And I thought there was a lot of weird merchandise being made to celebrate Obama winning the election!
One of the things people like me are always making fun of is unintentioally hilarious "deep" art meant to express sorrow about a major tragedy but instead comes off completely hamhanded. I sort of feel bad about taking cheap shots at such people as their hearts, God bless them, are in the right place. But Jesus! For example, here's a couple of pieces following the Japan tsunami:
That said, these pieces of art aren't malicious. At the very worst, they are simply misguided. I liken them to Ed Wood -- they don't quite realize what is so off with what they are creating. They are trying to express genuine feelings, it's not like they are trying to, say, turn a profit from these things.
Which brings us to the Bradford Exchange. I took a cheap shot at the Bradford Exchange once, asking when they were going to come up with a 9/11 chess set. That day may be coming sooner than we realize.
The Bradford Exchange has a whole section to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Remember, even after all these years, I'm still very sensitive to that horrible day. But this stuff doesn't make me outraged. It just makes me very very confused.
Let's start with this little jewel. This is the Tony Stewart Office Depot/Mobile 1 No. 14 Honoring Our Heroes 2011 Chevorlet Die Cast Car. My brother in law is a Tony Stewart fan and a Chevy fan, so any cheap shots I make are meant for him and no one else. Got that, Mornblade? Anyway, last I heard, Tony Stewart drove an orange car. But now, he's apparently driving the Hornet from Daytona USA. Officially licensed from Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR, you can now own this 1:24 scale recreation. "Precision engineered and loaded with over 100 total parts, this 2011 Tony Stewart diecast car features an accurate header contour and simulated exhaust openings, detailed fuel and trunk compartments, manufacturer-specific engine detail with valve covers, opening hood, trunk and roof flaps, working steering and more (And the engine doesn't run! It really IS a recreation of a Chevy! -- G). Plus, your Tony Stewart NASCAR diecast car is imprinted with a special Diecast Identification Number (DIN™) for registration, and to maintain authenticity. (Because car theives are scaling back, too. -- G)" Available for $109.99 out the door plus $16 shipping and handling. Or you can make four easy payments of $27.50, a car that fits your pocketbook literally as well as figuratively. I don't think you'll get a coupon book or a tax credit for this.
Bookending this portion of my column are a pair of collectible figurines. The one on the right here is illuminated and doesn't look like a lot of effort went into the design. I mean, that's how I drape my towel over my shoulders when I get out of the pool. It just doesn't seem right, especially given that there is more than one sculpture like this. Just how many WTC models do you need, anyway? That, however, is nothing compared to the one on the left. This is a lighthouse with art by Thomas Kincaid. The Kardashians could learn a thing or two about whoring themselves out from this guy. I mean, it's just a generic lighthouse with a painting by him on the side. I believe the correct phrase to describe this is "phoning it in." The WTC model is $100, the lighthouse is $80.
Okay, say you are someone like Mornblade who wants a vehicle with a tacky tribute to 9/11 and don't want to worry that any jokes running through the head of your sarcastic jackass friend might reflect on you. The Tony Stewart car is out, what can you do? Well, you can always get this. Apparently, the Captain America and Tony Stewart's car had a one-night stand and an accidental pregnancy. This is the "Never Forget" Patriotic Motorcycle Figurine. The ad copy mentions various images of freedom, "including the freedom of the open road!" "[T]his inspiring patriotic motorcycle figurine is emblazoned with a stunning patriotic paint scheme, including stars and stripes, honoring one of American history's defining moments. On the fuel tank, it displays a dramatic image of the New York skyline, with the Tribute to Light beacons shining up from the World Trade Center site. The stirring words "Never Forget" and the date 9-11-2001 grace the sides. Shiny, chrome-colored accents and a kickstand add more authentic details. This inspiring symbol of American freedom is a fitting September 11 tribute." Really?
...sorry, I'm just having very disturbing thoughts about My Little Pony fans creating OC's as their own tributes to 9/11....
I know we must never forget. I certainly will never forget. But at what point does "never forgetting" stop being a sincere if misguided tribute and just becomes morbid, tacky, or downright insulting?
Maybe somewhere around the time someone mentions "installment payments."