Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week 1, Blog 1: The Idea of Cool

This week in class we discussed different types of cool. The types of cool we discussed ranged a spectrum of diversity. Beginning with the slave's type of necessary cool and spanning all the way to modern-day musical influences on cool; such as glam metal and grunge rock. More importantly, though, we discovered themes of cool. Each specific type of cool had a different background leading to a different importance. Every type of cool ever seen has been cool because it stood for a cause. Whether the cause was the hippies “everything is cool” attitude or the punks “damn the establishment” ideals, each attitude came from a conviction that people had in common. Consequently, people were relating to these different types of cool helping them to find their niche. All types of cool have had a significant influence on society and modern culture.

By introducing different types of cool we have also introduced different types of attitudes in society. The slaves depicted the art of ironic detachment. By making their unfortunate societal position seem as though it was insignificant they were able to focus on the brighter side of life. This type of attitude can still be seen today by many unsatisfied students at school. They display the same type of disregard for their authority, although for a far different reason than the slaves, to seem as though they are unaffected by something that is only trying to help them. Another attitude that has introduced itself into society is the passionate attitude that comes from the transcendent type of cool. An example of the transcendent type of cool that we can see in society is the popular television series, House. Gregory House, the star of the medical drama, parallels the transcendent type of cool because he is always willing to push boundaries in order to solve a case. In this particular episode he defies the court, lawyers, and even a patient's personal doctor in order to figure out the patient's illness. By doing so he effectually solves the patients paralysis, as well as his muscle-deteriorating disease. He, because of his passion to solve medical problems, was able to go beyond the personal doctor’s scope of intelligence to give his patient the life he deserved. Cool deserves to be defined and studied carefully in order to better understand its affects on the world.

The course makes me think about the origins of cool. What is it that makes something cool? In my opinion, cool is a form of respect that we pay to something that seems worthy of emulation. Consequently, cool becomes a generality among society, and as cool becomes more and more generalized we begin to lose the respect that we once held for the idea that made it seem worthy of mimicry. Whatever the purpose of cool, I hope to find it’s true meaning by the end of this semester.


  1. We are all out for that true meaning...

    So is House cool outside of the hospital?

  2. No, he's a complete bastard. I like that though. I don't enjoy his pessimism about humanity, but I can't help but think he's right most of the time.

  3. House is cool... but is a bastard all of the time not just out of the hospital but all the time. I believe that if more things in life had a true meaning, i think that i would understand it more.

  4. Is House cool because of his desire to help people at any cost, or is he cool because he likes solving puzzles, regardless of the patient's comfort or discomfort along the way? As a doctor, I'd have to say he's ironically detached from his patient/victim. He treats each patient as a means to an end, and we are enchanted by the lengths he will go to in order to find an answer.

    Good post, and a good use of URLs! Keep up the good work.