Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have mixed feelings about this . . .

Unlike Woody Allen's character in Play It Again, Sam, I can't confess to having an incredibly distinct voice of cool helping me to operate smoothly on a day-to-day basis. In fact, I rather wish I did have something of the sort (even though Bogart didn't really make Allan Felix any cooler) because most of the time, I have a tendency to say and do painfully uncool things. On the rare occasions when I manage a witty remark or a suave mannerism, I like to think that it is somewhat original. However, while watching Woody Allen stumble around and make a general idiot out of himself I realized that I do tend to be a lot like Allan Felix, though perhaps not as neurotic, in that I way overanalyze everything and play out extensive scenarios in my head. This realization really made me consider just who is running the internal monologue that plays endlessly in my head. After consulting said voice, I realized that my "inner cool" seems to consist more of a cabinet of advisors rather than one specific person, like Allan's imaginary Humphrey Bogart.

Jerry Seinfeld is a pretty predominant presence in my head, as I've been a huge Seinfeld fan for most of my post-adolescent life. Jerry definitely relates to my slightly neurotic, kind of postmodern, self-obsessed side. Though during Woody Allen's heyday in the 1970s, being a neurotic Jew from New York City may not have been cool, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David somehow managed to turn this characature into something hip. Since the rise of "the show about nothing", it is almost as if our culture is a little weirded out by normalcy ("What do you mean you don't have problems? What's wrong with you!?"). Nowadays one is seen as slightly quirky and interesting for having some form of social awkwardness and/or neurosis instead of being percieved as a little off.

Another regular commentator in my life is none other than my favorite animated character of all time, Daria Morgandorffer. For my entire high school career and on into college, more than one person has compared me to Miss Morgendorffer. To be honest, there's something in me that absolutely does not mind being likened to the dry, sarcastic, and acerbic character that Daria so well embodies. She may not be one of the cool kids, but she is most definitely cool (and I am not nearly so cool as she). I've always liked Daria and related to her because like me, she tends to sit back and watch the world around her; she is an observer and a commentator, rather than an active participant. I myself have never been much of a joiner, but unlike Allan Felix, I don't really have much of a desire to change my personality. I'm okay with not being the most popular person in the room or the life of the party. I'm fairly content with just being me, which is why I think Daria is the voice for my inner cool.


  1. Interesting piece. I've never know who Daria Morgandorffer is, but I've seen pictures of her before. Thanks for explanation! :D

  2. You should totally check out Curb Your Enthusiasm. As you watch it you will see that Larry David is the true genius of Seinfeld.

    Both Daria and Jerry are in fact watchers, after all what does Jerry do for a living but comment on what others are doing. Is cool more passive than active?

  3. Good journal! I wondered how many people would go for just one person or take a leap and pick more than one. If we're honest, the voices in our heads - even those that we can attribute to certain people - are just amalgamations of other voices, which we somehow turn into something that we can look to for guidance.

    Excellent examples.