Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Graceland in Black and White

Tomorrow night, when I finally get around to writing about my weekend in Memphis, I'm probably going to end up tearing into Graceland a little. I know it's the kind of place that's either kitschy or camp or maybe a holy shrine to some people, but I found so much of it to be deliberately, unspeakably tacky.

I have no particular loyalty to Elvis. I have none of his songs on my iPod. On the other hand, I have no particular hatred for Elvis. He isn't Nelly Furtado, after all. Still, it seems to me that you can have a museum to someone and a tour of their home without plastering their face on any

elvis toothbrush


elvis luggage


elvis spice rack

that you could name. It seems vaguely distasteful to sell ashtrays, shotglasses, action figures, lamps, pillows, purses, blankets, and spice racks emblazoned with a dead man's face a stone's throw from his grave, and this is coming from a person who loves the town of Pigeon Forge. The whole place is exploitative and somehow sad, as if the Presley family has forgotten that Elvis was a real person rather than a hip shaking caricature that they can make a buck off of.

Tonight while I was uploading photos I realized that I felt bad for Elvis.

awards and trophies in black and white

I felt bad for a dead millionnaire. That's how terrible Graceland is.


Jamie Bouldin said...

I have zero desire to visit Graceland, as I am sure I would ultimately reach your same conclusion - a talented, but troubled man memorialized in a trashy, exploitative way that does nothing for his memory other than to keep it alive for profit's sake.

However, my parents took us there when I was little (like, four years old) and my mom likes to tell a story about me loudly interrupting the tour guide to say that we had a piano in our house too! Can I play this one like I play mine at home? and then apparently I got really upset when they wouldn't let me touch the piano. Darn tour guides.

Jamie Bouldin said...

Plus, something I'm sure you might see at Graceland in the future: Mr. Potato Head, the Elvis Version.


JMBower said...

that last shot of the records and suit is fantastic...very nice work.