Monday, May 4, 2015

On Being Cool



The concept of ‘cool’ is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. It probably has to do with my reading, research and happenings upon the idea of ‘the contemporary,’ ‘realness,’ and ‘truth’ in theoretical texts. It is about this idea of authenticity and how it feels, is found, how it translates and what that means, if it means anything at all.

I’ve been thinking about this idea of coolness not in a top down, society tells you so sort of way but in another sort of way that is more about confidence, Zen, self awareness and feelings. Stay with me people, I’m not trying to get all hippie or next level pretentious on you, but I do think that the idea of the cool is fascinating to think about in the construction of oneself and the relativity you have with the time in which you live.

Saying all this I of course would be the first person to look you dead in the eyes and say ‘I’m not cool.’ I’m not, but this coolness I’m talking about it not that type of cool. It’s this other thing when one is inhabiting their bodies, space, time, and location in a manner which seems graceful and specific. It can also be hectic and whirlwind but in whatever way there is a sense of this necessity of ‘nowness.’

This concept of the now is something I was talking about with a friend the other day and is probably why coolness is so much on my mind. I had a thought, and maybe this is totally wrong or will totally change, but the thought was that the present/the now is the last thing we have. I mean this in the zone of First World problems, late-capitalism, and postmodernism. Within this zone, the past is edited and rearranged so that it is barely stable and is constantly being tinged with the drug of nostalgia. The near future is constantly being mediated and the far future is a myth. This leaves only the now and this now is the last place where there might be freedom for subjective construction. (Yes, I am in an MA program for theory so this was bound to eventually infiltrate this blog. Whoops)

But seriously, this idea is something that has been sticking with me and I think it has something to it. With this thought then, this idea of how one is in the now and what the now is and how that now is constructed within this slight slice of freedom and potential for otherness; how one is within this space is key. This is where the concept of coolness comes in. It’s not about being a certain way, looking a certain way, or reflecting something. It is this embrace and articulation of a now and it influences others that are also a part of this little sliver of self-creation and freedom.

This act is not a motivation or a desire. It is the being of a thing, an idea, an aesthetic, a concept, a whatever it is that feels real and is present to that person. It is an actualization and an opening up to. It is natural, easy and fun. And when this happens or when one sees this happening it is so clear, obvious and undeniable.

You see this right away in certain people. They are just ‘cool’ they have this present-ness to them. They have this quality to them, a fascination about them, a calm. They are by no means super humans and probably have massive baggage in other ways but in their being in time and space in their bodies, in their movements, in their ways of living, thinking, behaving, and projecting out into the present, they posses this cool.

I’m not sure where this is going, where to take it or even if needs to go any further then this odd ramble. All I know is that this thing of being in the now and being the most honest you can be in that now seems like an exciting and attainable way to think about living.