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Happy Birthday to Hello Kitty!

NOVEMBER 1, 2006
Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Team up with Hello Kitty and you'll never be lonely!
All Hail the Queen of Cute, The Empress of Desire… Hello Kitty!
Hello Kitty was born this day in 1974. Some dispute her actual progenitors (was it Dick Bruna?) but that won't stop the Japanese licensing company Sanrio and legions of fans across the galaxy from hoisting a toast in honor of the Queen of character licensing today.

Here's my little birthday essay:
"Today we celebrate the official birthday of Hello Kitty. In some ways, Hello Kitty is the offspring of a previous generation of cartoon characters that began life as entertainers on the tiny or silver screen. Hello Kitty came into existence solely to be Herself and to be desirable to a certain researched global economic demographic. She epitomized the commercial allure of the branding idea. Like a malevolent bacterium, reproduce yourself enough, and you rule — for a while at least (that's when the real fun begins).

With the popularity of the Internet, any art student or graphically-precocious teenager dreams of the big time riding effortlessly on the back of their cute or goggle-eyed doodle. More power to them! Today, there are thousands of characters in search of "merch".

But today is Hello Kitty's day. Let's not be cynical and depressed about how capitalism stole everything and sold it back to us. Let's enjoy the simple pleasures of life as we shell out a few more dollars for the temporary peace and joy of a young child's imagination."
Topical: artist birthdays