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Hooray For Our Team

"God is with us" -Kaiser Wilhelm 1915
"God is on our side" -Mohammed Hasan Akhund, deputy Taliban leader
"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…they are 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."

-Ewan Wadharmi

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