There is no religious holiday of more importance to a Christian than Easter. To this end, some inventors wish to provide believers with helpful symbols and trinkets to assist or focus their faith. Then there are the others: inventors who capitalize on - exploit? - this kind of solemnity with their own particular tacky take on the holiday. In my opinion, the following patents illustrate this point exactly. What do you think?
Tacky Patent #1 : Jesus Lamp
Musical Jesus on Bible Lamp
United States patent 5957747 took the idea that Jesus is the light of the world and ran with it. The patent is for a Jesus Lamp consisting of a musical Jesus doll perched atop an open bible. Now, if you don't think this trivializes the holiday enough then consider the inventor's veiled attempt at manipulating the believer's emotions: the Jesus doll comes with a locket, affixed in the spot where the real Jesus' sacred heart would be, that opens up to the tune, "Jesus Loves Me," and reveals a picture of the lamp's owner on one side with the inscription, "Jesus Loves," on the opposite side. Flip a switch and voila! you are basking in the warm glow of some weird sort of pseudo-religiosity!
Tacky Patent #2: Suction Crucifix
For those who want to display their faith publicly there is United States patent D381184: the Suction Crucifix. Here's a crucifix you can proudly affix to any window in your home or car! And because it is removeable and portable you only need to buy one making this a very economical way to proclaim your faith in your neighborhood or at the mall. Profound and practical - what an "invention" indeed!
Tacky Patent #3: Twice as Much Jesus Crucifix
Twice as much Jesus Crucifix
United States patent D367147 gives you twice as much Jesus for your money as the more traditional crucifix. That's because the crucified Jesus in this patent is affixed to a Jesus that has risen! Whether or not you agree with this sort of thing, physical interpretations of the sacred, you have to give the inventor, Robert Broussard, credit for thinking outside the box and incorporating what is significant about the holiday for Christians into an otherwise ordinary crucifix.
Speaking of thinking outside the box, when it comes to Jesus paraphernalia what would Easter be without an image of an empty tomb, and what would any holiday in America be without a corresponding piece of jewelry? Well, it would likely be Labor Day! But this is Easter and inventors have come to the consumer's rescue once again.
Tacky Patents #4 and #5: Jesus Tomb Pendants
Tomb Pendant 400467Tomb Pendant 388733
United States patents D400467 (traditional and rustic) and D388733 (modern and minimal) address this issue in one fell swoop. Both design patents are for Pendants of Miniature Open, Empty Tombs. The metal material used is irrelevant - friendly reminder: the event symbolized by the empty tomb is the relevant part - so jewelers can broaden their customer base by selling a gold, silver, or for those believers with plenty of disposable income, platinum version with a couple of diamonds thrown in for an even greater inconspicuous display. Naturally, all attempts by retailers to equate faith with a particular price point should be discouraged, as I suspect many customers won't need much encouragement in that area to begin with.
So, what do you think? Do these five patents represent the blatant commercialization and trivialization of yet another important holiday? Or are they merely modern interpretations of a sacred event? I leave it up to you dear readers to decide. In the meantime, keep your ears and eyes open as I suspect these patents will help pave the way for an Easter Sunday Retail Sales Spectacular! Who am I kidding? The truth is it'll probably end up being more of a White Sale.