Liz’s How To: become a total creep over Hello Kitty

Racing through Malha mall for errands today, the heavens opened up and rays of sunlight poured down and unicorn angels sang and my eyes fell upon this… mecca of old school cuteness…

Granted this would completely make my daughter’s day, week, month, year – somehow she’s head over heels in love with ‘KITTY! HELLO, KITTY!!!’ – I was totally confused when I saw this.

What’s the date? Is it 1984? Where am I? FAO Shwartz? I’m in Jerusalem? There are a few more grown women than I’d expect pushing their newborns in expensive strollers into this completely unnecessary store?

Don’t get me wrong, I was a huge Hello Kitty fan as a kid (for reasons I can’t really figure out now, decades later). Japan knows what it’s doing. Sanrio was pure  genius, right there with Lisa Frank.

It was just surprising to come across an entire shop right here in Israel’s capital,  dedicated entirely to Hello Kitty merch – shirts, dolls, bags, pencils, dolls, suitcases, bikes, and dolls.

First I snapped a few pics to show Bebe – her reaction every time she sees a Hello Kitty image is priceless: <squeal> HELLO, KITTY! KITTTTY!</squeal>

Then I walked in to fully take in a really big piece of childhood awesomeness.

Then I walked out, made it a few steps, and looked down. I happened to be wearing – a couple months after my mother gave it to me as a nostalgic relic – well, when I realized what I was wearing, I was quickly transformed into a total creep at the dawn of her fourth decade, having attempted to be ironic this morning when I had put on… this very t-shirt:

(I now understand better the sales lady’s face after I responded in the negative to whether she could help me…)

 

And now for some local horror.

I don’t miss the part of living in Katamon, in Jerusalem, when a Beitar game would be on.

Beitar Jerusalem fans are known for a right-wing/arse/loud/violent combination of stereotype.

This, though. This is disgustingly criminal. It’s been a bit buried in the papers – partly because it happened around the time of the France Jew murders, and partly because, well, it is not flattering and since when do Israeli papers post something that admits to this level of wrongness?

Hundreds of Beitar Jerusalem fans beat up Arab workers in mall; no arrests

Hundreds of Beitar Jerusalem supporters assaulted Arab cleaning personnel at the capital’s Malha shopping center on Monday, in what was said to be one of Jerusalem’s biggest-ever ethnic clashes.

Despite CCTV footage of the events, no one was arrested. Jerusalem police said that is because no complaint was filed. Witnesses said that after a soccer game in the nearby Teddy Stadium, hundreds of mostly teenage supporters flooded into the shopping center, hurling racial abuse at Arab workers and customers and chanting anti-Arab slogans, and filled the food hall on the second floor.

It’s not the first time Beitar fans have acted utterly stupid in the name of a game won or lost. There have been tramplings, stampedes. But this is a fit of violence that goes beyond a game.

I despise the violence that erupts from sports frustration or elation (ahem, Red Sox fans). And I despise even more when  hate crimes are done from within my own people to minorities living among us.

How short are our memories? How immature are our minds?

These fans were young – who hasn’t been teaching them?

 

(And by the way, Arutz Sheva, seriously? There’s camera footage and you’re saying fans ‘allegedly attacked Arabs’?)