Globe Columnist: I’m Not Cool

The Globe‘s Alex Beam wastes an entire Living/Arts column today discussing all the ways in which he is “not cool.” (Really? Here’s another startling confession: I’m not Chinese.) Why is he so lame? He uses a Palm Pilot, doesn’t use MySpace, rides an inexpensive bike, doesn’t get HBO or Showtime, and doesn’t read books by popular young authors. Oh and he doesn’t live in Brooklyn (before you snicker at the sheer obviousness of this, consider the guy’s columns—they could be phoned in from Pluto).

In no way does today’s offering function as a jeremiad against the dehumanizing effects of technology, or the insufferable twee-ness of the McSweeney’s crowd, the iPhone gyp, or even sex offenders who use teenybopper social networking sites to trap and then eat their young prey. No, the entire point of this piece is simply this: Alex Beam is not cool. And not uncool in an rebellious Bartleby way, either. Just kind of boring and disinterested.

While reading it at 6 a.m. in my apartment this morning, I kept imagining Marty Baron’s face as he himself read the piece across town. I imagined it progressing from dark to red as the coffee mug before him chattered on the table and his beard follicles began vibrating in a gathering fury, the whole thing culminating in some hellish whooping/stamping sound his South End neighbors have long grown accustomed to (“Hear that, Charles? Must be Monday or Wednesday again”).

Rumor around town is that Baron’s never liked Beam’s stuff much to begin with, and one expects this particular column will do little to better his estimation. Once you start openly bragging in your newspaper column about how proud you are at not wanting to know anything, it’s probably time to take down the shingle and spend some time with Matlock. Or Jesus…