I found out yesterday that Will Forte thinks I’m a douchebag.
After some research, it turns out this
Hollywood fancy-man Forte is something called a comedian, and it’s likely this
is an exaggeration for humorous purposes (ha! ha!) ““ but in the time it took me
to figure that out, I’ve discovered some people take this rivalry thing really
Like, you’re-a-bad-person-because-you’re-a-Bruin/Trojan-and-I’m-not seriously. I’ve made jokes at UCLAers’
expense, sure. But I was always joking! Wasn’t everybody?! Not only does this
super-serious they’re-bad-guys belief run deeply, and super seriously, but I’ve
realized some mock violent traditions we have are eerily”¦ Violent. The eeriness
comes from the not-joking subtext, I think, and from the terrible, terrible
things endured this past weekend by the local teddy bear community.
Make no mistake, I fucking love my school. We’re the best. But I
started this weekend to dream, impossibly, of something”¦ Better. More peaceful.
Less scarier and more joking-er.
I understood the rivalry to be, until very recently, a for-fun
thing. But the belief that a student from the opposing side is truly a bad
person is not only prejudice, it’s a weird racism born from football and
admissions processes. I believe the Spoiled Children stereotype doesn’t
represent me or anywhere near the majority of our school, and that minority is
steadily alcohol poisoning themselves away anyways. I hear some of the songs about UCLA sucking may not necessarily be true, either.
I have a dream where large groups of people don’t think
we’re all douchebags, because only some of us are douchebags. Because some of everyone is douchebags. Just like some of everyone is
bad at football.
Think about this ““ what if we were all colorblind?? We’d only be
able to tell Bruins and Trojans apart by the different shades of gray we wore.
Then we’d probably all get into whether light-gray or dark-gray were better,
and say the dark-grays are spoiled and the light-grays are lame and we could
tell each other apart easily with our respective mascots and logos and still
hate each other anyway. Being colorblind
wouldn’t change anything.
So we need everyone to understand ““ and really feel ““ that a
person isn’t inherently better or worse because of what side of LA they’re
educated. The swanky-stores Fox Theater side or the constantly-getting-robbed and oh-dear-that-thing-on-the-sidewalk-is-dead
side”¦ What’s the difference, really?
I have a dream that students will one day live in a world where
they will not be judged by the colors of their school, but by the content of
their character. And the clothes they wear, their various achievements, the
people they date, how extensive their early 90s pop culture knowledge is and
the other things people our age judge each other on normally. Which iPhone they
have, too, probably. But not whether they go to USC or UCLA.
I have a dream where we burn each others’ mascots in
primitive drunken effigy but don’t really mean we’d like to set them
on fire! Where people drag bears around on strings at tailgates not as a
threat, but because little bears are adorable to have around! And it’s
hilarious to drag them places!
I have a dream where it’s really all in good fun, and maybe
we can help UCLA play better or something because, seriously, 50-0. (Though
they did used to be fine, apparently.)
I have a dream that I can hook up with a Bruin without the hot
sort-of-forbidden element. That’s actually pretty great. But it not being there
means the rest of this stuff has come true.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live
out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, even if they go to a state school because it’s
like a really good one.”
I have a dream today! And so let freedom ring — from West LA to the parts of our
neighborhood that aren’t currently being held at knifepoint!