Love is… trite

I detest the Love Is… series of posters almost as much as I hate Anne Geddes, the one-trick photographer whose pictures of infants in fruit costumes prey on the worst sentimental excesses of baby-fetishistic women. I don’t just despise them for their oozing schmaltziness, although that is reason enough. What really irks is the artist’s contrived naivety. If Kim Casali or her successor, Bill Asprey, had any wit, they could have turned their one-dimensional creations into something more human. Love is… nauseating, deceptive, a prerequisite for monogamy.

And surely the definitive poster would be this:

Love is

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18 Responses to “Love is… trite”

  1. Golden Says:

    And what is really wrong with monogamy?

  2. pouletnoir Says:

    Nothing wrong with it. Just because the two preceding terms are negative doesn’t mean that the third is.

  3. marita Says:

    I can’t believe that a human that use s words that the mayority of the people need to google the meaning to understant your argument against a small piece of paper with a 2 dimenciol drawing of a man and woman without the need of not even clothes or color to inspire the greatness and powerlful feeling that love is. I advise you to analize wath you make puplic before you embaraze yourself saying foolish words against someting that was been here in this word before you were even in it. what is love for you? if you can do it better and become as famous as love is that every generation knows of its existance and is so simple that a 10 year old can draw himself and experience that sweet fealing of being inlove for the fist time, or that can make feel special and apreciated with a simall peace of paper that describe little things that are gestures of love. yo will never be capable of loving anyone and will be a sad and and miserable person for lfe

  4. le_poulet_noir Says:

    Now that’s a proper complaint. Thank you, Marita. I disagree, however, that the Love Is… cartoons are not trite because they are famous. Indeed, some things are famous because they are trite: the paintings of Thomas Kinkade, the music of Celine Dion, pretty much anything sold by the Franklin Mint.
    I’m also not altogether with you on your suggestion that being able to fall in love has anything to do with being a sucker for schmaltz. So, thanks for your advice, but I think it’s unlikely that you and I will ever see eye to eye on this, or, perhaps, anything.

  5. Dave Grove Says:

    Hmmmmm what do I say? Perhaps an explaination as to Kim’ little pictures. Kim was born in New Zealand and when she met Roberto during the 1960’s she fell IN LOVE. Her way of expressing her love was to draw little pictures of how she pictured herself with him and how she felt at the time. These animations were discovered by a friend of Roberto’s who suggested they may have mass appeal….and so they did, because LOVE IS universal. Anyone who has fallen in love knows how it feels to have every moment of your waking hours, and a few of your unconcious, absorbed by nothing other than you and he, he and she and so on.
    The fact that her etchings and feelings touched many hearts and heads with their simplicity is a tribute to LOVE in IT’S simplest notion.
    If the author of these strong words actually took a moment to ask what LOVE IS they may discover that perhaps that’s what’s lacking in their lives. For to love, one must first love ones self! Those that criticise generally tend to actually be making light of something they either do not know or do not understand. Pouletnoir do you truly know what LOVE IS? Kim Casali (nee Grove) was my cousin and a very quiet, humble, simple soul. I’m sure she would simply take the knocks with a humble, simple smile.
    Kim would likely ask why the purpose of big words and explainations when, if you’re in love, a simple I Love You would suffice.

  6. pouletnoir Says:

    It is surprising the number of people who assume that my objection to the Love Is… cartoons is a reflection on my supposed failure to experience love. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it is not, although I’m sure this won’t deter fans of Kim Casali from conducting more cod psychoanalysis.
    Anyhow, thank you, DG, for your comment. You’ve mistaken my rant against schmaltz as a rant against love. I don’t actually think that love is merely “nauseating, deceptive, a pre-requisite for monogamy”, I just wanted to make the point that the Love Is… series are not only simple, but simplistic. They do not explore the concept of love in any meaningful or profound way, but reduce it to cloying soppiness. Love is a great deal more than the cartoons suggest.
    For all I know, Kim may have acknowledged this. She almost certainly didn’t set out to explore love philosophically, but it is clear that many people do think that love can be defined by her cartoons. I disagree.

  7. gazoomy Says:

    I can see where you’re coming from, but I used to read the paper front to back and the “Love Is” strip made for some light relief. Therein lies it’s purpose. Simple, vaguely humorous, trite… which is actually quite nice.

  8. Levy24 Says:

    Love Is… is a view on love that people forget to take. People don’t always recognize the little things, and it is a way to remember to be thankful for the little things.
    I disagree with your views as to it being “Nauseating, deceptive and a prerequisite for monogamy”
    Love may be nauseating to those from the outside of a relationship. The way two people become so infatuated with one another can make your stomach turn, but within the relationship, it is far from nauseating.
    If love becomes deceptive, is it still love? Now, I see how if one has been hurt and deceived by one they love, they might feel this way, but that isn’t love. Love must not only be given to be considered love, it must as well be received. And then it must also be reciprocated. If all three are not present, than love is, in effect, not there. If love is not reciprocated than one side is not loving the other, meaning deception is likely, but if there is true, reciprocated love, then there would be no deception.
    As love being a “prerequisite to monogamy,” I feel that as love is needed for a committed relationship to exist long and hopefully forever; however, in committed polygamists also have true reciprocated love. There are also committed monogamists who lack true reciprocated love, and are in a relationship with someone for the sake of a child or the fact that they just want to be in a relationship/married.
    “Love is…” is a reminder that there are many things that make up love… it’s the little things that count, as well as the big things.

  9. pouletnoir Says:

    I think I’ve answered Levy24’s comments in previous comments. If you interpret my statement that “Love is… nauseating, deceptive, a pre-requisite for monogamy” as my definition of love then you’ve missed my point. Love is clearly many things, and is far more than the narrow, sugar-coated view in Kim Casali’s cartoons.

  10. Of Thee I Vomit « Le Poulet Noir Says:

    […] children’s books. (My visitor stats suggest that almost everyone comes here looking for Love Is… cartoons, in […]

  11. Kat Says:

    How truly sad that you have bothered to become so offended by some cartoons that are designed to put a smile on people’s faces. I don’t think the makers of the cartoons will be at all bothered as they will have made far more money than you ever will so WHY bother? You need to sort your priorities. And don’t try to get all wordy and detract your statement that love is nauseating blah blah blah. And cloying sopiness!!!! You’re are trying to be all intellectual and intelligent, but to be honest it’s really not working. The ads are simple, effective and catchy. GET OVER IT u sad person!!!

  12. A Lover Says:

    Here here Kat!

  13. pouletnoir Says:

    Nice ad hominem attack there Kat, but you don’t make a very good point. I’m not denying that they are successful at what they do. What irks me is their deliberate lack of substance. To me, they go beyond a child-like view of the world to an infantile one.
    Your argument that I shouldn’t bother to criticise something because it makes money is bizarre. Infantile, even. When you hear Donald Trump buying into the Barack Obama birther myth, for example, do you say to yourself, “Well, who am I to judge, given that he’s such a successful businessman?”

    Right. Who’s next? A Lover, thank you for your contribution. It is spelt “hear, hear” by the way.

  14. Tom L Says:

    sea here u, u needs to sort out ur proritees

    (This thread just keeps on giving, doesn’t it PN? 🙂 )

  15. pouletnoir Says:

    This post has 47,000 page views, more than 12 times any other post on this blog. Almost every one of them, I imagine, is a visit by someone who adores the Love Is… cartoons and is shocked to find a heap of invective against them.

  16. Iztaccihuatl Says:

    I enjoy white rice.
    I also enjoy the “Love is…” cartoons.
    These two sentences simply mean that I enjoy something. It doesnt mean that anyone who would disagree with me is a weenie.
    Let sleeping kitties lie my lovelies and do as the “Love is…”cartoons have taught us over the years; Smile. For life, in all in banality and beauty, is worth a smile. : )
    You are obviously a very intelligent cat PN. I very much admire your eloquence in presenting your thoughts. I happen to disagree with you, but I respect your position all the same.

  17. Lina Says:

    I litteraly collected the “Love is” from the news paper and it is what made me laugh and believe in love. Nothing wrong with this at all. I wish they had more things to incourage all of us to keep smiling, love to the fullest, isn’t what life is really about!!. Now people live for money, world of money…very little love there really. Our parents were alot happier knowing that there love ones are safe and secure with their peers…just saying. On face book I try to keep positive and look to encourage people to live life to the fullest. Cause we all know we sure need it.
    Keep smiling and you can encourage someone out there that needs all the encouragement to keep hoping and loving.
    Smiles always and forever.

  18. Photobunnie Says:

    Sounds like someone’s been hurt before… “Love is… Heartless” Kim Casali 10/26

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