Outstreched arm

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cool is as cool does

Oh, Christian McBride. You're a cool dude, really. You're a bespectacled, turtleneck-wearing jazz bassist - who am I to argue over coolness with thee? But, hey, dude, I just thought we'd jive about your piece for NPR. You know, 'Be Cool', about how the cool is gone.

I'll have to disagree in a very broad way, first of all - I don't think "people" are getting meaner. Some are mean, some aren't, but I think the global trend is toward greater tolerance and coolness. Anyway, we can argue over that next time we jam.

But look here, about your article - people used to get much worse than the third degree for the color of their shoes, shirts, caps, and - yeah, skin. Remember?

And cell phones - they're better than land lines. Honest. You can call your kids while you're taking a stroll to the local pizza shop. You can get invited to a friend's hastily put-together party while enjoying soup at the restaurant. And oh, yeah, you can also use it at home - many do. Cell phones also have these cool "silent" and "off" buttons. Man, I wish my landline had that!

Oh, I don't mean to be a smartass, but have you ever actually been to a coffee shop? I'm sitting at one right now, as a matter of fact. And I'm working. On my laptop. The place is super-chill - lots of high school kids trading gossip, old dudes reading the newspaper, several moms with their kids. No stress, honest. About a third of us are on our laptops. I don't know what's on other people's screens, but the work-related gobbledy-gook on mine isn't stressing me out at all. Hey, if you have a stressful job, that's your problem, not whether you do it while having coffee or not.

Technology is cool. Coffee shops are cool. So, hey, I'm with you 100%. Let's all cool it up and cool it down to max. You know, some would say that includes not kvetching over the realities of modern urban life. Just sayin'. Peace.


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