Friday, August 29, 2014

Up is Down, Black is White...

...And Hello Kitty is not a cat.  At the risk of continuing the feline trend earlier this week, I feel obliged to note how thoroughly my mind has been blown by this startling news from the good people at Sanrio.

You may have though she was just a harmless cat - a Kitty, in fact - with ties to Japan and an enigmatic expression.  Well, we've all been wrong.  No, she is, it seems, a nearly 40-year-old eternal little girl who lives outside London and whose last name is White.  Kitty White; not since I learned that Barbie's middle name is Millicent have I been so thrown off-kilter by a random piece of popcult trivia.

I used this remarkable piece of news to open my class yesterday, and I was relieved to see that the group - largely consisting of Asian women of the right age once to have been HK stalwarts - were as nonplussed as I.  All, that is, save one hard-boiled Malaysian junior assistant who looked askance at all of us and sighed, "well, yeah - everybody knows that."  I don't know if she happens to possess some kind of Kuala Lumpur-based bit of Sanrio insider knowledge or if she was just faking it to impress me (or more likely the imperious contingent, now so thrown for a loop, who came in from the Tokyo office).  Whatever the reason, she was having none of it.

But now my time in Bangkok is drawing short, and far too early tomorrow morning I'll be heading off to what I once believed was HK's homeland; perhaps I'll get some further insight into all of this confusion while transiting Narita.  I'm spending the night, so anything's possible...


  1. So you mean that crazy old lady down the block doesn't have a white cat named "Hello Kitty" that pisses all over my crepe myrtle?

    1. I think you should at least entertain the possibility that it is in fact a six-year-old British girl. Today, anything's possiblee.

  2. Alternatively, The Daily Mash (of course) has this take on it... Jx

  3. Genius viral marketing to foist attention upon a (perhaps) waning brand. Well done, Sanrio.