Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Won't Miss #42 - Disney Obsession (reflection)

It's hard to understand the aggregate effect of a trend or fad until you find yourself removed from it and encountering a relatively different one. In Japan, it was not the least bit uncommon for adults to festoon themselves with the vestiges of cuteness. From "Hello Kitty" to "Rilakkuma" (relax bear) to Minnie Mouse, you'd find women ages 20-40 with trinkets attached to their cell phones, images on their tote bags, or clothing bearing these icons. It often seemed utterly ridiculous, but now that I've been removed from it, I have a very different sense of what it meant.

The cumulatve effect of all of these people embracing Disneyana and other child-like trappings was one of making the atmosphere seem harmless, diminuitive, and inoffensive. In America, I don't see 30-year-old people walking around with Pluto key chains and Mickey T-shirts, but rather with enormous tattoos and T-shirts devoted to alcohol brands, rock bands, and nasty messages. The aggregate sense of these people is one of defensiveness, danger, and aggression.

While I though it was incredibly silly for adults to be so attached to something meant for children, I find now that I miss the atmosphere that surrounded such people in a manner that I could not anticipate. As reflections go, this one, surprisingly, has found me in a complete change of opinion.