Mini-essay by Brett Sullivan Santry
I said a boom chicka boom.
Well, no. I never said that. I was never cool enough to say something like that. Not aloud, certainly. Not that it is, in and of itself, cool. I think it’s from cheerleading? Maybe Bugs Bunny. Maybe from one of the times Bugs Bunny was a cheerleader. But is it cool? Couldn’t say. I could not tell you what is cool. It sucks semantically, because I perspire easily.
(I said a boom chicka boom)
I stand in awe of cool. Actually, since I’ve never been sure what is cool, “standing in awe of it” is out of the question. More like leaning against a nearby wall, casually trying not to stare, slack-jawed at cool. Trying not to mouth along with the slang phrases that cool repeats or the lyrics to the song that cool already somehow knows but is yet impossibly recent. One bead of perspiration on the forehead and it’s over.
I said a BOOM chicka boom.
Boxy isn’t cool, apparently. Boxy things are clunky, with terrific edges and storage compartments and secure closures, so plainly manufactured (“man-made” is incredibly uncool, I think) and may even be stackable. Boxy thinking gave rise to cargo bays, cargo ships, cargo nets, and the currently vilified cargo pockets. Boxy is not organic and organic is – right? – incredibly cool. Like, cool enough to have your cellphone case look like it is made of wood or is covered in leaves or is splished with raindrops. Cool enough to have utterly discrete, perfectly ergonomic, Bluetooth capable, sustainably resourced, recessed indentations for effortless access to everything – as long as it is not cargo.
(I said a BOOM chicka boom)
Twenty years ago, people were swing dancing again, suddenly. Looked really sweaty. Again recently, people walk around with umbrellas to keep the sun off of them but they don’t call them ‘parasols.’ Not cool. Shady, yes. Maybe even a solid 50+ SPF but not cool. The Steampunk aesthetic seems like the helplessly uncool find it ineffably cool. “Steampunk” sounds humid, though. High chance of perspiration.
I said a boom chicka rocka chicka rocka chicka boom
Wait, wait: cargo smugglers, though. Thoroughly cool. Han Solo cool. Scoundrels. Pirates. The stolen ‘uncool’ made cool. Getting away with it, though? The best always do. And they do. Cool appropriation. Cool assimilation. Cool transmission.
(I said a…