So not cool

OK, this whole “cool” cities thing has got to stop. It was bad enough when Gov. Jennifer Granholm donned sunglasses and dredged up a song from way back in the 1980s to promote her “cool cities” initiative. Now the media are getting into the act.

But they all need to grab a clue. As all really cool people know, the use of the word cool is, in and of itself, seriously un-cool. At least that’s what News Hits, which never could be cool no matter how hard we tried, is told. True hipsters would rather trim the ends of their tongues than refer to their hangouts as “cool.” Oblivious to this, the Detroit Free Press followed Granholm’s lead with a series of stories revealing where various Michigan cities place on the “cool” scale. The first in the series highlighted “the Clem,” which is what all the hep cats are apparently calling the bohemian enclave of Mount Clemens, a place the Freep tells us simply “throbs with newer places to dine, drink and dance.”

Wowsa! Watch out for the stampede of scenesters as they flee the Magic Stick to make a dash for the Macomb County line.

Next, the newspaper profiled west Dearborn. That’s right. The headline calls Dearborn “historically hip,” while the opening paragraphs establish the city’s current coolness by quoting a 39-year-old real estate agent, who’s enjoying the presence of “coffee drinkers, smokers and toned bodies near a gurgling Venetian fountain” on Michigan Avenue.

The story also focuses its cool beam on a new club where a “white autoworker in denim shorts downs a wheat beer with a lemon slice to cool off. Nearby, a black businessman drops by a Starbucks to grab a latte after work. And a hijab-wearing housewife sits in the middle of it all, relaxing on a bench with her bearded husband.” Strangely, the presence of Starbucks seems to play a large role in this whole nouveau “cool” movement. Granholm defines cool as “Michigan cities full of young people living in loft apartments, socializing in cyber-cafes and drinking Starbucks coffee and wearing sunglasses.”

As for the Freep, at least it realizes that Troy and West Bloomfield are “not cool,” stating the two towns are among those in Michigan that “don’t need coolness to prosper.”

Then you’ve got the Detroit News, wherein that epitome of coolness himself, columnist Pete Waldmeir, ranks the Grosse Pointes among the state’s coolest burgs, listing the area hospitals, hairdressers, and successful high schools as hipper than hip. Going into “minutiae,” hip replacement Pete informs that the collective Pointes are “... the only community in Michigan with three National Football League owners (Detroit, Buffalo and Denver), a World Series hero (Kirk Gibson), two championship golf courses and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, voted the best in North America.”

News Hits knew we’d rue the day we threw away that pair of Topsiders. On the other hand, we’re all a-tingle with the hope that next week septuagenarian Waldmeir will give us the scoop on where all the area’s really cool nursing homes are.

E-mail comments to [email protected]

About The Author

Metro Times Staff

Since 1980, Metro Times has been Detroit’s premier alternative source for news, arts, culture, music, film, food, fashion and more from a liberal point of view.
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.