Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Blessed are the Uncool" pt.2

Chapter 2- Rebellion on Stage

Without an audience there simply is no cool. If you take aways it’s audience cool disappears into thin air because cool is both a mood and an attitude-- though in a slightly different sense from everyday language.

  • Mood- "the social environment in which perception, emotions and thoughts may occur." It is basically via a mood that we relate to our surroundings.
  • Attitude- If cool requires a receptive audience, the main piece of performance is attitude- 'a projection of mastery over the entire environment. Cool glories in the spotlight saying, "I'm better than you. I am an individual, you are just a clone."
One of the primary vehicles cool performance is rebellion. Cool rebels can't build a new society because their commitment to the cause is surpassed by their commitment to rebellion. The "revolution" of cool rebellion is an individual affair.

Not all rebellion is wrong, and not all individual rebelling is about being cool. There is a kind of rebellion practiced by the prophets. Prophets are messengers from God, messengers who are against wrong doing in a government or society. Prophets are almost always universally rejected. The most famous case of a prophet’s loneliness is Elijah's complaint to God in 1 Kings 19.

But there is a big difference between the lonely rebellion of a prophet and the rebellion for rebellions sake of the hipster. Prophets stand alone against evil, at first, but their greatest hope is for everyone else to soon join them. Cool rebels, on the other hand, don’t want to be joined by the world; that will just make them want to find another way to stand out and apart from others.

Loneliness is a very serious matter for God. God expects us all to live in community. Human nature is communal, because we are made in the image of God, and God is love. Christianity is a radically relational and historical faith. Cool lives in the here and now, but the beloved community is focused on a moment in space and time, the moment of Immanuel, God-with-us. We can survive the loss of our cool because our faith is rooted in the compassion of the God, who is Immanuel. The loneliness of cool rebellion is met by the Church in the gift of reconciliation.

"Blessed are the Uncool"
-Paul Grant