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Mar 27, 2006

One Man's Mission

Hello People, Meg here. What you are about to witness is amazing—astonishing even. A Super Duper Superfan of CuteOverload.com has come forward to give you, the C.O. audience, a gift. A gift of Chick Icons! Here's the story in his own words. Alan—the stage is yours.

One day, my co-worker pointed me at cuteoverload.com and I knew, oh, I knew that we had reached a point of stabilization in society.  The Rules of Cute really resonated and I made the conscious choice to change my iChat icon to the cuteoverload icon. The next day, it made sense to dress it up a little bit... it was a cold day in San Francisco and I'm sure the little chickie must have been freezing as well.  So Chickie got a black shirt and suddenly, Meg Frost, the legend herself, pinged me on iChat. It was like meeting Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. 

Pete_doherty Admittedly, the black t-shirt was awfully cute. But in our brief virtual conversation, I suggested I might try another variation, say, "Pete Doherty." Meg, to my surprise, said, 'who's that?' and alas, within seconds, she sent me a brilliant picture of a finely cracked-out Pete and within minutes, I dropped my next meeting and cranked out (so to speak) the first large-scale Pete Duckerty in Keynote 3 (must plug my product).

And much to my surprise, Duckerty became the rage across campus and my buddy list was littered with cracked out Duckerty's.  And when demand exceeds supply, what is a genteel marketer to do?

Jack_chicko_2 The rules of cute can only take you so far.  Finding the second cute target was no easy task. Was this cute icon thing going to be the next big thing or was it going to be another "Home Alone 2." Stressed, I took to the pub where upon my friend Yvette consoled me. She has been a life-long Johnny Depp fan and when was he cuter than in Pirates of the Carribean, riffing off the not-so-cute Keith Richards?  And John Sparrow made his way through buddy lists across campus.

Chick_club_1 Riding on the "Empire Strikes Back" of icons, I chit-chatted and hob-nobbed with cute wonks, quite certain that fraternity is a spontaneous formation that keeps society ticking, as gears in a clock. And realizing that I had gone from my independent and quite punk attitude to now a significant part of the cute underground, I relished back to the days of old, and since few would understand a Matthew Barney duck, I found #3, Brad Pitt, in Fight Club, Before Angelina Jolie, etc., etc., when it seemed the American colony was young enough to be shocked by a few boys brooking noses and such. Ah, "Return of the Jedi."

Karl_chickerfeld_2 The pressure was on, and I was flown to meet the illustrious Karl Lagerfeld. And in his presence, and the presence of his court, I was reminded of Versailles and elegance and, well, all things cute. So late, late night, after a New York-styled evening, I cleared off the cigarettes and alcohol and and sat down to draw Kaiser duck... belt buckle and all.

Chick_cooper_2 Sulking back to San Francisco after seeing the brightest points of cuteness 2006, I couldn't help but feel a tad goth, if you will. A friend asked, 'when you go to a goth party, what do you take?' I responded, 'Nothing. I have darkness in my heart.' And to that, I tried to trace my goth instinct back through Bauhaus, Joy Division... But that couldn't be it. There was more. And amidst that dark joy that is that last moment of sunset, I remembered the Muppets' episode starring Alice Cooper, where cute met dark cute. The granddaddy of goth.

Brokeback_chick_1 Brokeback_chick_2_3 Having given up any more cute tendencies, I swore off the ducks for a while (it must have been 3 days even). And it was Oscar season. Given my ADD, I don't see a lot of movies, but the brokeback phenomenon was clearly all around. And what could be cuter than that?

But Heath was looking a little lonely, so #2 was born. Peace at last.  On to other things.  Really.
What could be cuter than a duck singing Robot Rock?

Bat_chick Having forbidden myself access to the cute_overload.key file, I avoided iChat where friends egged me on to 'just do one more.'  Like Elvis should have done, I refused. But cuteness was everywhere. There's something so cute about brooding. And something so cute about sitting in a darkened apartment, glistening at Gotham, wondering where it all went wrong. We need defenders for the cute. We need Batduck!
It took nearly three months in cute icon stupor to realize I had a problem. The edge. The happenstance. The unbearable lightness of being! The more pressure, the more cute karma. And in the vigilance, and in the strife, and in the keeping it all together, Alex! I could have done wonders with a little more adult supervision. Look at me now!

Hamster_t_chickHamster_t_chick_2_2 Safely back, I saw cuteness in everything. And a renewed hope, that I was well past 'Jar Jar' and the "Phantom Menace," I was on the green run of cuteness. Here's an idea, here's another. What could be cuter than shameless self promotion?  Cute pushing cute!

Then the boys complained.

The first time I went to Tokyo, I surmised three points of culture.  London, her majesty's center.  New York, that bitter little colony, palely reflecting her majesty's witty burbs. And now Tokyo, closing the loop, recycling and repurposing western culture – better than it originally started.  And in the same way that Japan overtook the world economic production of cars, computers and gadgets, in the malls, in the streets, in the subways, in the mangas, in the parks, in the kiosks – cute!  They know cute better that we do (or did, now that Meg brought the torch back to the colonies). And it hit me late one night, that this cute icon exercise, needed an ending to take it back to where it began. The essence of cute.Hello_chickie_2_2

Hello_chickie_1 With the discipline of a mathematician, I embarked on a treacherous adventure, not knowing when it would start, not knowing when it would end. The red pill? The rabbit hole? The mobius strip of icons, recursion set its course. #14. Is there anything left to do? Little plastic purses, hair clips, and radios?

Obey! Yay!

The revolution will be cute!

Obey Sincerely,
"@", or hello_ace@mac.com

I told you it was amazing! Stheriously; to use an icon, simply right-click on it to save to your desktop. Then, follow the instructions with your particular chat program to use.


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not cute. bring back the baby animals, please.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 08:40 AM

I agree. Lame and very uncute. Get it out of here.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 08:51 AM

Whoa, whoa, whoa, ladies! Have you no admiration for the time, hard work and inspiration from this story? It's like when People magazine shows 'real people' next to celebs, I know, but come on!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:08 AM

There not that bad...the tokyo still ones are kinda cute and the batman one was sort of a chuckle. They did make me think "a little too much free time". But you can say that there is an icon there for everyone!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:08 AM

good gosh. this guy has been *very* hard at work. too much spare time.

A thinker
 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:10 AM

The chicks are cute - I got a kick out of the Brokeback duo.

I don't use IM/chat but appreciate your creativity and offer to us.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:11 AM

totally amazing!! i bow down to you, you are my cute god for the day.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:16 AM

Nice! Got to love the Hello Kitty tribute. Chicky wearing a chick!

D.R. Tong
 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:23 AM

Being the Brokeback fan that I am, Jack and Ennis chickies have now been saved and presented to the world on my MSN :)

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:38 AM

As a fully fledged fashionista, I am taking the Carl Lagerfeld chick. Hi-lar-rious.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:03 AM

I'd seen the BatChick/BatDuck in the CuteTracker; the whole set is great.

Oh, and to the grumpies up there? There's plenty of other fuzzy photos to pick & choose from. Help yourselves.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:17 AM

i guess, everything trully rests in the eye of the beholder.

i think they're cool....what's with all the hate?

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:42 AM

cute cute!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:46 AM

Hey, I like them!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 11:04 AM

I think they are cute. Lots of hate aimed at this and I'm not sure why.

I know it's Monday, but still...relax, people!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 11:10 AM

(Meg -- small plea to correct the typo in the title of this post; it's missing an "e")

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 11:27 AM

what is not to like about the the Awesome Power of the Cute?
look what Meg inspired a (up-to-recently at least) sane man to do...
I for one, welcome our new Chick Overlords.

and btw, the recursion involved in #13 and #14 is worth including in a high-level media/mass culture/communication studies seminar.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 12:01 PM


if you meant me, here is a translation:


 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 12:11 PM

Whoa! It's finally happened, someone said they were me and posted that comment above.

I'm surprised it didn't happen before today. Notice "Meg" didn't fix the title until now? No, I don't wish I was dead and buried someplace because of missing an 'e'. Thanks, Theo, I'll fix the title above.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 12:16 PM

Heh. Meg, a suggestion for you...

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 12:35 PM

I keep trying to think of something witty to say, but honest - I'm rendered speechless by Alan's icons. (I'd seen the Batduck on the Frappr site, but had no idea he was working on others...)

We've just hit light speed, people!!!

Alan, thank you thank you thank ou thank you thank you - superb design; the Lagerfeld kills me!

E. Collison
 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 01:35 PM

They're adorable! I have to sneak some of these into documents at work. Wouldn't a dull PowerPoint presentation about profit/loss statements be much more interesting if there was a cute little duckie pic included?

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 02:26 PM

Included, or instead? :-)

I dig the ones in the Cute Overload tee shirts.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 03:19 PM

oh my.
he's superfan!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 04:05 PM

I think they are great! Great job to the guy who did them, mucho talent. Wish I could do something like that. Meg, keep up the inspiration on your part.

Jan Spencer
 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 04:10 PM

[flips over to iTunes and starts playing "Superfly"]

BOM... dum, dum...
BOM... dum, dum...

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 04:11 PM

*he* *he*! I think they're kinda cool :o) I like the 1st one in the leather jacket.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 04:11 PM

AuntieMame: If I snuck in a duckie pic, would my co-workers quack up or would they accuse me of fowl play?

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 04:21 PM

Hey all, long time viewer, first time poster. These icons are soooooo cute, well done! (Applause) What I will never understand is the people who give negative comments. Keep it to yourselves people, the rest of us come here cause we like it. Do you pay Meg for the cuteness? Did I hear a no? Well then, no have no right to complain. Just enjoy for goodness sakes! :)

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 05:10 PM

They're supercute! I'd love to use one, but AIM tells me they're too big :( Any suggestions?

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 06:29 PM

TO CUTE TO BE REAL....so cut the crap!! first posters

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 07:26 PM


sock monster
 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:18 PM

This!!!! This is what i want on my next t-shirt, that little black and white chickie and "the revolution will be cute!"
- it's so purrrrrrfect!
that's my vote and i'm stickin'to it.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 09:38 PM

Thanks for mentioning Bauhaus and Joy Division--you're awesome!

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:10 PM

First two posters:

I've tried not been mean until now, but you guys were the last straw. If you can't appreciate someone's creativity, please go check the other posts that have baby animals and whatever else suits your finicky fancies, and please refrain from posting any negative comments.

Sorry Meg, just had to vent. I do these kinds of things myself and I know the effort that goes into them. It just pains me when people think they're being *connoisseurs* of cute.

 |  Mar 27, 2006 at 10:28 PM

I think 'too much free time' is oxymoronic. We should all have more free time to engage in wonderful nonsense

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 12:38 AM

i swear i almost died when i saw the karl lagerfeld chick. it's just too bad he didn't include the spanish contessa fan.

anyone who doesn't like this needs to lighten up. you can't appreciate cuteness if you take it so seriously...

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 05:45 AM

Hehe, I can't believe I am now a "hater." I just don't find these plastic ducks cute (I see them everywhere, and I think they're on about the same level as Billy the Bass. Not really my cup of tea, but whatever.) I never called myself a "connoisseur" of cute. So, sorry if I offended anyone, but, come on! chill!

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 06:34 AM

Kelly -- "Plastic ducks?" "Everywhere?"

Did you even *look* at the pictures, let alone read the explanatory text?

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 08:38 AM

Yes, and yes: the ducksare very similar to these (see http://www.captainquack.com/category.php?category=13), and sorry, but I don't find either kind cute.

But before anyone starts getting upset, keep in mind that that's just my opinion!

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 09:34 AM

Lol Dustbunny! That's funny! :o)

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 10:15 AM

Ya we know it's your opinion, we aren't saying you can't have an opinion. But keep it to yourself. If it's negative, then what's the point in sharing it? Do you like being a beacon of negativity? Cause I'm sure I speak for more than a few of us when I say that's not welcome here.

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 11:05 AM

did I not just apologize?

jeez, you people are harsh!

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 11:45 AM

I agree the top ones are un-cute. but "The Revolution will be Cute" is genius and shall be a tee-shirt with that icon.

 |  Mar 28, 2006 at 02:01 PM

I feel neither love nor hate for the duckies. Feh. *shrugs*

Space Pastry
 |  Mar 29, 2006 at 04:04 AM

I must take this opportunity to say, that regardless of anyone's taste in silly chickie avatars, "Space Pastry" may be my favorite screen-name of all time.

 |  Mar 29, 2006 at 07:24 AM

This site sucks now, soooooooooooo many titles that confuse people, Meg, ppplllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaassssssssseeeeeeeeeeeee put more cat photo's you know I am a cat person!

 |  Mar 29, 2006 at 07:26 AM

Reminder to everyone else: the real Theo uses an authenticated TypeKey ID, not some fake AOL address. (Not that many of you are likely to be confused.)

 |  Mar 29, 2006 at 07:31 AM

The real Theo is also literate and knows his apostrophes.

ok, gotta quit, need to work. . .

A thinker
 |  Mar 29, 2006 at 07:37 AM

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