicroscopic speck of semi-sentient protoplasm that has to survive on your own or perish.

What proof do they offer for these pleasant fantasies that prop people up? None. Nada. Zip.

You have to take it on Faith (belief without evidence).

I'm sorry, I just can't live my life like that. I can't buy a pig in a poke. I'm a rational kinda guy who needs at least some evidence before I believe something.

You would think that the Middle East, a region that gave birth to 3 monotheistic religions who all claim to worship the same All Powerful Loving God, would be the most blissful and peaceful place on earth.

God's Grace should be most evident in the home of the three religions who worship him. His light should shine brightest there.

The fact that the EXACT OPPOSITE is true tells me that they are all a fiction.

The sooner people come to grips with the fact that we ALL have to get along with each other on this planet and stop believing that some Divine Intervention will destroy our enemies and save us, the better off we'll all be.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. Hasn't happened yet, but it's possible.

8/30/2006 6:50 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

XO, you have a personal conviction and I can't change that. I also have a personal conviction and you can't change it. Both of us are fortunate to live in a country where we are not forced to practice religion but where we have the right to practice the religion of our choice. I think we both would agree that is extremely important and that balance is very tricky, hence the "border" wars between the left and the right.

Well, can't write a book on a blog so will leave it there.

8/31/2006 8:45 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"XO, you have a personal conviction..."

You know about my conviction?!? How'd you find out about that? The judge said those records would be sealed! Bastard!

Seriously, I do indeed agree that we are lucky to live in a country where we are both free to believe whatever we want and to discuss it openly.

I would just like to see more tolerance of differing viewpoints and choices.

I know, reading some of my rants and diatribes you'd think that INTOLERANCE was my bread and butter. But hey, this is show bizniss baby. Have your people call my people, we'll do lunch.

What burns my balls more than anything else in this world is one group of people trying to take away choices from another group of people. Because it's usually based on one of these premises:

1. I'm smarter than you.
2. I'm more moral than you.
3. I'm healthier than you.
4. I'm more powerful than you.
5. You're experiencing pleasures that I'm not.
6. What you are doing is FORBIDDEN to me by MY God, so no one can be allowed to do it.
7. It's for your own good. We must protect you from yourself.

If people would just stay out of each other's business and take a "live and let live" attitude (from the individual level right on up to the World Power level), this would be a much happier planet with a lot less dead people.

Unfortunately, most of the intolerance I see in the world is faith-based intolerance.

Hence the source of my "conviction".

If the world operated on facts and logic instead of faith and emotion, the world would be vastly more fair and just.

8/31/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

LOL! What the hell was Dan's post about originally?

Didn't it have something to do with crappy art?

8/31/2006 5:26 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Ah yes, crappy art. I think I'm guilty of buying some of his Christmas cards in years past. Never again. Back to Snoopy sitting on top of the Christmas tree..

9/01/2006 9:07 AM  

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