Indeed what's most depressing about ngai's terms is their smallness, their triviality.
What makes ngai's discussion novel is her application of the "cute" to highbrow poetry.
It's a pity that of ngai's three terms, the "zany" is so odd.
ngai (a deft writer) calls it a "small surprise of information."
Characteristically, ngai adduces two very different examples of the zany: Lucille Ball and Friedrich Nietzsche.
ngai associates it with other "lite" aesthetic categories promulgated by postwar consumer culture: quaint, wacky, quirky, cool.
But ngai makes the word sound, if not harsh, plenty incisive.
For ngai, the zany is an aesthetic about the withering of sensibility.
The souls of daughters are made out of the choi of their mother, though these share with their brothers the ngai of their father.
Natta ngai padlo ngaityarniappi; watteyernaurlo tappandi ngaityo parni tatti.