With the steady rise of pop culture and reality tv “stars” (Pitbull, the Kardashians, Chris Brown, The Real Housewives of who the hell cares…), the value of the word “cool” has hit rock bottom. Being cool used to mean wearing a Kurt Cobain flannel and telling people you didn’t like to go F*** themselves. Now it’s all about following the lives of a bunch of self-righteous Ass Jockeys, and using social media status as a way to gauge just how great we are. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to act like I’m some super credible source surrounding the topic of coolness (I’m an unemployed 25 year old freelance writer with a white guy sized wiener who has never had a serious girlfriend before), but fuck it, I’m gonna take the time to share my thoughts with you anyway.
I was watching a Dr. Pepper ad featuring Pitbull the other day (the one where he sings his really awesome song “Let’s Have a Real Good Time” and then walks around a party pointing in random directions and tipping down his aviators while everyone drinks Dr. Pepper). Know which one I’m talkin’ about? First off, what 30 year old celebrity throws a ballin’ ass get-together and then serves all of his guests Dr. Pepper? Is this a 4th grade slumber party? I don’t care if you can sing shitty songs in 2 different languages, hot model chicks will not show up to your house to sip on carbonated sugar beverages (even if it does have 23 distinctly awesome flavors). Secondly, why would you ever write a song called “Let’s Have a Real Good Time”? Everyone’s goal when they go out is to have a real good time. You’re just kind of restating the obvious…in really bad song form. I wouldn’t write a song called “Let’s Not Die Anytime Soon”. Kinda goes without saying. But thanks for expressing your feelings with us Mr. Pitbull. Didn’t realize you were such an artist. I don’t care if you do make millions of dollars and have sex with girls I would much like to have sex with as well, you will always suck grande cojones.
It’s amazing how we overestimate the greatness of celebrities just because we see them in movies and on TV. We convince ourselves that we actually know something about them. We don’t. I used to think Mel Gibson was a pretty awesome dude based on the movies he did (Braveheart, The Patriot, What Women Want…), but then he turned out to be an anti-semitic drunk who says things like “You’re a f**king c**t, c**ksucker whore” to his girlfriend. Not cool in my book. And then there’s Tom Cruise. Tom played some of the most bad ass characters of all time (Maverick, Jerry Maguire, Knight from Knight and Day…), but then he started acting all Tom Cruisey and we found out he’s a much better actor than he is a person (“I LOVE THIS WOMAAAAN!” – Shut up). And what about Tiger Woods? He seemed like a great guy until we discovered he was having all sorts of hot, crazy affair sex with extremely well practiced porn stars…OK so he’s still pretty cool, but the point here is, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. True coolness is discovered beyond the title.
Think about your very best friends in the whole wide world (and I’m not talkin’ about that bar tender you bother every weekend because you don’t realize he/she is getting paid to talk to you), I’m talkin’ real life, take a bullet for you (or at least say they would) type friends. Now think of your favorite things about those people. I can almost guarantee that an honest answer would lead you to pinpoint qualities of character rather than qualities of “coolness”. You love your girlfriend because she is loyal, caring, and does that incredible thing involving her mouth and your penis (she does it because she loves you). You like hanging out with your best friends because you can be yourself in their presence, they won’t judge you for making a mistake, and they’ll take down the not-so-attractive girl when you encounter a clingy friend situation at the bar (every Maverick needs a Goose). These are the qualities we care about deep down inside. Selflessness > Selfishness.
One of my best friends has a severe alcohol induced bed wetting problem (I’m never sharing a sleep area with him again), yet despite his issue, I have overheard him complaining to people that they need to “grow up”. How can a 25 year old who wets his bed 3 times a week tell someone else they need to grow up? That’s like Tonya Harding telling someone to play by the rules, O.J. telling a friend to be a better husband, or Casey Anthony telling a person they need to work on their parenting skills. Don’t ever tell someone how to live their life (is that me telling you how to live yours?) because at the end of the day, we’re all just a bunch of f*** ups.
That’s why humility is so freakin’ cool. Being humble means you understand who you are, and when you know yourself, you can become more powerful than you could ever imagine. To prove it, I’m gonna pull a quote from one of the dopest dudes to ever walk the planet – Biggie Smalls. Biggie told me what I’m about to tell you back in ’97 when we was chillin in the studio recording his second album “Life After Death”. I was like “Yo, Big Poppa (he loves it when I call him that), how you keep it so fresh all the time?”. With no hesitation, he looked me straight in the eyes and said…
“The key to this joint, the key to staying on top of things, is to treat everything like it’s your first project. Know what I’m saying? Like it’s your first day, like I wasn’t even an intern or nothing. That’s how you try to treat things, like. Just stay Humble”
And I was like, “Oh snap!”, and my life was forever changed.Those words are not just true for the rap game, they are true for life. Humility keeps us grounded in reality. It keeps us from Charlie Sheening out into the atmosphere of “look at me”, and allows us to realize that in the end, no matter what we accomplish in life, as long as we treat people (who deserve it) with respect, we will accomplish all that we were put here to do. At your funeral, no one’s going to talk about the money you made, the hos you slammed, or how cool you looked at the Dr. Pepper dance party you threw (if they do, you did a really shitty job of living life). They’re going to talk about the way you treated people, the way you carried yourself, and the amazing times you all had together. Leaving behind a respectable legacy, that’s what being cool is all about.
Life is temporary. One day we will all grow old, our balls/boobs will sag to astronomical depths, our bowels will become unpredictable (like Dante’s Peak), and we’ll be paying much closer attention to the Colonial Penn/Wilfred Brimley (Die-uh-beet-us) commercials that come on during the Price is Right. The only thing we can do between now and then, is to live life the best way we know how. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, be yourself. Life is too short to be a douche. Stay humble…mother f***ers.