The Breakfast Table

It’s Cool To Be Uncool

Marisa, when you were first telling me about Sissyfight–like two years ago–I remember thinking, “Sounds great, but who wants to participate in a simulation of real-life peril?” Sissyfight perfectly anticipated Survivor (the show, not the Windy City pop group). I’m like those posters has foolishly plastered all over town depicting an “out of it” former television executive musing, “A game show against a sitcom … no way!”

The idea of being so uncool that it’s cool is one I’ve cultivated ever since I knew that coolness was a hopeless pursuit for me. All the things I love–earnestness, guns, math, Ultimate Fighting, investing, Jackie Martling-style humor, Fred Perry clothes–are hopelessly, relentlessly uncool. The idea was to wait it out, rope-a-dope style, to wait for those things to come back into fashion. Some of them have, and when they did I was right there with explanations of dividend reinvestment and a .38 special.

Lines between “news” and “entertainment”? Yeah, right. CBS, like the New York Times and every other publication (most certainly including my own), is about putting asses in the seats. Same as it ever was. And that’s not a bad thing.