Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chill Out, It's All Cool

Let's talk about cool. Not the temperature kind, and not the keeping your bearings under stress kind: the quality of stuff kind.

According the Wikipedia this kind of "cool" is an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist (the spirit of the times). Because of the varied connotations of cool the word has no single meaning. They say Aristotle got the concept of cool way back. His notion of cool is to be found in his ethical writings, most particularly the Nicomachean Ethics. Contemporary cool began in 1940's hot jazz clubs where they'd open up the windows late at night to clear the hot, smokey air and gave birth to cool jazz and the beat generation.

Cool is a funny thing. You can't hold it or possess it. And you can't catch it like you can a cold. You can only observe it and appreciate it. What is cool to you may not be cool to anyone else and that's okay because you can appreciate that there are different flavors of cools.


The factors that make up cool have changed over time. And cool has been maligned, misused and overused by people who don't understand the concept but just wanted to appear cool. But at the end of the day certain things will always be totally cool to me. Being able to play while you work. That first kiss with someone who you never thought you'd be able to kiss – and finding them kissing you back. Reading a book that grabs you as soon as you crack open the cover and doesn't let you go until you reach the last page. It's seeing a piece of art or design that makes you stop and go "wow". It's hearing a little kid's uncontrollable laughter and listening to a musician perform for you what they've spent a lifetime practicing. It's knowing that someone is not just listening to you but is hearing you. Cool is seeing someone struggle for so long and finally succeeding.

And it's someone who doesn't think they're cool at all... but are. Like you.


  1. It seems to me that people who spend time trying to be cool are missing the joys of actually being cool. Very nice post :)

  2. Great guys and amazing women are cool, and they'll never admit it.

    I think you're a great guy, Rand. And it all comes from a place of sincerity and caring.

    I love hearing all the cool stuff you write about. I really "hear" them, in my mind's ear. Thanks for the gentle irreverence that makes me think about all the cool stuff I have around me.

    1. Thanks Lynn Marie! (And you're welcome :o)

  3. I hear you brother. Cool stuff's the coolest without even tryin!