Thursday, February 12, 2009

Imitating Cool

Many young Christians used to wear their motto on their wrist with the somewhat cheesy W.W.J.D. bracelets. In Play it again, Sam (1972) Woody Allen’s character, Allan Felix, bases everything he does on one motto: What would Bogart do? In his never ending quest to be cool, Allan tries to imitate Bogart’s swagger in order to impress other women. It seems childish for Allan to have this obsession with Bogart, but I think that everyone tries to emulate someone or a group of people at some point in life. For most people, I would say that high school consists of trying to fit in with a certain group or multiple groups.

There are many people that I have looked to for advice on cool in my life. From as far back as I can remember until I was about 14, I wanted to be just like my older sister. In my eyes, she was super cool. I wanted to play all the same sports, wear the same clothes, and listen to the same music that she did. Eventually, I realized that I lack the coordination to be a good athlete, I don’t really care about fashion, and I definitely don’t like rap music. At this point, I gave up on being like my sister and started to follow other examples of cool.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), Hollywood today doesn’t allow for actors/actresses and the roles they play to be inseparable. For this reason, it is very difficult to pick any stars that are worth looking up to for cool advice. I can’t think of one person or character that I have ever thought man that is so cool that is what I want to be just like that person. For a while, I would just follow the latest trends. Wearing whatever clothes and saying whatever things were popular at the time.

More recently (probably within the last two years) I have come to realization that I honestly do not have a great desire to be “cool.” I still have people I look up to for advice, but not when it comes to being cool. Maybe it’s because I have been in a relationship for a long time and I’m no longer trying to impress anyone or maybe I have given up on the idea of ever reaching a cool status, but becoming cool is not something that is a concern for me anymore. I think that from the movie it is obvious that cool cannot be learned or imitated, so maybe we're better off just being ourselves.


  1. You're definitely cool Amy. I think that its great that you actually knew the person you looked up to (sister) and they weren't just someone on TV

  2. Interesting... Anyone who says that they don't want to be cool always puzzles me.

    What is it about you and others like you that makes you reject this need for cool that I and so many others have?

  3. I think what FJohn is referring to that special place that so few people reach in that they are happy with where they are. That doesn't necessarily mean they are static and have stopped changing, but it doesn't mean that they constantly pour effort into being a totally different person.

    As for Felix, you're right - he does use the WWBD question. I think he knew exactly what Bogart would have done, but I don't know that he realized before we did, if at all, that his pursuit was silly. Or was it?