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maybe alec baldwin?

What is cool? Surely that is the question of adolescence, as we try to work out which of our various fantasy profiles we can actually pull off. Gretzky? Hannibal? Oprah? (For me it was always a toss-up between Casanova and Sergeant Bilko.) Socrates urges us to be what you would like to seem. Sounds like he was interested in cool, too.

Sorry, got sidetracked before I started. That's maybe too big a topic for today since I am beavering away here on the zombies and am this close (hold up your thumb and forefinger. No, closer than that) to the BIG SCENE.

Cool is the topic -- maybe not what is cool but rather who is cool, and what makes them cool? Over the weekend I saw a framed photograph, hung proudly in a friend's living-room, and the moment I saw it I knew it was cool. Not valuable or beautiful, not sexy or useful or morally uplifting or unique - cool. And I have been trying to work out what makes it cool. Maybe you can help me.

Not, it's not the one on the right. But it's like it: a publicity shot of Robert Goulet. Across the bottom the star scrawled: to Bill, Keep it real. Now, is that perfect, or what? If you owned that picture, wouldn't you frame it and hang it? I sure would.

I am not a fan of Robert Goulet's. I own none of his recordings. But there is something about his persona -- the tuxedo, the big room, the confident minor celebrity, the ability to take himself seriously and to laugh at himself -- I don't know, he's just cool. So my question to you is: who else fits this mould? Yes, there's irony involved, but it's not just about finding celebrities to despise. Lots of them around but they are not wall-worthy. I wouldn't hang Britney Spears' picture, or Dr Phil's. There's a hard-to-define factor, an element of admiration mixed with the irony. I told Imo and Thea about the Goulet picture and their eyes bugged out. That is SO cool, they said. They know.

So, people, my question is... who would you hang on the wall? Who else is cool?


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