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It’s official: Everyone wants to be cool

A recent poll conducted by the staff here at Long Awkward Pause suggests that a whopping 95 percent of Americans (living within a one-block radius of LAP headquarters) either want to be — or already consider themselves to be — really cool. And not just because of their proximity to our office. I should point out that the other five percent are moving somewhere else because they are “tired of being asked stupid questions.”

Still, unless you’re a government contractor, the numbers don’t lie. And based on the results of this small but accurate representation of America, it’s clear everyone wants to be cool. In today’s social-media driven world, that means keeping up with and joining the latest causes trending on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler Pinterest, MySpace, posted in laundromats, etc.

Hey, anything that raises awareness on important issues is a good thing! Everyone agrees on that! (At least everyone within a one-block radius). The problem is that the coolness-by-association factor that comes with supporting an issue is becoming more important than the issue itself. Especially when there’s a celebrity involved.

George Clooney supports the "Speak Up: Save the Mimes" project and SO DO I!

George Clooney supports the “Speak Up: Save the Mimes” project and look — SO DO I!

We aren’t saying legitimate issues, such as educating people and raising awareness about domestic violence and racism, don’t deserve our support. But clicking a “Like” button and having it show up on a Facebook profile shouldn’t be confused with actually becoming involved. That’s like saying because you are a white student who prefers the term “chalkboard” to “blackboard” it means you are doing your part to end racism.

Or that, after spending a week with friends touring Madagascar during spring break, you have a deeper understanding of what it’s like living in a poverty-stricken country.

"Poverty is a really horrible thing that affects millions of poor people!"

“Poverty is a really horrible thing that affects millions of poor people!”

Keep in mind that while there are those who simply join causes as a way to look cool by riding the wave of whatever issue happens to be trending, there are others who are sincere in their desire to help but, due to a lack of actual life experience and having no common sense, are oblivious to what constitutes a real issue. Often, these people are young celebrities using their status to bring attention to a lesser-known plight, such as an endangered species of mosquito, or a grassroots movement to end excessive goat milking in Qatar. Though their intentions are good, the message tends to get lost during moments like this:

“I’m sorry, but her bad dancing has made me forget what we’re raising money for…”

While it can certainly be annoying listening to Ariana Grande or Demi Lovato plea for your help in changing the lives of hairless Chihuahuas by donating your old wigs and toupees to “Pelo for Perros,” you can’t deny that they are at least getting out there and doing something about the issue they support. So for that reason, they deserve at least some measure of respect.

That leave us with the Posers: Those attempting to be cool by jumping on the bandwagon of whatever issue happens to be trending. As a service to our readers, we have assembled a list of three things that will quickly help identify a Poser:

1) They will perform any stunt in support of a cause if it means potential YouTube views…

“I’m supporting homeless gymnast strippers by taking the Buck Naked Backflip Challenge!”

2) Their Facebook and Twitter pages often include images of themselves having a great time while apparently “supporting” their cause…

"We drove to Ferguson to support the #FCKH8 movement and made lots of new African-American friends! There is no black and white, only gray area."

“We drove to Ferguson to support the #FCKH8 movement and made lots of new African-American friends! There was no black and white here, only gray area…”

And lastly,

3) When asked about what inspired them to support the cause, it quickly becomes apparent they really have no idea what they are supporting…

With election season approaching, the number of Posers on the Internet pretending to support trendy causes is only going to increase. Utilizing these helpful tips should help identify these seasonal Posers. If you’re still unsure, feel free to stop by our offices at Long Awkward Pause and we’d be happy to take an official poll spanning an entire one-block radius.

Don’t be alarmed. Most of our surveys end up like this. It’s a really crowded block…



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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

36 Comments on It’s official: Everyone wants to be cool

  1. memoirsofkeisha // September 18, 2014 at 6:10 am //

    This actually does irk me a bit, so little authentic support is given to the real issues. This was really interesting and fun to read as well! You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still don’t have F*ckBook, Tw*tter or any of the rest. The only reason I know of Demi or that other self-absorbed person whose name I’ve already forgotten is because I have a pre-teen niece. I’m clearly so not cool…yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel as though you’re mocking my support against Qatarian goat milking and I’m a little offended. I’ve not bought any of said goat milk ever. What more can I do? Oh, I could start a cow milk bucket challenge maybe??! People would dump cold cow’s milk on their heads and videotape it and then challenge friends to do the same! It could become huge! Such a unique idea…I’m suddenly giddy.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have a new cause, should anyone be looking for something to support. It’s called Strike a Pose(r).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I never have been nor do I want to be cool.

    — my tombstone epitaph

    Liked by 1 person

  6. According to Facebook, I’m going to hell. I haven’t yet been able to “click Like in 1 second if you love Jesus”. It takes me longer to read than one second. And here I thought not coveting my neighbor’s wife was my ticket in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I guess it’s still true that any publicity is good publicity. Your miming has really improved!


  8. YES THIS SO MUCH THIS. Know what your supporting and why you are supporting it. It is okay to not support something because that is not where your passion is. That is why we are all different. Really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is why I don’t care about global warming. Or Sarah McClachlan’s euthanized dogs. Whatevs! (desperately trying to sound cool…) BTW, Taylor Swift doesn’t care if you mock her; she’ll just “shake it off.” Haters gonna hate. And Nick Cannon actually makes mime cool. And diamond slippers.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Can we please have so many, many more GIFs of Taylor Swift trying to dance. It made my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m waiting for the “don’t like” button.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “But clicking a “Like” button and having it show up on a Facebook profile shouldn’t be confused with actually becoming involved.”


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Just to be clear here, is the amount of coolness directly related to the obscureness of the cause? Just so I know what type of causes I should support.


  14. I love this post, Ned. It’s up there with the Lion punching you one.

    Liked by 1 person

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