Uncool, weird & loving it

by Andrew Scoggins

I’m going to go ahead and say it. I have never been cool. Not by a long shot. As a kid I wore short shorts and long socks until I was halfway through middle school. I wrote poetry and movie scripts during recess, and spent my time fantasizing about being there when the girl I desperately crushed on fell out of a tree and into my open arms. And you know what? I’m damn proud of it. I’m proud of my near-encyclopedic knowledge of all things “Star Wars” and my nerd boner for “Halo.” It all makes me happy and I have friends who only judge me slightly, which is perfectly fine.

I think the world would be a better place if people stopped pretending like they were these “totally bitchin’ rock stars from Mars.” They wouldn’t have to keep buying into this fabricated fantasy of perfection sold to them by the media. They could think, “Eh, maybe this lifted black truck will just make it look like I am compensating. Maybe I should just settle for a Corolla, I really just need something to get me to Comic-Con.” Or maybe they will think, “Maybe I could spend my money on a new video game or two instead of blowing it on creatine, hair gel and, well … blow.” I mean who knows what would happen?

After my venture to Coachella (and then subsequently whoring myself out in an incredibly self-indulgent three-page column), I had a realization while watching The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. For those who can’t tell by the name, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is not a band a steroid-laden frat monkey would find himself fist pumping to at a party. It’s a band with a reedy lead singer who gets on stage and sings soft-spoken love songs, something quintessentially uncool. But as I watched it I couldn’t help thinking how incredibly punk rock this band is. Getting onstage in front of thousands of people with a name like that and sweetly singing love songs is something Sid Vicious (who was coincidentally nicknamed after a cuddly hamster) would never have the guts to do.

So here’s to you epic swag man, with your long greasy hair, black trench coat and knee-high combat boots. Walking behind you down Campanile Walkway, I can’t help but be impressed by your swagger as your long loping gait backs up foot traffic behind you. Here’s to you, slightly chubby kid with the “It’s a Trap” T-shirt who sits in my English class. Your awkward facial hair highlights your dedication to individuality and all around badassery.

And so I say, dare to be weird. Tell your friends, “Hey, Spongebob is still kinda funny.” Stay home on a Friday for a good-natured game of “Dungeons and Dragons” or “Risk.” Challenge your friend to a chess match and get way too into it. Go to a party and instead of grinding on a stranger, debate the sexuality of the Smurfs with that one awkward kid with the glasses. Because — here’s the kicker — no one cares. Yeah you may get some flak from your friends but if they are true friends they aren’t going to judge you too harshly for it. And hey, you may have some new activities to partake in.

I hate to ruin the party but chances are we are all going to settle down, get old and become uncool anyway. So why not enjoy being young and full of life while you still can? Life is just too short to care what strangers think.

—Drew Scoggins is an English sophomore.

—This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.