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UNCOOL!

Kevin Noonan | Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I’m not a cool guy.
I buy music on iTunes sometimes. I’ve asked three different people to explain to me what Molly is in the last six months and I still don’t totally get it. I use the word dope a lot. Like, way too much. You get the point.
I preface this column with that for two reasons. First, Scene had a story fall through at the last minute on Wednesday night and I don’t have enough time or energy to come up with a cleverer preface.
Wow, what an insightful, Aaron Sorkin-esque behind-the-scenes look at the life of the editor of the least read section of a daily college newspaper; where’s my money HBO?
The second reason I share this is simple; it takes one to know one. I’m not cool, and as a result I find I sometimes have an almost clairvoyant sense of the otherwise elusive concept of the uncool.
Any frat star with a pastel popped collar polo and rainbow colored croakies to hold up their sunglasses can tell you that cargo shorts aren’t cool. But can that same future attendee of his company’s mandated intolerance in the workplace seminar (I made this guy up, not you, gosh darn it; he can do darn well whatever I say he does) tell you the same beat up Jeep on which he recently spent $750 to upgrade the speaker system will no longer be cool in the very near future? Bet not.
But take my word for it. In his not so distant, likely underemployed future ⎯ souped up Jeeps, not cool; gas efficient yet structurally dope (told you) cars, much cooler.
All of this is leading me into the meat of this column ⎯ a list of things that I’ve contemplated for varying degrees of time and have determined to be uncool. You might agree, you might disagree; doesn’t shake me much either way. Here we go.
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1. Parody Twitter Accounts
Will Ferrell does not have a twitter account. I don’t think he ever has. And I don’t know the man personally, but based on what I’ve seen and heard from him, I doubt he would ever tweet, “Just because I can’t sing doesn’t mean I won’t sing,” which is one of the many tweets sent out Wednesday from the twitter account @itsWillyFerrell, which has 1,472,081 followers as of Wednesday evening. Not only do the tweets not sound like him, the account goes by the name “Not Will Ferrell” and identifies itself as a parody account.
The same goes for any number of other celebrities or film and television characters, and none of them are funny or interesting or at all unique. And even if they only existed and people followed them, fine, whatever. But the next person I see retweet an “inspirational” quote from Alan Garner, @WolfpackAlan, about alcohol or hangovers or life will get a sharp and swift kick to the unfollow pile.

2. Facebook
A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Not posting about whatever social or political causes you just heard about in one of your classes or from one article in the New Yorker and of which you are now an avowed champion. I use Facebook for purely judgmental purposes at this point, which I know isn’t cool either, but if people would stop posting depressing monologues about their lives or overly edited selfies of themselves, I wouldn’t have anything left to judge, would I?
You know why Twitter took off? Because you only get to air your beef for 140 characters, at which point I can keep on going with my life without having to scroll through three paragraphs about your feelings on Kony. He’s a bad dude; we all get it.
Also, since society has implicitly adhered to the idea that favorites on Twitter are more valuable than likes on Facebook, I don’t have to throw you a pity favorite if you tweet out the link to your study abroad blog to make you think I read it.

3. 26.2 Bumper Stickers
Oh did you run a marathon? That’s awesome. Good for you. I see you also have an honor student at a local middle school and endorse the word “coexist.”
You know what your “bumper sticker” should be if you want people to know you ran a marathon? The fact that you look like you had the athletic ability to run a marathon, not a black and white sticker that goes in the same place where guys in Ford pick up trucks have images of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes urinating on the Chevy logo.
And also aren’t you kind of a hypocrite, oh ye of such bodily superiority, since you’re driving to your destination right now? If you really deserved to have one of those stickers you’d plan out your trips to the grocery store weeks in advance and carb up the night before, then strap on your overpriced running shoes and your Under Armor spandex shorts and Nike Dri-Fit shirt and run your butt there.
But then you have the classic “public validation” catch-22; in order to really earn the bumper sticker, you wouldn’t have a car. So what to do? Here are a few options – the tops of your feet, your left buttock or your forehead. Good luck on your next long distance self punishment adventure!
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All right, that just about does it.
No wait, one more thing – crocs. Okay I’m done.
Contact Kevin Noonan at knoonan2@nd.edu
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.