The Czech novelist Milan Kundera made a famous observation. ‘Kitsch,’ he wrote, ‘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!’ Kitsch, in other words, is not about the thing observed but about the observer. It does not invite you to feel moved by the doll you are dressing so tenderly, but by yourself dressing the doll. All sentimentality is like this: it redirects emotion from the object to the subject, so as to create a fantasy of emotion without the real cost of feeling it. The kitsch object encourages you to think ‘look at me feeling this; how nice I am and how lovable’. That is why Oscar Wilde, referring to one of Dickens’s most sickly death-scenes, said that ‘a man must have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell’.
– Roger Scruton, Confessions of a Heretic: Selected Essays
And in wee news of the day…you know, that which has a tinge of the rancid about it:
Martha Stewart Poses for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover at 81: ‘The Whole Aging Thing is So Boring‘ – variety.com
And in related news:
Dad Punishes Misbehaving Son By Giving Him Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue babylonbee.com
SUNDERLAND, MD — After catching his teenage son looking at pornography, local father Daniel Gouge sat his son down for a heart-to-heart talk before meting out justice by giving him a copy of the latest swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, which features Martha Stewart on the cover.
“Son, women are not objects,” Gouge said. “And I’m afraid the only way to help you understand that is by showing you Martha Stewart in a saucy bikini.”
He added, “Look at her, son. She’s 81. Older than grandma.”
“Ugh, Dad! No! My punishment is too great to bear!” the 14-year-old reportedly cried out in despair. “Please don’t make me look at Martha Stewart in a swimsuit! PLEASE!” Unfortunately for him, the matter had been settled by both his father and the cultural zeitgeist currently sweeping America.
Gouge left his son alone with the magazine to “think about what he had done.”
At publishing time, Gouge had threatened his son that if it happens again, he will make him read a copy of the Victoria’s Secret catalog featuring Megan Rapinoe.
In tonight’s free advice section:
Tonight’s musical offerings:
“What is my definition of jazz? Safe sex of the highest order.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Take Five – The Dave Brubeck Quartet