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Sunday, July 8, 2012

King David: 'Cool' with a dash of 'fool'

King David (Photo by Jastrow)
You don’t have to be a fool to be cool, but being a notorious “bad boy” sure can help.  If King David had been merely stunning in looks and in slingshot skills, he wouldn’t have been nearly as fascinating to some Bible-oriented “groupies” (you know who you are) as he perpetually has  been.

Let’s see how David measures up to the latest “cool” yardsticks that research psychologists Ilan Dar-Nimrod (University of Rochester Medical Center) and Ian Hansen (York College) have come up with.  After asking 353 students at the University of British Columbia to submit words that oozed “cool,” they found that the students’ choices primarily included physical descriptors such as these:  hot, handsome, beautiful, and sexy.  According to 1 Samuel (and Michelangelo), David was “all that” plus a bag of stones.

According to Mail Online, friendly and successful were also popular “cool” attributes that students chose.  So if you are “handsome” with “beautiful eyes” (1 Samuel 16:12), a soulful friend, especially to the king’s son (1 Samuel 18:1-4), an acclaimed singer-songwriter (see Psalms), and a military hero to boot (1 Samuel 18:6-7) – then you, too, can be “cool” like David.

You might even earn a coveted “ice cold” on the “cool meter” if you add a bit of scandal to the mix.  Not an everyday run of the mill scandal, mind you, but a real juicy one…  Take a (fig) leaf from the David book, and let it all hang out every once in a while.  According to Dar-Nimrod and Hansen, “there is a smaller and different facet… which is the dark, historical coolness, revolving around counterculture, risky behavior, irony.”

Just don’t get too carried away with the scandal routine…  Dar-Nimrod and Hansen caution that this rebellious form of “cool” is much less dominant than many might imagine.  Plus, it could cost you plenty – as it did David (who spent the rest of his life repenting, yet suffered great family tragedies nevertheless).


Copyright July 8, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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