Thursday, 14 March 2013

When did it become too cool to care?

I am not cool.

When I was younger this absolutely tormented me. I spent most of my teenage years thinking it was entirely within my grasp.That I was one pair of trainers, one awesome New Look outfit away from nailing it.

As a dedicated day dreamer I would spend hours planning different scenarios and then playing them out in my head. There would be the party. Me, in a casually thrown together outfit, making witty small talk with everyone and where alcohol (rather than being my enemy) would simply amplify my general air of fabulous cool. I'd imagine going to gigs and actually knowing what to do with my head (seriously people, how do you get it to bob just like that?)

And boys.

God, I really would have liked things in that area to have turned out the way they did in my head.

Fast forward a decade and I have totally accepted I am never going to be able to pull off Oliva Palermo levels of laissez faire. It is quite simply not in my genes. (Or my actual jeans which are super comfy but from Dorothy Perkins).

And that's ok. In fact it's more than ok, it's bloody marvellous.

Because it turns out, being cool nowadays, really isn't. Cool that is.

The clothes we wear are ironic, the music we listen to is cool until someone cares then it's not. We buy novelty gifts, go to clubs we hate and get retro tattoos of symbols that mean little or nothing to us.(Guilty.) We laugh at everything, pre-empting the moment when that too, inevitably becomes un cool.

Whole industries are dedicated to bringing us more and more disposable tat that we buy knowingly. We're happy to throw out the onesie, (Guilty) lenseless NHS glasses or Spongebob bumbag because we never cared for it in the first place.

People say being cool is all about expression. But it's not. Cool is copying.

It gives us a licence to judge everything around us, and then provides us with the perfect defence. Because if you never truly lay claim to an opinion, you remain impervious to attack. 

But the problem with all of this of course, is that if you choose to be actively apathetic, you aren''t investing in anything. You become too cool to care.

And we need people to invest. We need them to give their true, genuinely held opinions, worries, cares and passions. Because even if caring about things isn't cool, it is still completely essential.

There will always be a small part of me that will drawn, moth-like, to the call of cool.

But I've stopped caring about it.

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