The Unbearable Lightness of Being (in a Room Full of His Paintings)

Thomas Kinkade has died at age 54. One of his fans eulogized him on Twitter:
Rest in peace, Thomas Kinkade. May your afterlife be as beautiful as your art.
Ironically, most of his detractors probably wish him the same fate.

My opinion of Kinkade's work would be unpopular or offensive to some people I love dearly, so I've resisted publishing my essay "Thomas Kinkade: Pornographer of Light™." (Thesis: Kinkade's portrayal of light in his art is a distortion to the point of idolatry, just as pornography is a destructive distortion of true sex.)

Technically, my "essay" is just a catchy title* and a thesis. But be honest: shouldn't the rest just write itself? As it turns out, no; but the AV Club did publish an obituary that hits a lot of nails on the head, and will probably serve as my final excuse for never swinging the hammer myself. It may just preserve some of my dearest friendships too.


*And I owe that title to a friend (who I won't name here unless he asks me to) who once remarked: "I'd rather find porn under my son's mattress than a Thomas Kinkade painting on his wall." I'm pretty sure he was exaggerating, but the juxtaposition got me thinking.