Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Way I See It


Ok, the question has been asked: what is cool? This inquiry has proved to be incredibly complex, but let's face it; cool IS complex. It will never remain the same thing; it is constantly morphing, evolving, or even regressing. At some point in time, cool is this; however, come back later, and it will be that. Although, time isn’t the only factor influencing cool’s fickle form; the people who define it are the ultimate enforcers of what cool is. There in lies the complexity. The number shown above is the population of the earth today. Do all of those people like the same thing? Know the same things? Believe the same things? Do the same things (and I mean this to be outside the basic eating and sleeping activities)? Absolutely not! Everyone is different, feeding their individual streams into the churning river of cool.

So let’s get very basic. Let’s zoom our microscope in to observe one little part of cool: my version of cool.

What do I find cool?

When you think about this question, the answer is difficult to explain. My version of cool is influenced by so many others. For instance, the other day I was talking with some friends about what we used to play when we were kids. Do you remember Giga Pets? My Little Ponies? Beanie Babies? Skip-it? Scooters? Pokemon? Furbbies? Game Boys? Christmas was so much fun when you would run into the living room and find THE toy of the season under the tree, and it wasn’t so much fun when you didn’t get that toy like all of your friends. But did I really want the toy, or did I want it because of my friends?

In light of that train of childhood thought, I can give a first example of what I find cool: fairytale medieval times. The reason I add the “Fairytale” part is because I exclude a lot of negative aspects of the time like disease, lack of some good technology like indoor plumbing and climate control, tyrants, and the horrific condition of the poor, which made up a vast majority of the people alive then. What I think is so cool from those times is the idea of chivalry, of earning your way, of honesty and honor, and of being a village, a place where people looked out for each other. I think swords and sword fights are totally cool. The idea of raising animals, growing gardens, and making things is awesome. I love the lack of skyscrapers, traffic, and pollution and the abundance of nature, time, and available company. The final thing that I find cool from the medieval times is something I actually plan to learn: falconry.

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