When I Was in High School We Had Way Better Stereotypes
You kids today don’t appreciate offensive high school stereotypes. Back in my day we had a whole culture based around stereotypes. You’d be assigned your clique and no Presidential pardon nor Papal decree could get you out of it. The table you sat at at lunch was predetermined, and even though no one actually told you where to sit, harsh penalties were carried out on those who ignored the rules. You’d be hard pressed to find anything similar to the kind of objectification we had. Just compare some of them now to some of them then:
(Click on the images to enlarge)
Back when I was a high-school kid, we had real, honest, down-to-earth black kids. Granted, we had only one of them, but he was ours, dammit, and while he lived up to the novel perception we Midwesterners had of black people (having never met one, only seeing him on TV), he was sweet. One time he walked by the nurse’s office when our prom queen Kelly had a sprained elbow. He flexed a bicep and seductively said, “Heeeeyyy…” Another time in our computer-skills class I was chosen to help him construct a birthday card on MS Word (that’s what we called it back then) to his mother. Clearly this was an auspicious occasion, and I, delighted with my appointed ambassadorship, asked Del, “So, what do want it to say?” Del stroked his chin, his eyes lit up, and he said, “Happy Birthday, Pretty Lady.” As tender as any moral trumpeted at the end of an ‘80s sitcom. Nowadays, you damn kids with your chainsaw music have all this Kenya West annal that “Rape” music. Those ones who listen to all that whatchamarole, them Rapersists.
Our preppy kids dressed well and yet were straight. They spoke with an air that let you know they could use words like “stertorous” and use them correctly. They may have done it all condescendingly, but they were always in the A Clique, and I’ll tell you why: They starched their collars and made sure those collars pierced that cashmere like Dracula’s fangs pierced Mina’s neck. You kids today don’t even appreciate that reference. Your vampires wear lipstick and walk in slow motion and act like they’re alone when a bunch of pert cheerleaders follow them everywhere desperately wanting to not have sex with them.
Whacky fat kids were one of the delights of high school and tend to be one of the few people from it that you keep in contact with. They’re always good for a laugh or a listen. You all gottem now, too, but ours were better. Yours play football or go see therapists; ours wore hats and broke stuff in Chem II or puked stertorously all over the Principal’s shoes at Homecoming because they slammed a pint of Wild Viper or some other bizarre novelty whiskey that your parents got for you that one Christmas because they thought it was a kind of maple syrup (110 proof maple syrup, no less). Another one of ‘em had a lot of keys—like more than anybody ever needed. And he’d flash ‘em so you’d know he had ‘em. He also drove a pickup truck that said “Blue Bastard” on the license plate. I think he’s a senator now. Whadda yers got?
The Kids Who Listened to The Jerky Boys vs. The Kids Who Download That Hannah McDonald Crap
We had The Jerky Boys. Well, The Jerky Boys and ICP. But mainly we had The Jerky Boys. Our heroes were Sol Rosenberg and Big Old Badass Bob the Cattle Rustler. We cackled gleely to Frank Rizzo complaining about the delivery boy, drunk or something with his silly Santa suit on, groping him and sympathized with the downtrodden employee when he was referred to as “The Fat Muffin Man.” These days y’all listen to them Teen Idol shows and that weird boy what does them weird crosswords and puzzles and talks all in that screwy backward-gay language.
Our plays were written by written by hacks and had titles like Horror High and Pretending to Be Rich. They were stuffed with clichés and plot holes and offered no chance for anyone dramatically inclined to showcase their talents. We reused the same portrait of James Taylor Bob’s brother painted 10 years prior, and it was a big deal when we got hold of a fat suit for Tune Into Murder. You young’uns now’re singin’ and puttin’ on those big plays with their fancy Alan Mencken and your garters. And it’s not just yer parents what show up to see ‘em either. I don’ wanna go to no high school play wearin’ my “Fart Naked” shirt and feel underdressed…*grumble*
Back in our day we hunted, and, every November 1st, we’d have kids who’d show up decked out in camouflage with a rifle in their pickup. Or, better yet, they’d have their gear on all-year-round so the season (or anything/one else) couldn’t sneak up on them. The wore boots to class and tracked mud into the classrooms. Mud! Kids these days go ‘round flauntin’ them sex. Bet they never seen a rifle much less knowin’ how to use one. Back in my day, I somuchas put on my momma’s shoes an’ my Daddy’d slap the straight back inna me.
SPED stands for “special education”—our SPEDs were cool and in our gym classes. We’d greet them and then they’d tell us about the latest episode of Conan the Adventurer and we went about our day. One of them did, whether he was prompted to or not, an awesome impersonation of Arsenio Hall, and if you were in the path of destruction when he rocked the arm twirl, you’d be in for the concussion of your life. One time in gym class Jeff straggled behind so the teacher chased after him slapping a hockey stick on the floor to get Jeff moving. You don’t see them much anymore. I figure they’ve relegated the SPEDs back to some special, special classes (read: off school grounds). They didn’t parade them around in the ‘50s either, but I’m sure they’ll be back. Instead you kids seem to have a lot more of the Jews.
I’m pretty sure none of the kids today know anything about sex. Not that we knew much either, but, based thanks to your fantasy young-adult series and other celibate crap, there seems to be a lot more emphasis on abstinence and lot less uglies bumping. High school was no orgy, but we had quite a few boots knocking *wink* *wink*–doing a little extra credit *nudge* *nudge*–sex. But now you kids dress’n them li’l skirts that make yer momma’s momma’s daddy (Ned Beatty) blush and parade around tapin’ them things together and spillin’ out all over your shorts but keepin’ it all locked up down there. I mean that’s all good for lookin’ at ‘em from the parking lot, but that’s it and that’s all.
The Stinky Kid vs. ???
When I was a kid we had stinky kids, dammit. We had kids who smelled like a goat, wrapped in a possum with babies, wrapped in a drunk-filled torch-tire wrapped in a wedge of Rigotto cheese; or, as my Daddy would say, “Knock a buzzard off a shit wagon.” You damn kids and your showers, all you got is…
I don’t know, so let’s pit him against another stereotype of ours: The Busty Goth Girl.
Images courtesy of Mad Men Yourself