“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.” – Lester Bangs, Almost Famous
When I was in grammar school, I was decidedly “uncool”.
In fourth grade, I lost the election for class president to a girl with lower grades but higher popularity.
In sixth grade, I distinctly remember hearing a cool kid make a joke that was nearly identical to one I had made only days earlier, and being frustrated when he got laughs whereas I received funny looks and nervous giggles.
When Frick and others make the argument that conservatives need to be cooler, all I can think of are bullied geeks and nerds across this once great country sarcastically smacking their foreheads and going, “Duh! We just need to be cooler! Why didn’t we think of that?!”
Republicans are at the familiar political crossroads in Western countries, where the party must decide whether to retrench in limited government principles, or take the European path of promising to be better managers of the big government bureaucracy. Conservatives often deride the second option, for good reason, as Democrat-lite and doomed to failure. Trying to mimic the liberal cult of personality, trendy cause style will necessarily fail as well. The last two months provide a great example of why (and I’m not talking about the election).
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the success of the incredible marketers at Susan G. Komen in mainstreaming and popularizing that cause is truly astounding. Evidence of that are NFL players, supposedly the most rough, tough, manly men out there, spending not just one weekend but the entire month worth of games wearing pink on their uniforms as they try to maim each other.
Since it’s borderline socially unacceptable to mention that maybe just a bit too much attention is paid to this one particular type of cancer (or that Susan G. Komen’s allocation of funds between awareness/administration and research is less than ideal), men instead tried to mimic the women’s success by creating “Movember”, and growing mustaches during November to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Contra the success of the instantly recognizable pink ribbons in reminding people of breast cancer, the mustaches just remind people of creepiness, and lead to awkward conversations (“Wait, so is your mustache caused by the cancer? I think I’m missing the connection.”). Continue reading