Friday, November 8, 2013

Is Bad Taste Genetic?

There may be some people on the planet who are so highly evolved aesthetically that they cannot abide anything ugly or unpleasing within their sight.  They are the people who own purebred animals, limited edition cars, designer clothing, and critically acclaimed artwork.  Clearly, no one in my family enjoys membership in that exclusive and limited group.

I unashamedly shared with the world the orange and fluorescent green old-lady sneakers I wear for mowing and working at the barn. I humbly admit they are ugly - very, very ugly. Once a person begins to admit and own shameful secrets, it is difficult to stop. I confess my brothers are also guilty of incredibly bad taste. It is possible that together they found the most unattractive table lamp in the long and torturous history of unattractive table lamps.

Exhibit A, presented here for your perusal, is the lamp my brother Randy found somewhere in his brave and crazy travels across the world.  (Not surprisingly it was discovered for sale within the state of Kansas.) He bought this lamp as a gift for our youngest brother Mark who has always been interested in the Arthurian Legend and the Medieval historical period.

Some creations are singular.  Their unique and distinctive existence produces an aura, an energy that, regardless of purpose, marks their existence as peerless.  They become the epitome of some aspect of themselves.  Exhibit A falls into that singular group of artifacts.    

Mark graciously accepted the lamp. He ferociously defended it through marriage and divorce, and perhaps even more telling, through a much later subsequent romance. The 1970's avocado green sofa inherited from our parents could not be successfully defended forever. The sofa miraculously made it through the marriage, but fell at some point in my brother's current relationship. That he gave up the beloved but ugly and FREE couch is tangible proof of the depth of his enduring love. But even that fierce love cannot part my brother from his ugly lamp.

When I contemplate this item, I realize that there were surely two such lamps purchased originally - one for either end of the sofa. There were likely dozens and dozens of these lamps created somewhere on this earth. Conceived by an artist or a designer, executed in a modern manufacturing center, then with much effort and energy, sent across the world for consumption by eager home owners and interior decorators. Maybe the only thing left of the entire conception, birth and life cycle is this one lamp, the lone survivor, rescued from extinction and obscurity by my own brothers.

Anything as singular and rare deserves something far better than the ugliest lamp shade known to mankind.  I have a new mission in life as of this morning:  a quest for the holy lampshade.  Help me, Lord.



Anonymous said...

AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Mine eyes have been defiled! Nay defiled, but suffered a debasement beyond the comprehension of eternity.

Anonymous said...

I mean, that is one fugly lamp!

Jackie said...

It's spectacularly horrible, isn't it?! It's grandly ugly. It's a magnificent specimen of bad taste and something I can't even think of right now! LOL Ya gotta love it. It's like the winner of the ugliest dog contest. Once at the monster truck indoor rally I took Ian to when he was just a little fellow, they held the ugliest truck contest and the winner of that was an old beat up 50's something Chevy that was so ugly that it was a true work of art. This lamp falls into that catergory!

Don said...

Just imagining that thing in the hallway (as a night-light) between the bedroom and bathroom would keep me in bed all night. I bet it's even creepier on a cold Winter's night with the wind blowing outside and maybe a howling coyote (if it didn't scare them off too).

Anonymous said...

I got it! It's from (a collection,sadly) a 60's or 70's motel in the southwest. The lamps went nicely with the night stands the beefy headboard, the mounted Navajo or ranch wall decor and the shag carpeting. A bit too classy for Motel 6 at the time, so maybe like Holiday Inn?

Why you can't hardly find them things any more.

Kathy said...

gosh, I don't think it is that ugly. On the worldwide scale of things. I once was exposed to the actual world's ugliest lamp -- a faux ceramic intertwined mess of cowboy and horse, standing 2 feet tall. It belonged to a friend, who had been given it by a hated MIL, and when she moved, she happily passed it along to me. At that time I was in the business of finding the ugliest object possible to give as an anniversary gift to a couple of friends. That lamp definitely passed muster. Sadly, I have no photo -- but it better thus. My next find for that same couple occurred after the birth of their first child. I excitedly bought a spear of some kind, faux-Waziri warrior African-style, with rusty (dull) blade and hairy handle. I thought it was appropriate for a firstborn son -- for his future coming-of-age ceremony, of course. Oddly, it too disappeared from their home very quickly.

And back to this lamp, you know, if you think of it from the perspective of actual (faux) King Arthur, he would have been (if he had existed) quite thrilled and amazed to own such magically glowing candles on a lamp.

Jackie said...

My brothers will be encouraged and heartened that there is someone in the world who does not think this lamp is the ugliest lamp ever - someone with such good taste and humor as you, Kathy, decreeing it as not the ugliest. And these glowing lights would have probably earned all of us a turn on the rack for messing with and discussing witchcraft and devilry back in the day!

(Kathy, please don't send me a housewarming gift...just in case...)