The cool kids can go fu … well, you know what I mean.

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The pirate looks at sixty, and the evidence is incontrovertible. Each time in my life, when for some arcane reason it seemed a good idea to try becoming a cool kid — part of the “in” crowd, belonging to a certain trendy group, inhabiting a clique, seeking to enlist in the power elite or aspiring to a socially ascendant organization — it always has turned out badly.

Always; without exception.

It’s better to remain contrarian, an iconoclast, infidel and outsider, because staying true to yourself at least allows your dignity to remain intact. Independence is neither cool nor uncool. It is merely principled. It just is.

Not only that, but you can’t become a cool kid by your own rule book, anyway. The beautiful people, those fashionable arbiters of style, have rules of their own, and if you have to ask what these are, you’ll never know.

Furthermore, I’m allergic to arrogance, and the thought of abiding the inevitable group-think is enough to avoid these entangling alliances.

The so-called cool kids generally select a leader; there’s a head cheese or a big dog at the apex of their pyramid, and this grand poobah usually turns out to be my intellectual inferior; often, he or she quite simply is a dreadful dullard and the ensuing idolatry makes no sense.

Accordingly the exalted boss’s followers acquiesce at being sheeple, no less arrogant or exuding their in-crowd privileges, but otherwise devoid of understanding and unaware of any meaningful narrative apart from yearning to belong to something irrespective of the cost to their identities.

You can count me out.

Again and again, perhaps twice on Sunday, remorseless experience has taught me that the “cool kids” aren’t cool at all. They’ll always make you drink the Kool-Aid first, before there’s any chance of acceptance, and then stripped of autonomy, you become one of the braying jackals.

Don’t misunderstand, because remaining independent does not imply aloofness. Cooperation still serves the common good, so long as the conditions are clear. I stand ready to be of assistance — just don’t expect me to sell out.

Because you can’t afford me, dipshits.

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