I just read this article in Vanity Fair about the recent rise of cute in American culture (think youtube sneezing pandas, I can has cheezburger, and domo kun selling you your morning cup of joe at 7-11.) It’s pretty interesting- it correlates the cute phenomenon with tough times… In theory 9-11, two wars, and the worst economy since the 1930’s has triggered our desire to stare at puppies and kittens.
The article cites Japan as the precedent: their cute-volution came after that whole messy WWII thing. It specifically refers to Astro Boy, who… like many other cute Japanese mascots, we’ve since bogarted for a big budget animated feature. Here’s an abridged version of the article.
If that weren’t enough to convince you of our cute-obsession, check out an excerpt from the congressional health care debates this weekend- Rep. Shadegg brought a baby to help sell his argument:
Makes me want a whiskey and a cigarette. Awww ^_^