In response to all the lame brands of casual wear, Hello Cthulhu has risen!
I wore my first Hello Cthuhlu polo in Port Aransas in October 2013. There’s an annual gathering of artists on the Redneck Riviera that time of year, and one asked me about the logo. Unfortunately, I was at odds to explain who Cthuhlu and Hello Kitty are. Despite my attempts, I was informed that the brand was “esoteric.” Scoff if you must, but if you take two ideas from popular culture and blend them together as a whisper about brand and popular culture – is it really all that obscure or arcane? Seems more akin to a mixed metaphor.
At my hotel later I tried two Google searches: Cthuhlu and Motley Crue. At the time, Cthuhlu had more than twice as many results listed as Motley Crue. Not too scientific, but having twice as many mentions on the Internet as Motley Crue suggests something is part of popular culture – at least for my generation.
Here are some recent tallies:
Perhaps it’s a gross oversimplification to assume something in the purview of the populace is automatically exoteric – and references to Cthuhlu are vague.
“The Call of Cthulhu” is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, published in Weird Tales in February of 1928. In it, cultists worship the deity Cthuhlu, a giant octopus-headed evil entity with small wings on its back who sleeps in the depths and will rise again to reign in darkness.
That’s about it. Okay – perhaps that is mysterious – and divinity qualifies as esoteric, right? 🙂 Hello Kitty is a recognizable design – a fictional white cat character with a red bow or flower – iconic, cutesy.
As for how well known Cthuhlu is? Perhaps he’s not mainstream at all. Perhaps only a small nerdy group of elitist twits truly understands him and also posts prolifically about him online. But it doesn’t matter. This counts as the one and only time I’ve considered a piece’s esoteric qualities, and I’ve found the consideration superfluous at best. There’s no need to over-think any of this. 😉
He has risen!