Home > Uncategorized > We Are the Borg. You Will be Assimilated. Resistance is Futile.

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:

Even faceless cyborg assimilees need love

Faceless man "peers" eyelessly into "face" of the inevitable product of his union with Faceless woman, as if waiting for a Polaroid to develop

 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.

Thanks a lot, grandma. A useless creepy figurine of a boy cut off at the knees is just what I wanted for my birthday!

Leaving no stone unturned, Willow Tree also caters to those with a fetish for angel crap. This angel is praying, "Please, God, give me a face - or kill me!!!!"

Where's the humor, you ask? Well, how about a mouthless angel playing the flute? Hey, no one ever said it wasn't horribly cruel humor.













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:

Nothing says "I love you" quite like a gift that illustrates "this is how I like to think of you - dead, lying in a coffin."

If what you really want to say is, "I'd like to see you dead," Willow Tree has several options to help drive the point home. Giving several of these will make sure they know how you really feel about them.

 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.

  1. TruculentandUnreliable
    June 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm


    And is it just me, or does legless boy look like his arms are tied behind his back? Is he getting to star in Saw 33 for his birthday?

    • herr doktor bimler
      June 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      Sadly, it is not just you.

  2. June 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    C- art class work.

  3. June 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    zombies, just another representation of mindless consumerism.

    hey now.

    • jennofark
      June 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      Errr….yeah, I was hoping you wouldn’t see that.

      I of course refer only to those movie zombies of recent vintage. The Romero zombies of yore are a different story altogether.

  4. June 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Hallmark will never go broke over-estimating the American public’s appetite for mawkish sentimentality.

    Many non-white folk probably feel quite faceless already, & don’t want to be reminded. Or something.

    But to be fair & balanced, some sweet black angels. Click around there & dig the Santas & nativity scenes, too.

    And don’t let that rotting zombie intimidate you w/ his P.C. crap.

    • BDay
      June 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil Trio of Black Angels?
      Very wrong.

  5. B^4
    June 27, 2010 at 2:25 am

    They should call this coterie of faceless figurines the
    Lafcadio Hearn collection.

    As a pedantic nerd, though, while Hearn used the term mujina, the preferred term is Noppera-bō.

  6. June 27, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Oh, no. I didn’t type anything there, but a respected member of the web log community has revealed herself as a WT fan. (On the right. Stuffed dog giving it the fish-eye. Thought I recognized the wings, then I saw that SHE HAD NO FACE!!) Cute cat though.

    • jennofark
      June 27, 2010 at 8:40 am

      Well, maybe not. It’s possible that a tasteless relative gave it to her as a gift.

      Still though…creepy.

    • Anne Laurie
      June 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      Well, the Willow Tree angel was a gift from a relative, because I have a (small! select!) collection of angel ornaments going back to my high-school years.

      But, Jennifer… there ARE ‘African-American’ Willow Tree figures. In fact, I think the AA versions may have been the first ones made, by the original crafter, before Hallmark bought out her concept.

      • jennofark
        June 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm

        What Malignant Bouffant said – no offense intended! I just think they’re creepy. As for the AA versions, they don’t have them anymore – at least not according to their website. I know I’ve never seen one at the Hallmark, either.

        In any case, go on enjoying your faceless angel! Though I’m glad it’s not here not staring at me with its eyelessness.

      • herr doktor bimler
        June 28, 2010 at 6:39 am

        While Kishkan (as also seen at BJ) is indeed cute though slightly scary. Some time I’ll upload photos of our own Spatcat who is of similar appearance and fluffiness but about 7 kg when last measured and in no hurry to stop growing.

  7. Willy
    June 27, 2010 at 8:14 am

    “Our African American Figurines and Sculpture created in “Alabastrite” are fashioned by combining oxy-lite and poly-stone to form a stone-based, poly-resin material.”

    Our figurines are injection molded plastic.

  8. Klaus
    June 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Reminds me of the faceless “angel” sculpture above the altar of some church I was in some thirty-odd years ago; I could barely manage to glance at it at the time and suffered nightmares for weeks. Thanks for reminding me that there *are* some childhood memories more frightening than “SuperMarionation”.

  9. June 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Anne Laurie, no offense meant, of course. I sort of figured it was a gift or something, but the coincidental timing was too much too resist.

  10. June 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Errr….yeah, I was hoping you wouldn’t see that.

    passive-aggressive, guilt-tripping zombies are the ones you really need to watch out for.

  11. lytanorman
    June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Jennifer, aren’t you ever tempted, even a little, to go around and draw faces on those goddamned things? I don’t think I could take it. I think there’s an idea for Stephen King’s next book in this somewhere.

    • jennofark
      July 1, 2010 at 1:14 am

      You know, that hadn’t occured to me. I generally try to stay the hell away from them, because they seriously do creep me out. But B4’s link to the Noppera-bo stories wigged me out even more – I’ve been avoiding them more than usual since reading those. It’s definitely Stephen King material.

      BTW, I wondered why you never weighed in on my observation that Sarah Palin = Greg Stillson. I mean, I backed it up with facts-n-shit, too. Thought that one would be right up your alley.

      Also, too – with the new Twilight movie coming out, you’ll need to be working up a review – or leaning on cousin Jody to do it.

  12. June 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    How old is Faceless legless Birthday Boy? I mean, a lot of pretty old guys get faceless and legless on their birthdays.

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