We are surrounded by kitsch, even more today than before. And by kitsch, I mean it in a narrow way, in the degraded sense of it. Kitsch, at its best, has the appearance of an art, and is typically produced in mass. It’s relatively cheap – in any sense it may have. It supplies the needs of humans who are increasingly distanced from the much more complicated, thus more risky, personal touches and relations.
Even human beings in flesh and blood have developed the culture of kitsch – they are like those plastic flowers on the vase you can almost always immediately find in restaurants and hotel lobbies. Remember the bowler hat lady in The Unbearable Lightness of Being? What she complains about in that fancy Prague restaurant? Oh, you may just take me as a remnant of the past, an acute dreamer (being an Aquarian as I am!), dreaming of old beauties.
But take this as an example. Look at those various applications you can add to your Facebook page. Friends sending each other virtual gifts, mass poking each other, even kissing each other and brewing tea virtually. And those long, pictorial messages on your wall – chain messages – start to replace personal messages. I miss that personalized hey-agnes-how-you-doin’ kind of thing to fill my wall.
People get even more busy with themselves today. We seem to communicate in the same room, laugh at the same joke, entertain each other. But what of that if at the end of the day, each of us walks listlessly to our own darker room, alone and deserted?
Please don’t give me kitsch for the time being. I started to get bored. Hug me for real!