Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein
Philosophy Now (September 2010)

“In principle, to be cool means to remain calm even under stress. But this doesn’t explain why there is now a global culture of cool. What is cool, and why is it so cool to be cool?


The aesthetics of cool developed mainly as a behavioral attitude practiced by black men in the United States at the time of slavery. Slavery made necessary the cultivation of special defense mechanisms which employed emotional detachment and irony. A cool attitude helped slaves and former slaves to cope with exploitation or simply made it possible to walk the streets at night. During slavery, and long afterwards, overt aggression by blacks was punishable by death. Provocation had to remain relatively inoffensive, and any level of serious intent had to be disguised or suppressed. So cool represents a paradoxical fusion of submission and subversion. It’s a classic case of resistance to authority through creativity and innovation.”


Latest in General Culture

Frank Miller and the Rise of Cryptofascist Hollywood
— Rick Moody (The Guardian, 24 November 2011)
The Monoculture Is a Myth
— Steve Hyden (Salon, 10 October 2011)
All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
— TIME (TIME, 2011)
The UK Riots: The Psychology of Looting
— Zoe Williams (The Guardian, 9 August 2011)
Why Don't We Love Our Intellectuals?
— John Naughton (The Observer, 8 May 2011)
Oh, Britannia, How You Have Changed
— Andrew Sullivan (The Sunday Times, 24 July 2011)
How Google Dominates Us
— James Gleick (The New York Review of Books, 18 August 2011)
Can Watching ‘Jackass’ Turn You Into One?
— Tom Jacobs (Miller-McCune, 7 June 2011)
Going, Going, Gone: Who Killed the Internet Auction?
— James Surowiecki (Wired, 17 May 2011)
Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?
— Larry Sanger (LarrySanger.org, 6 June 2011)

Latest in Philosophy

Critical Theory: Useful Distinction or Unconscious Smugness?
— PJ Rey (The Society Pages, 20 September 2011)
The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers
— Foreign Policy (Foreign Policy, December 2011)
What Does It Mean to Be Cool?
— Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (Philosophy Now, September 2010)
What Is the Crisis in the Humanities?
— Daniel Born (The Common Review, September 2010)
Marx? Which Marx?
— Anders Ramsay (Eurozine, 21 December 2009)
Why Rousseau Still Matters
— Christopher Bertram (The Philosophers’ Magazine, 27 November 2009)
Ready for Her Close-Up: Re-examining Ayn Rand
— Nick Gillespie (Reason, 7 October 2009)
Why Ayn Rand is Hot Again
— Brian Doherty (Reason, 10 October 2009)
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.