We Are the Borg. You Will be Assimilated. Resistance is Futile.
Horrors of Hallmark, part 4:
Most of the stuff at the Hallmark falls under the heading of tacky or trite – it’s stuff I wouldn’t want in my own home but it’s not downright creepy. But in an attempt to offer something for everyone, Hallmark also carries the Willow Tree figurines, described thusly on their website: “The original inspiration for Willow Tree still holds true today: Willow Tree is an intimate, personal line of figurative sculptures representing qualities and sentiments that help us feel close to others, heal wounds, or treasure relationships.”
To truly understand both the humor and the horror implicit in that mission statement, you have to take a gander at the actual thing:
Yes. Nothing says “personal” and “intimate” like facelessness.
They make these things for all occasions. True to form, some are intended to be inflicted upon children, because we all know that kids would prefer a creepy, faceless figurine to something, you know, fun. At the very least, they could make the figurines for kids glow in the dark or something – anything – to wipe out the stench of “grandma/aunt/mom/ dad knows/cares so little about you that she/he thought you’d appreciate this as a gift.” But alas, no such luck for the kids with tasteless relatives. Prediction: kids who receive these things as gifts will grow up to someday shoot up the Post Office where they work, in a final, desperate attempt to stand out from the crowd and claim their individuality. Sadly, even this will not be original.
As bad as all of the above are, it gets worse. Willow Tree also has a line of small “gift boxes” embellished with faceless figures in bas relief. These resemble nothing so much as a body lying in a coffin:
I’ve been pretty harsh about these things, but really, they’re actually quite appropriate for modern times – they’re the gift equivalent of zombies, just another representation of mindless consumerism. As usual, only white people are depicted. I’m beginning to think the old aphorism about “a fool and his money” needs to be updated to “white people and their money are soon parted,” because they’re either the only ones with enough money to piss it away on this type of useless crap or the only ones stupid enough to piss it away in this manner.
Welcome to the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.