Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cage's coven

It's not too surprising that the Nicolas Cage, vampire meme has spawned a few cash-ins—oops, I mean imitators.

Another eBay seller's selling a pic, claiming John Travolta's either a time traveller or reincarnation. Admittedly, the pic's more 'convincing', this time around. If you're gullible and have a lotta money lying around, this one'll set you back $50,000. Or, you could PayPal it to me.

Then you've got sellers who're really scraping the bottom of the barrel. One seller's listed an 'Original 1860s Tintype Kurt Russell Reincarnation Not a Vampire' for US$1,000 (left). Looks more like Jeff Bridges to me. 

I've also noticed that the more these cash-ins follow, the less the bother with 'evidence'. The descriptions become more vague. 'Now that the world has discovered that there is a group (coven?) of celebrity time travelers, or vampires, or something similar, (not) consisting of at least Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, a young Kurt Russell can be added to the list,' wrote akersfam1. 'This tintype dates from the 1860s or 1870s and is approximately 2.5" by 3.5", which probably makes it a sixth plate. This photo is original and has not been altered in any way.'

Diminishing price is another characteristic. I don't know if the Nicolas Cage pic sold for its US$1,000,000—I really hope it didn't—but it seems these guys know they'll never top the success of Cage's 'vampire' pic. So why bother?

That's why you get sad entries like 'Vintage Photo Unusual Baby Light Eyes Vampire Twilight' (left). You can score this one—although, why would you want to?—for US$14.99. Its seller, theperfectgift, dispenses with 'evidence' all together: it has no accompanying description apart from photo size and payment details. Apparently, the baby's 'glowing' eyes are 'proof' enough.

Is this really what the tintype trade's come to? Are they that desperate to unladen old photos, that they're investing them with 'strange' or 'supernatural' backstories? 

Sure, you could say that it's all fun and games, but let's not forget: these photographs depict real people. Real people who had lives, who had history. What happens to their memory if it's 'erased' by childish stories, by meme cash-ins? Don't they deserve respect? A fair (and real) representation of who they were? Their history is already being 'overwritten' by these opportunists. Should it continue? How many more cash-ins will this one-trick joke inspire?

In the meantime, the guys from The Thanatos archive—which you'll recall as the 'source' of the 'Nic Cage vampire' pic—are still yucking it up, with one remarking that 'The news about John and Nicolas images were featured in one of the most important tv news in my country, Chile'. Wow.

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