FRESH IDEAS: The origins of cool

From the Weekly Standard: “In its origin, cool was a creation of African-American jazz musicians to face the pressure of Jim Crow arrangements during a time when the United States was an unembarrassedly racialist white society.

“At various points in its history, cool was, in author Joel Dinerstein’s language (in a new book, ‘The Origins of Cool in Postwar America’), ‘the aestheticizing of detachment,’ ‘an emotional mask, a strategy of masking emotion,’ ‘a public mode of covert resistance,’ ‘a walking indictment of society,’ ‘relaxed intensity’ played out through the jazz musician, who was ‘global culture’s first non-white rebel.’”

Read the original essay here.


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