The notion of cool has always appealed to my innate desires. To be that rebellious, rock n’ roll outlaw who eschews authoritative direction. To walk with a swaggering strut, highly aware that my limitations as an individual in no way impede on my confident, self-assuredness.
I am in no way talking about the transparent falseness of a high school sort of coolness. This type of coolness is reserved for adult individuals shaken and stirred by a chaotic world, only to smile and openly defy life’s gravitational pull with an air of reckless abandon.
Popular culture works very hard to embellish a sense of cool, but it’s shocking how easily I tend to fall into that maze of fabricated narration. My entire idea of what cool is tends to come from the explosive expression of popular culture artefacts I seem content to consume myself with.
In the “real” world, there is something mediocre about the normality of our society. There are spurts of excitement, but they tend to fall few and far between our social obligation to routine.
Popular culture exerts its persuasive grip over our society because of its ability to sever the ties bound to normality.
Cool exists in many different forms in popular culture. From Ryan Gosling’s stoic, cold-blooded Driver in Drive to Keith Richard’s audaciously manic public personality, this culture of personality is seductive in its embrace.
It’s very difficult not to lose yourself in the moments designed to impress.
Clint Eastwood as The Man with No Name wordlessly commandeering our attention with a malicious grimace.
James Dean’s iconic stroll through downtown New York-hair frazzled as a cigarette dangles precariously from his lips.
Heck, Steve McQueen was cool all the time-his charismatic aura dazzling the eye with tantalizing seduction.
The idea of cool can embody many particular characteristics. The suave and dapper (George Clooney), the flamboyantly stylistic (Scott Weiland), the raw masculinity (John Wayne) or the fearless rebel (Bob Dylan). But then again, these traits aren’t written in stone.
To be honest, it’s how it is expressed that makes cool so vibrantly alluring. Anyone can attempt coolness, but it’s how it is projected to the naked eye that truly matters, because truthfully, everyone’s definition of cool will differ in some way.
I am well aware that my idea of cool does not include everyday performers striving to make this world a better place. I seem to be preoccupied with popular culture and what it has done to motivate my senses. But I make no apologies for what I find cool. These are the images and personalities that leave me awe-inspired as a result of their nonchalant middle finger to codified classification.
And for that, I will forever be enthralled!