What is cool? Is it standing alone or being one in the crowd? I definitely think that this class is the way to try and find those answers. I mean, what better places to find cool than at the movies? It is at the movies that we see what seems cool and what is cool, what seems a reject, but is really an idea to embrace. Also, we can determine what the mainstream deems cool through the movies that are successful. What made the movie a blockbuster or just a bust? What determines cool?
While going through class on Wednesday, my mind just started going in circles. Through F John’s descriptions, I was concluding that the “cool” are those society doesn’t understand at first. They are the ones that are shadowy and dedicated to something we can’t grasp, whether it is the idea itself or the idea of being dedicated to it. So, is “cool” first rejected?
Then again, we all aspire to be “cool” at some point in time. We don’t want to be rejects. Think about school; how many movies and shows are made about the hierarchy of high school? Let’s see: Mean Girls (and I highly recommend watching the trailer for inflamed examples of High School classes), any series dealing with kids, High School Musical(s)…ok, let’s just say anything with a school and produced by Disney. Is cool simply fitting in with the crowd, doing what is accepted? And yet, all of these movies and shows seem to be telling us to be ourselves and accept others for who they are.
I think there is a very fine line between “cool” and “uncool” in terms of the mainstream. First of all, “cool” needs to be new, or at least different from what the mainstream is used to. It also needs to be a statement, something that will tell the world what and who you want to be. It needs to have a “power” over others, such as pulling a look off better than others, knowing more facts than everyone else, being stronger than everyone else, challenging and not caring about everyone else, being more involved than everyone else, being yourself more than everyone else…However, it is possible to meet all of these qualities and still be deemed “uncool”. To me, it seems that most parts of cool are decided in a fickle fashion; you never know what to expect.
Then comes the question that I still can’t answer or understand: is cool individualistic or social? All of F John’s examples seemed about those not of society. They were individual, but as this “coolness” caught on, it became a society or was integrated into society, commercially. I am still confused; is being cool in mainstream terms good or bad or just another type of cool? Hopefully this class will clarify that.