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Dr. Helen

Not Cool

May 5th, 2014 - 3:00 pm

I am reading Greg Gutfeld’s new book Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You. It’s a very funny book that looks at how our culture is infiltrated with those who think that being cool is the only way to be. The book’s premise is that being cool is not only annoying, it is dangerous. “We used to consider the right thing to do; now we consider the cool thing to do.” Rather than help parents through tough times, people adopt a tiger through the World Wildlife Fund. Rather than do anything hard, just do something cool, it is easier and gets one liked without sacrifice or risk.

According to Gutfeld, the cool conformists, mostly liberals, try to make you believe the following:

How do the cool enslave you? By convincing you that:
- If you don’t agree with them no one will like you.
- If you don’t follow them you will miss out on life.
- If you don’t listen to them you will die a lonely loser.

I laughed as I read this, thinking back to a few hipsters I had worked with once who told me that if I didn’t do what they wanted, I wouldn’t be invited to parties. I was dumbstruck. “Do I look like I care?” was all I could think of saying. But their behavior was intriguing to me, as well as a bit revolting. Who would respond to this type of incentive? Are they used to persuading people this way? If so, it must normally work. Why would anyone go along with this type of manipulation?

Gutfeld’s book explores why people desire so much to be cool and it seems to boil down to the fact that many people are conformists who would rather do something easy that makes them feel good about themselves than take a stand and risk not being liked: “Coolness is a replacement for a strong ego and operates as a safe ambivalent response to evil in the world. The result: We are left with a dreary planet of self-esteem sponges more interested in capturing the approval of phonies than actually doing something real or positive with their lives.”

My question is: Is being liked so important that people will risk everything this country used to stand for in order to be invited to the party?

****

Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle

Top Rated Comments   
It's also part of the feminization of the classroom. No one is allowed to be different or hold improper opinions. Being excluded is terrifying for people trying to find themselves and socialize outside the family. If you don't belong, you essentially don't exist. High school kids have committed suicide for being bullied on FaceBook.

There are no examples allowed of anyone going it alone to look up to. Pioneers? Explorers? All part of the Dead White Male Patriarchy to be shunned at all costs. Only the collective has the socially acceptable answers and membership is ruthlessly enforced.

So it's be cool or die for many, if not most, without extensive real world experience. Sigh.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"My question is: Is being liked so important that people will risk everything this country used to stand for in order to be invited to the party? "

Yes

'Cool' is even worse than you describe. Cool is all you have left after there are no morals, ethics, social anchors, beliefs or work-a-day skills.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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This not really new. During my youthful days 66-76 there were pods of people that self defined themselves as cool and expected you to conform or else. Naturally they all felt themselves to be non-conformists.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
An example of a cool hipster is Hugo Schwyzer. He hasn't really ever had an original thought in his pretty little head, but he is a great trend follower.

He had had quite a bit of success with that approach - just tell women what they want to hear (men are scum, except for Hugo himself, who rose from his old bad-boy carcass to be Saint Hugo) and pretend like you are on the right side of every lefty liberal trend. All with a big perpetual know-it-all smirk on your face.

That all worked until he broke down and admitted he was a fraud, he was sleeping with young women (including students of his) while publishing articles about the evils of older men sleeping with younger women etc.

What an idiot.

But people will follow him again in his next incarnation. He knows how to be a cool hipster.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are many different ways of being an a**hole. Only one of them is people trying to appear cool. The "I live to be cool" people don't bother me much.

The a**hole category that bothers me most is people who have temporary control over you, and who mistreat you just because they can. Mean, petty people love to become law enforcement agents, DMV workers, IRS auditors, assistants to corporate big shots, TSA thugs and gropers, etc. This type of person should be stomped on. Maybe we can make it 'cool' to stomp on such people and redirect coolness to a worthy goal.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cross-posted from the main-page version :

It's because, Dr. Helen, our modern times are centered around sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex.

And for most of the under-35 generation, having been brought up so sexualized in a world that itself has been severely sexualized, there's nothing worse to them than the threat of not "getting any".
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do industrial automation for a living. I come into contact with both white collar (engineers, project managers) and blue collar people in my work. I don't know any hipsters at all, although I do see them around when I go to downtown Portland. I'm simply not in any social milieu where I would have the opportunity to be dis-invited to parties because I am uncool. In any case, I don't care. One, the hipster women are not attractive enough for me to want to be around them and, two, I'm over 30, so I don't have to be cool if I don't want to.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I might also add that from a political point of view, "cool" is the natural environment of the Left. Vulgar, as a definition of cool, implies the mentality of the mob. Leftist politics is wholly dependent on mob incitement from top to bottom. The honest, well-formed individual of noble spirit will never be at home in the cabals of the Left or in the idiotic group-think of any sort of mob. Cool requires holding everyone regarded as "not cool" in utter contempt.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have come to the conclusion that "cool" means absolutely nothing more than what once was called vulgar. Since Latin isn't taught in school anymore and most people have a rather limited vocabulary, we have to settle on terms like cool or, even better, "hip" to describe our social pathologies. The mental world of cool seems to be pretty much limited to being snarky and the contemplation of bodily orifices. In the area humor particularly, I long for the days when it was gentle, humanizing, and seemed to enhance the social bond rather than spend its time trying to find new ways to vomit in someone's living room.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Manosphere concerns are not "cool", prompting auto-replies beginning with the "bitter loser" ad hominem. It presents an issue to anyone who would discuss these uncool ideas, as your Men on Strike book tour often demonstrated. It's difficult to engage anyone stuck on an endless loop of robotic talking points.

I've concluded that unless I wish to only communicate with existing red pill adherents, in words or in person, one can only show and never tell. "Showing" appears to work quite well; as soon as one begins to "tell" however, out come the "Eww, not cool" reactions. Most people are adept at creating distance from uncomfortable truths through ridicule.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
BuenaVista,

I find what you say to be true. If you do what you want, no one shows too much concern but if you articulate it out loud, people get mad. It is as if people would rather hear a lie that sounds good than hear the truth. I guess this is kind of freeing if one understands what is happening and just does what he or she wants. However, I think that dangerous policies are enacted because people do not speak up so it is important to do so. I can totally get the whole MGTOW crowd however, as it is a way to go under the radar and be 'uncool' but do what you want.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Helen, I think it's even more gendered than that.

"Cool" is touted as the prevailing orthodoxy that allows one to become part of the Consensus, thus attaining some elite status replete with privilege (usually mating and/or social). In this case, "cool" is the socio-sexual orthodoxy that ostensibly provides women with status and men with mating opportunities.

Problem is, Consensus building is a tool of the female social matrix, whereas the male social matrix thrives on leadership and individuality. During the feminist social revolution many men were mistakenly told that their mating privileges were dependent upon their orthodoxy, and therefore became dependent upon female-style consensus for their social status, not their independent achievements . . . despite the clearly diminishing returns of the practice.

Because as they realized the realities of the dating/mating market, women got fed up with "weak" men (feminist-minded consensus-building cooperators unwilling to take a leadership position) and complained bitterly about it at all of those parties those hipsters got invited to - but those same hipsters mistook a desire for leadership as a cry for more consensus and more cooperation. So they tried to hang around and say the right things and not come across as too objectionable on the off-chance they might be the last one at the party and get a boredom screw for saying all of the right things.

tl;dr: Being Cool is Beta for "Nice Guy". Being Male is Alpha for "Getting Laid".
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's an attitude -- it seems to be prevalent among political liberals and conservative religious believers -- that what you think determines how good of a person you are. Not what you do, but whether you have the right thoughts.

"Being cool" seems to fit with that.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's the difference between Orthodoxy ("Right Thinking") and Orthopraxy ("Right Practice").

It's also the difference between failure and success.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
For us introverts, not being invited to parties is a feature, not a bug.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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