Tuesday, May 01, 2012

HIP TO BE SQUARE. I mentioned in my most recent Voice column Jonah Goldberg's typically incisive response to the whole alleged issue of Obama being too cool:
I wish the ad had at least one or two really solid clips conveying how despearately Obama wants to seem cool, which is always the great coolness-killer. It would have helped set the tone of the ad much better. What would those clips be? I'm not sure, but then again I'm not making the ad. Michael Moore seems to find a way to find that kind of footage pretty easily, and I have no doubt it can be found in Obama's case.
If only we had a picture of him with poop in his pants, holding a commie flag, everyone'd know what a poopy-pants commie he is! Faart. Yet it appears someone took not only this ridiculous subject but also Goldberg's thinly-veiled bleg seriously. At her internet Sunday school, The Anchoress prowls the aisles with a metal ruler and tells you what's cool and what isn't:
Have you heard the news? Barack Obama is cool!

He’s not just cool, he’s way cool; the coolest thing ever!
Too bad she forgot to link to a citation; I'd love to know what idiot said that.
Never having been “cool” myself (or desperate enough to seek its conferral upon me by people I always found to be rather sad trend-followers)...
While you so-called cool kids were friggin' and frugin' in your discos, The Anch was pretending to be a nun. That's totally Goth!
Coolness does not need anyone to define it, but allow me to try.
How much time we would save if only The Anchoress could occasionally remember the thing she said just before the thing she said.
The quality of “coolness” contains within it an attitude of discrete detachment, which is not the same as aloofness. It suggests an intellect attuned to a different frequency—perhaps to a higher muse—but still comfortable sharing the ground with the rest of us. Its muted confidence is so supreme...
On and on goes Sister Malizia's cool lesson, and just as the boys and girls are about to nod off she pulls out the visuals:
Come to think of it, by these definitions, one could safely opine that the “coolest” leaders currently athwart the world’s stage are still England’s Queen Elizabeth II, who recently crashed a wedding simply to wish a bridal couple well, and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who takes the daily piñata beatings that come his way in stride, and answers with a blessing.
Somehow I don't think this will get the kids to throw in their porkpie hats for mitres and crowns, much as I would enjoy that.

Meanwhile Ole Perfesser Instapundit uses reader mail to explain how uncool Obama really is:
My theory is Obama represents the supremacy (however short-lived) of the beta-male. The only people who think he’s a hep-cat are hipster betas and 60′s radical-nostalgia dopes (also perennial personal-risk-averse betas who never did anything bold on their own). It’s all projection, much like the rest of the way that demographic operates
The thing about the "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members" attitude is, it's more impressive when Groucho Marx says it than when some guy who writes letters to Instapundit says it.

How hard this all is for them -- because once upon a time, they were cool. Back in the 1980s Reagan was everyone's daddy, John Paul II did a world tour and danced with the kids, and everyone dressed and wanted to be like characters from Dynasty. Fashions fade, though, and you're left with the enduring values behind what made your heroes cool. In their case that's tax breaks for the rich, endless wars, and persecution of homosexuals. We already had a retro revival of that:

I'm not sure the time is right for another. But who knows? Show biz is tricky.

UPDATE. "Weren't these the same guys who insisted that George Bush calling people 'Stretch' and 'Pooty-poot' was a veritable laff riot?" asks Doghouse Riley in comments. mortimer reminds us that Lisa Schiffren wrote "an entire, very wet column" in the Wall Street Journal about how "she and her soccer mom friends" found Bush "'hot' as in virile, sexy and powerful." Not to mention proto-Anchoress Peggy Noonan's swoon over both the President's testicles. Chacun à son ghoul.

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