So you know how honey comes in a plastic bottle shaped like a bear? It's cute, right?
Honey Bear/Persona Non Grata
I was startled over the weekend to learn that this view is not universal. An English friend, over tea in the second-floor lounge of the Hotel Elysee in New York, scoffed when I offered him a honey bear and said that it was "naff."
I've also heard English people describe Mount Rushmore as 'naff.'
The next day we put it to a friend from Geneva. "Oh I hate those," she said. "They're so obnoxious." The objections were that the honey bear is cutesy and illogical. The latter complaint confused me. There is a logical connection between bears and honey. Bears eat honey, is the connection. And when they eat a lot of honey, they are full of honey. Therefore, it's appropriate to have a plastic container shaped like a bear and filled with honey. The artist Luke Chueh dramatizes the situation:
'Honey Bear' © Luke Chueh, 2007
And rather than getting into a debate over the meaning of "cutesy" vs "cute," I would just point out that people from the place that popularized cow creamers are on shaky ground with their assault on honey bears. And they may be ignoring the benefits of the animal-shaped delivery device. This gentleman, who runs a web site devoted to cow creamers, says he launched it partly "to share my fascination with the numberless ways in which such a straightforward thing as a cow can be represented in the form of a creamer."  Where's the harm if we spend more time thinking about bears and their representation?
You know what else is kind of naff, is English people saying things are 'naff.' Silver cow creamer w/saddle and bee.

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