As I was sitting here minutes ago swamped with deadlines and in a panic because I didn’t write my Kitsch O’ The Day post yet I got an email from my good friend and reliable Kitsch spotter, Tom Trujillo, telling me that I HAD TO watch this video, “Pardon Me” by Maxine Swaby. My first thought was we finally have a few moments of sunshine here in LA and this video opens up with brightly colored tulips so wouldn’t that be nice? My second thought was this isn’t so bad, a little lethargic perhaps but no big deal. My third thought was Maxine Swaby is leading me down a very subtle yet precious path of Kitsch because many of her notes hide somewhere under the melody, most of the shots and transitions are too literal interpretations of the lyric, and the energy of everything – Maxine, the shots, the color palette, et al – always stays so even keel you just want to show Ms. Swaby a picture of a clown or something that will make her laugh, give her a big shot of sugar so her hands won’t stay within the 3 inch range she confines them to, anything at all to add little ooooomph to the overall video situation.
This is by no means the kitschiest performance I’ve ever seen but it speaks to a middle of the road way of inducing Kitsch that brings about the undesired effect despite intentions otherwise. So many people say to me I don’t know what kitsch is. I say to them yes you do, it’s all around you. Just look at this video.