I always thought that the key to being cool was being serious. The kids leaning against the wall, waiting around to die, they're serious; the artists whose passion consumes them until daylight when they collapse in their paints and sketches, rolling around their creations, unaware that they would be reduced to reduplication through pixels on blog posts, they're serious; the committed entrepreneurs who follow their dreams and who create, who sell, who prosper, they're serious; the girls who take pictures of themselves in fancy lingerie with good lighting and nice bed posts and upload them on instagram, shit, even they're serious. Hilarity, on the contrary, involves an emphatic self-awareness, an inability to be nailed down which in turn lends no degree of certainty. It's safe because it doesn't have to take itself seriously. It's safe because it's frightened by confidence. Insecurity opens its arms and takes hold of hilarity with its stupid double chin pictures and its well-placed drawings of dicks. Don't be confused, hilarity knows it's scared. I know I'm scared. Hilarity represents a refusal to commit to one's self as within one's self. It tears its way past shaking limbs, past nerves and anxiety. It draws itself out, draws a laugh, a chuckle, maybe even a guffaw, and it makes me feel okay. And moving here, to the calloused east, I thought I was being serious and that serious was good. I hid my insecurity, got this job, went to class and did my readings. One that stuck was about photography. Roland Barthes was afraid of his photograph being taken because it took himself away from him: it stole himself as a subject and turned him into an object. I feel the same way about seriousness, about confidence. Because the object is confident, the object is objective, easily interpreted, can be respected. The subject, however, is continually subjective, allowed to change and grow. Even if it grows through drawing dicks on countertops. Like where I'm from, only the chongos take themselves too seriously. Their confidence freaks me out. But the girl who photobombs their club photos, she's safe because she 'doesn't care'. That girl surrounds herself with people who appreciate local bands with names like 'grown-ups' who release records named 'I stopped caring'. She finds people who care about what they care about because they really, truly, honestly, care about it. When I realized that people I know, like that girl, were just serious about not being serious, that they were self-aware enough to laugh at themselves, and they were cool, I wasn't even there anymore. I was in another city like any other city where things happened and people went places and ate stuff like portuguese chicken or foie gras. They even eat rabbits here. But shit, my break's almost up. They only give you one, so I'll make this quick. I got here, didn't see a spider for three weeks, and caught on that one, I wasn't serious about being cool, and two, that all the people I thought were cool didn't have to be serious to be cool. I felt dizzy. Hell, in caring about what I wanted to care about because I really, truly, honestly care about it, I am, according to my own definition, at least kind of cool. I think even my insecurity can dig that.