Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Lolz: The Good, The Bad, The Cute Overload
What makes a lolz cat successful? Is there a formula for quality funny pictures with simple captions featuring cats, dogs, other furry animals, even babies? I would submit there isn't a formula, but there are guidelines.
Here is a top notch example. The picture is not staged, but captures actual normal (if odd looking) animal behavior. The caption finds the funny in the first obvious place, which is anthrocentrism. Why would a human be in such a situation? Put words of explanation in the mouth of the kitteh, add in a sprinkling of spelling and/or grammar errors and, bingo! Comedy gold.
Next we have the bad, the wrong. The owner of the kitteh loves the kitteh. The love is so great that the owner does not understand the kitteh had boundaries. If you have any pictures like this in any of your personal photo albums, it's time to do a fearless moral inventory. One such picture can just be a moment of weakness. Two is a troubling pattern. Three or more... I think you know where this is heading without me stating it directly.
Then we have the cute overload. (This particular case is from I Can Has Cheezburger?, not from the website actually titled Cute Overload.) The cute picture is combined with the cute caption and the cuteness multiplies until we are left with an I.E.D. of Cute. The cuteness explodes on computer screens around the world, and the victims of the cuteness number in hundreds, if not thousands.
This week, Princess Sparkle Pony took some sickeningly sweet comics like The Family Circus and Love Is... and put in snarky captions at her usual high quality level. Seeing those old, cloying cartoons made me think that the cute overload lolz are the smarmy cartoons of the 21st Century, the obnoxious adorability that we must mock and stand shoulder to shoulder against, as the guardians of irony here on the Internets.
But personally, when I see a really good Cute Overload Lol, I just can't bring myself to hate it. I mean, look at the li'l kitteh! Iz so cuuuuuuuute!
I may need an intervention at some point in the future.