I greatly enjoyed Seth Stevenson’s commentary (“It’s not so cool when a good word is overused,” Oct. 17). Being an expert on cool myself, I would like to expand on some of his thoughts.
I don’t own a cellphone. I don’t want to own a cellphone. I refuse to carry a cellphone.
I work for the phone company; it’s not about money, I’m just not walking around with an electronic leash. If I wanted to talk to you, you’d already be with me. That’s what makes me cool.
Cool is the outsider who doesn’t quite completely fit into conventional society, and doesn’t care.
I don’t like shopping in stores. Why would I want to go where crowds of people are so I can stand in line behind them?
I do a lot of my shopping online now. Can you even believe there are some companies out there that you can’t register with to spend money if you don’t give them your cell number? Their webmaster is so uncool that he/she can’t fathom anyone over 16 not having a cellphone.
And now we come to tattoos.
I think tattoos really started to catch on after many young sailors returned from the South Pacific after World War II with interesting little ink artworks, many on their forearms.
The ’50s were a time of sanguine social and economic prosperity. Not so the ’60s.
The good old ’60s were all about rebellion, and the return of the tattoo as the symbol of a rebel against the “man.”
That grew into what we have today, where it seems like 90 percent of people under 30 have tattoos, because they think it’s cool.
The irony is, when more than 50 percent of a generation is doing something to rebel — and, I know, to make their artistic statement to the world, expressing who they are — they are now stooges to conformity.
Tattoos today are the norm. I wonder what some of the older rebels think now. What they did to be different is now commonplace.
A tat on your shoulder is nothing compared to someone’s on their forehead or neck today.
So now today’s rebels are, well, me. No cellphone, no tattoo, and no desire to do what everyone tells me to do because “everyone’s doing it.” That’s precisely why I’m not doing it.
In the immortal words of the great thinker, statesman and social philosopher, Arthur Fonzarelli: Heeeeeyyy!
And if you disagree, feel free to call my cellphone.
Rob Godfrey lives in St. Louis Park.