Saturday, August 9, 2008

Could We Interest You In a Tasteful Tote?

I found this tote bag following an ad on Pitchfork for Sufjan Steven's record label Asthmatic Kitty's new "pomegrante friendly" grocery tote bag. Check out the site for yourself.

I'm trying to understand why seeing this tote bag and reading it described as "large enough to haul as many veggies and yummy goods as you'd need for a perfect dinner" brings out a hatred in me that should be reserved for actual bad things, i.e. the Bush administration, sweatshop using corporations, homophobes and racists, American Apparel ads, etc.

Firstly, there's the name: Asthmatic Kitty. It conjures up images of a bunch of super skinny hipsters decked out in scarves and striped sweaters (full disclosure: I own three such sweaters) ladling pity on poor little weezing Mr. Kitty as he huffs and puffs with his cute little lungs, trying to desperately to secure the bare minimum of air to survive for the next second or so. And that's not a good image.

Secondly, Adam Gnade, the author of the first vegan recipe zine included--for a limited time!--with the tote bag is described as a "storyteller." No one who tells good stories is described as a "storyteller." For the record, "storytellers" are failed children's book authors. They haunt local libraries, telling stories too cliched and lacking in humor to interest anyone under four years old (oh, and how it makes their blood boil when a precocious four year old figures out the moral to the story when they're in the middle of telling it. "Well, let's just wait and see if that's what Simon the rabbit learns..")

Thirdly and finally, not to make a big generalization, but the kind of people who use the word "yummy" and brag about handwriting and illustrating their vegan recipe zines are passive-aggressive monsters. I'll allow that humans can be kind and empathetic and sensitive, but they can't be that way all the time. Your anger and frustration have to get expressed somewhere, and if you fetishize sweetness and cuteness, chances are you're not one for facing conflict head-on. Instead you patronize and condescend, hiding behind the flimsy excuse that you "didn't intend it to come across that way." Asthmatic Kitty and co. don't hate you, they just think some of the things you do are stupid and destructive and it'd be majorly cool if you could stop doing those things like right away.

In conclusion, asthmatic cats needs vets, not your sympathy; "storytellers" secretly hate your children, and anyone who buys the above tote bag is passive aggressive (or in need of a tote bag).