Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unhip, Uncool and Totally Out of Touch.

I admit it, I'm not cool. I'm not trendy, I'm not "with it." I have no clue about the white hot pulse of pop culture, or the latest fad or dalliance that gets people tweeting and yapping on Facebook. Ask me which celebrity is pregnant, gay, or either caught leaving a limo in a miniskirt and no undies, or found facedown on a Beverly Hills street in a pool of their own vomit, and I'll shrug my shoulders cluelessly. I don't even know what TMZ stands for. Although in a weak attempt to answer the previous question, I'll punt and say "Britney Spears!!" That's usually the stock answer to such a question, right??

I don't know about the hot new eateries that the foodies go apeshit over. My tastes run towards food that looks like food and not something I'd see at a juried exhibit at the Three Rivers Art Festival. I don't read the City Paper or Pittsburgh magazine. Partially because in the case of the City Paper, I'm not some angst-ridden twenty-something hipster trying desperately to be pissed off about everything and anything, and in the case of Pittsburgh Magazine, I don't live in any of the 5 'S' neighborhoods that publication insists are the center of the universe.

Wha??? You don't know the 5 'S' neighborhoods?? Namely, Sewickley, Shadyside, South Side, Squirrel Hill, and the Strip. If you're not from those places, as far as Pittsburgh Magazine is concerned, you might as well be from Uranus.

But anyway, if you ask me whether I've had any of the latest offerings from the local microbrews, something along the lines of a triple bock, chocolate malt, dry hopped chipotle spiced porter made from an original recipe found in an Alpine monastery from the 1400's, I'll smile, quietly decline and ask for an Iron City. I'll admit to going to Starbucks, but I will shave my head, climb the nearest building carrying a high-powered rifle and 1000 hollow-point bullets and start shooting any and everything in sight, all the while cackling like a madman, the next time I get behind some coffee snob who orders a half soy, half goat's milk, extra hot, extra foam latte with jimmies and whipped cream that had to be just hand-whipped in front of that person five minutes ago. Just gimme a venti Pike Place and get me the hell out of here, I gotta bus to catch!

TV, you've got to be kidding. I never got into the Simpsons, and I think Family Guy is a bad knockoff of that venerable series. If you asked me to name the newest prime time shows on the broadcast networks, I'd have to say "M*A*S*H, The Cosby Show, Eight Is Enough, Three's Company, and 21 Jumpstreet. " Cable, forget it, who is Steven Colbert, and why do so many people think he's funny. John and Kate plus Eight??? No!, No!, No! Although I'd love to see the Octomom thrown into that clusterf**k!! Think about it, two wack job mothers trying to ride herd on 16 kids!!! Hilarity will ensue, someone will have a nervous breakdown on national TV and that's a trainwreck I wouldn't mind seeing. I smell Emmy, not to mention a houseful of stinky diapers!!! I love me some Schdenfreude!!!

Even in the area that I do try and keep up with, I'm waaaaay behind the times. Today Microsoft will roll out Windows 7, the latest operating system that is intended to make the personal computing world forget about that botched abortion known as Vista. Windows 7 is supposed to be faster, more stable, boot up quicker, have all sorts of gee-whiz features and enough eye candy to make even the most jaded geek sell his closest female relative into white slavery. Where have we heard that from??? Every OS the kids from Redmond has ever rolled out was introduced with that same marketingspeak.

But is your's truly going to join the Win 7 revolution?? Is the Pope Episcopalian? The computer on which I'm typing this post, Allegra, my faithful vintage 2003 Compaq Evo D500 does not have the horsepower, nor the RAM to run Windows 7. She's had more operating systems hitched to her than Liz Taylor has husbands. I've run at least three versions of Linux and two different versions of Windows on this poor machine. It's my belief that I should run my computers until they die. And try as I might, I can't kill Allegra. She's too damn tough. Then again, she's a business grade desktop that's designed for heavy corporate use. As long as she can still boot up and do the job, I'm not putting her out to pasture.

Besides, it's always best to buy a new computer with the OS pre-installed and it's also better to wait a few months in order to let all the inevitable bugs get fixed. I do have a netbook named Marrina running XP Home, that supposedly will be able to run Win 7, but I'm in no hurry to upgrade.

I do have an iPhone, and while I won't debase myself and act like the typical Apple fanboy and wax superlative about how life changing the phone from SteveCo is, and that it's the greatest invention since um...toilet paper, I will admit that it is one nice piece of technology. Although, now that an uncool, unhip schlub like me has one, it's safe to say that the iPhone is no longer cool.

You see, the issue I have with cool is, that cool is fleeting. I once heard someone say that "cool marches on.", that means that what's cool today is uncool tomorrow. In order to stay cool and up on the latest thing, one has to constantly keep their ear to the ground and suss out that which is cool. Which is an ongoing endeavor, and anyone who knows me knows that I'm a lazy SOB that has more important things to do than chasing after the "with it and hip". Like listening to 5000 podcasts and obsessing over the deeper meaning of Oh, My Goddess.

And the thing is, I would not mind being cool if I didn't have to deal with the people who are either trying to be cool or are cool and total assholes about it. To me, someone who is truly cool is cool naturally. They should not have to work at it. Nor should they have to try and show everyone how cool they are. If you're really cool, it'll come through and people who want to be cool will be naturally drawn to you. And there are waaaaay too many people who fit in that second category.

I'm not interested in the hot little bistro in the 'S' neighborhood that you and your cool friends went to. I'm not interested in going to the slammin' club that City Paper is gushing about where all the bartenders are hot and the drinks are fresh from New York, San Francisco, or any other place where the hip and sexy people go. Those are the places that are oozing with the poseurs who are trying to be cool, and coming across like the dude in the club that took a bath in his cologne and you can smell him from half a city block away. That shit makes me run off. If that is what the pursuit of cool is, then I'll just stay at home and obsess about Belldandy and why she won't appear to me. Remember what I look like people, I'm fat, bald, not particularly good looking, broke and can't dance!!!

I don't do cool, I'm not hip, I'm not trendy, I'm not chasing fads. I guess in some ways, that's cool in and of itself.