“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Cool America Manifesto 2

PART 1  

Cool America is a charitable foundation whose purpose is “to educate the American public about global warming.” 

Cool America is a group of rebel scum. 

Cool America has no educational materials other than its name. 

Cool America is surrealist performance art. 

“And here in the studio, we have Tim Morton, from Cool America,” says the Fox anchor. Whatever comes out of my mouth next doesn’t matter. The message has already been delivered. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. He can go about his business. Move along. 

Cool is the scissors to the paper of Great. Great requires inflation. Great requires red faced balloons that explode. Cool is…cool. We’re going to be little Fonzies here. What’s Fonzie like? (Have you seen Pulp Fiction?)

Cool is not an idea. Like Great (I trust I don’t have to spell out that awful slogan), Cool is an affect. Cool is a psychosomatic sensation. 

Cool is the feel of thinking, without the content. 

I’ve learned this from writing and lecturing. You have to give people the feel of having agreed with you. Then you can drop the idea, or not. It drops in their head anyway, if you make the sofa of accepting that idea comfy enough. 

Cool America, to non-American ears, sounds like Here come the cavalry. Cool America: remember us? 

Cool America: cool down the temperature. Use coolness to battle heat, on every level, symbolic and real. 

Cool America is an imperative verb and an adjective and a noun stuck next to the word America. 

Cool America would be a great idea, just like Gandhi said about Western Civilization. Make America Cool Again. 

I don’t have to tell you the history of cool as a mode of Black resistance, in the deep structure of all this, the refusal to give an inch to the dominators, the real toughness underlying the slack. 

Cool trumps Great, there’s no doubt of that. 

Please feel free to do other kinds of activism involving ideas and persuasion and etc, elsewhere. It’s probably great, whatever you’re thinking of saying or gluing yourself to. I’ve done it myself. All hands on deck! 

But it’s not Cool America. Cool America is this. 

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