December 4, 2002 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Tips to be hip ... I like that bit."cope(d) with the indignity of slavery with the cool pose" Although Kylie & (go) Russ (go) could have missed out.
posted by johnny7 (32 comments total)
My mom says I'm cool.
posted by sklero at 10:44 PM on December 4, 2002

"I used to be 'with it.' Then they changed what 'it' was.
Now, what I'm with isn't 'it', and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you." -Grampa Simpson
When industrial skip-trip-trance-dub music overtook punk, that's when I knew I was done for. How about you?
posted by planetkyoto at 12:11 AM on December 5, 2002

Kylie rocks.
posted by riffola at 12:17 AM on December 5, 2002

Kylie's cool because she has a Belgian bum
posted by quarsan at 12:29 AM on December 5, 2002

Kylie isn't cool and doesn't try to be. That's what's so great about her. She just plays the game better than the rest. Now Britney and Clitring, get your sweaty pubescent crotches off my TV screen and learn a thing or two.
posted by Summer at 1:55 AM on December 5, 2002

Some girls' bums are more distinctive than other girl's bums. Nobody I know has ever got them all right.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:10 AM on December 5, 2002

Reposition that second apostrophe!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:10 AM on December 5, 2002

"Kylie isn't cool and doesn't try to be. That's what's so great about her."

Surely "That's what's so cool about her"?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:03 AM on December 5, 2002

No. Cool and great are different concepts altogether. Or they should be.
posted by Summer at 5:44 AM on December 5, 2002

In general, I believe Americans are less impressed with Kylie Minogue than the rest of the world. We are put off by:
1) her teeth
2) we still think "It's the Locomotion girl" when she comes on TV
3) Europop is as dull as the rest of the crap on corporate radio

"For males, coolness is a masculine concept," he says."
I think that's interesting and probably true. If I were asked who I thought was cool, I would start with men. Lenny Kravitz would come near the top of the list. He may be of limited talent, but he exudes cool. Incidently, being attractive probably helps your cool points tally.

I taught at a local college last year, and while I've never been cool, I was much hipper than these kids ten years my junior. My slavish devotion to Metafilter is responsible, no doubt.

Cool Hunt
is a great article from Malcolm Gladwell. Much more interesting than Mr. Ferrier's research.

Finally, I think somebody's cool if my wife tells me that they are. I'm so uncool that if my friends asked me who I thought was cool, they'd phrase it, " Who do you think is a really hoopy frood?"
posted by putzface_dickman at 5:58 AM on December 5, 2002

Sorry I can't let that pass...

"Lenny Kravitz would come near the top of the list. He may be of limited talent, but he exudes cool."

No, he thinks he exudes cool - which is the antithesis of cool.
posted by niceness at 6:10 AM on December 5, 2002

Okay, cheers to the Kylie fans and all that, but did I REALLY just read a sentence that equated her with Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela in one breath? I'll check again after I wipe the coffee off my monitor.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:32 AM on December 5, 2002

niceness, I did not really have a high opinion of Lenny Kravitz untill I saw him at a WOMAD festival a few years back. He was on a bill with Peter Gariel, Crowded House, Jah Wobble, and many, many diverse and interesting acts. I had low expectations for him and planned to go for falafel during his set. He took the stage and I was surprised to find myself enthralled with not so much his show, as the effect he had on the crowd. His charisma and stage presence pulled thousands of people into his more-style-than-substance retro-rock performance. It was really all about him at that moment, and I was deeply impressed by his ability to carry it off. That, I think, is cool.
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:55 AM on December 5, 2002

Anyone remember the discussion of "cool" in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? He used it as an example of something whose essential essence dries up completely under analytical examination.

I agree completely.
posted by Pinwheel at 6:59 AM on December 5, 2002

Who do you think is a really hoopy frood?"

Why, anyone who knows where his towel is at, of course!

Pinwheel, I remember that discussion and I think that is correct - as soon as you start to think about whether something is cool, it isn't.
posted by dg at 7:09 AM on December 5, 2002


Now Jah Wobble, there's someone who's cool. Jah Wobble is Jah Wobble whereas Lenny seems to aim somewhere between Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton and Al Green...and miss.
posted by niceness at 7:10 AM on December 5, 2002

I swear this is the last time.

I am not now, nor have ever been a Lenny Kravitz fan. I think that a key function of popular entertainers is to signify cool. In Europe & Australia Kylie signifies cool quite well. In the US she is not a very good signifier. One often finds that in person, one who signifies cool on television or film seems to lack the aura that they have when represented through the camera. LK seemed to me to be the opposite. His broadcast presence exposes itself as manufactured. His clothes, hair, posture, move him into the uncanny valley of cool. In person, on stage, he signified cool better than any other performer I've seen. He had charisma to burn. That's pretty cool.

Some other candidates for cool:
The quaternity of David (the only cool Davids on the planet, somehow. The sum being greater than the parts.):
David Letterman, David Lynch, David Bowie, and David Byrne.

Walter Benjamin (who I obliquely reference above.)

Some think that it's possible to define cool. It's simple actually. To be cool you have to be like Steve.
posted by putzface_dickman at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2002

In Europe & Australia Kylie signifies cool quite well.

I think that's an essential misunderstanding of her appeal. No-one who arrives at the Olympic closing ceremony on a huge flip flop and then goes on to sing Dancing Queen surrounded by a bevvy of muscle marys can be described as cool. Someone who appears on a mainstream, teatime show such as 'An Audience With' cannot be described as cool. Someone whose main market is pre-teens, gay men and fag hags cannot be described as cool. Fabulous, iconic, ironic, a star, yes. Cool, no. But then campery plays better in Europe and Australia I think.
posted by Summer at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2002

I would say cool applies to anyone who has managed to avoid elements of the pathetic or ridiculous. Unfortunately Russell Crowe currently symbolises the pathetic and ridiculous (alcohol fuelled fights, poetry at awards ceremonies, vanity band), while Kylie fully embraces the ridiculousness of the whole packaged pop scene. Hence neither are remotely cool.
posted by Summer at 9:10 AM on December 5, 2002

Blur is good Euro pop, and unbelievably cool. Too bad there won't be a Blur soon.
posted by riffola at 9:21 AM on December 5, 2002

The most recent Kylie Minogue song only became cool to me when I heard the New Order Blue Monday mix. Otherwise, I agree with putzman, I can't get past recognizing her as the "Locomotion girl." Bowie is definitely cool, but my latest favorite cool person is either Jet Li or Michelle Yeoh.
posted by synapse at 9:53 AM on December 5, 2002

I'd always looked at the concept of cool as being admired for being emotionally disconnected from the events around you... sort of the opposite of passionate. That it has become unfashionable to have a strong opinion in anything. Good to see some strong opinionaters (opiners?) on the list... and the men only seeing men as cool data is very interesting.
posted by ao4047 at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2002

"What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero?" (Hobbes)
posted by NedKoppel at 10:03 AM on December 5, 2002

... *perplexed* - sooo, the ;
The notion of coolness started, he says, with the first Afro-Americans: proud warriors who in order to cope with the indignity of slavery, "masked their emotions with the cool pose, their way of showing defiance to their masters". didn't hurt anyone elses brains?
there could be a hundred reasons for the slaves 'i don't care' attitude [if they really had such attitude, i don't know.], one being that they truly didn't. Also, culture in america vs culture in africa at the time may have been very different.
posted by dabitch at 12:25 PM on December 5, 2002

.. (i think my point may be, that i don't belive cool came from 'slaves' but rather the 'proud warrior culture'...ohnevermind)
posted by dabitch at 12:27 PM on December 5, 2002

Am I the only one skeeved out by the "proud warrior" statement? This borders on the ridiculousness of the Noble Savage myth.

The MARKET RESEARCHER that is referenced in the article makes a fairly bold historical statement and I see nothing, in the article at least, that supports it in the least.
posted by Julnyes at 2:50 PM on December 5, 2002

Only someone who is not in Australia could think that Kylie is seen as cool here. Most people here (12 year old girls excepted) would see her as decidedly uncool.
posted by dg at 3:01 PM on December 5, 2002

My fiance thinks I'm cool. No one else's opinion matters.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:09 PM on December 5, 2002

so cool originated with blacks? this is a news flash?

(high school, me asking black friend: "so kelly, why do the brothers open their cigarettes [kools, of course] on the bottom of the pack?" answering, as if i were brain-dead: "to keep the filters clean!")

"the white negro" by norman mailer?

bb king is cool, as is mile/trane...

duane allman? waaay cool

new school cool? derek trucks band.

kylie? not maybe...
posted by aiq at 6:44 PM on December 5, 2002

Julnyes - that why my brain was hurting. I mean, did he do his research on actual slaves [tm] , is the man a historian? Was he there?
posted by dabitch at 5:56 AM on December 6, 2002

Cool has a different meaning in the UK - we would have someone like Jarvis Cocker as cool whereas you'd have him starring in the revenge of the nerds.

Irony and subtlety is missing from your cool - you need in your face posturing and avant gardness to be considered.
posted by dprs75 at 7:54 AM on December 6, 2002

posted by eateneye at 9:53 PM on December 11, 2002

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