None of which explains Goofy

Okay, I’m willing to accept Taylor Swift as an information-security specialist, but this is a bridge too far:

I (along with every other woman who was once in third grade in the early 1990′s) was shocked, absolutely SHOCKED to recently learn that Hello Kitty is not, in fact, actually a cat.

“Wait, WHAT?” you say. “But the ears … and the whiskers … and her last name is Kitty … wait, are you punking me, because if you’re not, wait WHAT?”

Well, actually, her last name is White. But still:

Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii (who is curating an upcoming Hello Kitty retrospective for the Japanese American National Museum), told the L.A. Times that she had referred to Hello Kitty as a cat in her written text for the exhibition, and Sanrio was like “Actually … no.”

“I was corrected — very firmly,” Yano said. “That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. 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.”

You have to figure that Sanrio would know these things, but I keep wondering what else they haven’t told us about Kitty, like that facial expression right out of Harlan Ellison.

I suppose I need to ask Twilight Sparkle if she is in fact a pony.

Comments (13)




Vans are waiting

Oh, I’m sorry. Unless you’re British, it’s “Vans is waiting”:

The Hello Kitty x Vans summer 2014 collection has arrived! Vans.com says that this collection is:

“Inspired by Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary and graphics from the 70′s, the Vans x Hello Kitty Authentic is a simple low top, lace up with a durable printed canvas upper, metal eyelets, Vans flag label and Vans original Waffle Outsole.”

Of course, if you want something slightly less low and slightly less Authentic, we recommend the SK8-Hi Slim:

Vans SK8-Hi Slim Hello Kitty Edition

These will run you $70; the non-high-tops are about $15 less and are distinctly less subtle in appearance.

Comments




Now shut your duct

The title here pretty much says it all: “Bus driver contests termination after Hello Kitty duct tape incident.”

Let’s look at that incident:

A bus driver will no longer be transporting students to and from Surry Elementary School after she was accused of putting Hello Kitty duct tape on students’ mouths.

Surry Elementary School principal Cathy Lewis said she became aware of the issue on Nov. 6 when two fourth graders came off the bus complaining that they were silenced with duct tape even though they weren’t the loudest students on the bus.

Lewis said she was shocked and immediately asked the bus company, First Student, that employs the driver, to investigate.

In fact, this duct tape is almost certainly Duck® tape, sold in ten- and twenty-yard rolls.

I wonder if any of these kids will be scarred once they realize that what was put over their mouths was an image of a character who has no mouth.

Warning: Those Bangor Daily News links may ask you some demographic question before letting you read.

Comments (2)




Unalloyed delight

Hello Kitty is about to turn a semi-matronly 40, and to celebrate, Mitsubishi is unleashing 400 copies of its Mirage hatchback dedicated to the unfinicky feline. I was drawn to this bit of detail work:

Wheel cover for Mitsubishi Mirage Hello Kitty edition

The bad news — or the good news, depending on your perspective — is that Mitsu is making only those 400, and will mail exactly none of them to the States.

(Previous Kitty cars: smart fortwo; Fiat 500.)

Comments (2)




What the cat dragged in

Hello Kitty beerThat fruity-looking stuff in the can is, in fact, Hello Kitty beer, brewed in Taiwan and sold in China:

The Hello Kitty brew, licensed by the Shanghai KT trading company and made by Taiwanese beer maker Long Chuan, comes in at least six tropical flavors, from passion fruit to banana… the beers are only 2.3 percent alcohol by volume.

Two point three? That’s near near-beer.

Says Kotaku in a review:

[T]hese beers are dangerous. They’re so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell they’re drinking beer. It’s almost like drinking fruit juice.

The guy in the corner nursing a Mike’s Hard Lemonade is laughing his face off.

Comments (3)




Cutting a goddess down to size

Well, we finally have a source for that Hello Kitty vodka seen here last spring. As suspected, it’s a fabrication; as not suspected, it’s part of a collection by artist Anna Utopia Giordano, who specializes in messing with her audience’s heads digitally. There’s also a Barbie vodka and a Lego tequila, and now I understand why the top of the bottle was cropped out.

A more recent project, “Venus,” is on exhibit at Museum Het Valkhof in the Netherlands. You all know Venus: she’s your fire, what’s your desire? And she’s been portrayed, often in paintings long considered masterpieces, generally naked as the day she was born — and blessed with a certain sufficiency of flesh generally incomprehensible in these days when Beautiful and Emaciated walk arm in lath-thin arm. What to do? Giordano to the rescue, applying to the goddess the very same Photoshop techniques routinely used in fashion magazines. In Botticelli’s half-shell work, for instance, Venus has gotten an obvious tummy tuck and smoothing of her thighs and upper arms, while going up about half a cup size.

Then again, not all Renaissance painters rendered women as, um, fleshy. Jonathan Jones points out in the Guardian:

[T]here are Renaissance nudes that are just as skinny as any fashion designer could demand. The German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder portrayed strikingly thin and narrow-waisted nudes. His Venus believed you could never be too bony or wear too many hats. But he was a close friend of Martin Luther, and believed the body to be a vessel of sin. Those sensual Italians had a more abundant and generous idea of beauty.

Peter Paul Rubens was not available for comment.

Comments (1)




At least it wasn’t fruit-flavored

If you ask me, testosterone ain’t what it used to be:

Jonathan Weaver and his colleagues at the University of South Florida report that threatening a man’s sense of manhood makes him myopic and more prone to take risks, particularly in a public situation. The findings suggest that being surrounded by their sweaty, swaggering alpha-male peers may have provided just the kind of threatening environment to encourage bankers to become short-sighted risk-takers.

For an initial study, the masculinity of 19 heterosexual male university students was threatened by having them product test a pink bottle of “Sweet Pea” fruit-scented hand lotion; 19 others acted as a comparison group and tested a power drill. Ostensibly as part of a separate study, all the men were then filmed playing a gambling game. They started with $5 and had five chances to bet between $0 and $1 on whether a die roll would turn up odds or evens, with the potential to win or lose the amount they gambled. Over the course of the first four bets, the men who’d had their masculinity challenged tended to bet larger amounts; they also bet the maximum possible amount more often.

Let me see if I have this straight. A bottle of fruit-scented hand lotion is now sufficient to threaten a male university student’s masculinity? What would a Hello Kitty power sander do to those poor boys?

No wonder the Y chromosome is threatened with extinction.

(Via the presumably studly Will Truman.)

Comments (7)




I have no mouth and I must drink

If I remember correctly, Hello Kitty’s first appearance was in the 1970s, so she’s certainly old enough to imbibe:

Hello Kitty Pink Goose Vodka

Although I figured she might be more into shochu, and anyway this appears to be ever-so-slightly ‘shopped.

(From Hello Kitty Hell via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

Comments (3)




Green Kitty

The green, of course, is the area immediately surrounding the hole. Which is by way of saying that Hello Kitty is now appearing on golf equipment:

Hello Kitty golf

This was apparently Sanrio’s idea (of course), and four sets will be offered, from a starter set for ages three to five (4-hybrid, a 7-iron, a putter, stand bag and headcover, $140), up to the full-size package (driver, 4- and 7-woods, a 5-hybrid, 7-iron through pitching wedge, sand wedge, putter, plus a mix-and-match cart bag and headcovers, $800).

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

Comments off




Fly the friendlier skies

And those would be, um, the skies of Hello Kitty:

Eva Air Hello Kitty jet

This isn’t the first time Taiwan’s EVA Air has paired with Sanrio — they had two such jets in 2005 — but they’ve ordered up new Airbus A330-300s to celebrate their 20th anniversary, and who better to invite to the party?

If travel with Kitty appeals to you, start here.

(From Buzzfeed via Girls of a Certain Age.)

Comments (2)




Who gets to be the bow?

The Feline Empress of Evil [© McGehee] passes Go:

Monopoly Hello Kitty version

The board locations, of course, are in Kitty’s hometown of, um, London. Also available: Yahtzee and Connect Four.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market. Picture from Sanrio.)

Comments (5)




Presenting the lovely Kitty White

Celebrity culture has grown to such an extent that anyone who’s ever had a word with Ryan Seacrest is now deemed a “star.” So it’s somewhat heartening to see that the editors of Elle’s Taiwan edition have given a cover to someone who is legitimately a household word:

Hello Kitty on the cover of Elle Taiwan

Considered vis-à-vis her main competition, Kitty is arguably not a sheer force of nature, but I suspect Kitty’s probably easier to dress than Miss Piggy, no small consideration for a fashion mag.

(Oh, and Kitty White is apparently her real name.)

Comments (2)




You gonna tell him he can’t?

Hello Kitty Visa card issued to a Chuck Norris

I didn’t think so.

(Via FAILBlog’s WIN!)

Comments (1)




Unangry bird

Hello Kitty dresses up as a turkey:

Hello Kitty 8-inch Plush Turkey

Sanrio is selling this little plush Kitty with the bird suit for a mere $19.50, presumably just in time for Thanksgiving. (And heck, the grocery stores are full of Halloween stuff, so it’s just a matter of lead time.) She’s eight inches tall, so mark her down as a single serving.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

Comments (2)




No intent to needle

So I’m reading HelloGiggles, because — well, just because, okay? — and this startling revelation comes across the screen:

You are never too old to own Hello Kitty products. I have a Hello Kitty credit card, Zooey has a Hello Kitty sewing machine and Molly has Hello Kitty earphones.

Now how hard is it to find a Hello Kitty sewing machine? For the below-average Googler, it takes all of 500 milliseconds:

Hello Kitty sewing machine by Janome

This obviously isn’t a Bernina-class machine — I used to own something like this, in a mundane Nineties PC beige — but what the heck. (I actually did some minor stitchery on a Bernina, back when I was married; she got custody of the machine, which cost nearly as much as the children.) I will not ask when Zooey has time to sew.

Comments (7)




Goodbye Pussy, so to speak

Old and busted: Love Land in Chongquin.

Love Land entrance

Though they billed it as “tasteful” and “educational”, investigators conducting an emergency tour of the park after it attracted worldwide attention last week disagreed, and said that investors were “interested only in profiting from sensationalism”.

“The investigation determined the park’s content was vulgar and that it was neither healthy nor educational. It had had an evil influence on society and had to be torn down immediately,” a government official further said. A demolition team immediately dismantled the eye-catching legs that revolved above the park’s entrance.

New hotness: Hello Kitty in Zhejiang.

Harmonyland Hello Kitty theme park in Japan

With construction set to begin in July, the 150-acre theme park will focus on appealing to the obsessive nature of the popular Japanese feline’s fans, comprised mostly of preteens and young women. The theme park, which follows on the tails of the recently announced Shanghai Disneyland, will presumably attract a million visitors each year.

The Japanese company Sanrio, which created the tiny white feline, already has two Hello Kitty theme parks in Japan: Puroland, a 500,000 square foot indoor park outside of Tokyo, and Harmonyland (above photo), which rests on 60 acres in the Kyushu prefecture.

Make of this what you will.

Comments (2)




You say goodbye, I say hello

I don’t know why you say goodbye; I say hello.

Hello Kitty tombstone

(By Yoshitomo Nara. Via KA-CHING!)

Comments (1)




She’s such a cut-up

What more need I say?

Hello Kitty chainsaw

(Filched from Must Have Cute; spotted first at Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

Comments (4)




You will not see this on a Dodge Viper

P. J. O’Rourke drives a Fiat 500 for Car and Driver (April), shows it to the journalism class he teaches at Hillsdale College, and he has some good news — or is it bad news?

[What] I think is the 500′s best marketing point [is] its appearance. This came from my star pupil, Ms. B. On one hand, she was referencing an international design icon that drives sales in more than 4000 retail outlets in the U.S. alone and generates half a billion dollars in annual revenue. On the other hand…

When Ms. B saw the Fiat 500, the first words out of her mouth were “Hello Kitty.”

Not just hers, either, I suspect:

Fiat 500 Hello Kitty

Compare to, for instance, this Kitty-oriented smart fortwo.

Comments (9)




It had to happen

Sanrio and Sephora have collaborated, kinda sorta, on a new cosmetic line, which presumably may help you look like this:

Model for Hello Kitty by Sephora

Yes, it’s the ubiquitous Hello Kitty, with the standard Signature Fragrance (1.7 ounces, $55, which sounds pricey but which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the stuff I wear), various goodies for your face, and typical accessories.

Although I question the legitimacy of a Hello Kitty lip gloss. I mean, Hello Kitty doesn’t even have lips.

Comments (6)