#701407, By sheepfish Fed up of cheating YANKS

  • sheepfish 15 Apr 2005 20:35:15 1,168 posts
    Registered 11 years ago
    Bill Gates is Evil wrote:
    I can recall in my high school, there were the popular athletic type (myself) in one group and there was another group that existed by simply being in opposition to us. It was simply a group that resented and disliked me even if it were the first time they had ever seen me. What are they looking for? What do they want?

    I'll try and give a theory on this point, as it's one of few actual specific things you've mentioned.

    The resentment other people felt towards you and your peer group at school is because you were popular for rediculous (to them) reasons. The ability to drink a lot and be good at sport are 2 common characteristics of your peer group. The sporting students are regularly rewarded, while academic sucess is nowhere near as important in the eyes of the student body.

    It is not just at school but throghout society. We live in an age where vacuous, stupid and boring people are known as 'celebrities'. Think about it, the word implies that we should celebrate these people, for what? I am repulsed by the notion that society values such shallow distractions more than ideas and culture that will have lasting benefit to our lives.

    I didn't feel this way when I was at school, but no doubt a lot of people did. They know from a very early age that the skills they value will never be as celebrated by society as what they see to be trivial wastes of time. I imagine the idea of a bunch of jocks being loud and over-bearing at school, dominating most of the important social events of a young persons life, would make some people resentful of that jock group.

    Have a read of 'I am Charlotte Simmons', Tom Wolfes' latest novel, it explains the failure of American academia in detail. The same things happen in this country too, don't get me wrong. But in America there seems to be so much more pressure and emphasis on competition between individuals.

    In this country, the 'other' group is often much more into music, for example. Here, there is much more of a tradition of edgy bands that celebrate the rejection of the eternal young persons popularity contest. There is a credible alternative. This is true of many other facets of life in Britain. However, it seems to me that in America, there are fewer credible outlets for teenagers who are not jocks. To use the music example, you need to look a certain way in order to be accepted by an American audience. In short, you need to look like a jock, or one of te cheerleader groupies that surround them.

    That is what annoys people, an obsession with style over substance, with 'celebrities' over everyone else, regardless of their contribution to society. You and your group, rightly or wrongly, represent that.

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