READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

may 13, 1996: cool

many of the letters i receive follow a common theme.

wanna jump on the bandwagon?

John writes:

...really cool web page .....

Steven writes:

Very cool site.....

Amy writes:

You're completely cool.....

Greg writes:

cool page!...

Dear All of the Above,

Cool. Thanks so much for your kind notes. I am honored to be called "cool."

Which brings me to today's fundamental question: what is the deal with needing to be "cool"?

I ask this, even though a considerably large amount of my time is admittedly devoted to determining what is cool, and what is not cool.

That goes with the territory, you see, when you are incredibly picky, as well as a pop-culture-watching addict. (I would say "pop culture junkie, but I do not think that that term accurately describes me ... I don't *like* pop culture as much as I am addicted to looking at it.). Hell, that fascination with pop culture was probably what helped me be such a success on Family Feud.

In fact, much of my favorite hours and days and weeks of time spent with my ex-boyfriend was spent deciding what is "cool" and what is "not cool" and what is "good" and what is "lame."

He liked to engage in this activity too, you see.

Even these days, we call each other up and ask for each other's opinions on cd's and movies and trends and people.

Of course, I say this even though I would have to imagine that neither Jay nor I would maybe be considered "cool" by pop culture. Or maybe we would. It is not "cool" to be arrogant about these things, you see.

Anyway, people harass me about my constant need to evaluate everything on these grounds.

For example, Hal Hartley is "cool." The Coen Brothers are "cool." Dr. Dre is "cool." Alanis Morissette is "not cool," even though she is out under Madonna's label, Maverick, which is "cool." Liz Phair is "way cool." Hootie and the Blowfish is "so uncool as to be absurd." "Friends" just outright "sucks." (more on (ack) "friends" later, by the way.)

David Letterman engaged in this inquiry when he was in San Francisco last week. He cruised through the City with an alleged hippie and pointed at things, deciding if said things were "dank" (i.e. "cool") and "schwag" (i.e. "lame"). I had not heard those terms before. I bet Dave made them up. The principle is the same, nonetheless.

What really bothers people the most, however, is that once the majority of people decide that something that I thought was cool years ago ... say, "Schoolhouse Rock," which i used to watch with Andy all the time four years ago, now is cool ... I just can't think it is cool any more. The experience is ruined. It may still be good, but it is no longer cool.

Why? Why is it that once everyone thinks that something is cool, that I can no longer think of it is cool?

Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that I pretentiously believe that most people are wrong and stupid.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I absolutely hate being part of the mob, in any respect whatsoever. Ok, maybe I suck for being this way, but that is how I am. It is like I deserve a medal or something. Sue me.

So, on that note, let it be known that I thought that feminism, not eating meat, Rap music, Madonna, lounge music, and Schoolhouse Rock were "cool" well before the mass majority did.

And I have no clue whatsoever why that is important.





or, if you must, back to Rebecca's Revenge

Copyright 1996 Rebecca Eisenberg