Speaking of personas, I have been thinking about being “cool”, what it means, what it is, etc. The sort of expectations people have about what cool is. After all, you can’t BE cool, unless everybody thinks you’re cool, and it has to be a pretty unanimous decision. Fair enough. I guess that when you look at it that way, that being cool is something that other people project onto the subject, then being cool is undesirable thing to be, seeing as how it renders the subject dependent on the outside opinions. Fair enough.

Still, though, being cool can be awfully useful. It is a source of power, I guess. Social power, and that is a good thing to have, if you know how to use it. But I am running at the keys again. My point:

In order to BE cool, you must first know what cool is. Cool, very simply, means entirely lacking in emotion. That might sound strange, but it’s true. The ability to keep a straight face no matter what situations are encountered, is cool. So the less emotion the better, as far as cool is concerned. And if you are convinced that I am already way off track, just consider what is meant when someone is told not to “lose their cool.” Exactly.

So the first step to being cool is losing all emotion, or at least all outward SIGNS of emotion. Fair enough, but there is a lot more to it than that. Being consistent, for example. It is important that a cool persona be consistent in the majority of his actions and or beliefs. People prefer dependability. However, the don’t like stale, so it is important to keep a healthy dose of unpredictability in one’s arsenal at all times. This might sound like a paradox, and it is, but there is nothing wrong with that. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy. So, for example, a cool person might not care at all where he eats lunch, but might eat at the same place everyday, or eat the same meal at a different location everyday. Does that make any sense? Sure it does. Consistent indifference. However, the cool person must be capable of surprises, and one of the most widely regarded displays of capriciousness is a willingness to travel anywhere, anytime. People just think that is cool. Do your own research if you don’t believe me, otherwise, take my word for it.

Now, travel usually requires money, but a cool person need not have much money at all, and in fact, many of the icons of cool in this century have been lower class. Fair enough. Having money is not important then, but being cool requires resources of some kind, and the ability to use them efficiently. These resources usually take the form of social contacts the cool person can call upon for goods or services, at will, and usually in exchange for an “I owe you one.” That’s cool. Social resources are usually gained through respect or admiration, but also through acts of intercession by the cool person on the behalf of the new social contact. Intercessions may come in the form of rescuing the contact from verbal or physical assault, the lending of other social contacts’ goods or services in a time of need, or what have you.

Another important aspect of the cool person is the category of intelligence. The cool person must be informed on pertinent events. He must be smart enough to understand the implications behind events, and wise enough to offer council when needed. This council should never come in the form of long winded sermons, but clear, concise, easy to understand advice that is readily applicable to the situation being dealt with. In addition, the cool person must know when it is wise to act, when it is not, and will always act efficiently, rising to the occasion at the perfect moment. The cool person does not act impiously, or rashly, or too late. Usually this is accomplished by viewing any given situation with calm indifference, gauging and plotting, but not revealing anything, formulating a plan to resolve the situation, and doing so with minimal effort.

The cool person always has excellent taste, which is often difficult to gauge correctly, but usually the taste is fairly conservative, which saves the cool person from accidentally excluding a potential social contact through outlandish behavior, dress, preference of music, food, drink, or the opposite sex. This is much easier said than done, of course. Fair enough.

Being cool is a daunting task, but to some it comes naturally, and to others, with practice. With time, the two are indistinguishable. It is very important to remember, however, that being cool isn’t something a person DOES, it is a way that person is PERCEIVED by others.