Green Room

Confessions of a Fanboy Blogger
(Or, Advice to Cool Kid Wannabes)

posted at 11:32 am on June 3, 2009 by

Why have I never been cool? Because cool people, by definition, are never enthusiastic. “Cool” is the antithesis of such words as cheerful, energetic, optimistic. All the Cool Kids wear black, quote Nietzsche, and stare blankly at the world muttering darkly cynical aphorisms that no one outside their clique can hope to fathom.

My career as a Cool Kid peaked one Friday afternoon in April 1977 when a sheriff’s deputy knocked on my door and asked, “Are you Robert Stacy McCain? . . . We have a warrant for your arrest.”

Nothing like being indicted for armed robbery two months before high-school graduation to forever cement your reputation as a Cool Kid. But I had the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning, so I was acquitted.

Yet my father had to post a huge bond and pay my attorney’s fee. Not to mention that I spent four nights in the Douglas County, Ga., jail, three of those nights in a cell with a recently-convicted murderer, a classmate who’d killed another classmate in a fight over a girl (which made her queen of the Cool Kids club). Furthermore, this incident almost certainly cost me the role of either Harry MacAfee or Albert Peterson in our high school production of Bye-Bye, Birdie — “What’s The Matter With Kids Today?” — since I was arrested the night of callback auditions after knocking it out of the park Thursday night. C’est la vie.

Cool Kids are never supposed to express openly any sort of praise or admiration for others. To be cool, you see, requires that you cannot acknowledge another’s superiority, since this would be to admit that someone else could possibly be cooler than you. The triumph of the Culture of Cool therefore means that great men and women are deprived of ever hearing their merits sung in odes, as were the heroes of antiquity.

Well, screw that. I’ve seen where the Cool Kids end up, and I ain’t gonna go. I think Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin are da bomb, and if I like someone’s blog-fu (to use a phrase I stole from Moe Lane), I’ll express that admiration without shame.

This is true even when the admiration is a one-way street. When I saw Michelle at the Democratic National Convention last year, I asked her, “Why does Allah hate me?” In my personal pantheon of blog idols, Allahpundit and Ace of Spades are enshrined with special honors, because they’re funny. Being funny covers a multitude of sins in my book, something that most people don’t understand:

Two days after I met Attila at CPAC 2006, Ann Coulter gave the speech destined to be known to history as The Raghead Heard ‘Round the World. And somebody on Bloggers Row decided to circulate a petition denouncing Ann. (Which even Ace signed, having succumbed to the fever of civic-virtue Joiny McJoinerism that was apparently pandemic on Bloggers Row that year.)

Well, I’m sort of Coulter Fanboy No. 1. Don’t judge me.

Having done a stint as a humor columnist for The Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune — after Lewis Grizzard died, my Menshevik editor, Pierre Rene-Noth, decided I should try my hand at the Bubba McGrits schtick — I know how hard it is to be consistently funny.

If a columnist can give three good laughs in 700 words, that’s success. Four good laughs per column, that’s national syndication. Five laughs in a column and you are a newsprint Vishnu: I Am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds.

Coulter is funny, and if you’ve never tried to be funny in print, you’ve got no idea how hard that is. It’s like stand-up comedy. Next time you’re watching some brick-wall third-stringer doing a routine on cable TV and thinking to yourself, “Ah, he’s not so funny. Anybody could do that,” how’s about you take a stroll down to the next open-mike night and try it yourself . . .

It’s about empathy, as a certain “wise Latina” might say. Now, some folks will point out that there is kind of an unstated rivalry between The Boss and Ann Coulter. This is an unfortunate misperception.

Both are women. Both are conservative. Both are syndicated columnists. Both appear frequently on Fox News. But they have very different backgrounds, very different attitudes, very different approaches to the very different work they do. The only people who would ever think of them as rivals are puerile fools stuck in that Cool Kid mindset, where admiration and praise must be hoarded, lest one commit the unpardonable sin of being uncool.

 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 14:12 KJV

The self-evident fact that Allah hates me can never diminish my admiration for Allah, because I don’t roll that way anymore. I’m not a Cool Kid. For it hath been written that Allah linketh whom he will, and I am not even fit to gaze upon his awesomeness. If my frank admission of my abject status as a third-tier acolyte of Allahism means that I am uncool . . .

Well, consider the alternative. I have been down that way, and have seen the end thereof. My teenage sons are now approaching the age I was on that Friday in April 1977. If I had any piece of advice to give them, it would be this: Don’t be a Cool Kid. Don’t even try.

UPDATE 5:27 p.m. EDT: And just in case I forgot to mention, Allah hates me.

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Terry Prachett of Discworld fame had this about cool and the Monks of Cool in one of his books:

They are a reserved and secretive sect and believe that only through ultimate coolness can the universe be comprehended, that black goes with everything, and that chrome will never truly go out of style. To become a fully accepted Monk, a novice is given the following test. Several outfits are laid out in front of him and the tester asks, “Yo, my son, which of these outfits is the most stylish thing to wear?” The correct answer is “Hey, whatever I select.”

DaveC on June 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Ah, tell me about it. I was there with Allah during the Rathergate scandal and go some sweet ups from him. . . but I wasn’t a blogger then. Just a commenter.


Meanwhile, Rome, GA? Really? Lewis Grizzard? Did your band played at my sister’s wedding? heh.

Joan of Argghh on June 3, 2009 at 2:42 PM

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