Cher Public

The recursion of kitsch

Like the double or triple negative (where theoretically pairs of “nots” cancel each other out, but in practice you can’t be so sure) this tidbit of news La Cieca just read has her confused and uncertain. It seems that at a recital in Tulsa last night, Dame Kiri te Kanawa sang as an encore a Jake Heggie setting of Maria Callas‘s final monologue from Terrence McNally‘s Master Class. You know, the one that McNally didn’t actually write but rather collated from some random remarks Callas made in an entirely different emotional context.

There’s a rule of camp that dear Susan Sontag unfortunately isn’t around to codify these days, and so La Cieca is just going to have to make it up make it up herself. A single instance of tasteless mawkishness of course counts as kitsch. But when kitsch is multiplied by kitsch, e.g., a cheesy song is performed in an overblown manner, the two kitsches cancel out and what is left is either boring or supreme camp. (It’s like one of those quadratic equations where there are always two answers to the problem, often one positive and one negative.)

So let’s try to puzzle it out. Dame Kiri singing anything these days has a strong kitsch quotient, as does a Heggie setting of just about any text that has to do with subjects other than surfing nuns. (A Heggie setting of a Sr. Helen Prejean text about the existential experience of surfing is obviously and unarguably camp.) But, again, no surfing nuns this time, so, the product of two kitsches is camp. (One does, however, suddenly dream of a Regie production of Master Class in which La Divina is depicted as a nun on a surfboard: what a metaphor for the central conflict of her life!)

Next, McNally writing anything is kitsch, and by now Master Class is so overdone (with even a Faye Dunaway movie version eternally in the works), that any exposure of the play is kitsch. (Exception: the Tyne Daly version directed by Stephen Wadsworth: mannered actress miscast in a cheap text with a fussy director, that’s a quadrangle of kitsch and so, by the rule, should be camp. But I’m still not going to go see it.)

Anyway, we have so far (Kiri*Heggie) * (McNally * Master Class), which works out to “camp.” The situation is complicated by the fact that this event took place in Tulsa and Heggie himself accompanied, and La Cieca doesn’t know how to factor in the fact that Dame Kiri shared the stage with Frederica von Stade. This mezzo is, as we know, never kitsch (not even in Three Decembers) and camp only when she chooses to be.

It’s no use, the values aren’t precise enough to yield a non-trivial answer about all this triviality. So La Cieca is simplify matters and say that, given Dame Kiri’s track record as Verdi’s courtesan, her singing or even speaking the line “The sun will not fall down from the sky if there are no more Traviatas” should rank as one of the purest and most hilarious examples of camp in that serene lady’s seemingly infinite career, right up there with the underwear-throwing lawsuit and that hat she wore at the royal wedding.

As she often (not always) does, La Cieca invites the cher public to offer YouTube examples of how kitsch applied to kitsch can rise to the level of camp.

  • rysanekfreak

    I don’t know why this is in black-and-white, but it is a must-see for anyone trying to understand That Which Lies Beyond Camp. BOOM!=My favorite Best Worst Movie Ever Made.

    Liz Taylor…Tennessee Williams…Noel Coward
    At least Kiri didn’t wear THIS outfit when she sang at the royal wedding!

    • Gualtier M

      BTW: has this ever been shown on TCM? The original play “The Milktrain Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore”(in a hybrid version blending various Williams revisions including the movie screenplay) is being done by Roundabout at the Laura Pels. It is really worth a look for any Parterrians in NYC. (Move fast it is closing).

      FWIW: Olympia Dukakis (she has a Wednesday night alternate Gordana Rashovich who I haven’t seen) is not giving a camp performance. Edward Hibbert as the Witch of Capri is and we love him for it. The play is worth a look because it has powerful writing and interesting themes that echo previous works and show up again. You have a feeling there is a great play there (and a potential opera!) but Williams wasn’t up to revising it properly at that time when his demons were getting the better of him. Anyway, give it a look before it closes -- the production and supporting cast are just regional serviceable but the star is magnetic and real.

    • perfidia

      They should make an opera out of this. Not that it isn’t already.

    • This shows up on IFC every now and then. It has some very camp moments, though (perhaps not surprisingly) not from Noel Coward, who plays the Witch of Capri as a mean old queen tout court. La Taylor only has the occasional camp moment (she’s not deluded about her acting abilities or, one guesses, the quality of the script) but Burton, horribly miscast, does give an almost completely camp performance.

      When Tallulah Bankhead played this, she gave a campy performance (which looks like a camp performance, but only in the way that rhinestones look like zircons), much to the annoyance of Tab Hunter, who heard (at least in bits and pieces) what a thing of beauty she made of Williams’s words during rehearsal.

      I don’t think it’s possible to give a camp performance playing an over-the-top diva, though Garbo came close in the first half of Grand Hotel.

      An example of an over-the-top diva performance that is 100% free of camp:

      • rysanekfreak

        Absolutely ICONIC over-the-hill Diva !!

        • rysanekfreak

          Still not camp. Just a loving tribute.

        • But I would argue not a camp performance: Swanson is giving a serious portrayal of a woman who is deeply disturbed emotionally. There is a lot of showy craft in how she does it, but again, there’s something poetic about the idea that a bred-in-the-bone actress would, even in the midst of a psychotic break, retain her grace and theatrical polish, even managing to glide down that vast staircase without once glancing at her feet.

          • Nerva Nelli

            “But I would argue not a camp performance: Swanson is giving a serious portrayal of a woman who is deeply disturbed emotionally. ”

            Right on! Who said Ruth Ann can’t act???

            Oh, wait…

          • rysanekfreak

            I didn’t say it was Camp. I said it was iconic.

          • Jack Jikes

            LaCieca -- beautifully put!

    • Batty Masetto

      I first saw this dubbed in German. That was camp squared. New term needed.

    • Harry

      I loved all those silly touches of Set and Costume decoration. Aptly titled…it went boom at the box office just as quick. Closing in days in some places. Liz, looking like she is dressed ready to play Princess Turandot. Also, we had a ridiculous small wood brazer blazing away on that fully exposed cliff top balcony. While the wild winds blow and the sea below, rages. Perhaps they thought they were doing another ‘La Aventura’ high art type film again, also in the style of Antonioni. It was said of Taylor- Burton they picked out too many scripts generally depending where they happened to be, being filmed -- since they intended taking a holiday as well -- on the side.

  • rysanekfreak

    When I see this, I wish the Met would go Full Regie and stage something (oh…maybe Maria Stuarda?) so that it looks exactly like this! Queen Elizabeth’s entrance scena perhaps?

    (Ooopsie on the title card. It’s Carmen, not Carman!)

    • Harry

      And Carmen Miranda we know could do all those ‘tongue rattling’ South American Xavier Cugattish inspired trills. How would be her partner?..Ah Yma Sumac that ‘jungle princess’ voice of course, that stirred the first strange yearnings in many a growing boy be an opera queen, one day. Just look at me! I’m living proof.

  • rysanekfreak

    Is the Met really rewriting the book for an upcoming Fledermaus? Maybe the writers could learn a thing or two from this clip.

    Would Kiri understand it if they ask her to deliver this line in next season’s Fille du Regiment?

  • rysanekfreak

    Nazimova as Salome !

    If you’ve never seen the complete film, you have missed something truly DEMENTED !!

    • Nerva Nelli

      I have read that virtually everyone connected with this production was LGBQ; one can certainly believe it.

      Can we have that troupe of little dancing creatures in the next Mary Zimmerman fiasco?

  • miss kitty litter

    “It’s no use, the values aren’t precise enough to yield a non-trivial answer about all this triviality.”

    It’s no use, the rope is breaking……

    Die Dritte Norn
    (das zugeworfene Seil hastig fassend)
    Zu locker das Seil, mir langt es nicht.
    Soll ich nach Norden neigen das Ende,
    straffer sei es gestreckt!
    (Sie zieht gewaltsam das Seil an: dieses reißt in der Mitte)
    Es riß!

    Die Zweite Norn
    Es riß!

    Die Erste Norn
    Es riß!

    (Erschreckt sind die drei Nornen aufgefahren und nach der Mitte der Bühne zusammengetreten: sie fassen die Stücke des zerrissenen Seiles und binden damit ihre Leiber aneinander)

    Die Drei Nornen
    Zu End’ ewiges Wissen!
    Der Welt melden Weise nichts mehr.
    Hinab! Zur Mutter! Hinab!

  • antikitschychick

    To comment or not to comment. That is the question.

    Ok. To comment :P

    I agree with Cieca’s remarks about how “once the artist realizes that what he’s doing is camp (and, worse, if he continues doing it informed by that knowledge), it ceases to be camp” and I shall elaborate on this through my own ‘readings’.

    The reason why I think that once the artist becomes self-conscious about what they are doing and decides to consciously perpetuate that same (campy idea/act which when amplified produces that unwarranted over-doubling OTT effect Cieca is referring to) they are totalizing their impressions/intentions and imposing them (to an extent) on the audience.
    This type of hyper-awareness, if you will, can indeed be detrimental to a perfomer/performance because the self-awareness comes off as pretentious. For me, this is the crux of a major problem we are facing in today’s society and is IMHO perversely invading art (especially the music industry). Opera is in some ways resistant to this growing epidemic although not entirely immune to it as has been eloquently explained by many posters above.

    For me anything that is ‘kitschy’ is precisely actively re-defining/imposing something that is “mawkish” “gaudy” and altogether a rehashing of some already-existing (and faddish) concept/idea masquerading as “high art” or “camp” when really it is just some lowly-kitschy shit.
    Lady Gaga ( a poor man’s Bjork) and that television show “Glee” are for me prime examples of this pretense. Both rely on previously existing stereotypes and styles of music (dance/disco and musical theater) without, in my opinion offering any new sort of engagement with art yet both are heralded as ‘revolutionary’ and unapologetically ‘contemporary’ forces.
    Opera on the other hand, currently posits no such pretensions (although it might have in the past as not very many people had ‘access’ to experience Opera in the same way we do today through new media).

    So I would simply say Opera is something you experience: its AN (subjective) experience composed of an amalgamation of things that occur simultaneously.
    The moment they stick a big, red label on it that says CAMP (which is what tends to happen sometimes) they are ‘grounding’ (to use a Heideggerian term; kudos to mrs.jc for bringing him up btw) that experience and therefore limiting the subject-matter to a single interpretation that then becomes some self-enclosed entity, it, in its dismissal of all other possibilities, becomes pretentious as well as just plain tacky.

    There is also an underlying supposition that the audience, if not almost directly told (or spoon-fed) the idea that what is being performed is camp then they won’t get it.
    I think this largely underestimates the audience/interpreter(s).
    So yes, I would agree, Opera is not camp.
    Nor is it some kitschy fad looking to ride on the coattails of whatever is hot right now a la Lady Gag(a), who I admit is talented but grossly misguided in her designation (and self-labeling) of the music she is putting out.

    Sure there are/will be singers/performers who embrace this self-aware approach and find success with it (on a massive scale even) but, as opera fans we don’t have to collectively ascribe to this.

    • oedipe

      Antik, great and important comment! It has Theodor Adorno written all over it. (This is a compliment: I worship Adorno, every day, not just on the Sabat.)

      • rysanekfreak

        To me, the person who gets there first is the iconic one. Then, there will be imitators, who might be considered Camp.

        (Marilyn Monroe = iconic. Jayne Mansfield = imitator.)

        But whether or not the imitators are really Camp is highly debatable. That’s why earlier I indicated Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond is iconic. But I don’t consider the Carol Burnett imitation to be Camp because there’s so much love for the icon…even through the slapstick and laughs.

        To bring it back to opera, I imagine there are people who would claim that middle and late Solioutis was Camp compared to the Callas Icon. I had friends who told me they went to Solioutis performances in Dallas hoping she would be so bad they could boo her.

        I saw a lot of Charles Ludlam, Charles Busch, and Lypsinka back in the day. I don’t think what they were doing was Camp because they displayed considerable love of and knowledge of the divas to whom they were clearly paying homage.

        And I don’t consider the John Waters films with Divine to be Camp. They whirl in an orbit of their own. (The Andy Warhol films, on the other hand, are probably Camp because the audiences went into them expecting and demanding Camp, and they find what they are seeking even if it takes pre-show drugs to achieve it.) I was always amazed at how good Divine was as an actor, not as some Look-at-Me drag queen.

        Rosenkavalier should be camp, but it’s not. Even a production that might be all black-and-white with sets and costumes imitating Beardsley would not be camp to me because I would go in expecting Art and nothing less.

        I’m still mentally debating Les Trocks. And Mme. Vera. There is so much brilliant technique on display with them that you have to admire the Art of it all.

        I’ve seen videotapes of La Puma, and that seems a rung or two lower. Although there is a stunning moment when during the Trovatore Miserere Olive Middleton goes for an optional high note and the audience erupts in sincere (not mocking) cheering.

        The problem I suppose is when half the audience wants to admire and the other half wants to mock.

        Long ago, I kept an empty (clean) can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup on my classroom desk to hold my pens and pencils. Thank you, Andy Warhol. But one evening, I left it empty, and the night janitor perceived it as trash and threw it away.

        • Batty Masetto

          Rysanekfreak, I honestly go along with what you’re saying, except that I do think those loving homages were camp and have nothing to be ashamed of, either. It seems a pity to me that most everyone here perceives “camp” as something bad. I’m becoming tempted to think that camp is an alternative -- if you like, “queered” -- way of perceiving art that acknowledges and even highlights the artifice while not necessarily discounting the value of the overall result in the least. An awareness of that borderline between mockery and admiration, where the outcome can go either way. But when it kicks over into admiration, the experience is somehow especially wonderful.

          I love this thread.

  • sterlingkay

    Check out these clips of the Netrebko BOLENA in Vienna—

    Looks like a pretty conventional production.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Netrebko sounds like she’s in great, healthy voice there. Plus I’ve just this morning heard her trilling away in some Pergolesi on the radio.

  • grimoaldo

    Back in La Cieca’s original post, we read:

    “Dame Kiri singing anything these days has a strong kitsch quotient, as does a Heggie setting of just about any text that has to do with subjects other than surfing nuns. (A Heggie setting of a Sr. Helen Prejean text about the existential experience of surfing is obviously and unarguably camp.”

    This talk of surfing nuns makes me think of the stained glass window in Honolulu’s St Andrew’s Cathedral, a big grand stone building, which features a surfing Jesus. I kid you not. I hope I have uploaded a pic of it -- or Him- here: Is that camp?
    [img] jesus.JPG[/img]

    • Camille

      “Is this camp?”

      This is sui generis.
      Thanks for posting as It has to be seen to be believed.

      I guess the lines “Let’s go surfin’ now, everyone’s learnin’ how…” Spake Truth.

    • WOW!

    • A. Poggia Turra

      The Father, Son, and Holy Stoked!!

  • miredinchaos

    Excuse me for being dim beyond words. I’ve been around a long time, and the blather of this discussion amazes me. I attended a Bette Midler evening at the Continental Baths. I lived a few blocks from Stonewall the night it happened. We were too ‘occupied’ to go out that night. On this camp topic I feel we are getting excerpts from someone’s thesis. Save your breath! Camp is failed seriousness. That’s all it is. It isn’t important. It can’t be planned. It happens by accident. By the way Leonie Rysanek with all her flaws was the greatest entertainer I ever experienced. She wasn’t camp, and I will drop a major operatic curse on anyone who disutes me.

    • miredinchaos

      I meant disputes, but I do like what showed up. I won’t be able to sleep tonight because I’ll be too busy trying to think of a definition for disutes. Oh, I went to San Francisco Symphony tonight. The Sibelius Second is about as close as I get to a religious experience. Tonight was, well, just wonderful.

    • Indiana Loiterer III

      “Camp is failed seriousness”? Does that mean that movies like Red Dawn, Rambo, and Road House are also camp? Or is it that this sort of macho earnestness, like certain types of political thought, can not fail but only be failed?

      • A point that Sontag makes, and I think a valid one, is that one of the mysterious ingredients of Camp is that the work must originally have been created in a loving way, i.e., not churned out cynically. “Camp taste nourishes itself on the love that has gone into certain objects and personal styles. The absence of this love is the reason why such kitsch items as Peyton Place (the book) and the Tishman Building aren’t Camp.” So I would say that the films you mention are mostly kitsch, because very little love seems to have gone into their making.

        Her mention of Peyton Place is a good touchstone for camp. Grace Metalious is obviously having a miserable time writing that book, whereas Jackie Susann is having the time of her life while writing Valley of the Dolls. VOTD has that sense of almost holy joy that informs most great art; all it lacks, really, is greatness or even goodness. If Susann had had talent, she would have written a great novel; instead, she wrote a great camp novel.

        • Batty Masetto

          I agree up to a point, La C. One thing that bothers me a bit is that we’ve been using “camp” as somehow deprecatory – a sign of failure, as Miredinchaos said. That’s certainly got to be true for unquestionably campy works like VOTD. But two of the campiest things I’ve ever witnessed were the Ballet Trockadero in its prime (before the dancers’ performances started commenting on themselves) and the “Dance of the Snowflakes” in Mark Morris’s Nutcracker. A third was Charles Ludlam as Camille. All were entirely aware of the absurdity of what they were doing, and did it with superb, defiant, loving skill and conviction. And the result was not just hysterically funny, but deeply moving, almost to the point of tears. I don’t see how anybody who saw them could deny that those were camp – or that they had profundity. Which must surely suggest that “camp” does not necessarily mean aesthetic failure or superficiality.

          • But that’s the difference between camp and campiness: the lack of knowledge or knowledge on the part of the performer that what’s being done is tacky. True camp exists only in the eye of the beholder: the camp diva doesn’t know she’s a camp diva. She thinks she’s a great artist.

          • Batty Masetto

            So you’re saying Ludlam et al. weren’t camp, but campy?

          • Camille

            …But Batty, those snowflakes were just sheer, unadulterated little girl joy! A little girl dream come true, and as I saw it on my birthday, it gave me thrice great happiness!

            Is joie camp?

            Also, I am curious as to how Charles Ludlam enacted *Moi* — would you care to enlighten me?
            Thanks bel Batty M.

          • Batty Masetto

            Camille, you make my point for me about the snowflakes, I think. All dancers, male & female, in tutus with Dairy Queen ice cream swirls on their heads -- exuberantly flinging snowflakes into the air. It was camp silliness to the nth degree, and just sublime. You (well, I did) started by thinking it almost too ridiculous to buy at all, and got totally swept away.

            Sort of the same thing with Ludlam as la belle Camille, though it’s been many years and I’m sure others here can report much more specifically. A rather chunky, hairy-chested guy who started out looking like a nightmare drag queen and yet played it straight -- with just enough around the edges to let you know he knew -- and got you completely involved. The death scene was genuinely touching, and in a way I think a conventional actress might never be able to manage. It was very adroit, and in its way extremely subtle. And I also don’t see how it could count as anything but camp.

          • Camille

            Batty, thanks for your response,and it is not my intention to be obtuse but it is clear to me that you were never a little girl who danced giddily in the snow. So then, that which for you was camp, was for me a madeleine.

            Les Ballets Trock I did see once, at a freebie @ Lincoln Center, and I do understand what you are saying about them.

            Most of all I am praying that the California coastline will not ultimately be impacted by the Japanese catastrophe.

          • Batty Masetto

            But see, Camille, I guess what I’m trying to say is that to me the two are not incompatible. What I find so admirable is that Morris connects to exactly that joy you’re talking about, but not through ladies in white tutus -- he does it through hairy-chested guys and others, wearing Dairy Queen hats. It’s joyous and preposterous, and the fact that it’s preposterous makes it even more joyous, I think much more so than if conventional ballerinas had been flinging those flakes. It’s not “only” little girls in the snow, it’s big girls and big guys and just everybody, and the total commitment, the lack of self-consciousness onstage, is liberating for us too as an audience.

        • I’m finding all these comments about camp vs campiness vs kitsch fascinating. I never knew that there were such subtle distinctions.

          • Kernita Makilla

  • rysanekfreak

    Kitsch, not camp.

    • Harry

      That clip of Liberace unfortunately reminds one of his film turkey ‘Sincerely Yours’ that came out around 1955(?) Even watching it as a young kid -trapped in the theater, back then -- one felt like wringing its smarmy neck and plucking the feathers from its pretentious arse.

      • Camille

        Ha, ha, Harry! That film is so unctuous it is like bathing in a vat of olive oil, and not the extra vergine type!

        I have a movie question for you: what has become of Baz Luhrmann? Just watching his 2001 “Moulin Rouge” the other day and wondering what has happened to him. Thanks. C.

        • ianw2

          He’s doing- no joke- a Great Gatsby film. I think Carey Mulligan has been cast as Daisy.

          He’s a film director who should be encouraged to do more (selective) opera (I think he feels confined by the tight schedules and budgets in opera- unlike his multi-year films, of which a whole year is usually spent researching costume). His Indian Raj Midsummer Night’s Dream remains one of my absolute favourite nights in the theatre.

          ‘Australia’ though was a disaster.

          • Camille

            Oh, it’s ianw, not Harry, I see.

            Thanks for letting me know he’s doing something! I could imagine he driving his production team nuts with demands. “Moulin Rouge” is great fun, and the only film I can tolerate Kidman in, plus I love Broadbent to bits. And that reminds me, GOT to buy “Topsy-Turvy”, which at long last revealed the delight of G&S to me.

          • Harry

            Camlle & ianawz: Well I find Buz Luhrman………BORING! He is like a erratic mouse on speed with a lit fire cracker up his backside. His films are an artistic mess to behold. Apparently especially liking ‘being seen and known …to be THAT.. Buz Luhrman’. The axiom that Art should be the art of concealing its own construction: is nowhere to be seen, in his highly over-rated creations! Plainly one can easily decipher, how this alleged genius’s thought processes work. Just where from, and how this species ‘minor bird’ gathers up each and every one of its ‘inspirations’. Take Moulin Rouge….you can punch rat-holes through its threadbare patchwork . It is a pastiche of every grandiose thought he must have ever had : of what he considers, as French. It is nigh on -unwatchable. Various things about the time period are completely out of whack, accentuated with unrelenting feverish editing so most viewers might not notice the glaring conflicted historical faults, it contains. I;E: Hey! a bit of La Boheme -consumptive girl but now… + bring on the apache dancers + hissy mustached villain straight out of a Old British Music Hall -possibly from a hoary play I can still recall; titled ‘A Fruity Melodrama’. The little cast off heroine sadly in it, sings “I’m just a poor little Mill girl”…. Presto, get Nicole Kidman! Hey! That won’t do…make the character a courtesan and we will have to get some mod songs for her to suit.

            His film Australia…was full of every cringing cliche and hammy line… he could gather from every old Chips Rafferty ‘outback’ film from the 40’s/50’s plus now add a bit of his egotistical version of what ‘Luhrman’s Dreamtime- Mysticism’ represents, thrown in as well.
            So we come to his opera direction…
            Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…are we supposed to imagine ‘Hindu fairies’ in the forest besides mixing in a bit of Kipling and the British Colonials? One night I did an A/b test of his muddy concept. Playing video of his production and that of a standard idea of what Britten’s ‘Midsummer’was meant to be.. Luhrmann’s came across as just plain silly. Though I can understand how the expected trendy ‘Kulture Trogs’ thought it ‘smart’. Looking a bit like Lakme meets the Pearlfishers -the pretty sets and costumes no doubt -- going down, like a treat with such audiences..
            His 50’s La Boheme…Luhrmann, watching too many French romance films from the 50s and associated B&W French iconic ‘lovers’ photographs of the period. Now we know where Rufus gets all the L’Amour’ ideas, from!!

            Will someone nail his feet to the floor, and place Luhrmman in his own mental strait jacket. Dope him up to stop all his ‘jack in the box’ raving florid ideas and bring some discipline and proportion to him and his run away ideas. He might , just might somewhere have one bright idea lurking there. One lives in hope. As for The Great Gatsby project…I see he wants to film it around Sydney Harbor. As if, it is U.S Long Island….. That’s Buz , for you!. I just shudder at his possible treatment of F.Scott Fitzgerald. If he could not get the film ‘Australia’ right… then literally don’t expect much of a great…. ‘Gatsby’.

          • Camille

            Harry, thanks.
            Your discussion was even more fun than Moulin Rouge.
            I promise never to see Great Gatsby, though!

  • miredinchaos

    Am I wrong? I’ve labored under the impression for years that Michael Korda assembled VALLEY OF THE DOLLS from notes jotted down by Jacqueline Susann on the backs of grocery recipts and other loose pieces of paper that she then dropped off on his desk in various boxes and shopping bags. This takes VALLEY OF THE DOLLS beyond camp, kitsch or campines and into the realm of Topsiness (“I s’pect I just growed. Don’t think nobody never made me.”)

  • No Expert

    Use of “The Best of Times is Now” as a theme song of the Republican Convention in Houston 1992:

    Bitter irony?
    Just bad horror?

    • brooklynpunk

      …that gave me my first (bitter) chuckle of the day….!!

      ( I ( thankfully) forgot that one… the epitome of all three disciplines you mention, I think--ALTHOUGH , the Repugs have never been “guilty” of having any sense of!

    • armerjacquino

      Haha, did they really?

      Our current horror of a government here in the UK launched their manifesto for the last general election to the accompaniment of a song by Keane called ‘Everybody’s Changing’- which someone had clearly chosen because the Tories were trying to ape Obama’s use of the word ‘Hope’ by hijacking the word ‘Change’.

      Unfortunately for them, the lyrics to ‘Everybody’s Changing’ are a fairly unequivocal account of a breakdown. Well- I say ‘unfortunately for them’; nobody noticed.

  • Buster

    Ortun Wenkel in very kitschy mood:

  • manou

    OK -- I have a kitsch winner: Wikipedia


    This article is about the art term. For other uses, see Kitsch (disambiguation).
    Not to be confused with Quiche.”