Our cat and occasional guest blogger Scooter Thomas has not been heard from in quite some time. He asked for the opportunity to explain his absence as well as address something that’s been on his mind recently. We have granted his request.
I have not written in some time owing to the fact my life has been an unfathomable abyss of despair that makes William Styron’s Darkness Visible look like “Yo Gabba Gabba.” To think I suffered in neglect before that screaming pink ball of putrescence arrived.
But I am not here to sing tales of woe at what has become a truly miserable second-rate existence, marked by abandonment and punctuated by the unintelligible gurglings and droolings of He Who Shall Not Be Named.
I am here to probe the human psyche, of which I have admittedly taken a less than sanguine view over the past four months.
I am referring specifically to a segment which I heard the other morning on National Public Radio. I was, as is usually the case during “Morning Edition,” licking myself in the nether regions when this story came on:
There’s a good chance you own something by Thomas Kinkade. The artist’s warm, cozy paintings have been widely reprinted on calendars, coffee mugs and more — and it’s estimated that his work appears in 1 in every 20 U.S. homes.
Yet Kinkade’s company is struggling. Dogged by fraud allegations, his company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, and it plans to be back in court soon to file a plan of reorganization.
But financial challenges aside, Kinkade’s artwork continues to sell. He is, after all, the “Painter of Light” — he came up with the nickname himself.
If you are like me — not a cat, necessarily, but an individual of sophisticated tastes and exemplary hygiene — you were shocked by this report. You may, like me, also have nearly choked on a hairball.
Is it possible? Can this really be true?
One in twenty U.S. homes features a Thomas Kinkade painting??
The so-called “Painter of Light” is the “Painter of Dreck” in my book. His tawdry soft focus paintings don’t even deserve to be called kitsch. They deserve to be lining my litterbox.
And yet five percent of the homes in this fine country proudly flaunt their infantile understanding of genuine art by hanging a Kinkade over the mantle.
I am sick with disgust.
I mean, just look at it.
You know what that scene needs? Predator — preferably plural, as in the surprisingly entertaining Predators starring Adrien Brody and Walton Goggins. They would wipe the smile off that stupid snowman, then disembowel him and rip out the spines of every shiny happy person in that quaint little cottage.
But I digress.
The report continues:
Kinkade has said the light that streams through his paintings is the light of Jesus. But some of his gallery owners have accused the artist of using shared Christian values to defraud them. They say he persuaded them to open galleries in areas that couldn’t support them — and then competitively undervalued his own paintings.
“It’s very disappointing when an individual expresses a worldview that’s about peace, love, joy, family, and then ends up taking a position that is contradictory,” says Terry Sheppard, a longtime colleague of Kinkade’s. Sheppard testified in lawsuits that several of Kinkade’s gallery owners brought against the artist.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that, yes, I am one of those gallery owners who filed the lawsuit. In a former life which, it should go without saying, I am not especially proud of, I opened a Thomas Kinkade gallery in Harlem. (Why did I do this? That stupid Blue Ocean Strategy book.)
So yes, I’ve got skin in the game.
Yes, I am still in considerable debt.
Will I go quietly into the night?
What was that, I couldn’t hear you?
I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak up.
Prepare yourself for armageddon, Kinkade! This is the symbolic havoc I will wreak on your crooked empire!
BURN, KINKADE, BURN!
[Editor’s note: We have seized the computer from Scooter Thomas and locked him in the Fish Room. Our apologies to Mr. Kinkade and anyone affiliated with Kinkade Enterprises. Please do not sue us for libel.]