Saturday, October 24, 2009
What Is "Cool"
Modern Hip Hop is not cool. Neither is Nu Metal, Emo, Gothic nor Country Western. If cool were a color is would possibly be deep blue or savage green, maybe very very dark crimson. Cool is an elusive term when applied to culture. It used to mean hip or cutting edge. Now the trends themselves move too fast and generate too much money to be cool. To aggressive. In much of modern music and culture success is considered in monetary terms, not artistic terms. Art and poetry are cool. That is if created for the sake of the creation and not the mighty dollar. Money is NOT COOL. Surviving in style with little or no money is very very cool. When music swings it is cool- like Jazz or Be-Bop, some New Wave or Art Rock. New York was cool in the 50's and again in the 70's. LA was cool in the 40s and then the 60s. Hippies and Punks were not cool. Beats were very cool. Unicorns and Elves are NOT COOL. Ska and Reggae are fairly cool because the Bass is very cool. Lou reed was cool. Louie Prima was way fuckin' cool. Miles Davis, Gene Kruppa, John Coultrane, Herbie Hancock defined cool. Jack Kerouac. Henry Mancini. Cool is a timelessness, impenetrable by outside influences, dependent only on the creation of more cool. TV was cool until cable got involved. The underground is always cool. Religious fanaticism in any way shape or form is NOT COOL. Blues is pre-cool. Funk is post-cool. There is overlap. Accepting with humble grace and a down turned face is always cool. Like a Buddhist monk bowing to all. Cool is slightly evasive- making you think and grasp at the meanings, turning a small circle on your tongue as it goes down hard. Cool is that moment the light goes on in your head- the moment of death and awakening...one short breath in many lifetimes.