27.11.06

Coolness

What defines a cool person? What defines an uncool person?

You know what I'm talking about: day by day you get to deal with people in a great variety of ways, and if you deal with them enough you'll have a feeling that a person is cool, or not. It's "just" that - a feeling. First impressions make a great impact on the outcome. I know, I know, this is almost a cliché, everyone says that "first impressions are anything". What can I say? I had to start by saying it: cliché or not, it is true. But first impressions aren't feelings, just impressions.

But in your whole life you made a grand job of defining something - probably the biggest work of everyone, at least until they decide to be parents, is to define themselves. And you do that based on thoughts, experiences, opinions or certainties. Even true and false aren't dicotomic, oppinions are a heavy weight on how you see something as truth or not. So, using yourself as a reference, you start pondering about the other person - judging them. Not in the bad sense - just trying to fit that person in your chain on values and, by the way of comparison, you catalogue them. And classifying a person is a difficult game to play - something comparable with defining art to the classicist philosopher. On that, Giulia Sissa tells us, on the book "L'âme est un corps de femme" (my translation, please forgive possible mistakes):

If the artisan and the artist make such a great effort to act, what are the resources of the spectator of a painting, of a poetic performance or of a theatre play to observe the things with ponderation and see that this is that, that what he sees, looks and listens is mimesis of something and not the thing itself?

You can interpret human relationships the same way as artistic contemplations. The difference is, and maybe that's the reason why art and culture is something avoided by lot's of people, while human relationships are not, that since the moment you're born you deal with humans and establish relationships. On the other hand, art is something we choose to deal with or not, even if it attracts us to do so.


So, trying to define "coolness", trying to find out the "formula" to be cool or uncool, trying to find a discrete way of representing a steriotipation of "cool", is something simmilar to do it for any feeling, or to art. I know that's tryied innumerous times, and the perception that something like that can be achived is widely exploited: "dress like this and you'll be cool", "this album is on tops: shut up and shop!" and such ways of decieving people to get power or money.

But, following my line of thoughts, I think you can't even think about answering the questions on the top of this post. A cool person for you, is a person that you think is cool. I think.