Hooray For Our Team
"God is with us" -Kaiser Wilhelm 1915
"God is on our side" -Mohammed Hasan Akhund, deputy Taliban
"God will defend us"-Confederate States motto
"God speaks through me"- George W. Bush, Smoketown, Pennsylvania
July 9, 2004
"Get your own bag." -God
Early on, Americans are programmed to look at the world in terms
of us and them. On the local level, high schools instill the insidious
"school spirit" via pep-rallies, homecoming dances and
sanctioned pranking of the artificially created rival school. The
promise of panty-shots from attractive (if reviled) girls lures
the unsuspecting into propaganda rallies designed to convince our
youth of their superiority by way of proximity. These rites of passage
are precursors to America's xenophobic foreign policy and manufactured
enemies. It's easier to swallow a line about the "Axis of Evil"
when you still have fresh memories of the feared "Birchtown
Hoot Owls" stewing in your pot. And damned if those illegal
immigrants aren't coming over here to abduct our beloved Minataur
mascot and make fools out of us. How humiliating that will be when
we don't have an eight-foot muppet riling up the fans. With their
oversized foam caricature of a drunken cowgirl free to roam loose
unchecked, why, the Brazen Hussies are sure to win the big game.
Look kids, anyone who buys into this school pride myth is either
living in their glory days or living vicariously through their kids
since their own glory days are long past. It's a short-sighted,
exclusionary viewpoint that guilts kids into a false sense of belonging
or outcastidiness. If you're not feeling particularly attached to
this group of people simply because you live near them, and are
thus required to attend the same institution, worry not. It's all
temporary. You will be moving on to better things post-graduation,
while those sucked in by the trappings of letter jackets and dance
coronations move on to fraternities and country clubs offering the
same ready-made social structure and never escape the mindset.
Much of the blame falls on the wildly popular "Be True To
Your School" by Rock and Roll group The Beach Boys.
This anthem of blind loyalty is the catalyst for football field
saltings, TP parties and lawn-stompings nationwide. It's the reason
I can't date your sister, since she goes to Superior H.S. and I
grudgingly attend Lesser Alternative. Moreover, it's the inspiration
for farther-reaching turf battles, as evidenced by Dirty Boy
4 Life's "Be True to Yo Hood." While I have yet to
see a Pet Sounds tattoo in my neck of tha hood, many youngsters
adopt the same limiting concepts as prescribed by Mssrs Wilson
and Love. Now I don't strictly claim Westside, I'm more of
a North by Northwester. What escapes the kids is that since I don't
claim anything, I'm free to go to wherever I want. Just that if
there's any trouble, I have to start preaching at the top of my
lungs and envoking the Holy Spirit while spittle forms at the corner
of my mouth. Try this, or doing magic tricks and watch the street
clear. School colors, gang colors, same difference.
Now zoom out on one notch on your Google Map. There's a rich out-of-towner
who hires athletes to relocate and play professional sports in my
city. The Johnny-come-latelys move here and I am expected to root
for them as though they were favorite sons. If Richie Rich hires
athletes talented enough to best athletes hired by the carpetbagger
in your town, my property values go up. Seriously. The economy improves,
taxes are paid, roads are paved and more jokers show up - rinse,
lather and repeat. It used to be I could give two beer farts for
the outcome of this weekly matchup because to me it's a sitcom with
the same plot every week. But then it occurred to me
playing football, or racquetball, or bocce ball on MY behalf. They
represent ME on the ballfield. It's because they engage in rough-and-tumble,
homoerotic feats of strength and endurance that I don't have to.
True story, recently a local newspaper sent along with their award-winning
Suduko challenge, a ribbon-shaped magnet touting our, nay, MY football
team. (A remembrance ribbon for a sports team is mildly blasphemous,
not like a Jesus-shaped dildo, more like a St. Christopher bomb-pop.)
With my new-found local pride, I slapped it on the back of my mini-van
with bumper stickers proclaiming, "Bring Our Boys Home,"
"Think Locally, Act Stupidly" and also "If You Value
Your Freedom From Engaging In Rough-And-Tumble, Homoerotic Feats
Of Strength And Endurance, Thank A Pro Footballer."
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