May 05, 2014
Avril Lavigne's "Hello Kitty"
Over at Vox, Zack Beauchamp continues the proud, pontificating tradition of getting offended on behalf of people who don't know they've been offended. "Uncomfortable appropriation of Japanese culture," he calls the latest offense.
The terrible sin in question? Beauchamp thinks this is "Japanese culture" in the process of being "appropriated." And along the way, for reasons unknown to 127 million Japanese, somehow "offending" them.
Moe Lane recommends that Vox "find writers who are a little less provincial and a little more experienced with the culture in question." Though Tokyo resident Michael Cucek points out that the real problem with the video is that it's
cringeworthingly, strap-Malcolm-McDowell-down-with-his-eyelids-pried-open bad.
Were I a cat with pretensions to singing grand opera, I might resent Lavigne for edging in on my territory. But, really? This is the kind of offense-taking that requires years of expensive education to hone to a meaningless edge.
Here's what Japan's far more watchable (and talented) pop culture ironists have to say about the subject: "Have a Nice Day" (in Akihabara) by World Order, a brief walking tour (literally) through every contemporary cliche about Japan.