Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cute!!! (Not)

There was a story in the newspaper today about a snake and a hamster in a zoo in Japan. The zookeepers put the hamster in the snake's cage for it to eat. But the snake didn't want to eat the hamster so they became "friends," with the hamster even cuddling up to the snake and sleeping on top of it. I knew my friend Setsuko would love that story. She thinks the March of the Penguins is the best movie ever made, except maybe for this other movie she saw recently about a man who raised a polar bear from a cub, and it was so cute, and also wasn't it so great when the tortoise made friends with the hippopotamus after the tsunami, and so on...

I find the snake and hamster story disturbing. I'm sure the snake will eat the hamster when it gets hungry enough. I don't know what makes me different from people who can appreciate "cute," but I know J.D. Salinger understands, because he has Seymour Glass, his most highly-esteemed character, explain it to his young wife, Muriel. "I mentioned R. H. Blythe's definition of sentimentality: that we are being sentimental when we give to a thing more tenderness than God gives to it. I said (sententiously?) that God undoubtedly loves kittens, but not, in all probability, with Technicolor bootees on their paws."

I think they should show that cute polar bear movie as a double feature with Grizzly Man, the movie about the guy who sentimentalized grizzly bears and got himself and his girlfriend killed and eaten as a result.

1 comment:

yellojkt said...

Anthropomorphizing is one of the oldest human story telling traits. Some day that hamster will be dinner and a lot of sad eyed kids will have to have the circle of life explained to them all over again.