The Rulers and the Ruled in High School

915 Words4 Pages
If movie tropes and idioms are to be believed, there is a clear distinction between who is the ‘ruling’ majority and the ‘ruled’ minority. Every high school movie that ever was invariably depicted academia as a maze of cliques and clichés. The high school experience was characterized not by what you achieved, but who you ‘hung out’ with. The jocks, cheerleaders, bands and an assorted team of people blessed with good looks were ‘cool’ and the rest were ‘not’. The masses were ostensibly ruled over by the much smaller ‘popular’ gang; the unpopular masses criticized and berated the repulsive mediocrity and social stagnation of the usually wealthy and/or beautiful minority, while the popular showed only disdain for the seemingly clueless recluses. Rulers or ruled, there was a certain comfort and complacency in whichever clique you belonged to. The Mathletes were uncool, always would be and there was a certain charm in sharing that fate. Similarly, being a cheerleader or star quarterback was always an achievement that put you right on the top of the social food chain. However, in being compartmentalized into the “cool” and “uncool” the conformity that plagues the class stratum in high school and is perpetuated later in life. Much as I would like to say that the ‘uncool’ subsection blasted into the mainstream with a Spiderman-esque quest for liberty and justice the truth is sadly far from that. Peeling the layers of my parents’ experience of high-school and college, the sad face of conformity comes to light. The rip-roaring sixties was the advent of the “hippie” movement. Free love and free drugs was the order of the day and many a now-responsible parent indulged. The ostensible driving force was the hippie antipathy to... ... middle of paper ... ...ger (and more unbelievable) the story about an inhuman amount of drugs taken and survived: the bigger the street cred of any bro. Similar is the fate of relationships: the more notches in the proverbial bedpost the more “bro” the bro. However, one characteristic that defines bros in the context of larger society is their constant and instantaneous need for violence. Even an accidental bump or crash into a ‘bro’ can have the gauntlet thrown; a storm of fisticuffs and belligerent violence ensues. Although many of these groups aims to be a true voice of dissent however, precisely because their dogma is to do what the masses do not, rather than an individualistic line of reasoning, these groups fall victim to conformity within their own ranks. If people truly aspire to be individualistic it would behoove them to cast off society’s shackles and posit their own freedom.
Open Document