Talbot-Heindl 2013 Holiday Image

Critique and graphic by: Chris Talbot-Heindl

There’s something supremely divine about creating something so entirely, inordinately, unnecessarily grotesque on purpose. Yesterday, an Internet aficionado friend told me that I won the Internetz for creating the image you see. This, I hold in high regard. But nothing could match my sheer joy and excitement of the creation itself.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of the epic fail. This is why I write critiques, this is why I hunt and find the worst things the Internet has to offer. This is probably also why every picture of me, I’m making the stupidest face you’ve ever seen and why I love pictures of my husband where he looks like some sort of creeper. It’s a thing…

Finding these epic fails fills me with such elation – it shows me that we as people aren’t so full of pride and ego that we can’t take a step back and laugh at our own shortcomings. Social expectations hasn’t pervaded our collective consciousness so completely yet that we can’t post our unrefined moments for the world to see.

People post their own fails, falls, farts, foibles, flaws, and faults with abandon, and I hunt that shit down to remind myself that some people still have humor despite all the unnecessary bullshit happening all around us.

The Advocate named Pope Francis their person of the year despite that Pope Francis has affirmed that the marriage of a same-sex couple is “a real and dire anthropological throwback” and that an adoption of a child by a gay person is a form of discrimination against said child? Yes. But 5 internet-famous cats are in a new song/video called “Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas.” I am happy to ignore that really, it’s actually a Friskies commercial.

A before and after GIF came out showing that even someone as perfect as Jennifer Lawrence is Photoshopped to holy hell, elongating her neck, increasing her cheekbones, shrinking her upper arms, torso, and hips, and enlarging her breasts to further maintain an insane standard of beauty that is simply not achievable? Yes. But someone took the Photoshopped video of the impossibly pretty girl and Photoshopped her into a fat, old, white Santa.

Some rich, white kid is getting away with murder on the defense that he is so rich and white he didn’t have control over his actions? Yes. But the Internets have responded in such a way as to make me still hopeful in humanity.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News openly paraded the extreme racism inherent in a lot of white folk who have co-opted make believe and historic figures as white skinned in order to affirm their superiority over other cultures? Yes. But John Stewart and especially Jessica Williams school her with comedy.

Christmas is my least favorite time of the year, and therefore the time when I need the most reminding that humanity isn’t all bad. I can’t stand all the disingenuous “goodwill toward men” of the season. My thought is: if you ain’t got it all year long, don’t whip that shit out and get all empathetic and emotionally expressive just because Christians overtook a pagan holiday and you want to commemorate the good deeds of Jesus H. Christ by pretending to be decent human beings for one month and one month only (after which, we’re back to “my family first, screw you.”).

While my husband doesn’t feel as strongly about the horrible things happening (as he doesn’t want to know) and doesn’t feel as strongly as I do against Christmas, he has joined me in developing a new holiday tradition to make the holidays more enjoyable for us, which is to create the most horrid card/image/webpage we can.

This year took the cake. And we were high-fiving and giggling about it, pretty much for seven hours. I woke up this morning and ran to the computer to look at it again.

For me, it is a giant take-backsies of all the stupid things that happened this year that I wish hadn’t, all in one simple, grotesque, beautiful, awesome, climactic, and cathartic image.

We’re/You’re welcome.