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Our View: What’s so cool about ‘cool’ anyway?

Updated: July 22, 2013 4:58PM



The debate over naming Will County a “Cool County” seems just the sort of summertime, public relations frippery we need to exercise our inner sense of absurd.

Jump in. The water’s fine.

As anyone who knows cool will tell you, announcing you are cool, aspiring to cool and taking credit for cool are the first signs you are not cool. Cool people never state the obvious and if cool is not obvious, then maybe your inner sense of cool is exaggerated. Or worse, non-existent.

James Dean and Bogart were cool. Lauren Bacall, too. Did they ever announce, “Hey, everybody. We are so cool?”

Don’t be daft. Of course not.

But Will County politicians are debating this because there is an official Cool Organization (another non-sequitur) with Officially Designated Cool Administrators. They are very serious and well-intentioned.

They keep track of who is cool and what the obligations to coolness entail. Joliet is officially “Cool Joliet.”

The Cool Movement hails environmental consciousness, good land management and the need for general oneness with the universe. So Will County is debating whether to come aboard.

It’s like an Eagle Scout project without merit badges, we think.

The elected officials seem ambivalent and there likely will be many “whereas-es” and “howevers” in any official designation.

You never want to be designated cool without being aware of what you are doing. The local branch of well-intentioned people with too much time on their hands apparently has coalesced into Cool Action Committees. Fatuous self-indulgence can be an organized activity.

Nonetheless, we bet that debating over degrees of coolness to which Will County can claim ownership is a sign of uncoolness.

We don’t mean to suggest that Will County is populated by several hundred thousand rubes who think wearing multiple plastic pocket protectors shows savoir-faire. Maybe Cool Will County appeals as a worthy goal to many.

But we have never been a place where hipness was an official requirement.

We don’t care about cool and could not care less of hip. We go our own way. We have no need of frippery.

We sort of think that makes us hip.



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