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A COUSIN ITT IN ALL OF US

The Addams Family is an iconic television franchise loved by many, starring the grim and creepy American wealthy folk after who the show and movies are named. Today, though, our attention will be focused on only one of the peculiar members: cousin Itt, firstly played by the man who inspired this article, the now late Italian actor Felix Silla. Itt is a squat individual whose most recognizable trait is his floor-length hair in which his body is fully engulfed. He often sports round sunglasses and a bowler hat, appearing comically redundant as his hairstyle already does not leave a minuscule spot of him showing, except for a few instances in which his white-gloved hands manage to exit the keratin husk. His language is structured of complete gibberish, understood only by other family members. Perhaps this is an even more mesmerizing quirk of his, as Itt, shortened to “It” only in the theatrical films, never spoke in a comprehensible manner… or did he?

In the first episode of the quite dated original second season, cousin Itt was to be the star of a play, held back only by his high-pitched balderdash, as it irked the director, consequently refusing to work with the hirsute individual. Morticia Addams, then, aided him in learning a less nonsensical speech, and she did eventually succeed. However, with his new deep voice, came a new condescending personality. In the end, thanks to another producer offering Itt a part in a monster movie, something that the haughty cousin found especially insulting, he managed to come back to normality, fuming to the point where his voice turned acute once more.

The episode teaches us how Itt’s way of expressing himself is heavily linked to his disposition, so much so he undergoes thorough changes in the latter after the former receives a similar treatment. We all use language to express ourselves, each of us possessing our own favored patterns and words. It is part of what makes everyone unique, along with looks, actions and responses to different situations. Not unlike cousin Itt, being forced to change all of a sudden can result in drastic effects, even when the intent behind it is all but malign. Perhaps this is the kind of philosophy behind the hairy character: to recognize how, no matter how odd one might appear to others, they can always find a suitable place in the world.

Not everybody is going to fancy the behaviour of everyone else, of course, and although being blissfully unaware of how people are stricken by one’s self is not the way to go about it, the highest priority should always be to remain true to oneself. When the opportunity of change presents itself, it is not a matter of befitting others’ way of perceiving normality as much as a way to achieve personal betterment.

At the end of the day, variety is the spice of life, as without it the world would be plain, simple, and grey. Rocking absurd outfits and hairstyles or displaying a distinct demeanor is just another way to add a sense of freshness to it. Sometimes, all we truly need is a cousin Itt in all of us.

Di: Michael Joseph Carè 4BIA

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