I was struck by an interesting idea or a blog entry yesterday afternoon. Which is cooler: 007 escorting the queen to the Olympics, or Professor hawking singing the galaxy song. I adore both, and thought it might be fun to compare the two. I could not decide anything firm, though, so I decided to sleep on it. This morning, however, I still did not know how I could type such an entry: the central issue is, of course, how one could define ‘cool’. Like awesome, it is a term everyone uses yet is highly subjective. In fact, when I consulted Lyn about this last night, she simply clicked her fingers, which struck me as very astute! So trying to evaluate the relative coolness of two very cool things is no easy task. On the one hand we have the most suave, sophisticated spy ever alongside the queen doing something nobody could ever have expected her to do; on the other we have the king of physics running his fellow physicist over, then singing a song bout the galaxy. Both play with our expectations and our conception of roles – who could have predicted either, but there they are. Yet at the same time they both seem in character, given that bond is indeed one of her majesty’s agents and that Hawking is known for his expertise in cosmology and the galaxy. While the Bond film has higher production values, and perhaps breaks convention to a greater extent – it was the queen entering into the world of James Bond, after all – both films excite me, make me laugh and thrill me. They are both examples of a type of play with convention and expectation I love, although I’m not sure I can say why. They are both irreverent; they both break the mould. While there is more I can get my analytical teeth into with the bond film, the Hawking film adds another connection to my spiderweb of awesomeness. The former unambiguously alludes to the parachute jump at the opening of The Spy Who Loved Me, one of my cinephiliac moments I write about in my masters thesis; the latter occurred on possibly the most fantastic night of my life. While some may view this as a silly question, I find it interesting to examine the motives behind my adoration, and to speculate about which of these short films makes me squeal with glee more.
Which is cooler? Who knows! to me they both just rule.