Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wookies and the Cool Point Scale

My husband and I have befriended a young single guy from his graduate program. This man has been the recipient of much of my home-cooking, hours worth of my losses in Settlers of Catan and, occasionally, much needed girl advice. Yet, last night, as we were playing Settlers, yet again, and he was, yet again, kicking my relatively old booty, I apparently lost "cool points." The situation was as follows.

Him: (strange, unidentifiable and fairly disturbing noise)
Me: "Um, what was that noise?"
Him(incredulously): "Um, a wookie?"
Me: "What's a wookie?"
Him (and my husband, for that matter, both with looks of sheer disbelief): "What???? You don't know what a wookie is?"
Me: "Why? What's a wookie?"
Him (to my husband, not me): "OK, your wife just seriously lost some cool points."

Apparently this is a reference to Star Wars. Confession: the first time I saw the trilogy was in college and it was not by choice. A well-meaning and highly concerned guy friend of mine, upon discovering my deficiency, took it upon himself to force me into a room and make me watch all three in a row. In the same night. I don't care who you are, that's a LOT of Star Wars. For me, having grown up hearing all the hype but seeing a lot of movies that probably surpassed its 'breakthrough cinematography', it just didn't seem like a big deal. Good action, good storyline, sure, but it did not live up to the hype for me. I'm alright with that. I'm not going to pretend some movie is the pinnacle of cinema experience just to impress somebody or sound cool to all those people out there who count cool points. I'm pretty sure most of the women who I spend time with have not read all 120 books in the Star Wars series and wouldn't put the movie in their Top 5.

For the record, this is not about movie genre for me. I love action flicks and while I do enjoy a good chick flick or two, my favorite genre is actually war movies. The thing that mostly gets me about this man's comment is how we can often turn something that is meant to entertain into a barometer by which we measure other people's worth. It reminds me of high school, when people made you feel like you had to like the right bands and, of course, dislike the wrong ones vehemently. If not, your "coolness" was questionable. I wish I could say that people in the church were different, but we fall into this too. Which worship music is acceptable to sing, which speakers are saying things the right way, which theological opinions are "in".

I wish people felt the freedom to just unashamedly like what they like and embrace it. To not care whether other people feel the same way and to just live, enjoying what they've been created to enjoy. Star Wars doesn't do it for me and probably never will. I'm ok if it does for other people.

Let's let the cool scale die. It's really not that funny and, frankly, if we really were paying attention to what should register on the scale, would making a wookie noise in my kitchen really swing that dial to "cool"?


  1. So true! If I were rated on the cool scale, I'm sure I'd only be a 2 or 3 - and I'm TOTALLY ok with that!

  2. 1) Was Heart considered the right band or the wrong band? :)

    2) So what was the noise?

  3. Jon, Heart is above the ratings. No question. And I will not deign to try to repeat the noise via writing...if you've seen Star Wars, I'm sure you get the drift.(although it did sound something like a donkey with a bronchial problem)

  4. I feel that way about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I only saw it once and only after other people had ruined all the funniest lines for me. I long ago realized that I have never been cool, will never be cool - I'm just dreading the day when my kids catch on to this fact.