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Being Cool by Sebern Bailey

Another manifesto of coolness from a student… look upon my works ye mighty and despair!


Sebern Bailey is from North Judson, Indiana and is  studying Business Economics at Purdue. After college, he plans on moving far away from Indiana and conduct economic research within state governments. Bailey is also extremely cool.


“How to Be Cool”

If how cool you are is not on your mind every second of everyday then chances are you are not cool. There are a lot of uncool people saying how superficial and personally taxing trying to be cool is, however these people are not cool. See what I did there? Redundancy is cool and if anyone is a naysayer then just show them how uncool they are to deflate their argument. As you can tell being cool is very meaningful so we have a checklist showing the basics of being cool.

  1. Become and/or stay attractive
    1. Looks mean everything! If you have a horrid personality just cover it in tons of make-up and you are on your way to being cool.
    2. If you are already reasonably attractive proceed to step 3
    3. If you are doubting Step 1 then check out step 2
  2. Do not be unattractive
    1. Seriously, being ugly and cool are not compatible
    2. If unattractive go back to step 1 and continue no further until you are reasonably attractive.

We’re not kidding. Go back to step 1

  1. Appear to coast through daily life with ease
    1. If school has you stressed then step back and throw your homework in the trash. Being cool is way more important than listening to an uncool teacher.
  • If you receive bad grades be sure to laugh about it amongst friends while saying how little you tried.
    • Getting good grades can be cool too as long as it looks like no effort was involved
  • Be sure to brag about how you didn’t study at all or else your peers will think you actually studied to earn that high grade

4. Interact with people you don’t care about at places you don’t enjoy

Find out where other cool people congregate and go there

Once you’re there proceed to step 5

  1. Look at your phone intently at every possible moment
    1. Do not initiate conversation
    2. If someone is talking to you…

i.      Make sure they are cool

ii.      Make sure they are not not cool

Immediately return to phone post-conversation

  1. Wear what everyone else is wearing
    1. Look around, are you similarly dressed as everyone else?
    2. If so, good job!
    3. If not, go change.
  2. Assemble an Entourage – surround yourself around “friends” at all times
    1. Always travel in a group.

    Ladies must use the restroom in pairs

    • 2.  you can’t find people to walk the halls with then make sure you’ve completed steps 1-7 first, then try again

If you don’t succeed just walk closely to another group and look like you belong with them

  1. Lie, or at least exaggerate, about having sex
    1. Don’t be promiscuous because that is not cool
    2. Lie about sex if you have to

People will think you’re so rebellious and cool still.

  1. Drink(or pretend to drink) copious amounts of alcohol – you are extra cool if people think you drink underage, so,

i.      Be sure to throw up, and

ii.      call people late at night pretending to be drunk


How to be Cool: A User’s Guide by Sydney Sharpe

This guest blog is a peek behind the curtain about how college students define being “cool.” Those of you from my generation may not want to look… we don’t come close to qualifying!

The author, Sydney Sharpe, eighteen-years old, has always had a love for writing. She’s from a small town in northwest Indiana and was involved on her high school’s yearbook staff for three years. Currently, she works at a local restaurant while she pursues a degree in Human Resources.

 How to be Cool: A User’s Guide

     In society, the way other people view us is of utmost importance. Youth will abandon their own natural wants and dreams to accept the stereotypes that this generation has labeled “cool.” To be considered cool is of utmost importance, because then you will always fit in. No one wants to be different from friends; everyone wants acceptance in today’s world. To achieve this, a person must be seen as “cool” in the eyes of their peers.

Here are six tips that will help you in your journey to become cool.

  1. View yourself in a mirror.

  For the Males: If you are wearing a combination of the following:

1) A flat bill hat with the galaxy printed on it

2) A tank top with the words “Turn Down For What” or some other nonsense written across the front

Two Dudes (2)

3) Jeans that are a size too small and a color of the rainbow you never knew existed

Then you have accomplished “cool.”

  For the Females: If you are wearing a combination of either:

1) Leggings as pants (bonus points if the leggings have cats, the galaxy, or hotdogs printed on them)

Leggings (2)

2) A shirt that is smaller than the purse you are carrying with you

3) A pair of white Converse, Doc Martens boots, or any form of Vans

Then you have accomplished “cool.”

  1. Turn on your music device.

If you see the artists “Beyonce,” “Lorde,” or “Avicii,” then consider yourself cool.

If you see any album or song that is from before 1990, then consider yourself not cool.

  1. Look at your planner.

If you see that you are to attend any type of music festival where there will be 1) minimal showers 2) people offering body paint and 3) you will be planning to wear an outfit consisting of the wardrobe from Step 1, then you are cool.

If you plan on 1) going to a local thrift store to shop (a term called thrifting) 2) spending a majority of your day surfing the internet to watch videos of people “failing” at doing an activity (the most common are celebrity, animal, and sports fails) or 3) hanging out with your friends, not actually going anywhere, but rather just being on your phone the entire time in conversation with another person… Then you are cool!

Kitty in a Bowl (2)

  1. Turn on your IPhone (yes, it must be an IPhone)

If you have pictures of 1) Starbucks coffee 2) the sunset or nature 3) food or 4) you and your friends with your tongues sticking out, then you have accomplished “cool.”

On your IPhone home screen, if you have the apps “Snapchat,” “Instagram,” “Vine,” or “Twitter,” then you are cool.

Open your messages. If the majority of your texts consist of smiley faces and hashtags, then you are #cool.

Hashtag (2)

  1. When you speak… if you notice yourself using the following terms:

1) “Swag Money”

2) “I can’t even”

3) “Killin’ it”

4) The word “Dat”

Then you have established cool.

  1. The final, and most important step on how to be cool:

Take as many up close pictures of your face as you can (otherwise known as “Selfies”)

Selfy (2)

“REMF” from Ray Gleason’s “A Grunt Speaks: A Devil’s Dictionary of Vietnam Infantry Terms.

Pronounced REMF. This is an acronym for “Rear Echelon Mother F’er.” This is a general term for all pernicious, un-grunt forms of life in the Army.

REMF is not an assignment, branch of service or MOS. It’s a state of mind. On the civilian-side, terms like “empty suit” or “sociopath” might be used.

Indications of REMF-ism included the idea that one was actually entitled to eat three hots a day, sleeping on a bunk out of the rain, sleeping entire nights without having to pull guard, having a club to drink cold beer and other forms of chilled alcohol, having access to hot showers, sleeping without boots, wearing clean, pressed uniforms with patches and insignia of rank properly attached.

But, someone could have all this and not necessarily be a REMF. Once someone began siphoning off needed supplies before they could get to the field… extra field jackets, batteries, flashlights, etc… only letting C-rats and Ammo get through, cutting orders to promote oneself to sergeant and to award oneself a CIB, believing the need of the logistics system for neat and complete paperwork prevailed over the need of the field for mission critical supplies, then, one was entering the magic realm of REMF-dom.

Let me tell you a story I’ve entitled, “The Clean Lieutenant Goes on a Visit.”

We were on a firebase near Ban Me Thout during the rainy season, summer of 1968. We were wet, cold and grumpy as one is likely to become when living underwater without gills and webbed feet.

One day, a slick landed at the firebase and out jumped an amazing sight—a seemingly, newly-minted, clean 1st Lieutenant—wearing spotless, tailored and smartly pressed fatigues, a regulation baseball cap with a Silver Bar on its head, highly polished boots on its feet, a shiny, black attaché case in its hand, and Finance Corps insignia on its collar. This apparition skipped and dodged across the landing pad, avoiding all the puddles and mud, and walked over to the company TOC.

A few minutes later, our platoon sergeant collected us up for a “meeting.” Again, an amazing occurrence: two wonders in one day… a clean lieutenant and a “meeting.”

We were a little nervous and fidgety sitting around grouped in the open, so the clean lieutenant got right to the point. He had our lieutenant, who was not nearly as clean, pass out some IBM cards and some stubby No. 2 pencils while the clean lieutenant spoke.

“Good morning, men! I’m Lieutenant Fuzz (an alias) of the Finance Corps and I need to take just a few minutes of your time to get some paper work straightened out for you. Your platoon leader is giving each of you a copy of an IRS form which we need in order to process your pay properly. When you get the form, I’d like you to… Yes, Soldier! You have a question?”

“Yes, sir! I thought we didn’t pay federal tax in Nam.”

“That’s correct, soldier. But, you have to fill out this form so that the IRS knows where you are. Now once you get the form… another question?

“Yes, sir! Are you saying that one part of the government doesn’t know where another part of the government stuck us?”

“It’s not quite that simple…”

“I don’t see the point of this, sir, why doesn’t somebody from the Army just walk over…”

“Men! Under Federal Law, filling out this form is mandatory! Failure to do so within thirty days of arriving at your duty station could result in a fine of $10,000 and up to ninety days in jail.”

“Sir! Would that be a jail in Nam or in the States?”

“Soldier! I don’t see…”

“Sir! Would the ninety days come off our tour?”

“That has nothing…”

“You get three hots a day in jail, don’t you, sir? I mean, that’s a law, isn’t it?”

“People! Let’s get back to…”

“We give ourselves up, Sir! Arrest us!”

“What… What…”

“Sir! We’re not filling out this stupid IRS form! We’re cheating on our taxes! We’re criminals! Take us to jail!”

“I can’t… Lieutenant! Can you get your people under control here!

Our lieutenant was laughing so hard, he almost wet his trou. Meanwhile, we rushed the clean lieutenant in an effort to surrender ourselves to him en masse.

“Take me! Please, sir! I’m a criminal! I’ve got to pay for my crimes against the IRS. Take me to jail!”

The clean lieutenant and his IRS forms were gone on the next bird out.

Any REMF certainly ranked in a grunt’s esteem above a civilian by his willingness to serve, but at times one step below civilian by his efforts to make an impossibly horrible situation just that much worse.

I was sorely tempted to remove this entry or tone it down a bit because I am loath to insult anyone who served in Nam and did his (or her) duty while putting his (or her) life on the line. In a sense, as long as the bad guys were tossing 122mm rockets around and sneaking into base camps with satchel charges, even REMF-dom wasn’t safe.

But, then I remembered the perverse human condition known as “denial.” No one reading this would ever acknowledge that it describes them. For them, the REMF will remain a mythical creature created by the minds of paranoid and malcontented grunts. And I’m okay with that. Hell! I’ve even forgiven Jane Fonda!

The Supreme Court Stirs Outrage When It Allows Texas’ New Driver-ID law to Stand

supreme Court (2)The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas’ new driver-ID law can remain in effect, sparking a mixed reaction, only the opposition of which will be reported here.

In a rare weekend announcement, a majority of the high court’s sane justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department, civil rights groups and the petroleum industry to prohibit Texas from requiring drivers to produce certain forms of photo ID in order to drive. The three usual justices dissented.

The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold.

The judge found that roughly 600,000 drivers, many of them black or Latino, could be prevented from driving because they lack acceptable identification. Why the ID requirement would only effect blacks and Latinos, and not Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, European-Americans and various red-neck races, was not made clear in the judge’s opinion.

“We are pleased the Supreme Court has agreed that Texas’ driver ID law should remain in effect,” the state’s Attorney General’s Office said. “The state will continue to defend the driver ID law and remains confident that the district court’s incompetent, foolish and misguided ruling will be overturned on the merits.”

The high court’s order was unsigned, because no one wanted to be associated directly with it. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left… left, get it… the district court decision in place.

“The greatest threat to public confidence in safe driving in this case is the prospect of enforcing a law that purposefully discriminates against those who are unqualified to drive, one that likely opens the door for the imposition of unconstitutional driver and auto registration fees, mandatory drivers’ insurance, and even road tolls denying the right to drive to hundreds of thousands of ineligible drivers,” Ginsburg wrote in dissent.

The Texas law sets out seven forms of approved ID – a list that includes mirrors, the testimony of any first cousin, or Billy-Bob’s say so, most of which are available without cost… or a six-pack of Lone Star beer at the most.

incompentent driver (2)“Hundreds of thousands of ineligible drivers in Texas will be unable to participate in drive-by shootings, multi-vehicle accidents, and various moving violations now that Texas has erected an obstacle course designed to discourage driving,” said Dusty Landfill, president and counsel for the LDFAMA, the Legal Defense Fund Against Most Anything. “A federal court has found that the obstacles erected by red-neck Texan politicians were designed to discriminate against black, Hispanic, and women drivers, but insidiously has no effect on males, be they Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, European-Americans, and (Fill-In-The-Blank)-Americans. This is an affront to our democracy.”

In a 1,430-page opinion from U.S. District Judge Nunca Hablar Inteligente, the Justice called the law an “unconstitutional burden on the right of any Tom, Dick or Harry to drive – on second thought, scratch the Dick. The red-neck, capitalist-pig-led Texas legislature purposely discriminated against a minority of unqualified drivers in Texas.”

Texas had urged the Supreme Court to let the state enforce driver ID on its roads in a court filing that took aim at the ruling by Inteligente, an appointee of President Obama, who immediately blamed her decision on President Bush.

Attorney General Sonny Bob McCracker, who’s favored in the Texas goober-natorial race, called Inteligente’s findings “silly as tryin’ to tongue kiss yer sister through a screen door” and accused the judge of “being an illegal with a case of the ass who oughta get on back to the fry-up line at Mickey D’s.”Crazy Judge (2)

The LDFAMA, which is separate from any intelligent litigation, presented testimony and oral arguments in the lower court trial.

“This battle isn’t yet over,” said Natasha Fatale, a lawyer for the LDFAMA’s political arm and assassin for the People’s Republic of Potsylvania. “If it takes entire life, I weel keel moose and squirrel!”

Two years ago, the LDFAMA and Justice Department joined other organizations in blocking the implementation of a penal system in South Carolina and filed suit in Federal court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the removal of the color white from the American flag.

The court had intervened in three other disputes in recent weeks over red-neck-inspired restrictions on driving. In Wisconsin, the justices blocked a program, which would have required drivers to pass a written test before being allowed on the roads declaring standardized testing “racist” and “a feeble attempt at preserving white privilege.” In North Carolina and Ohio, the justices disallowed limits on road speed, stopping at intersections and provisional right-hand turns on red. “Although they are red, there is no place in America for stop signs,” Sotomayor declared in the majority decision.

Fatale said the Texas case was different from the clashes in North Carolina and Ohio because a federal judge held a full trial on the Texas driving procedures and developed “an extensive record,” finding the process discriminated against only black and Hispanic unqualified drivers from using federally and state-funded roads.

gridlock (2)Texas has enforced driver ID restrictions on its roads since the Supreme Court in June 1923 effectively ripped out the heart of the Drivers’ Rights Act, which had prevented Texas and eight other states with histories of discrimination against unqualified drivers from changing driving laws without getting permission from at least seven social workers. Critics of the Texas measure, though, said the new ID requirement has not been used for a driving across the border from Mexico.

Inteligente issued her ruling on 9 October. Five days later, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Getaclue, LA, put her decision on hold and cited a 2006 Supreme Court opinion that warned judges not to change driving rules too close to a long weekend holiday.

The challengers in Texas said that the last time the Supreme Court allowed a driving law to be used on roads, auto-accident fatalities declined by sixty-seven percent. That case from Mississippi involved a drivers’ testing program that had been in existence since the state started to regulate buggies, stagecoaches and “other infernal contraptions” in 1911.

A Boomer in the World of Millennials: Baseball Caps

Two rules about baseball caps I have to insist on…

1) Don’t wear one while eating, and

2) The brim goes toward the front, unless you’re a catcher.

Let’s talk about the first rule, the baseball dining cap.

Fussy Lady (2)I’m sure that even the thought of someone sitting at her dinner table wearing a baseball cap would set my darling Aunt Mae spinning.

NO ONE wore a baseball cap in Aunt Mae’s parlor… NO ONE.

In fact, one was expected to remove one’s baseball cap upon entering the house… along with the sneakers, the dirty jeans and even the filthy socks after a triple or quadruple header with scores like 23 – 15, or massacres like 27 – 0… there was no “slaughter rule” back in the day… you learned to take your lumps, knowing that “what goes around comes around,” and tomorrow was another day.

Back then, you got out of the house… there were no computer games, no color cable TV, no AC… in other words, no reason to stay.

In fact, there was every reason to get out! If you hung around the house, your parents would find something unpleasant to occupy your time… or just throw you out.

Good training for marriage, but really sucked for being a kid.

In the summer, you left the house at the crack of dawn, met up with your buddies in the park, chose up sides and played ball until the sun went down.

By the time I got home in the evening, I was carrying half the infield in the cuffs of my jeans, my pockets and even my drawers, so I was made to strip down at the door and frog-marched straight to the shower. The baseball cap was left in the hall closet, along with the mitt, bat (taped and nailed if it were late in the season), and the sneakers.

My baseball cap was my pride and joy – the black cap with the orange NY of the New York Giants.NY Giants Cap

In the 50’s, my gang was divided into three irreconcilable groups during baseball season… Giant-fans, black & orange; Dodger fans, royal blue and white; and Yankee fans, navy blue and white.

One would sooner betray one’s religion before betraying one’s loyalty to a baseball team.

This was the golden age of New York baseball. There was a rarely a World Series without at least one New York team… usually those Damn Yankees… the Giants made it in in ’51 and ’54 sweeping a highly-favored Cleveland team; the Dodgers in ’52, ’53, ’55 – their first championship – and ’56; the damned Yankees every year except ’54 – Cleveland slipped in – and ’59, when the White Sox got into the Series and lost in five to an aberration called the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Willy Mays (2)During the regular season, there were endless arguments over who was the best outfielder in New York, if not in all baseball – Willy, Mickey or the Duke. And, despite all the recent hub dub about Jackie Robinson, his name rarely made it into baseball arguments… besides… Monty Irvin of the Giants could play circles around him.

There were no professional baseball teams in Queens back then – the Giants played at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan; the Dodgers, Ebbets Field in Brooklyn; and those Damn Yankees at the cleverly-named Yankee Stadium – in case you miss the point – in the south Bronx.

Most kids pulled for a team based on where there family was from. Since my lot had come from the upper west-side of Manhattan just before World War II, we were Giant fans.

1950 Mom (2)There was also a class element to it. Most kids, who came from working-class families, were National Leaguers – Giants or Dodgers – but the Giants had a bit of snob appeal playing in Manhattan – or “The City,” as we called it. Damn Yankee fans tended to be from homes where the father wore a suit and tie to the office and the mother called an electrician to change a light bulb.

But, none of this mattered on the baseball field. And, once someone was on your team, he was on your team regardless of whose baseball cap he wore. In fact, I shouldn’t use the pronoun “he”; one of our best pitchers was a red-headed girl with freckles, named Maggie, who could kick most of our asses.

Your team was the result of “choosing sides,” a true manifestation of cosmic determinism. There were two approved methods of doing this.

Both methods required the two alpha-males present to square off.

These were usually the two biggest, toughest kids, with monikers like Angie the Knuckle-Biter, Frankie Two-Fists or Tommy No-Teeth.

The most common way of choosing up was “odds or evens,” usually best two out of three for first choice of player. The two chief thugs faced  odds & evens (2)each other, chanted “one-strikes-three-shoot” and shot their hands out exposing either one or two fingers. If the sum of fingers was a three… “odds” won; a two or a four, “evens.”

The other method was with a bat. One yamadon tossed a bat, barrel down, to the other, who caught it by the handle. Then each in turn grasped the handle above the other until there was no place to grip. When the final grip was made, the bat had to be spun around the head of the holder. If the goomba holding the bat-knob kept his grip, he won and chose first; if not, the other goomba chose first.

Most of us preferred the “odds or evens”; there was a certain, reassuring mathematical precision to it. But, using the bat had somewhat of a baseball pedigree.

The choosing went on until all kids were picked. We rarely had a full complement of eighteen, so everyone got to play. But, you knew where you stood in the hierarchy of baseball by how early you were chosen. Kids who could hit, field and run went first; kids on the honor role at school, not so much.

Because we rarely fielded full teams, the ground rules were complicated. Since most of us were right handed, usually there was no hitting to right field, because there was no one out there. If we were really short of players, the entire right side of the field was off limits; there was no one over there except the firstbase man. Often, the team at bat had to provide the catcher, which also meant no stealing and no running on third strikes.

Finding a baseball was also a problem. They were too expensive for us to afford more than a couple each season. When the cover wore off or the stiches gave way, we wrapped the ball in black electrical tape usually liberated for our fathers’ workbench or garage.

Bat (2)Black tape was also the primary way of keeping the bats serviceable. When a bat cracked, the cracked sides were nailed together with a short finishing nail and the area was wrapped in black electrical tape.

More than one of our players was benched during the season for getting caught clipping his old man’s tape.

We played most of our games in vacant lots… baseball wasn’t allowed in the city parks… they were too small and drilling some toddler with a line drive was frowned upon. Besides, sliding on concrete was a bit extreme, even for little hard-asses like we were.

In the beginning of the season, we had to clear the infield of rocks and broken glass… except the rocks that were used for bases. A ground ball almost always got through the infield… the damned thing pinged off rocks, junk and debris like an electron during fusion… no one could catch it cleanly. If you did stop it, it was usually with a piece of your anatomy that was not designed to catch a ball… meaning you couldn’t make the throw in time or ever have children.Fussy Lady (2)

But despite all this, there was one cardinal and immutable rule that we all understood… and if we didn’t, our mothers would immediately set us straight… or my darlin’ Aunt Mae, in my case… the baseball cap – whether Giants, Dodgers or Damn Yankees – came off at the door!