Thursday, March 11, 2010

The cool factor

Most of us find it really important to be cool. I wonder why. And I wonder what are the objective definitions for “cool”.

Mullets? No longer cool. But MacGyver is still cool.

“Hillbillies” get a bad rep. But chatting with said individuals on the weekend, at the farmer’s market, is cool.

Here I am, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. The epicenter of cool-apparent. I’m learning. I’m trying to decipher what it is that make Billyburgers “cool”.

3pm on a Thursday, at a coffee shop on Bedford Avenue. There are 9 tables, plus a workbench with 4 stools around it. I count the number of laptops in the place. 12. Sorry, 12 Macs to be exact. The one person with a VAIO is taking his coffee outside. What can they all possibly be working on? But wait. Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, Twitter, and finally, someone who looks like he’s writing codes.

A man walks by the window in a flannel shirt and skinny jeans, wool hat, and oversized plastic frame glasses. Another man walks by in an eerily similar outfit. Then a woman walks by. She is wearing tights instead of skinny jeans, and she has a leather jacket. Then someone skateboards down the street. It takes me a while to figure out whether that’s a he or a she, and now all I can see if the back of someone wearing—gasp, some pretty skinny jeans and Converse high-tops.

I’m yet to see someone past the age of 40 within a 100yard radius of me.

Triteness is not cool. But cool also demands a certain homogeneity. There is a dress code, and if you want to remain one of the cool kids, you’d better not stray too far away from it.

Or, can “cool” be what we strive to be, when we are not sure what we ought to, or want to, be?

I like this definition of “cool” according to “Cool: A word to use when you don't know what else to say, or when you are not that interested in the conversation. Sometimes, it can be used when you do not have any knowledge of the subject, yet you want to act as if you know-it-all”

1 comment:

Sam L said...

Using the same criteria, my home turf is kind of cool but not as cool as yours. :)