I’ve never really thought of myself as “cool.” The concept has always been rather elusive, especially since there are no guide books on how to be “cool” and definitions are many and varied.
As I was sitting in the middle of Eastwood last Saturday night, feeling decidedly uncool, it struck me that maybe there really is no such thing as “coolness.” Maybe it’s just a word that people use without really understanding it. On the other hand, maybe I was just saying that because I myself had never known what being cool was like and am a bitter little prick who likes to piss and moan alot on the net.
Let’s backtrack a little:
Eastwood on a Saturday night is a lot like walking into a mental ward during a fire: it’s noisy, smoky and there are flaming weirdos all over the place. This particular night was doubly worse because there was a big event right in the middle of the main walk, the Generation Text thing that Mr. Clean plugged a few days back. A huge screen had been set up right where you couldn’t miss it, and the soundsystem had been rigged so that everyone in the Libis area (and indeed, most of East Pasig City) could hear what they were playing.
I usually feel lost on nights like this, when the only thing louder than the music is the collective chortling of the crowd around you. I am almost embarassed to admit this, but I have a hard time understanding what the fuck these events are for.
Was it to hang out with your friends? Hell no. I knew better than to try to maintain a conversation during these things; you’d scream yourself hoarse within the hour if you tried.
Was it to get drunk and wasted? Maybe, but at the prices that drinks were going for, it was unlikely that you could buy enough to get a 10-year old intoxicated.
Was it to “see and be seen”? Yeah. Definitely. People were here because it was Happening, because it was In, because it was Cool.
Which brings me back to my original premise, that maybe coolness is just a figment of our collective imaginations, a work of fiction that some crazed marketer pulled out of his ass to beat a deadline.
Look at how well it’s been used in advertising: nearly every ad campaign can be boiled down to “Buying this will make you cool”. It’s that simple. Even the tagline of that whole Generation Text event was “R U 1 OF US?”, which implies, of course, that if you’re one of “us”, you would be cool too. The concept of “coolness” is a marketer’s dream come true, because it is completely intangible; nobody can tell you exactly what it is, so therefore, no one can prove that you are lying when you say, “Our product is cool”. Indeed, the notion that purchasing something could instantly make you cool is irrational, but that sure as hell never stopped me. After all, if I believed owning this thing made me cool, then why couldn’t other people believe so too?
So as we were walking back to the parking lot, amidst dozens of pretending-to-be-cool, I turn to carlocake and ask, “Are you feeling cool yet?”
He answered, “Yeah. I’m so cool, I think I’m gonna cum.”
Not every story has a lesson.