Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Twee. That is All.

I might finally – even though I never intend to pick it up again and finish reading it – understand the appeal of John Crowley’s “Little, Big.”

It’s twee. I said so when I reviewed the book. Or at least its first 100-odd pages. And I mean odd.
But today, due to an Interwebs search on the word twee, I ran into the Twee Movement. Somebody decided to make “twee” a movement and forgot to tell me. Not that I would have joined. Because their twee isn’t my twee at all.

Here’s how I define twee. It might sound familiar if you use a dictionary:

To provide examples, I offer up mainly books: Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows,” the aforementioned “Little, Big,” Bob Brooks’ “Ballymore Adventures,” the Beatrix Potter canon, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, the works of Aardman Animation, etc.

But twee went and became a lifestyle, which according to Salon.com, means this:

Twees, as I saw them, were souls with an almost incapacitating awareness of darkness, death and cruelty, who made the personal choice to focus on essential goodness and sweetness. They kept a tether to childhood and innocence and a tether to adulthood as is required by the politically and socially active.  They had a healthy interest in sex but also a healthy wariness and shyness when it came to the deed.

You’ll be shocked to hear that Brooklyn is involved.

Live and let live, I say. They can be twee all they want. Even be “Twees” with their waxed mustaches and adorable bands that you’ve probably never heard of (I wonder if Fleet Foxes would be considered twee?).

That doesn’t mean I can’t make fun of them.

Because this is adorable.

Note: At the bottom of this list, a warning: “Most people don’t know what twee is.” Which makes it all the more precious to those who have discovered this particular pigeonhole and find the dungy smell there appealing.

I think people out there crave an identity, a belonging, and wind up in some of the strangest little societal eddies. They read one thing about the “kawaii” movement in Japan and decided, “Me too!”

Again, that’s okay.

Yet I have to ask, can it be stopped? Or should I just give up and put a bird on it?

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