I'm not the only one who has noticed the depressing American obsession with all things "cute" lately. An article in Vanity Fair validated something that I've suspected for a while now: We're on cute overload, and there's no sign that it's going to abate.
The why's could be debated. Maybe it's just an over-correction to national angst over the economy, wars and health care woes that can only be soothed by a singing mop or a stack of money with eyeballs on it. Regardless of why, the article concludes that, "The move toward cuteness has come about partly because the idea of 'edge' has gotten old."
Here's the thing you should know about me: I don't do cute. Edge, I like. Cars with flower-shaped tail lights? Not so much. And get this: While I was pondering this horrifying pop-culture development, no fewer than three impossibly cute e-mails landed in my inbox, which I imagine to be a dark, cavelike place that smells of stale puns and bean dip.
Two of those were accompanied by smiley flower "emoticons" that made me lightheaded with all their winking and tomfoolery, which is the word of a curmudgeon. An edgy curmudgeon.
One e-mail included a dozen "Awwwww-" inducing photos of kittens sleeping on computer keyboards and inside their food bowls and even a real human baby that had nodded off facedown into a man's running shoe.
A photo of a fat orange tabby asleep in a lasagna dish earnestly asked, "Have you ever been this tired?"
Tired enough to crawl into a Pyrex casserole dish? No. But my friend Lisa will crawl into a Laundromat dryer if you buy her enough beer. What? Not cute?
Over on Facebook, one of my "friends" asked if I would please accept his gift of "a wet puppy nose!" To which all I can muster is, "Dude."
But back to this notion of people growing weary of the "edgy." This is scarier to me than a roomful of Hello, Kitty throw pillows. This ghastly culture of cuteness, if you will, could kill my career. And I believe we can all agree that this would signal the end of civilization as we know it because, in the immortal words of Anchorman Ron Burgundy, "I'm kind of a big deal."
OK, maybe not, but I do so embrace the snarky, the sniveling and the snotty. There's simply no room for all these YouTube videos of laughing babies. Why watch that when there's Bon Qui Qui at Burger King available?
Stop the madness. Embrace the snark. Or, yes, I will kill your puppies.