Nothing's cool

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They say the planet's heating up and I think it's true, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being cool, like being hip, like being the cat's meow.


Obama was cool as the pres. I don't care how you felt about his policies, the man performed like a polar bear in an ice cave, no sweat. I don't care how you felt about his personality, you got the sense that he wasn't on the verge of presenting something half-baked. He thought. He planned. He played B-ball with the boys and golf with the movers and shakers. he could move seamlessly between worlds. 


I don't know if you like rap music, but it isn't cool. Not to me. It's pathetically edgy. It's too angry. Trying too hard. The Beatles were cool. Sinatra was cool. The Stones were cool. Motown and all that emerged from that juggernaut of sound was cool. On and on, people of my age grew up with cool.


The stress, the pace of modern life, the constant contact and scrutiny for attention, make cool a more and more rare quality. Everyday is filled with decisions, one after another, like moving from constantly from the frying pan into the fire. So we see fewer really cool individuals and the appreciation of the essence of cool is lost.


Some people act cool, but they're just trained seals barking the party line and their steadfastness looks kinda cool, but the message is way uncool. Cool isn't just standing up to power. It's making power stand up to itself by creating a display that all can take pleasure in and question.


I watched The Big Lebowski. The characters appear cool. It isn't that they have all of the answers, but how they answer the big questions, with a shrug, and back to bowling, the essence of The Carry-on-Gang. Or Kill Bill, with a shrug and back to killing. Not over analyzing the message.


It's cool to survive and help others survive their personal trials. I don't think there's anything better. And it can be done with the word, the picture, the song, or the sword. To be cool it has to be wu-wei. Wu wei is the essence of cool, to succeed without trying, but not without trying either. I think the world is trying to convince us all to try too hard to be something. I refuse. I will be this nothing and I will make it shine.


Oh, by the way, I shot my best round of golf ever a couple days ago. 3-over par. I didn't try once.    


mark henry smith Added Oct 20, 2017 - 3:12pm
So now I'm not trying to find a job. Not really hard not trying or anything pathological, just hanging and getting healthier everyday. I heard a guy talk about sleep. He was really cool. He said we should be more concerned about proper sleep than anything else if we want a healthy life. A friend wanted me to go to a game last night and it would have meant I wouldn't get home until after midnight. I declined, causing a slightly pissy confrontation, in which he called me uncool. I tried to explain to him that sleep is cool. 
George N Romey Added Oct 20, 2017 - 3:29pm
Marko our economically stressed culture is literally killing us and turning us into mean spirited people. Until we give up the idea that money is worth more than people we will continue to drown. When CEO pay goes from 40 times greater than average worker pay to 375 the natural balance between classes of people gets out of whack. 
I might be be able to force your grandmother to scrub my toilet for ten cents an hour but is that fair? 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Oct 20, 2017 - 6:15pm
Cool is a matter of perspective, but trying too hard is definitely not cool. Even the ever cool Fonzie lost his cool when he (literally) jumped the shark, trying to hard to be cool. 
Dino Manalis Added Oct 20, 2017 - 7:10pm
Cool is relative, golf is cool.
Mark Hunter Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:30am
If the world as a whole is becoming less cool, maybe I'll seem more cool in comparison! But probably not.
Flying Junior Added Oct 21, 2017 - 1:41am
Damn right President Obama was cool.  He was the best.  Just ask Stevie Wonder.
Leroy Added Oct 21, 2017 - 8:31am
I was cool before being cool was cool.
Ok.  Just kidding.  If I knew who said it originally, I would credit them.  My guess is that it was Cab Calloway.  He was cool.
George N Romey Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:11am
Things used to be cool. Platform shoes, music, disco shirts. Today everything is so bland and boring. Years ago people dreamed up dancing with the beautiful people at Studio 54. Today they sit home and post pictures of their atrociously boring life on Instagram and FB. 
Leroy Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:19am
I used to post pictures on Facebutt assuming people would be interested in my boring life.  I finally figured out they are no more interested in my boring life that I am in theirs.
Leroy Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:21am
But, yeah, we were cool in the 70s with our bell-bottomed pants, tie-dyed t-shirts, platform shoes, and colorful bowties.  The multi-colored hair of today just isn't cool.
mark henry smith Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:45am
Thank you all so much. Not one angry comment. Appreciated
Cool requires knowing what is important to care about and what isn't, and George is right, caring too much about money is the essence of uncool, but not being able to take care of yourself isn't cool either. Cab Calloway? Oh yeah, loved that scene in The Blues Brothers.
Most of the facebook people who post pictures of their dog and whatnot have abandoned me because all I do is write pithy slogans, such as: Martin Luther nailed his 95 demands to the church door. Where do I nail my demands on Trump? I hope he says Melania. She's hot and demure.
I'm gonna make my FB page into an art store when I get my smart phone up and working. I think people would get more enjoyment. Then I'm gonna write a book about Cain and Abel, and their older sister, Helen. It's got art, a great story, and cinematic potential. Who can put me in touch with Harvey Weinstein? And I need a massage. 
George N Romey Added Oct 21, 2017 - 4:03pm
Social media killed cool. One used to have to be in the “know” to be cool. Now with millions on Snapchat and FB claiming to be cool everything is just ordinary.
In fact the people that reject the big social media sites are in fact cool because they realize it’s nothing more than dribble.
Tubularsock Added Oct 21, 2017 - 8:33pm
Well Mark, the U.S. population has got to be the coolest because as you said, "that sleep is cool".   And they collectively have been asleep for years. And if they would ever wake up you'd see a lot of NOT COOL go crazy.
But not to happen because they still remain deeply cool.
mark henry smith Added Oct 23, 2017 - 12:48pm
George, the business of entertainment kills anything cool. If three-piece suits could take punk, the essence of anti-establishment thinking, and turn it main-stream, here we are. And do you recognize how it's done? You ridicule it gently, slowly, until it dies the death of a thousand cuts, and Sid Vicious becomes a hit on Muzak, once production takes over, making him sound like Britney Spears.
This is all advertising. Trump is a walking advertising sign with no more conviction to an ethos than he'd have to an advertising campaign, the exact example of what I said above. The man is so ridiculous that ridiculousness has become cool and that's not cool.
American people are right there with their leaders, Tubular, asleep at the wheel. I see them everyday when I ride, and that's not cool.