Musings on Coolness

When faced with the question “Who is the Coolest Person on Earth?”, those encumbered with infirm opinions usually take several minutes to answer, stammering incoherently in pursuit of a decision. When they finally get round to evincing their (wrong) opinion, the questioner has normally wandered off due to boredom.

Conversely, 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, usually wincing with 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 instantly respond, 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 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 bench if the interview is being conducted outdoors. Some faint outright, or run away.

Not me. Faced with this permutation of the question, my answer retains all the assuredness and lack of hesitation one would expect; though I will 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 complex subjects into terms a peon can eventually get to grips with).

So 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 a 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 such banal concepts as “marketability” or “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 fifteen octaves. He is idolised by millions of Rush fans, some of the most insightful and intelligent people on the planet. Though Rush’s conservative lyrics are penned by Peart, you can tell that Geddy fully buys into it, and that he has little time for lefties. Just look at the passion on his face as he launches into the beautiful totalitarian poem that is The Trees.

He looks cool, he sounds cool, he is cool. Even a 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, nubile voice he possesses.

And to quickly 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


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