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"COOL" IN THEORY AND PRACTICE:

Hipsters are much maligned by the unknowing public for being "cool". It should be pointed out, however, that "cool", when used in the Hip sense, does *not* mean withdrawn, cold, and non-reacting. Cool refers to an attitude which might best be described as poised and self possessed, or unruffled. When a hipster "blows his cool," he loses his poise and succumbs to hysteria, anger, or the prevailing mood of the moment.

A hipster's "cool" is often spoken of as a possession -- perhaps a hipster's most cherished possession. One's "cool" enables one to face life as it is and to accept graciously what it has to offer. "Cool" has several subsidiary meanings.

Cool it: Stop it, behave normally, change the subject, leave. "Cool it" is an urgent warning.
Cool yourself, or cool your brains: Relax, stop "coming on".
It's cool: It's all right, or okay. "Thats cool with me".
Be cool: Be careful.
Cool that stud: Get rid of him, shut him up.
Is he cool(?): Does he know whats happening? Will anything we do upset or shock him? Is he a cop?

"Uncool" refers to actions which are socially inappropriate, gauche, foolhardy, or dangerous. The following list may prove useful.


It is uncool to claim you used to room with Bird.
It is uncool to claim you have Bird's axe.
It is even less cool to ask, "Who is Bird?"
It is uncool to nod on the street waiting for the light to change.
It is uncool to let anybody know that your uncle is a registered pharmacist.
It is uncool to buddy with a know fink.
It is uncool to ask, "Where'd you get it?"
It is uncool to let anybody use your place as a forwarding address for packages from Mexico.
It is uncool to wear shades after sunset -- unless you should be wearing shades after sunset, in which case it is uncool to take them off.

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How To Speak Hip. By Del Close and John Brent. From a booklet that came with the comedy album released by Mercury Records in 1959. 

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HipBooklet-1 (dragged)
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HipBooklet-1 (dragged)

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