As soon as I pondered the term “cool geek,” I knew I wasn’t one because those two words together combine to create an oxymoron. Part of being a geek is being uncool, at least in the traditional sense. But we don’t care about the traditional sense, do we? We’re geeks and we’re proud!
But like I said, we’re geeks so we aren’t cool. Or are we? At the very least, I think we’re cool to each other. I personally think geeks are the coolest around. Am I the only one? My friends weighed in on this after seeing the picture up at Think Geek. The general consensus was that Think Geek was cool. I agreed: Think Geek is cool. I love that site. The crafty event they’re having is cool.
I’m okay with being uncool. I was never cool. I’m not even sure what it feels like. I know some people grow up setting trends and being used to others looking at them with positive attention. I worked in the high school library. Okay? I was a good student and didn’t get into trouble. My dad was an alcoholic and life was horrible growing up, so I mostly tried to stay out of the spotlight, which I was able to do swimmingly because I was a geek.
I think one thing uncool people do is dig deeper on things that most people take at face value. So being the geeky uncool writer girl I am, I had to know more about the “being cool” phenomenon. I came across this Psyche Central article that pondered the modern definition of cool. Apparently things like sociability are cool now, at least to some people. The article said:
“The main thing is: Do I like this person? Is this person nice to people, attractive, confident and successful? That’s cool today, at least among young mainstream individuals.”
Uh oh. I’m not young or mainstream. So does this definition apply to what I might find cool? I read further:
“If anything, sociability is considered to be cool, being nice is considered to be cool. And in an oxymoron, being passionate is considered to be cool—at least, it is part of the dominant perception of what coolness is.”
They’re referring to the origin of the word cool, which meant being so cool you didn’t care. But guess what? I love this new definition, especially the part about coolness related to passion. All the people I think are cool are the ones who are passionate about something.
Authors fall into this category for me, especially those writing about Tudor fiction. You have to do a lot of research in order to make those books enjoyable, and you can’t do it without passion.
But it goes beyond that. Collectors are cool to me, even if I don’t think the things they collect are. Just the very fact that they search the world looking for one specific thing is cool.
And did you notice the reference to being nice in that quote? That’s a curious one, but I like it. I think people who are nice (socially likeable) are cool, because they can deal with and accept all different kinds of personalities without making people feel like losers just for being who they are. I love that.
Like, did you ever meet someone you always wanted to meet? I’ll go back to the author example because meeting my favorite writers has been a big one for me, and so many of them (most of them) have been really really nice, even when people are gushing like idiots or acting uncool. I remember seeing Bruce Campbell at a book signing. I was jammed into an aisle packed with people, but he fully embraced the geeks in the crowd as his people. That’s cool.
I also like when someone owns their geekiness. Like a football player who collects chotchkies. That would be cool. They’d be passionate about football and also about chotchkies.
You know what’s not cool? Rambling on and on… so I’ll leave it there. Let me ask you though, what do you find cool?