Musings on Coolness

When they are posed the question “Who is the Coolest Person on Earth?”, people with infirm opinions typically require several minutes to answer, stammering and muttering indecisively. When they eventually get round to evincing their (wrong) opinion, the questioner has usually wandered off due to boredom.

On the other hand, those of us equipped with robust opinions and a staunchly decisive personality fire back an unshakable answer to this question with such intense swiftness that the questioner is often stunned, typically wincing in the realisation that they have found themselves in the embarrassing position of having had insufficient time to prepare a follow-up question.

When people seek my counsel on this matter, as they often do, my answer is always the same.

“Geddy Lee”, I respond instantly, staring them straight in their eyeball.

After recovering from the initial shock of receiving a definitive answer with such blistering speed, they probe me with follow-up questions in an attempt to understand exactly why Geddy Lee is the Coolest Man on Earth. Often at this point they will reveal their own, incorrect, attempt at an answer. Normally, three or four expertly phrased bullet points is all it takes for me to show them why I am right, and why they are so embarassingly wrong.

The Gedmeister Generalé
Geddy Lee, back in the day

However, sometimes the question posed is not as simple as the one reproduced above. The questioner may throw a temporal spanner in the works, and change the phrasing of the question to “Who is the Coolest Person That Ever Lived?”. We are all familiar with this tactic. Faced with this decidedly trickier question, weaker respondents might come over a bit queer, and seek respite on a nearby stool or sofa, or perhaps a bench, if the interview is being conducted outdoors. Some might faint outright, or run away.

But not me. Faced with this permutation of the question, my answer retains all the assuredness one would expect; though I admit my answer is remarkably different in this case.

“Geddy Lee, or Aleister Crowley” I opine in a flash.

Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley, up to something no doubt related to Evil

Once the questioner recovers, it again takes little effort on my part to convince them why I am right. (My Crowley reasoning can sometimes baffle a mind unequipped to deal with the mystical, but many years of dealing with everyday sorts has allowed me to refine my Layman’s lexicon, so that I may put even highly complex subjects into terms a peon can eventually get to grips with).

So exactly why is Geddy Lee the Coolest Person on Earth?

Gary Lee Weinrib – as he was known in his civilian days, before he chose to play down the Jewish Stuff – is a superbly brilliant man. He wields his bass guitar like a dour-handed stage warrior, and sings like a mystical Canadian siren. I sometimes call him The Ged, The Gedmeister, or even The Gedmeister Generalé if I’m feeling particularly recalcitrant.

Unconcerned with the mundane concepts of “marketability” and “image”, The Ged has helmed Rush for over forty years, hammering out crazy bass riffs and mad foot-operated synth hooks often at the same time! His vocal range covers something like seven octaves. He is idolised by millions of Rush fans, perhaps the most intelligent people on the planet. Though Rush’s agreeably libertarian lyrics are penned by drummer Neil Peart, you can tell that Geddy fully buys into it. Just observe the passion on his face as he sings his way through the beautiful anti-socialist poem that is The Trees.

The Ged looks cool, he sounds cool, he is cool. Even the most pedestrian fan of Rush will point to the bass parts of YYZ to illustrate how amazing he is. I myself would usher you in the direction of The Gedmeister’s scream in Cygnus X-1: Book of Hemispheres to prove what a remarkable voice he possesses.

And, finally, to summarise my “Crowley Defence”:
-Occultist libertine magickian
-Expert mountaineer
-Branded “Evillest Man in Britain” by his contemporaries
-Known as “The Great Beast” by his mates
-A committed (some might even say rabid) opponent of Political Correctness