What do "misfit teenage girls" and "women in their thirties" like, in addition to pictures of cute pets on the internet? Droll mockery of their personal lives, of course!
The ashamed, secret straight male audience for cats, meanwhile, appreciate "shots of attractive women, with their pets nestled near or within cleavage," as LA Weekly put it in a profile of Chris Leavins, the man behind the Web show and blog Cute With Chris, which offers all of the above.
We've only watched a few shows but are kind of already in love with the concept. The Weekly writes that Leavins has three purposes:
- "A spit-in-the-wind mission to counter the cultural flood tides of 'cute.'"
- "Wading through the detritus of pet photos that hold almost no inherent interest to anybody but the pets' owners, and then, using interactive storytelling, finding a narrative infused with more universal meaning than the pet owners could ever have intended."
- "Trying to fathom new ways to use performance to connect to people in the 21st century."
Really, though, we just liked reading through his on-camera ridicule, like
“I miss the old Chris, too. The old Chris would have taken this opportunity to rip you a new asshole for writing such a rude e-mail. The old Chris might have looked into the camera [here, he looks directly into the camera] and said, ‘Gee, Lynette, I wish I was as awesome as you.’ The old Chris would have said, ‘Thank you, Lynette, for taking a little time away from your job making meatball subs at a Quiznos [in a] food court in Wisconsin to let me know that I’m not keeping it real.’ I truly value the opinion of a grown woman who lives with six hamsters and an iguana named Dumbledore. The old Chris would have turned to the other camera and said, ‘Get out of my cult, bitch.’
Unfortunately, Lynette, I’m just too exhausted to do that. I have been trying to sell out for weeks, and let me tell you something, selling out is a lot of work and frankly not very profitable. That’s why I’m not going to say those terrible things about you that I just said. About you. Which are true. You ungrateful whore.
Let’s look at kittens!
“I’m only doing this as inspiration to the thousands of women like Deborah, single ladies in their 30s, with three or more cats, who watch Cute With Chris. Don’t give up on your dreams. Throw away your clogs, and believe that somewhere in the space between your 11 cats and your six litter boxes and the 39 squeaky toys on your bed, there is room for a man in your life. Unless you want to turn lesbian, which I would totally recommend. I mean, wouldn’t it be easier just to date another crazy cat lady?”
“Thanks for your letter, Madison. Yes, jugs are for juice, and also, lotion does make one slippery. But every parent has the right to decide what their child can or cannot watch, and you need to respect your mother’s decision. However, the flag button on YouTube is meant to protect people from graphic depictions of sex, violence or hate speech. It’s not meant to protect people from plastic horses. In any case, Madison, I think we’ve all learned something from this experience. We’ve learned that when you say innocent things like “jugs” or “Ride me, I’m a horse,” your mother’s mind goes to some very weird places. [Brief pause.] Hey, mama!”