Friday, May 13, 2011

Back To Cool Special

 The beautiful warm days of spring have returned once again, bringing
with them flowers and green sprouts, and chirping birds.  Another thing of
notice which has also returned is the re-emergence of 'cool people'.
Yes, that's right,  those chilled out perennials who disappear from sight in
the cold damp days of autumn only to return with the opening of outdoor
terraces during the good weather.

Why am I celebrating this annual  phenomenon? Well, in case you didn't
know, 'cool people' play an important role in our cultural ecosystem.
You may be irritated by them, like those who find squirrels, seagulls or 
racoons annoying, but you must remember, these scavengers thrive
because of an adequate food source. All life thrives when there is a
Reposez-vous la-dessus, alors!
bounty of sustenance, and for 'cool people'  this is certainly no exception.

 The development of coolness within social groups usually begins to
galvanize during the high school years when 'popular' kids pair off
and break away from others who just don't seem to 'get it'.  These outcasts
loners and oddballs are then defined by 'cool people' to be 'Losers'.
For those unable to fit in, life goes on, and they learn to have happy
and fulfilling lives despite rejection from the select few, others however
don't have a strong enough sense of self and eventually turn into complete

Despite their often despotic judgements of others, I still love 'cool people',
in small doses though, they are actually fun to be around individually,
collectively however, they can often take on a very distasteful
manner. This particularly nasty side of that culture has caused me to develop an
'LCT' (low cool threshold) which allows me to able to absorb some benefits without being at the mercy of all their laws, restrictions and judgements.

 Cool people live mostly in large cities and towns, they do this because
they drive the engine, and are sustained by,  leisure culture.
The artificial environments of cities allow humans to live lives of comfort
and consumption, and thus to socialize with others like themselves.
For 'cool people' this is an environment in which they can thrive. In cities,
we have art galleries, festivals, pubs, bars and clubs, sporting venues, 
expensive restaurants, and cafes in neighbourhoods with interesting
architecture; all friendly environments for 'cool people'.

 During the cold winter months, 'cool people' hibernate indoors and/or
travel to warmer climates.  Those who travel are able to congregate
with 'cool people' from other parts of other cultures, perhaps to exchange
'cool ideas', some knowledge or experience they can take back to their
own 'cool culture' and share with other 'cool people' thus increasing their
status, or at least keeping up with, others within the local 'cool' community.

One of the most important rules of 'cool culture' is not to acknowledge
it's existence or ones own participation in it, it just IS, any self-conscious 
recognition of it is a 'faux-pas' which risks ostracizing you from good standing
within the desired community. Even the act of writing this piece jeopardizes my
chances of acceptance into 'cool culture' although I'm sure there will be
a few who might lobby on my behalf.

There are simple ways of detecting 'cool people', so here's a list of some of
their more noteworthy characteristics.

1. An aloof or dispassionate demeanour, this is designed to give the impression
indifference, as if to communicate that the person is not easily excited, or
swayed by the distractions of someone with base interests or weak attention.
it also mimics the behaviour of 'alpha males' who present an image of disinterest
due to their lack of fear and neuroses.

2. Sunglasses, (often perched atop the head) and other props such as cell phones,
cigarettes (now to a lesser extent) strategically placed tattoos (now to a greater extent)
and piercings, help to give the 'cool person' a look that says: "I'm like you, but different".

3. Acting in an un self-conscious manner gives the cool person a defence against
judgement. This is probably the most endearing and beneficial attribute of cool people.
because even if the person isn't naturally un self-conscious, acting this way can
be good practice in cultivating a relaxed disposition.

4. 'Cool people' like to punctuate their vocabulary with words from other languages.
You will recognize them for their use of expressions like "Ciao", "Ola", and "Touchez"
whilst referencing terms such as 'Gestalt' and 'Zeitgeist'.

5. The pack mentality allows for a 'laissez-faire' (foreign language reference)
appearance of what is actually a highly ordered culture. The 'click' is centred
around those at the top of cool stratum (another foreign language reference) 
supported by those who are allowed into the community by virtue of being able
to mimic the characteristics of 'cooldom'  without threatening those at the highest
levels of the 'cool stratum'. This has the dual benefit of supporting the grandeur
of those at the top, while benefitting from the trickle down perks of being associated
with them, ie: being invited to parties and other social engagements they would
otherwise never be able to attend. They have friends who do not fit into cool circles,
and are often torn trying to reconcile the 'goodness' of their 'Loser' friends, without
risking a potential banishment from the greater 'cool whole' should they attempt to
introduce these misanthropes into the group at large.

6. The three 'H's', Hey's, Hugs, and Handshakes. 'Cool people' don't like to say "Hi", for some reason,
so they opt for the next best term which is "Hey" it's a little less intimate, and cheerfully distant.
Hugs are important, but not one that's too passionate, a simple tepid hug is more than enough.
and finally Handshakes are very important, but not the kind civilized men have been exchanging
for centuries, but more of unique manual contact, often involving clenched fists, or hard clasping
of upright palms (think arm wrestling).

So there you have it, my analysis on 'cool people' and the important role they play
in our society. Until my next 'blog post' this is Dirty CT saying "Ciao"!

Dirty CT May 2011

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