Americans, and most Westerners, live in cultures governed by the god called "Cool." Cool doesn't have a temple we can see or visit, but his images and shrines are everywhere. Cool is a god that we actually invite to take up residence in the unholy of unholies of our fallen nature's heart-temple. Once there, it entwines itself with our narcissistic selves, becoming part of our desired identity, the self-image we worship.
The Contradictory Cult of Cool
Cool is an illusive god. It doesn't have its own shape. It takes the form of someone else's approval — someone whose approval we desire. This makes Cool a tyrannical god, because it demands that we craft and venerate an image (we are duped into thinking it's a self-image) that is made up mainly of other people’s preferences. And in doing so we ignore and despise the real imago Dei we bear.
Cool poses as self-assured and independent, but in reality is a needy god, requiring the frequent affirmation and admiration of others. And Cool is a manipulative, deceptive god, because trying to be cool isn't cool. No, we have to try to be cool to impress others while appearing to not try to be cool to impress others.
The ironic thing about serving the god of Cool is that the more we serve it, the less of our true selves is preserved in the image we fashion. Our self-image essentially becomes little more than a collage of other people’s opinions. In fact, the circular irony of the whole Cool cult is that the other people whose approval shapes our cool self-image, frankly, care little for our cool self-image at all because they are consumed largely with their own cool self-image, which is shaped by other people's approval.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]