Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Word Wednesday Kitsch

kitsch \KICH\, noun:
1. Art characterized by pretentious bad taste.
2. Relating to, or characterized by, kitsch.
I like kitsch.
Whenever we go on vacation I love to play miniature golf. (Assuming it isn't snowing).
I call it hokey golf if it has a windmill or Paul Bunyon.
That's kitsch. There is no good taste in hitting a ball through ice cream mountain. And that's cool with me. I'm only pretentious when it comes to wine. No boxes. No White Zinfandel.
But on a road trip, I want to see that giant ball of twine. Or the seventy cows painted different colors. I cannot always convince my better half, but sometimes I do.
We were in Atlantic City in February. Next to Atlantic City is Margate. What's in Margate? Big kitsch. Lucy. It's an elephant that used to be a motel. Now that's kitsch.
I love it.
I don't think I've ever imbued a character with a love of kitsch, but seeing as I'm writing more romantic comedy I may just have to do that.
So what's the best kitsch you've ever seen?
Have you convinced your spouse to stop and see the tractor graveyard?


Irene said...

Dinosaurland somewhere in West Virginia-Virginia...oh, man, is that kitsch...however, they have the greatest gift shop I have ever been in in my entire life.

The "dinosaurs" are painted concrete with a mighty King Kong you can climb up and have your picture taken in his hand...the creator of the place definitely had never read a book with pictures of dinosaurs in it, but it is so much fun! Great for little kids who can still be impressed by that kind of stuff.

KM Fawcett said...

The only art I've been "into" is the martial arts. I just don't "get" the other kind. Perhaps it's because I can't tell the difference between "good" art and kitsch. I've seen art that the critics loved but I thought was kitsch. I guess I'll stick to punching and kicking.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Kitsch rules! Where would we be without our giant balls of yarn or Lucy the Elephant. I love eccentric things that may border on bad taste. It keeps things fresh and interesting. Not to mention that one man's kitsch is another man's art, much as Kathy said.

As for no wine in a box -- LOL! I guess there's no thumping the bag for you, Chris. I'll have to remember to check with my sommelier for our conference party. JK!

Chris Redding said...

Just let me bring the wine!

Pat Batta said...

Now, Chris, one just has to be choosy about that wine in a box. It may be kitsch, but some of it is quite good. I've even read that it is a better way to keep wine good than with a cork.

Either way, just don't take it away!

pat Batta

Sarah Glenn said...

The best kitsch I didn't see was The World's Biggest Prairie Dog. We were crossing Kansas and kept passing signs for it.

My stance was (and still is) that we should have been able to see it from the road. We could see stuff at least 10 miles away (we measured). Either it wasn't that large, or it was too far for a side trip. My spouse and I joked about it till we got to Colorado.

Morgan Mandel said...

There's the Hodag in Rhinelander, WI when you enter the town.

Morgan Mandel

Kathy said...

Interesting word "kitsch" I am racking my brain and I can't think of anything off hand. I must like kitsch things because I like off the wall type things. I don't drink wine there was a German wine inthe 70's I found I enjoyed but could never remember which one out of two spatlase or auslase-no longer sure about the spelling it has been almost 30 years lol.

Katie Hines said...

Never heard of kitsch before. TBH, I had a hard time understanding this blog entry. Not sure what you're saying. BUT, that may be because I have already fried my brain this morning working on our website.


Dani said...

Was the ball of twine in Kansas? I actually saw that if so. There's a sister ball somewhere in Europe. Mind-boggling. LOL.


jmbreslin said...

Chris, I'm from NJ, too. We always got a kick out of Lucy when our parents would drive us down to Atlantic City, both pre and post all the casinos.

Of course, today we drive ourselves down there once in a while. I think a little kitsch is good for the soul.


Elaine Cantrell said...

Would Elvis paintings on velvet qualify?

Elaine Cantrell

Shannon said...

I am a big fan of kitschy places too. Not so much the art stuff.
One of my favorite websites is:

This is great for traveling because you can find all of the great places you might miss if you didn't look first.

Here in Iowa we have the state's largest frying pan about 20 minutes away, Buddy Holly crash site, the Field of Dreams, the castles of Ida Grove, and so much more.

Look for your state and find out what you've been missing out on!