Monday, November 27, 2006

A World Gone Mad!!

It's sheer madness, I tell you. First, exploding grannies. Then, bomb-bears. Now it's Nazi gingerbread men and suicidal snowmen!! And if it all seems too much to take in, just have a little Hitler wine. Yee-gads!

Okay, the Nazi gingerbread men were a misguided artist's attempt to make people stop and think, but he's just coveting Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes (whose fictional home was in Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and their tormenting of snowmen for years. No one can destroy snowmen like lil' ol' Calvin. He can even do a whole fleet of them - Yay, Calvin :-) Parents and other sensible adults just don't understand.

Check out these comic / photo pairings at nBLOG for real-life artists who've tried before to imitate the great spiky-haired tyke. Beware the car! Jaws! *dah-dah-dum-dum* *dah-dah-dum-dum* *screeeeee* Spring is Coming!!

Agggghhhhh... I'm melting... melting. *need more Hitler wine*

But McGuckin sure has a new slant using gingerbread and dancing faeries in our heads against us. Here's the basic story of the Gingerbread Nazis from USA Today (the story was covered in Australia and the UK, too, but it happened right here in Ohio, America's Heartland, so I'll source the US press.)

Charlie Palmer, the owner of Watson Hardware on Main Street in Oberlin, Ohio, has thrown a blanket over the diorama and ordered it removed by tomorrow (Tues 28 Nov 06). Ohio artist Keith McGuckin has created displays for Palmer's store window more than once.

“He’s gone way overboard this time,” Palmer told the paper. “A few of his other displays were on the edge, but never that crazy.

How on the edge? Last year's window wonderland featured "a 'caroler bashing' snowman and a little boy excited about using his chemistry set to create crystal meth," the Chronicle-Telegram says.

McGuckin assembled his creation Friday, after Palmer went home. He said about 200 people showed up and only one complained. {...} the other part of McGuckin's display, remained uncovered: a suicidal snowman sitting in a salon chair under a hairdryer, trying to end it all after a former lover came out with a tell-all book.

Alas, I cannot seem to find a photo of this particular suicidal snowman. Methinks Mr. Palmer has threatened all cameras coming near the store window! If any of you finds a photo of this particular suicidal snowman, please do share!

McGuckin explained himself thusly:
“I want people to say ‘Oh, my gosh.’ And once they look at it, say, ‘It is kind of pretty,’ The lights and the shadows and the colors really make it a spectacular-looking piece of art. Maybe I just find beauty in bizarre places.”

Personally, I think he's just jealous of Watterson's Calvin and trying to out-do the little spiky-haired tyke. Cannot be done. Watterson was a genius. One of a kind.

We miss you, Bill!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calvim & Hobbes Snowmen are definitely the standard.

I can't find any photos of the Nazi G-Men, but his caroler-bashing snowman is well-executed, if obviously twisted. I don't know why this stuff is so shocking in these days of South Park and Freak Show and art shows comprised of skinless corpses, but I'm not sure he's the guy I'd hire to do my windows if I wanted to sell Christmas merchandise. A hardware store may be a little safer, but still...maybe a tattoo parlor or a movie theatre. And I wouldn't want to have to explain to kids why Frosty bashed that kid with a sap.

What does bother me is the way he decribes his own work as "kind of pretty", "Maybe I just find beauty in bizarre places." His tendency to portray himself as the Martha Stewart of morbid window dressing is disturbing. McGuckin is clever, artistic, twisted and creepy, not unlike Stephen King. I think I'd lock my doors, bolt my windows, and keep my shotgun loaded if he lived next door, but what he does is art and he shouldn't be censored.

I hope someone gets some pics of the Nazi Gingerbread Men...this guy's execution (pun unintended) is fabulous. He should be selling photos or postcard or Xmas Cards! of his work.

Copyright RER Dover NH 2006

Fri Dec 15, 11:37:00 AM CST  

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