Curiosity is the purest form of insubordination. - Nabakov
Raising a teeny tiny helpless snowshoe kitten has rendered me a drooling, cooing, mindless thing this winter.
I am under the influence of Cuteness.
We are surrounded by it.
We sleep with Cuteness, dream in Cuteness, speak of Cuteness.
Any unsuspecting person who walks through the door is reduced to Cuteness mush.
I notice I can't read much these days. The creature of Cute always intervenes.
I notice I don't eat much either.
And when I leave the house, I indulge in ridiculously long, purry goodbyes.
Beauty, yes. Beauty and Truth, yes, yes, yes. Beauty, Camus tells us, is unbearable; it drives us to despair, offering us the mere glimpse of eternity.
I can hang my hat on that.
But Cuteness ?
Kitsch, Kundera tells us, is the absolute denial of shit.
I had no choice but do some research on the subject.
The word itself is quite new. It derives from the word, acute, of course:
The Word Detective
The Birth of Cuteness
We often recoil at the very mention of the word:
The C Word
The Japanese have been studying the physiology of Cute for some time. They've made a bundle off Cute:
Cuteness, Wikki tells us, pushes all our cellular nurturing buttons:
At evening when the lamp is lit,
The tired Human People sit
And doze, or turn with solemn looks
The speckled pages of their books.
Then I, the Dangerous Kitten, prowl
And in the Shadows softly growl,
And roam about the farthest floor
Where Kitten never trod before.
And, crouching in the jungle damp,
I watch the Human Hunter’s camp,
Ready to spring with fearful roar
As soon as I shall hear them snore.
And then with stealthy tread I crawl
Into the dark and trackless hall,
Where 'neath the Hat-tree's shadows deep
Umbrellas fold their wings and sleep.
A cuckoo calls — and to their dens
The People climb like frightened hens,
And I'm alone — and no one cares
In Darkest Africa — downstairs.
― Oliver Herford