Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Cool Collage

Click the picture to make it bigger. :D

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vintage Viewing

So, my boyfriend came down to visit me last weekend over the long weekend. Against my better judgment we went to go see a horror movie. In 3-D. Yes, we saw My Bloody Valentine 3-D. As is the case with all scary movies, I can only appreciate their storylines after the fact. During the film, I’m usually hiding my face in a pillow or the nearest object large enough to cover my face. So, guns are pointed seemingly 2 inches from our faces, mining axes are being thrown from the screen in our direction, and blood splatters close enough to touch. And what is the next thing that comes out of my boyfriend’s mouth? “This is so COOL.”

 I agree that objects popping out of a screen are cool, but I think I enjoyed it more at the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids show at Disneyworld. This reminded me of the Vintage Cool we discussed in class. 3D vision isn’t a 21st century invention. It’s been around since 1922. 3D effects really gained momentum again in the 1950s, but once again faded into obscurity. And now they are back. Why do we see the 3D effect as “cool”? I think we do have a sense of novelty with it. 3D used to be “cool” back in the ‘50s, so now it’s like an antique of sorts. The introduction of high definition and the transition to digital filming processes doesn’t hurt either. 

But movies are the only material embracing 3D effects. Remember those Magic Eye books? I think I always found them in the dentist’s office, but they fascinated me. After you get the knack of crossing and uncrossing your eyes, the hidden images seem to emerge off the page. I was always disappointed when I reached the end of the book; I wanted more. As FJohn said, cool is marketable. These 3D books are not marketable cool in the sense of buying something in the hopes of becoming part of a “cool” group. This is how department stores make a profit. Customers come in desiring to buy the latest fashions so that they may be hip, modern, cool. The 3D Magic Eye books are marketable cool because they are completely different from every other book that are only bound pages of black and white ink. The Magic Eye books give the reader an image to look into, not just look at. It’s a fact that rebellion is cool. The Magic Eye book is the rebel of all books. 

Image from (Accessed 1/24/09)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Cloud that is "Cool"

My very first blog EVER, my very first thoughts about my Honors class. Seems appropriate. Last night’s discussion about the essence of cool opened my eyes to how limitless and encompassing the definition of “cool” actually is. Is cool the jock who owns the high school hallways? The rocker who inspires love for music every time he hits the stage? Is cool the rebel who challenges social norms and gains respect by doing so?

 I enjoyed hearing about F.John’s scale between Dissident Cool and Transcendent Cool. I had never really considered there to be dynamics of cool. However, after last night I recognize that there ARE different types. The more intriguing for me is the Transcendent, simply because these people take what is common and elevate it to the cool level. In the example about Bruce Lee, he took common martial arts and proved that it could be so much more. If I can find something I am incredibly passionate about, maybe I can be cool too! There is hope in this world.

 When we discussed the different subcultures of coolness, I begin wondering whether everything will one day be considered “cool.” Think. We have nerdy-cool, punk-cool, grunge-cool, jock-cool, cheerleader-cool, novelty-cool, and class clown-cool. The list could go on. Eventually, every aspect of the social circle will somehow be considered “cool” by some definition. And when everything is cool, nothing is. This made me believe that cool cannot have a set definition for every human being, because all our views of cool are different. The nerd may not see the jock as cool because he has no desire to be a blockheaded 2.0 with ‘roid rage. The cheerleader may not see the punk as cool because she has no desire to be associated with someone who wears as much eyeliner as she does. And the punk may not see the nerd as cool because anyone who knows the theme of Battlestar Galactica better than his music has no worth whatsoever. My definition of what is cool is different from your definition of cool, which is different from my mother’s definition of cool. You see the pattern. 

“Cool” is like The Sound of Music’s Maria. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? It’s not possible, just like stating that something is universally cool proves to be impossible. Becoming cool could be as easy as deciding for yourself what cool is. For me, cool is someone who has an extraordinary talent. I’m not one for the rebels…although a little daredevilism now and then is okay with me. As for those “rebels” with detention every day of high school…well, that’s just not cool.