Spencer Berry

The curse of cool

2015 April 18

I’ve always been a huge nerd. I mean that in a positive way - mostly because I think of nerds as the people who engage themselves mentally in order to endlessly expand their expertise in their interests. They are the obsessed and the masters. Ig they can’t hold a conversation it is probably because you haven’t yet stumbled into their arena and asked the right questions.

The concept of cool seems silly to me, constantly shifting. A huge part of it is about the chase of what is to come. Wasn’t Donny Darko cool? Not anymore, too many people like it. There is this feeling that when something is known to be cool, it was cool.  It is no longer.

This makes cool finite!  Why should we all fight for something that is, by it’s nature, elusive and limited?

It seems like a lot of the dirtiness of being hip comes from this sort of thinking. If something is of interest, it gets to be cool for just a moment, until too many people like it. Is the quest for uniqueness futile? Or is it just motivation to keep moving, keep trying new things.

Forget cool, I say. Shouldn’t we chase what resonates? I don’t want to waste any energy on being self-conscious. If I find the drive to explore, I deserve the enjoyment of my passion.

I’m glad that I am okay being myself and taking interest in what strikes. I know I need to get better about finishing projects, but I am quite glad to enjoy something despite, during, or after it’s cool.

Now to just shed that dirty feeling I get when someone accuses me of being hip…it feels like leftover shrapnel of cool writhing inside?

This post was inspired by the following TED talk -  if you’re too impatient to watch the entirety of this awesome talk, fast forward to the 11 minute mark to get into Sarah’s thoughts on cool.