Make it Cool


Being cool, they say, is hard. Staying cool is even harder.

So how do you get to be cool? If you want to go from square to cool…you will need to do more than change your shape and lower your temperature. That ain’t cool.

Cool is actually a strange word to express a whole menagerie of things like: stylish, up-to-the-minute, sophisticated, calm, self-controlled, outstanding or just plain OK… and at least a hundred more. It can even be very cool to be hot.

And maybe cool is an in between state – tempers can get hot and blood can run cold. Just be cool.

Don Draper, the enigmatic ad company executive from AMC’s 2007-2015 hit series Mad Men, was the kind of guy who couldn’t care less whether you think he’s cool or not, which only made him cooler. Even his identity wasn’t at the root of his coolness. “Draper?” one of his colleagues mused, “Who knows anything about that guy? No one’s ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know.”

In fact, I may never figure out the whole formula for “coolness” except, they say, you just always know cool when you see it.

The best part of all that, then, is that you and I can invent our own cool for ourselves. Nobody can ever quite contradict us. Here are a few examples of once uncool stuff that has become very cool:

  • Consider the lowly nerd, the bookwormish, studious one. Nothing cool there. But today Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astronomer, has his own TV series in PBS and lots of movie star friends. If you love science now, you’ve become quite cool.
  • Then there are kittens. Not cool until the Superbowl kittens made them cool enough to pull down millions in ad revenue for the biggest sports spectacle of the year.
  • And how about tattoos. Only a generation ago, a lot of people thought they were slightly scandalous and a sign of something just a little below par. Today? Body art is the coolest of new status symbols.

That’s why your Jamestown Gazette this week invites you to become part of something else new and cool. The Sherwood Arts Complex will be opening soon with its motto:

“Make It Cool to Make a Difference”

Over the last few years the community leaders, civic organizations, arts and culture enthusiasts all over the greater Jamestown region have thrown themselves into the midst of the renaissance of our community. Making a difference is now very cool. And Sherwood is another point on that spear.

One of the coolest men around today – if being on the Forbs List of the world’s wealthiest people makes you cool – Victor Pinchuk, is a Ukrainian philanthropist and businessman. His view on how to make an important difference is very simple, and it’s right in line with the avant-garde creators of Sherwood:

Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.

This week, accept our invitation to visit #INC Artisan Open House on April 29th, from noon until 6pm, at the Sherwood Arts Complex, 443 Buffalo Street in Jamestown, NY or visit Art Open House #INC on FaceBook. The completely repurposed business site is, in itself, a wonderful example of a creative way of taking something old and square and making it very cool.

Enjoy the read. The Jamestown Gazette is very cool, too.

Walt Pickut

Previous articleSalad Bar Days
Next articleGrand Opening! Sherwood Arts Complex
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.