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thoughtcassette is a lifelong art project created by Denver Lewis, focused on visual poetry & prose.

poetry & prose.

Hipster's Heraclitus

Denver Pittman

I’ve been pondering for a while on where I fit in in this strange universe. What makes things cool anymore anywaY? Eating double-downs & watching Glee after cigarettes, err those aren’t even cool anymore (see Dean, James 1956). But, double downs & Lea Michele? These things are still cool, though may do irreversible damage to your health as well. Maybe I’m rambling, but isn’t that cool too? Philosophy in itself is effing downright cool, sitting around shootin the breeze. In modern times, that most certainly notifies cool(ality)? Right? Right. And all of this plays important roles in cultural behavior patterns. Gaining acceptance is part of our natural forte in life, so perhaps in order to feel satisfied we must conform to something. Even counter-culture hippies were ‘cool’ in their neck of the woods, just conforming to the non-conformity. So, it brings me to this enigma in my head & leaves much need for heuristic report: what the hell is ‘cool’ and how did it come into being?

Many are likely to say that ascriptions of coolness are “subjective” and relativistic in nature. They might express this by saying things like: ‘what’s cool for some people ins’t cool for others’. False. And this is why ‘coolness’ has gathered such a negative connotation since its inception. I mean, sometimes you luck just being your natural self, totally unique without trying to be someone that you aren’t & without effort, others look at you with chivalrous emotions. They see you as enigmatic, and no matter what is “cool” materialistically, your attitude makes you cool. So you can do whatever you please without losing this status and perhaps spreading it on to catch on in the material world. This only happen to Jay-Z and Ferris Bueller. For the study of the average kid trying to make it in the world, I did some reading on the target group: teenagers. These kids are gripping to the last effing ring of coolness as it pinches their fingers & makes them cry. Most none of them get cool by accident. No, they’ve been trying their entire lives. In fact, a lot of kids expend a great deal of time and energy maneuvering for social positions. 

So, perhaps, take a look at hip consumerism in a material world. In the Philosophy and Social Criticism, Thomas Frank argued that the counterculture rebellion provides the primary source of consumerism in society. ‘Cool’ has become an ideological expression for different. Today, to be a free-rider is to be cool. So, what happens to all of the people who want to be different but don’t want to be society’s cool? Those who, after middle school, wish to reform the shapes of their society-laden tiny little box of ideas? Taking lessons from socrates. Be Individual. No, seriously.