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Come on Yolanda what's Fonzie like?
June 28, 2014 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Old school cool“ are recent history's coolest kids, from beatniks to bikers, mods to rude boys, hippies to ravers. And everything in between.
For example this stylish, handsome 1940’s swagger, which was found on this maternal family album.
All are taken from r/OldSchoolCool.
See all images on one page @ imgur.
And of course, an original source of The Cool Hall of Fame at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger posted by growabrain (23 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The three kids in Jamaica - that middle boy is cool personified.

This is great (cool, in fact). But as well as loving the tude and the fashions, I just kept thinking "Wow Paul Newman was gorgeous... Damn, Sigourney Weaver was so bloody sexy... Man, Harrison Ford was freakin hot..." I'm going to save this thread for, uh, later.
posted by billiebee at 12:54 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Some of it is from the more recent past -- apparently the leather clad English rocker girl is from 2009, for example. But still cooler than me by a long shot.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:01 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


The people we aspired to be decades ago are much different than the celebrities we look up to today. The values of our past have nearly vanished

Oh for God's sake.
posted by yoink at 1:16 PM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Be thin. Be thin. Be thin.
posted by bswinburn at 1:42 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Like most of reddit, this subreddit is irritatingly uncritical.

Most posts can be summarized with one of the following:
"Picture of a sexy lady"
"Picture of a famous person"
"Picture of somebody in military uniform"
"Picture of somebody participating in a subculture"

While I enjoy looking at pictures of stylish people as much as the next guy, this just seems to encourage decontextualization and fetishization of war/subcultures as well as reproducing the culture of celebrity-worship and patriarchy.
posted by beerbajay at 1:46 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I'm totally missing the fetishisation of war. I don't see any military uniforms. Am I missing a link?
posted by billiebee at 1:53 PM on June 28


Not in the post here; it's a typical kind of post on the subreddit.
posted by beerbajay at 1:58 PM on June 28


this just seems to encourage decontextualization and fetishization of war/subcultures as well as reproducing the culture of celebrity-worship and patriarchy.

Perhaps you should really haunt that subreddit and explain to everyone in the comments about what's problematic with what they're really enjoying. It's an eternal font of teachable moments!
posted by codswallop at 2:08 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


If that guy having his rollerskates refueled is "cool," literally everything is cool.
posted by ernielundquist at 2:13 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


It's an eternal font of teachable moments!

Or a constant stream of soul-crushing disappointment. Like most of reddit.
posted by beerbajay at 2:16 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, Rhianna is cool as shit.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:50 PM on June 28


On the other hand, Rhianna is cool as shit.

98.6F/37C then (assuming you meant fresh)
posted by srboisvert at 3:48 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


While I enjoy looking at pictures of stylish people as much as the next guy, this just seems to encourage decontextualization and fetishization of war/subcultures as well as reproducing the culture of celebrity-worship and patriarchy.

It's Reddit. /r/X is the decontextualization and fetishization of X.
posted by anifinder at 5:29 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


In what universe is a wrestling singlet "cool"?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 6:04 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Be thin. Be thin. Be thin.

There's a picture of Ella Fitzgerald in there.
posted by deathmaven at 6:14 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


this subreddit is irritatingly uncritical

I've been a subscriber to this subreddit for a long time. In the context of /r/oldschoolcool, I fail to see how your comment is in any way a criticism. This sub is essentially a group of people who want to look at old family albums and watch old movies together, with the older members sharing memories of what these things meant to them.

Unlike a lot of popular subreddits, this one is usually pretty good. There was the guy who posted a pic of his boyfriend on some Texas beach in 1984 and received a ton of supportive comments and got to share the good and bad times of their relationship. There was the guy who posted a picture of his mother, at age 16, riding a horse to school while wearing full cowgirl regalia, and he shared family stories with a friendly audience. Someone even did the work to clean up and colorize the somewhat grimy original photograph, turning it into something the OP found quite wonderful.

Even the celeb photos are often images not commonly seen. For example, someone posted a striking photo of Marilyn Monroe sitting in a convertible and holding a photograph of Abraham Lincoln, which led to a discussion of a little known part of her life: a deep fondness for Lincoln and the history of his times.

One of the good parts of the subreddit is how certain photos can trigger a discussion of a particular historical period. For example, one recent post showing members of an 1890's street gang in NYC led to some interesting links and talk about tenement life back then, including galleries from the same photographer covering many details of street life. Pictures of 70's and 80's street punks will lead to older people telling stories and answering questions.

It's a great little sub. In it's own way, this subreddit is giving a larger audience to people's personal and family histories and often giving a very human face to moments of the past, much of which probably seems very remote and alien to the teens and twentysomethings which form the majority of the readership.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:26 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


100% agreed, honestcoyote: The celebrity pix are usually photos that are not in wide circulation, and the personal ones often overlap r/TheWayWeWere. I can't imagine what there is to fault there
posted by growabrain at 6:54 PM on June 28


My desire to make out with Michael Caine just surfaced again.
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:28 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


man really? a fraction of these have anything to do with 'cool', half of them are just men wearing suits in contexts that they wouldn't today. this is borderline 'fedora = class' stuff
posted by p3on at 9:12 PM on June 28


i guess that's what happens when you ask reddit what 'cool' means though
posted by p3on at 9:15 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


These are functionally the pinterest pins for cool. It's aspirational, and other people can aspire to whatever they want to aspire to. Me, I'll make my own pins.

Cool.
Cool.
Cool.
Cool.
Cool.

There is a problem with lack of context to these sorts of pictures, but one would hope that, if the image stirs you, you might want to learn more. I know many don't, and so be it. Some will, though. My girlfriend was so taken with the photo of Peter Freuchen linked above (picture 2) that she has been reading his essays.
posted by maxsparber at 9:35 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


I thought a major component of being 'cool' was to be unconcerned about whether or not other people think you are? cf Marge Simpson.

I never get tired of seeing fashions from previous time periods in vernacular context. Maybe the person wasn't cool at the time, but they are now.

It's not a simple matter to replicate the subtle changes in styles, if a person has a mind to recreate the look even just from mid-20th century. Suits don't hang the same, shirts aren't cut the same. The properties of the fabrics are different when synthetic fibers have replaced cottons, wools, silks, and linens. The subtle detail differences are captivating.

(I also really enjoy home interior photos - not decorating mags, or tidied up for the occasion, or only the entertaining spaces of the well-to-do. I like seeing flophouses and rooming houses and shacks. I like to see what's tacked to the walls and strewn on the tables.)
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:36 PM on June 28


Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones) in 1967

Christ...
posted by MartinWisse at 1:58 AM on June 29 [5 favorites]


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