Be Cool, You Fool!

If You’re in College, and You’re Uncool, You’re Nowhere

If You’re in College, and You’re Uncool, You’re Nowhere

When I work Sundays the last five or six weeks of tax season, I always break my workday in two. The high-rise where my accounting firm is located does not run air-conditioning on Sundays, with the result that the oxygen level gets pretty well depleted. So I usually take a four-to-six mile walk around the UCLA area, eat lunch in the UCLA student union, and shop at the UCLA bookstore, returning to work around one in the afternoon.

The Ackerman Union has several chain restaurant outlets and a number of TV monitors that are kept tuned to mtvU, where the programming seems (on Sundays anyhow) to be all music videos.

If these music videos have a message, it is: If you’re not cool, you’re nothing—the Twenty Teens’ equivalent of the Beatles’ Nowhere Man. Everyone in a rock music video is always dressed in the just-right casual style, like the group shown above. Nowhere is seen anything as forbidden as a book, an older person, or a work of classical music. (is it because these are all associated with Schoolwork?)

In the world of music videos, all that matters is looking right and making all the cool moves to impress one’s peers. The peer group is everything, to the exclusion of all else. It almost verges on the tribal.