We all recognize the contemporary prominence of this sort of thing, but is it really “the most powerful youth movement since Punk and Hip-Hop”?
Since I was just writing about the sort of journalism I love, let me note that this is the sort I do not like - insisting on the newness of the latest trend, and also of its world-historical importance. Spitz seems to think that twee originated in the 1950s, and that it is some kind of quasi-political response to a brutal, hyper-competitive world. But what about the barbershop quartets, boaters, bow ties and ice cream socials of 1900? Or Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, which were written for adults? Or the John Keats generation of hyper-sensitive romantics?
It seems to me that twee is not a social movement but a widespread human character type, whose existence has been made more apparent by the vast culture industry of modern times. And as for its political importance, let me quote Schaffner:
it is difficult to view wearing Hello Kitty socks and collecting narwhal figurines as serious modes of political engagement.Twee culture may be important to the people who love it, but I fail to see what difference it makes to the rest of the world.