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August 16, 2004


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sadly, the punch line of said comic is hidden by your links bar on the left. Which is NOT COOL! bwahahaha

I think one of our key differences is this. You are correct that Miles Davis does not matter to me personally. However, under the rubric of "50 million Elvis fans can't be wrong," that is, the informed opinion of people whose taste I respect, I am willing to concede that Miles Davis is cool, and I just don't get him. Jazz is cool, but I am not a jazz person. My bad. I'd rather live with the shame than listen to the jazz, so there it is.

In most of our discussions, it seems like you want cool to be identical with what you like. Because you like it, and that makes it cool. For me, cool is a type of alternate arts canon, an aesthetic, and not so related to my personal whims. But possibly I have misunderstood you, as I apparently so often do on this topic.

As for in/out/popular? That's a totally different thing.

FYI, you've inspired me to do my own musical history post, though it may not go up for a few days.


If cool really were an alternate aesthetic or canon, I'd probably agree with you, but it seems to me that it is largely based on personal taste (not just mine) and is predominantly concerned with "in and out"—an aesthetic of exclusion. We are cool; you are not. There are degrees of cool and factions of cool. It's constantly changing and largely youth-oriented, and shifts with the constantly changing subcultures and their fashions, many of which are market-driven. Cool seems to me to be defined by the same things that drive fashionability. The criteria seem arbitrary, and the things that last, like Miles and Elvis, have proven their own intrinsic greatness despite their coolness and the avant garde becomes the Old Guard: still exciting and worth keeping around, but no longer shiny and new. Cool seems more like a funnel into which new art movements go to get shaken out by time and talent.


If you can't see society falling-down all around you, I guess I'll have to remind you: The reality of Heaven or Hell is self-evident to those who can see. God bless.


And this relates to what?

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