If you're anything like me, good luck with that. I consume the daily news like a pit bull with stick fever and sometimes, I need to be told, "Lie down! Wash your face! Drink some water!" before I implode with global sadness and frustration at the human race. When I get like this, there is but one (legal) solution: Cute animal websites.
Clearly, I'm not the only cheezburger in the bag as these sites are guaranteed web gold, not far behind porn and gaming. Last night, I was listening to a friend sob about his broken heart and it pained me with worry. Then, I read about the latest shooting rampages and plane crashes and about how the aging population is being starved out and trapped by their own mortgages and…and…then, I…quite suddenly found myself on Cute Overload, luxuriating in the innocent cuteness of a newborn hippo, the proshness of a kitten nose and the hungry ambitions of the teensiest turtle. A baby monkey sucking its thumb! Erf!
KA-BLOOM! Though I do risk a full skull explosion from excessive cute-exposure (ECE the medical term, I believe), it's often the only salve that keeps my heart from going hard and black. It's hard to be angry and bitter when watching a polar bear cub's first day of romping in the snow. Such images are my head-in-the-sand reaction and quite a bit cheaper than heroin, so there's that.
"America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute–we’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes–that is transforming marketing (the Geico gecko), automobiles (the Smart car), and movies ("Up" ). But is the world bound to sour on all this sweetness?"
--Jim Windolf, Vanity Fair, December 2009, "Addicted to Cute"
No, Jim, sorry. Not from my end. Cute animals and a few other DIY potions are the only morally viable panacea I have left in this cold, cruel, financially crumbling, oh-my-god-I'm-getting-old world. A little head explosion here and there is not enough to stop my mouse (Baby mice! Squeee!) from seeking out new sites. Thankfully, it seems like there's a new litter every month. (I still miss the hilarious Fuck You, Penguin. Matt, come back!)
I recently spent a solid chunk of time chortling my way through Animals Being Dicks, which is exactly what it sounds like. You get one hilarious video at a time, running on a loop, that reveals those same cute animals stealing, tagging, violating, attacking or just being real fucking mouthy, for no real good reason. We see lots of animals getting shoved off of bookcases, riverbanks, trees and tables by their fellow animals because well, one has to pass the time somehow, right? As with most of these sites, the captions are deliciously clever. My favorite:
"What came first, the chicken or the rapist puppy?"
Ah, a question for the ages.
Now, many of the videos we have seen elsewhere but somehow putting them all together in under one definitive statement is damn good fun. After watching 75 videos in a row, I showed the site to my housemate and then I watched them all over again with him until we were both crying. That's just good value, people.
Another recent fave is Animals in Baths which, again, is a pretty clear set up. Photos of animals, mostly sad dogs and seething cats, resigned to their fate of soap and water. The dogs have clearly just given up, and the cats, now about half their original size, clearly concocting an evil plan of revenge. Y'see, in their world - which does NOT immediately include WSJ's screaming headlines of financial ruin or CNN's breaking news of hurricane/flood/fire/earthquake/tsunami devastation - a bath is the worst thing that can happen that day. Unless, you're a cat and someone keeps piling stuff on you all day long.
One thing is for sure, there's no end in sight. As long as there are people with cameras willing to stalk the animal kingdom in search of an LOL, dere will always be moar.
BlogHer Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Section Editor, LIFE; Proprietor, ClizBiz
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