May 2, 2001
4:49 PM   Subscribe

any movement you can dish out. if you look underground, chances are cool hunters will stop you in your tracks and ask to take your picture and learn about your ways. it sure feels good to be recognized. where do they go with your picture, you'd wonder, i mean you never hear from them again. turns out these guys turn around and sell your image to corporations who turn around and mass market it. so much for cool.
posted by elle (15 comments total)
any movement you can dish out will be thrown back in your face. makes you think about becoming a hermit.

i've had experiences with a few of these people in san francisco from about 4 years ago. now i know to turn around and run. but i think they're done with me.
posted by elle at 4:51 PM on May 2, 2001

No one cares about teenager opinions beyond their spending habits.
posted by john at 5:00 PM on May 2, 2001

From the clip, it looks like I need to a) get some tatoos, b) color my hair, and c) get some piercings. Then I'll be as fashionable as the cool cats profiled.
posted by Witold at 5:02 PM on May 2, 2001

I'm being extra fashionable, all my piercings are internal. Shh, don't tell the cool hunters or the 17% trendsetters will soon want a liver ring too...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 5:09 PM on May 2, 2001

"This clip shows Danielle searching for "cool" at a Slipknot concert in August 2000. "

Good luck.
posted by shinji_ikari at 5:38 PM on May 2, 2001

The next edge of cool: rejecting the cool hunters.

I found this precision heartening:

Lee: ...Actually it's a triangle. At the top of the triangle there's the innovator, which is like two to three
percent of the population. Underneath them is the trend-setter, which we would say is about 17 percent.
And what they do is they pick up on ideas that the innovators are doing and they kind of claim them as
their own. Underneath them is an early adopter, which is questionable exactly what their percentage is, but
they kind of are the layer above mainstream, which is about 80 percent. And what they do is they take
what the trend-setter is doing and they make it palatable for mass consumption. They take it, they tweak it,
they make it more acceptable, and that's when the mass consumer picks up on it and runs with it and then
it actually kills it.
posted by Pokeyman at 6:17 PM on May 2, 2001

Does this sound like a scam to anyone else? "Let's sell our 'research' to companies that are looking for trends." If those companies are in such need of the brilliant analysis of the Look-Look corporation...who's to say that L-L are right-on or just talking smack? No one will know any better! Their whole idea of trendsetters is based upon the 20/80 principle (that 20% of any group dominate/lead/influence the other 80%). Come on...
posted by kphaley454 at 6:29 PM on May 2, 2001

Correspondents are high school or college age, are cool themselves, and can find cool kids and speak their language.

"Are cool themselves?" I was unaware "coolness" has become scientifically measurable. Jesus. That one sentence itself makes me wonder if perhaps Frontline is starting to become more interested in peddling bullshit instead of unmasking it.
posted by aaron at 9:42 PM on May 2, 2001

How utterly approrpiate that this thread should appear just above the thread on The Baffler - one of the first zines on the 90's to deconstruct the commercialization of "alternative" culture...May they rise like Phoenix from the ashes!
posted by mapalm at 10:07 PM on May 2, 2001

appropriate, mea culpa
posted by mapalm at 10:08 PM on May 2, 2001

Damn it, aaron, anyone who looks like the guy from the Blue Lagoon, and with pre-heroin-years Leif Garrett hair, is cool. And it takes being someone cool to notice someone cool.
posted by raysmj at 10:17 PM on May 2, 2001

or rather, someone *that* cool.
posted by raysmj at 10:20 PM on May 2, 2001 Has some of Malcolm Gladwell's original articles on cool hunting. I ordered the Frontline video for our first-year writing instructors to use as a resource when they talk about pop culture. Some of this is undoubtably crap, but to say that you can't identify and commodify human behavior at all is somewhat questionable. Here's another article from American Demographer
posted by mecran01 at 6:13 AM on May 3, 2001

oh yeah, i remember that.
posted by donkeysuck at 11:06 AM on May 3, 2001

> "Are cool themselves?" I was unaware "coolness" has become
> scientifically measurable.

All you need is an operational definition. "cool" = "has body piercings, tattoos, purple-glo hair."
posted by jfuller at 12:52 PM on May 3, 2001

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