Monday, July 02, 2007

Ladies and gents... the geezer they call JD King!!
RIP: Benito Gasolini (Nitwitz)
When I was just about finished reading "Chasing Cool", I happened upon something that was the polar opposite of this much sought commodity. The “Concert for Diana” from Wembley Stadium in London. What a stinker, the biggest karaoke event in history (maybe) but supposedly it had more viewers than Live Aid.

Which surely made it "cool"? Er, just joshing... It shocked me too but then I got to thinking. We’re always striving for consensus and this travesty of alleged entertainment nailed it by getting the biggest viewing audience in recent living memory. More than Live Aid back in whatever day.

There’s a theme throughout "CC" that sort of irks me and that’s the constant mention of the sodding ipod but let's not dwell on that. Cool is a perception that has been co-opted by those that bastardise expressions and descriptions for their own evil ends. If it even exists anymore then the commoditisation (is that even a word?) of it has been devalued to the point of being simply a label. Or maybe a big indelible pen mark on the forehead.

Cool is understated. Something that doesn't know or care that it makes a difference, it just does. Many, many things to different people but rest assured, any tangible pursuit of it is misguided. Anyone or anything that claims to be c**l almost never is. If on the other hand, an individual reckons something is of worth then it's their call. The fact that an ipod seems to be both well designed and easy to use is perhaps an indication of a successful product but that isn't necessarily cool. You hear twonks blurting out "c**l!" during their mobile phone confabs. Some people think those things are the bee's knees but in my humble op, they are the spawn of something way more wayward than satan. They're homing devices that will ultimately be the portal that handles all of your entertainment, at a price.

It will aid the compilation of vast amounts of information to be used agin you but never mind. Could be worse... The title is perhaps purposely misleading to snare those who actively do just that. “Chasing Aesthetic” simply isn’t as catchy. I should admit also to never having heard of most of the participants. Neither mover nor shaker do I claim to be.

“Standing Out in Today’s Cluttered Marketplace” is the strapline, but will it help you achieve that? Quite possibly not but the material is presented in an easy to browse format. I disagree with Ahmet Ertegun though in retrospect I think his angle that “celebrity sells” should be updated to read “celebrity sold” or “used to sell” but the public is equal parts fickle and sophisticated. The lifespan of most everything in this conned-sumer society has rapidly accelerated and nothing lasts anymore. And then came that "Diana" concert, I bet that all of that audience have ipods and have been downloading Kanye West and Did Puffy (or whatever his name is) all day.

Like an extended magazine article, "Chasing Cool" is as easy to dip in and out of as it is to read in one reasonably lengthy train journey. Info-mation isn't really my bag but this is a constructive pot-pouri that doesn't take itself too seriously. Careful with that C-word...

"Chasing Cool" by Noah Kerner and Gene Pressman is published by Atria Books.

CAKE... is coming!?