Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Circle Of Cool

The Epitome Of Pitiful And Desperate

Somebody said that “Eurolights” were cool.  There seems to be an invisible source somewhere in Europe that dictates clothing fashion.  Another invisible source says that it’s cool to take a midsized foreign car, put “low profile” tires on it, a sound chamber on the exhaust system that makes it sound like it had too many kidney beans for breakfast, and race around like a two year old having a conniption.  Another says it’s cool to grow a goatee and shave your head.  The invisible Mr. Self Expression says to deface your body with tattoos and piercings.  “Shades” became the “in thing” to do as far back as the 50s.  If you want to be part of a particular group of wannabes, you must listen to the accepted style or genre of music.

Where does all this come from?  We all understand that a teenager might crave being one of the cool guys or girls.  It becomes more and more pitiful when I see 30, 40, 50, and yes, even 60+ year old guys with shaved heads, goatees, earrings, tattoos, sports cars (which, the older one gets, the more difficult it becomes to get in and out of), and/or those ridiculous trucks with huge tires and lift kits – also difficult to get in and out of.  More and more of us are hearing this new language where most people over the age of 35 have no idea of what’s being said.  How is it that so many people are so desperate to be cool and hip?
“Self Expression” is a good thing, but one would think that a person would want to display individualism, as opposed to walking, talking, dressing, and behaving like millions of other people.  There are stereotypes that are everywhere.  The most common seems to be the goatee – sometimes along with it goes the shaved head, other times it’s the earrings, there’s the cowboy hat, and almost always, such pitiful little men love those big trucks with big tires and lift kits – there are some great names for these silly looking monstrosities, but we’ll talk about that another time.  Anyone who has been in a sports bar will have seen hundreds of goatee bearing guys – with the team jackets and baseball caps – many times the caps on backwards or sideways, and, with any play that may call for it, every guy in the place will feel the need to throw his fists up into the air in desperate need of being seen and heard, while simultaneously Randy Savaging (yes, this started way back then) his most macho, WWF sounding, “YEEEAHHHH!!!”.  In the same sports bars, we’ve all seen the flat screens mounted every ten feet with the Cagefighting/MMA/Ultimate Fighting guys – all pretty much looking and acting the same – goatees, shaved heads, the most macho, WWF sounding voices they can muster up, fists in the air, eyes bugged out.  As if that’s not bad enough, there are today’s baseball players – goatees, spitting, grabbing themselves, and too cool to even do a full windup – when did that start?  Back in the 50s and 60s, kids wanted to be able to throw like Sandy Koufax or Juan Marichal, or field and hit like Willie Mays, and there were no pretentious acts to follow.  Most of us wanted to be gentlemen and good sportsmen, to go along with being a great athlete.  I guess I don’t need to tell you that it’s very different in today’s world.
We have the same horrid condition when it comes to music – you must listen to a certain kind of music if you want to be accepted by a certain group of people.  In the Rap & Hip Hop circle, it’s the kids – 30 and under – who seem to grandly enjoy the profanity and hate filled tirades.  “Dance Music” – I’m not sure, it seems to be universal – all ages seem to be susceptible to it.  “New Country”, it appears that most of this crowd consists of leftovers from the Disco days.  In England, the universal, computer generated sound that pumps through any and all sound systems in the pubs is “Techno”, which mostly sounds like Disco on steroids.  Any song that makes it to the airwaves here in the States will have a British remix to send across the pond – using the lead vocal track, but with the techno sounding backing tracks to accommodate the British sound.
As with most things in today’s world, it’s all about money.  I don’t believe there are any European fashion gurus who magically know fashion any better than anyone else, and I’ve never seen anything resembling a “Eurolight” on any European car.  Music companies and major radio stations all have their Public Relations and Advertising departments (mentioning no names but its initials are BILLBOARD MAGAZINE) – where they generate the endless barrage of “If you’re not listening to this or that, then you’re behind the times, you are not cool, you have no reason to live, etc.”.  “Music” companies generate billions of dollars a year, putting out “music” that most of the listeners and buyers forget about in a few months.
In the Sports World, Major league baseball, MMA/Whatever Other Names This Boring Style Of Wrestling Goes By, NFL players, NBA basketball players, NASCAR drivers, maybe someday they will want to set a good example for youngsters – as the old timers did.  Yeah, I know, when pigs fly.  Maybe someday Rock Stars and/or Rap Stars will be something for a kid to want to admire and emulate.  In your dreams, suckah.
Until the day comes when people feel the need to be true to themselves, to listen with their own ears, see with their own eyes, and feel with their own hearts, we will have no choice but to be on the receiving end of the hip, the cool, and the wannabes – their hostility, their aggression, and their offensive behavior.  In the meantime, house up on a mountain, birds, squirrels, and mountain lions to talk to – sounds real good.

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