Confessions of the uncool

John Quiggin is concerned about the uncoolness of his genuine affection for ducks flying across the wall. As I commented on his post.

I like the Sound of Music – the movie. Partly because of associations with my Austrian Dad who could have been one of the kids (and his sister looks amazingly like Maria von Trapp). But it’s also a damn good movie. Good story, well paced, well shot, good songs, well sung. Da woiks. My twelve year old daughter is just figuring out that sentimentality is uncool and thinks I don’t ‘get it’. I do get it. It’s a sentimental movie. It’s also an excellent one.

So Troppodillians, here’s your opportunity to own up to reclaim your uncoolness. Confessions please. . . .

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Ken Parish
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Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
15 years ago

I’m fairly sure I’m almost never cool.

I cause kids to cringe and giggle. And many adults wince in the presence of indiscriminate personal exposures.

Human being exposed is not cool.

20 years ago in the kitchen, my housemate and I used to pretend we were in anything written by Edward Albee. We sometimes thought we were Judy Garland, and rejoiced in the freedom of dickheadery.

I still do.

Kath ‘n’ Kim is my favourite show. Kath and Kel smack of Jen and Ken.

That’s not cool is it Nic?

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

I too like the Sound of Music. 1,000 hearings as my siblings grew up made me temporarily allergic, but now I can happily admit to liking it.

I am also conservative, don’t believe much in most of what passes for ‘human rights’, do believe firmly in humanity, don’t care much about the environment, couldn’t dream of being vegetarian…

I’m sure I can find many things about me that aren’t cool, but I think the worst is that I actually read political blogs:)

Cristy
15 years ago

I also love the Sound of Music. My brother and I had a well-worn copy on video when I was young. I knew all the songs off by heart.

I also liked My Fair Lady, and Oliver…

Rafe
15 years ago

I think offspin bowling is cool but you don’t see much of it in Australia. When was an offspinner (a right handed one) last selected to play for Australia?

“Dainty” Ironmonger was an offie who played for Australia in the 1930s. He made his debute at the age of 40 and he was called “dainty” because he was a hopeless fielder.

Hello, I got that wrong, he was a lefthanded finger spinner, so he turned from the leg. I suppose my general beef is about finger spinners. Getting back to Ironmonger, cop this amazing story.

http://premier.cricketvictoria.com.au/page/ironmonger_herbert_bert.html

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

Yes, me! I don’t believe you are right – but I am a funny kind of conservative, and I mix mainly with young (and, er, not-so-young) well-off people. Whilst amongst the more trades-oriented of them, the attitudes are common, the underlying intellectualism isn’t. Among the more professional services-oriented of them, the attitudes are sometimes cool, often not, whereas the underlying intellectualism, whilst not cool, commands respect.

But for the majority of young and not-so-young alike, Che Guevera is not a brutal pig, Capitalism is inherently suspicious, things are ‘purer’ in some undefinable way if they don’t involve money, etc – in short, staggering ignorance and the profound absence of thought remain the norm as much now as a generation ago.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
15 years ago

I thought Rafe only like those who spun for the Austrians

James Farrell
James Farrell
15 years ago

I used to have a book entitled Best, Worst and Most Unusal, which I kept in the toilet. The authors choice of ‘Worst Film’ was a screening of The Sound of Music in Japan. The film was too long to fit into the program, so they cut out the songs.

If you decide to write about cool and politics, Nicholas, don’t forget that Don had a great post on this a year or so ago.

Rex
Rex
15 years ago

I don’t have an iPod. But I do have DVD (but only because the Video rental guy was telling me that I needed to update soon – and tapes were on the way out).

Also I don’t have a cardigan. But I want one!

david tiley
15 years ago

Blogging is cool. Blogging is so cool, bloggers define cool. So … ping… Patrick and Rex, I anoint you as the new cool.

It doesn’t bother me that young people may think that capitalism is uncool. After all, their position in it is often uninspiring. What does bother me is that they may think politics is uncool.

Rex – cardigans are cool, as long as you don’t own one of those superlarge white ones with the big leather buttons and the mock Norwegian designs. Also, you should never ever wear a cardigan to a black tie dinner.

You can justify moccasins by muttering of gout, but never a cardigan, even though you may be tricked by a fancy weskit.

Jonno
Jonno
15 years ago

I’m a public servant. I win.

Cameron Riley
15 years ago

Jonno, I’m a public servant. I win.

I have a concrete obelisk in my front yard.

morganzola
morganzola
15 years ago

I’ve lately begun to enjoy the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne et al…

…oh wait a sec, they are cool. It’s tha latter day wannabes who are uncool.

I also drive a Corolla – that’s gotta be uncool.

Rafe
15 years ago

Homer, I would like to see an Austrian team in the world cup (for cricket). They would just have to emulate Switzerland (in sailing) and recruit the best cricketers in the world for the series.

Georg
15 years ago

I like Billy Joel. I even own a double CD that I have COPIED to my laptop for listening pleasure at any time. Very uncool.

Rex
Rex
15 years ago

Dave,

Having just stated that Patrick and myself are cool, I’m afraid that puts you in the category of coolmeister.

The really cool people are those who decide what it is that’s cool, and that, it seems is you.

It’s a poisoned chalice though Dave. There’ll be a knock on the door from New-Idea any minute now my friend, and things will never be the same again. Good luck!

Gaby
Gaby
15 years ago

On “uncool” interior design, I’m a fan of exposed brick walls, deep shag pile carpets and orange laminex.

For fashion, I have an uncool fond affection for flares of all sorts, but especially the high waisted “Staggers” jeans of the late ’70’s. People often remark to me that they would never wear flares again. Track suit pants were also flared, and they gave a very satisfactory “swish” as one was playing soccer.

I would definitely again, if only I could… Since knickerbockers are back, at least for women, they are not far away. In fact I have noticed women wearing them, and they are always the harbingers of change in fashion.

Come to think of it I reckon the baggy jeans that followed flares circa 1980 are tres cool too…

Tiger O'Reilly
Tiger O'Reilly
15 years ago

“When was an offspinner (a right handed one) last selected to play for Australia?”

Nathan Hauritz, an offie from Queensland, played on the most recent tour to India, a couple of years ago.

The last off spinner to be a regular in the test team was Tim May.

The fact is, however, that Australia has not produced one great off spinner whereas it has produced a lot of great leggies. This has to do with the wickets being bouncy.

vest
15 years ago

Real men don’t go for that sentimental gunge.
blood guts and wicked women are more to our taste, right guys?

Nabakov
Nabakov
15 years ago

I’ve always liked Jon English’s version of “Hollywood 7”.

Nabakov
Nabakov
15 years ago

Also Nick, liked your contributions to the Regulatory Environment for Innovation Roundtable on 20th April, even if it is uncool to say so.

Tony.T
15 years ago

I like Leo Sayer’s album Just a Boy.

I hope that’s not overdoing it.

Gaby
Gaby
15 years ago

I agree with Tony T. A favourite track is “One Man Band”.

Anyone for Rod Stewart’s “Atlantic Crossing”? “It’s not the spotlight” and “Three Time Loser” are faves. Beth Orton does a good version of the former.

Gaby
Gaby
15 years ago

I agree with Tony T. A favourite track is “One Man Band”.

Anyone for Rod Stewart’s “Atlantic Crossing”? “It’s not the spotlight” and “Three Time Loser” are faves. Beth Orton does a good version of the former.

Nabakov
Nabakov
15 years ago

“I take it that wasn’t you hiding under the table?”

Nah. We bounced a laser off the window to pick up the sound vibrations through the glass.

“Rod Stewart’s “Atlantic Crossing”

saint
15 years ago

Train, oh train
The journey ends
And starts again
I remember
I remembe-e-e-r
I remember

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

No, a friend tells me I am definitely the loser, er, winner. Apparently the folder ‘Billy Bragg’ in my music collection does the trick!

Personally, I don’t see any reason why – I would have thought that that was the kind of individuality that defines cool, but apparently it isn’t so easy… :(

Gaby
Gaby
15 years ago

Maybe “Blondes….” was a better album…don’t know it very well but I think, on reflection, probably now considered uncooler than “Atlantic…”

I have always thought that Billy Bragg did love very well: “Man in the Iron Mask”, “Saturday Boy”, “St Swithins Day”, “A Lover Sings” etc.

To me, coolness connotes some extent of submission to a prevailing “Zeitgeist”, an accession to dominant trends. But being a contrarian is also cool, at least to some extent.

Are there “cool” limits to contrarianism? What are they? When did Hitchens breach them?

What about the diachronic aspect to cool? What is uncool today becomes cool tomorrow?

From whence does cool come and to where does it go?