Lana Del Rey, "Diet Mountain Dew"

>> Saturday, February 04, 2012

What can I say? I know there's a big ol' hipster backlash against the poor woman and I confess I'm douchey enough for it to cross my mind that maybe I am horribly uncool for stepping up and defending her. But they played this one on the radio the other day, and it is a slick little song, just like the rest of them. If the critics who have heard the advance issue of her new record are saying this is the kind of track that's "boring" or whatever, I guess I'm boring.

What is it about being cool? I was not cool in college. I was not cool in high school. I was not cool in junior high school. Nobody is cool in elementary school. I have never, I realize, ever been cool. And yet there's some vestigial clinging to the idea that there is something cool about myself that makes up part of my self-image.

Granted, it's geek cool, an oxymoron made possible by the computer age. A lot of the old presumptions about coolness have fallen by the wayside thanks to everybody noticing that geeks always were cool, it's just that the fringe things they were into were in such rarified territory, nobody in the wider culture could get them, whereas now everything and nothing is subcultural anymore.

I digress, or I do if this is really a post about Lana Del Rey (it might not be). A song like "Diet Mountain Dew" is pitched right up the center, not that this should be taken as a criticism. It's designed to hit all the right nerves. Though I guess it's also interesting and maybe goes to some of what was just said about coolness that Mountain Dew is sort of the staple fortifying drink of computer programmers and hardcore gamers. Maybe that illustrates something.

I dunno. All I really meant to do was post a clip of a song, not muse on my insecurities over perceptual coolness or philosophize upon the mainstreaming of geekdom.


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