Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Commemorative plates

Michael Jackson isn’t even in the ground yet and already, the vultures are circling. I’m not not talking about the paparazzi or relatives looking for a mention in the will.

Nope, I’m referring, of course, to the Bradford Exchange. Kissing cousin to the Franklin Mint, this company has already put out a hideous commemorative MJ plate. The Spencer Gifts-ish art blows: I am afraid either the eyes will follow me or they'll morph into a cheetah when I look away. I guess that’s okay, since whoever buys this crap deserves to be a jungle cat’s snacklet.

After 9/11, I was working for a book publisher who was rushing to press a commemorative photo book on the Twin Towers. When I protested, I was told that "We should not apologize for making books that people want." I get that. But let's not pretend that it's not gross.

I grew up amidst tchotchkes: Hummel figurines, glass slippers, beer cans, miniature trains, souvenir spoons and thimbles, antique baskets. I had a lot of shit to dust. But the most disturbing thing had to be the Emmett Kelly clown plates. As I lay tossing and turning in my twin bed, tormented by images of the sad-faced clown, I wanted to give that plate a real reason to look sad.

Princess Di’s wedding and death, presidential inaugurations, a Thomas Kinkade Christmas—why do these occasions drive folks to fork over hard-earned clams for a porcelain plate rimmed in precious metal that will never see the dinner table? If you’re looking for wall art, why not buy a Farrah poster or some sort of rad black velvet Elvis poster? Those are much easier on the eyes and won’t hurt you in the event of an earthquake.

As a smooth criminal, I want to hijack the entire fug shipment of MJ collector’s plates—the only plate with art personally approved by Michael Jackson himself!—smash them, and make limited-edition mosaic tables out of the shards, which I’ll sell for three easy payments of $19.95.

If I see a Michael Jackson Beanie Baby, heads are gonna roll.


becca.elpy said...

haha! jungle cat snacklet...awesome.

when they made the barack obama coin before he was even inaugarted i realized- everything is a money-making opp for some ppl. *shakes head*

as for the 9/11 books, the dude says people wanted that book. really? if it had never been published, how many would clamor for a commemorative twin towers book. if they didn't make it now one would buy it.

Jennifer Worick said...

That book was a best-seller. Aargh. "If you publish it, they will come," I guess.

Michaela said...

That MJ plate is already sold out. If I had acted more quickly I could have been earning mega-ducets off some MJ mourner with my hasty purchase and cold-blooded pulse on what the public WANTS.

SkitzoLeezra said...

I hear your rant but I wonder if you've not considered the extra-decor-specialness that could be achieved by displaying a collection of plates featuring Obama, Martin Luther King and Michael Jackson and maybe, just to class it up, Jesus Christ. Alone, MJ might look tacky, but gathered with such illustrious company, I dunno, that seems like a too fabulous for words focal point.

Al said...

those plates are always so freaking ugly.

i would totally buy one of your mosaic tables.

Wendy said...

That MJ plate is spectacularly crappy. And I saw a lot of crappy LHOP plates this weekend, so my crap tolerance is pretty high at the moment. But YIKES.

Yet Another Steve said...

A couple months back, we had yet another earthquake here in LA, about a 4.5 I think. It was pretty dramatic while it lasted but apparently caused no real damage or injuries. The only TV station covering it was Channel 9, showing the seismograph scribble over and over, against a background of people calling in to share their where-were-you-what-were-you-doing stories. The only damage I heard about was a woman who said her (sob) ENTIRE set of "Collectible" Disney LITTLE MERMAID plates fell off the plate rail, crashed to the floor and broke. And I thought, that's not earthquake damage, that's the gods seizing an opportunity.

Jennifer Worick said...

Yet Another Steve: I'm likin' where you're head's at. You just brought a little joy to the end of my day.

Brit said...

Are you all fucking serious? If you don't like him, don't look for shit with his face or name on it. Grow the fuck up already. Leave him alone. He's dead. He has fans, always had them and always will have them. They want the plates and they'll buy them. Just because your bitch ass won't doesn't mean you can talk shit about the plates like the man who inspired them did nothing to earn that sort of immortilization.

If you seen a MJ Beanie Baby your head will roll? Yeah because his fans will beat your ass to get to it. He's gonna live forever. You better be prepared to see Michael Jackson toothbrushes and internet service.

Jordan Laine said...

I love when people like Brit completely miss the point.