Two weeks ago, Ivanka Trump decided to share a tip with the world. Thanksgiving was on the horizon, and, anticipating that Americans might have trouble deciding how to decorate their dinner table, she had a solution:
Now, let's be fair and run through the positive qualities of this…decoration.
1. It looks vaguely like a cornucopia, which is a Thanksgiving thing.
2. It has items from nature. Some of them are kinda autumnal.
3. There is no number three.
We at Paste are enormous fans of the Trump family (note: we despise them, obviously), but we have to drop some cold hard truth on this Thanksgiving centerpiece: It's a terrifying, hallucinogenic horror.
You know where you would see this kind of centerpiece in real life?
Scene: Imagine you are traveling to a distant uncle's house for Thanksgiving, but your car breaks down along a lonely country road. There is no cell reception, so you wander down the road for a mile seeking help. You can't find a gas station, no cars pass, and in fact there are no signs of human life. Night begins to fall. Suddenly, on a far hill, set back from the road, you spot a mansion. It's an old house, massive, Victorian, decrepit. You take the winding path to the door—a path that seems to grow longer with every step, until abruptly it ends—and you lift the big brass knocker. Before you can let it drop, the door opens. A beautiful, ethereal, somewhat transparent woman invites you inside. Her family stands in a perfect row in the drawing room, in diminishing order of height, and their faces are eerie, impassive. You explain your situation, and you ask to use the phone. Yes, they say, in unison, but won't you please join us for Thanksgiving dinner first? You hesitate, but it's been a long drive, and you're hungry, so you agree. You sit down at the table—a place has been set for you, which seems odd—and you see the unique cornucopia from Ivanka Trump's tweet. The family sits down—all except the mother—and they watch you with inscrutable eyes. Finally, the woman emerges from the kitchen carrying a single plate, but the contents are hidden beneath a stainless steel cover. She sets the plate in front of you. “I hope you're hungry,” she says. “We hope you're hungry,” the family repeats.
She removes the cover.
Underneath, on the plate, is a human head.
It is your head.
So, okay, that's the vibe from Ivanka's Thanksgiving motif. And hey, fair enough—everybody has an aesthetic. Did it capture the mood she wanted? Not exactly, unless the vignette above is precisely what she wanted to convey. (I give that a 50/50 chance—the Trumps are pretty weird.) Otherwise, it was a bit of a failure.
It was okay, though, because Christmas was coming, and the Trump women would have another chance to show off their design chops.
Here's how Melania Trump, Donald's wife, decorates for Christmas:
My God. What?
What in God’s name is this monstrosity?
What kind of dystopian designer nightmare have I entered?
Seriously, Tim Burton considers this room too scary. This is not how we celebrate Christmas, Melania. This is how we celebrate death, in a hell kingdom where every pleasant holiday memory you have is used against you in a danse macabre of eternal torture.
God, look at it. The way that Christmas tree rises in the ominous distance, unreachable past the unearthly shadows of the spectral trees on either side of the hell path, seems to symbolize the impossibility of human happiness. It is beyond our grasp—a dim mirage amid the endless gothic suffering of everyday life. It makes a mockery of holiday joy, and has utterly ruined the concept of Christmas for me.
I used to like Christmas. Now even the word “December” gives me night terrors…during the day.
Melania, I have something to tell you…even Ivanka thought this was dark. This is twisted stuff. This is not how people want to experience joy.
Before we try to forget this whole thing, I have a request for America—Valentine’s Day is coming up on Feb. 14. Please don’t tell the Trump women. They will ruin love for us, I promise you. They will ruin love.