Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ceci n'est pas Hello Kitty.

I am in Chicago studying comedy at Second City and took some time today to go over to the amazing Art Institute of Chicago for some inspiration and culture and because as an Art History major, I totally geek out for art.
Their current featured exhibit is the bizarrely beautiful art of Magritte, possibly most famous in pop culture for his painting "Ceci n'est pas une pipe."
As I stood there looking at this painting, questioning its meaning, I found myself having nothing short of an existential crisis. The concept of "This is not a pipe" despite the fact that it is clearly a freaking pipe brought to mind the disturbing news from today that was equally as confusing and earth shattering-the fact that Hello Kitty is not a cat despite the fact that she clearly looks like a freaking cat.
A University of Hawaii anthropologist unearthed this paradigm shift while curating a retrospective of Hello Kitty for the Japanese American National Museum. She then broke the news to the LA Times saying that when she referred to the beloved character as a cat, the icon's creator Sanrio corrected her saying, "Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."
So all this time you were thinking that bow wearing bitch was a cat, but she fooled you. This is not some silly scenario like Disney where Mickey has both Pluto, a pet dog who embodies dog qualities, AND a friend Goofy, who is a dog but has man qualities. Don't be ridiculous. Sanrio wants you to grow up and get reasonable and see that Hello Kitty is logically human because she walks on two legs. Duh. She just looks like a cat.

Ok, so if she's human, why does she have whiskers? Is that supposed to be make up? Or some bizarre hair style? And more importantly why doesn't she have a mouth? Sanrio did answer that saying that she "speaks from the heart." This is all sounding more and more absurd and confusing.
Though, I guess now that I'm really analyzing her, I can slightly accept her being representative of a human child as she is anatomically vaguely similar to a Peanuts cartoon kid who we accept as human.....I just don't know......
So hence, there I stood in the art museum, staring at the "not a pipe" painting and profoundly thinking how if Hello Kitty is not a cat what else in my life has been a lie?

No comments:

Post a Comment