A Bit of Genius on a T Shirt

This works on a a bunch of levels. There is the obvious, Obama "Cool Factor". The press has been beating that into our heads for two years now. Personally, I don't see it, but then I flunked Cool Hunting a long time ago. Putting the cool question on a T shirt begs it a bit.

Then there is the more subtle racial question. "So, we cool now?", as in the slang, "Are we OK?" or "Is everything OK?", or "Are we finished with that little problem we had?"

That "little" problem would be slavery, discrimination, and the accompanying white guilt. We have a black president so can we consider that all over, history, done?

Obama has pretty much answered that question by playing the race card at key times in his campaign. So the answer would be "no". Simply asking the question is a form of protest. Cool.

And finally, there may be a message here to people outside the US, particularly our European "friends", and particularly the Germans. They finally played some role in influencing an American election. Their inexperience in Democracy in general, and American elections in particular, helped elect this neophyte. They wanted "cool" and they got it. We got the guy who wants to spread the wealth around. DanKa!

(Can't wait to see what happens when the Russians turn off the gas. Good luck with that!)

So we have a triple entendre... a bit of genius on a T shirt.



7:11 PM

One of the books I'm reading right now is William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, which has as its heroine a " cool hunter. Name of Cayce. It's set in London and has much to say about marketing and myriad other things.

Gibson's the one who coined the word " Cyberspace. " He was born and raised in, of all places, Conway, South Carolina.


9:48 PM


Have you ever read the original cool hunting article that (I believe) was published in the New Yorker in the nineties sometime? It was an eye opener for me. I remember at the time every hipster in NY and SF wanted that job.


Jeffrey Plumley

1:04 PM

To bad I spent the 80's, 90's and now 2000's with my head down working for a living. I was just to damn busy to mess with being cool.

the one thing I do have to say is this; kids (teens) know what is up in the world more than we often give them credit. I can not tell how many of my kid's teenage friends tell them how cool I am these days... why? I spend a lot of time with them climbing mountains, kayaking whitewater and shooting things. And the whole time I'm doing it I'm teaching them to be good men and women. What they should and should not accept in the way of treatment from other people. how they should treat other people and what they should expect as a minimum of behavior from other people.

I have come down hard on some of these young men and women for their bad behavior when their parents refuse, or are afraid, to do it. They usually come back to me and apologize and essentially ask to "rejoin" the group. (of course i don't ever kick the kids to the side as they are starving for real adult attention. They don't need another Xbox or IPhone thank you very much) They get it that truly being cool is really being true to yourself and treating others as you should expect to be treated.

What's my point? Let me tie it in here. Obama had no Father, his book reportedly is full of rants about how pissed he is that his Dad basically deserted him. There is a generation of people who where never fathered properly (yep Bill Clinton had the same thing hence his despicable treatment of women) and the current king is our dear leader Chairman Maobama.

This class of people from aging baby boomers down to the President are by and large lacking the true growth to truly "be cool." Instead, they are looking for things, sayings and ill conceived ideas to make them look cool.

Have faith though, I still have hope that the pendulum is going to swing back in 2010 and beyond. I just hope that there is enough of what has made the USA great still around to make a difference.


1:25 PM

I have the DVD archives. I'll look that New Yorker piece up. Thanks.