Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Alder answers viewer mail.

on Feb 28, 2007

Bonjour. No new episode this week, so no proper blog. But, I'm answering some of the questions that y'all have posed in response to previous blogs.

I have chosen to answer the fabulous people who asked interesting questions. I have chosen to completely ignore the naughty person who said that I look just like Margaret Hamilton, the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Patti wrote: The birds in Michael's room reminded me of the the animated partridges from "The Partridge Family" opening. Did he think they were kitschy?
Them birds are one of the great mysteries of our time, up there with crop circles and the popularity of Dane Cook. I found the birds so mystifying that I've spent an inappropriate amount of time pondering what Michael might have been thinking. If I'm feeling charitable, I imagine that Michael wanted some decorative motif for his room and, under time pressure and suffering from exhaustion he just chose those birds and moved on. The less charitable me has hypothesized that he's insane. In any event, it was a bad idea, second only to them colors. I suppose he could have thought that the birds were a kitsch gesture and that it would be cute. Re: kitsch, I've often been accused of being a kitsch-enthusiast, which is totally untrue -- I actually hate kitsch. Pink flamingoes on the front lawn? No, merci. But, in the hands of some creative mavericks, traditional kitsch iconography transcends its kitschiness and becomes fantastic. For instance, I have a giant poodle lamp in my bedroom that's so big and well-crafted that I couldn't say no. I have series of clown pictures that are intricately crafted in wood marquetry and they are so brilliantly designed and made that you really can't argue with them. Sometimes it's the things in questionable taste -- inappropriate, vulgar, or a little kooky -- that make a room memorable. Diana Vreeland once said, "A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. No taste is what I'm against." Anyway, whatever. That still doesn't make them birds okay.