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Trying To Be Sufficientally Hip Enough For Educational Purposes, I Mean, Too Cool For School. January 8, 2007

Posted by doctorolove in Movies, Pop Culture Rants, TV.

Dear Philosophy,

Let me first start by saying, you do great work. As a class, as a genre of thinking, as a way of life. And I just don’t deal out compliments. Heck, I still haven’t even admitted I liked Citizen Kane and everybody liked that one. But this isn’t about me. It’s about you.

You were the shit back in the day. There was a time day when you a more star-studded line-up than the Yankees, Match Game ’76 and that one episode of The Love Boat with Sha Na Na combined. Look at your roster back in the day: Kant.Thoreau. Rousseau. Nietzsche. Marx. Calvin. Hobbes. Look at their list of accomplishments: Molding fledgling democratic nations, questioning the very existence of God, inventing the Transmogrifier Box, playing tricks on Susie Derkins. You were bigger than the Beatles. You were bigger than Michael Jackson (pre-Moonwalker, of course). And not only were you bigger than Jesus, you made him feel inadequate by asking if he was really around (He’s still a little bitter over that one, by the way…Quick tip, send cookies…Mrs. Fields…Butterscotch Snaps)

But that was the past. Sure, people still major you in school. Everyone once in a while somebody uses your name to espouse some sort of life style that usually involves retrofitting ourselves to Kindergarten, eating Chicken Soup or that we’re OK, I’m OK and you’re OK. Truth is, though, Philosophy, you’re not OK. And it’s not these dime store hacks. It’s a lack of troops.  A lack of thinkers. A lack of people that want to get interested in you. Why?

Quite simply, you’re no longer cool. Cool for school.

For years, people wanted to be philosophers. They were like rock stars. Simply rattle off a few lines about your belief in Man’s Inherent Feral nature and they threw money, women and all sorts of old school stuff at you. A well placed essay on Nature’s Association With Cosmic Beauty and there could be a carved bust of you in every learning center by the end of the year (Carved busts, of course, being the BOP and Tiger Beat of early Renaissance thinking) The French Revolution was bad press for you, I’m sure. Heads rolling all over the place because of revolutionary ideas. But you bounced back in Eastern Europe. Germany was in LOVE with you. And not like normal love, but hardcore stalking your house and peeking through your windows type of love.

The coolness died off slow. Philosophers began to diversify. They weren’t just philosophizers. They were writers or mathematicians. Soon, Philosophizer became a third or fourth section of the resume (like when you worked at Applebee’s or ran FEMA.) And like vestigial tails and Jordache jeans, you soon shriveled up and died out. But you were still around. Travolta-like comeback in the sixties when people were searching for meaning in our crazy, degrading rapidly world. They found it elsewhere, however. And that’s the reason why you just can’t get back on track.

You need an image overhaul. You need a catchy feeling. You need a spokesman. You need a fictional character that practices you. Don’t believe me? Think about it.

Surely, there is no way you could ever be less cool than Geology. I mean, it’s the study of rocks. That don’t move. Or breathe. Or dance. Boring. And boring equals uncool. Everybody knows that. But look what Geology did, it went ahead and aligned itself with Indiana Jones (Yes, he’s an “archaeologist,” but all archaeology is is putting rocks in age order and telling people how important and old they are.) Indiana Jones was flying around on Zeppelins, shooting Nazis, making out with Karen Allen before she needed botox. What part of that isn’t cool? They even gave him a cute little Asian kid at his beck and call. A little much, yes, but still pretty damn cool. Next thing you know, whoop, Geology has passed you by on the cool matrix.

Mathematics. Uh-uh, you thought, no way that’s less cool than me. There is absolutely no way you can look at a mathematician and think that’s cool. It’s numbers and figures. Then Good Will Hunting came along. Matt Damon was a math genius, yet he still had time to drink with his friends and do something with apples (I admit it, I fall asleep until Minnie Driver struts around in her underwear.) And there’s that…Minnie Driver in her underwear. If Math can get you that, then it has to be cool. Next thing you know, people are paying more attention to sine and cosine than to you. And suddenly, the math teacher, long the chalk soaked joke of campus, was being followed around like a Pied Piper.

Now everybody’s doing it. Psychology? Having every other patient sleep with you in the movies is a good perk, ain’t it? (Except when they go crazy and kill you but hey, omelet, eggs, blah, blah, blah.) Writers? How many writers get the girl and the success at the end in every film you see? (Yes, they are writing these stories themselves, but we people are susceptible sheep when we want to be.) Music Theory? Guitar God. Sports Medicine? Need I say more?

You don’t have anybody to look after. You don’t have a cool commercial or catchy idol to look up to. Frankly, Philosophy, you have nothing. A decrepit void, listless and without meaning. An empty sieve that grows weaker and weaker by the day. (Or as Sports Medicine would say, You ain’t got shit.)

Get out there, though and get your mojo back. Maybe work with Hollywood and see if one of the guys from Laguna Beach wants to be Mack Slade, Philosophizer. Blow some stuff up with his views on the duality of God and Man. Or dig up some of your old hits and overthrow a country or two. That’s one hell of a thing to look up to, if you ask me. I’ll be here cheering you on. I want you to be cool again and not just a class you take because the hot girl in Admissions is registered for it too. I want you to mean something. I want you to change the world, make us realize our foibles, question our precepts, and cook really good chicken in less than five minutes. And soon.

But do it soon, lest I have to tell my young friends majoring in you to also take Communications, so they can wonder out loud.





1. chazbot - January 9, 2007

don’t be rippin’ on the rocks, man…


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