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You know what I loved? High School. Sure, it sucks in almost every conceivable, totalitarian way, but it’s four years of chaotic, beautiful turbulence: you get a driver’s license, you play sports, you get thrown out of class for swearing, you get A’s, you get F’s, you crash your car into fire hydrants, you smoke pot for the first time, you binge drink, you make out with sophomore girls in a shady hotel room showers, you read The Great Gatsby like ninety-two times, and you get to see your best friends every single day for six-and-a-half hours.
Wait. Nevermind. I forgot--admitting you enjoyed high school at all is tantamount to excluding every twenty-something white douche bag who still harbors a grudge because someone somewhere called him a pussy a few times during those formative years. Well, grow a fucking sack, you pussy. High School wasn’t that bad, and it’s because of whiny-ass, overly P.C. sad sacks of shit that I’ve had to endure this deluge of high school movies and TV shows from a goddamn nerd point of view. Superbad. Freaks And Geeks. Mr. Woodcock. Is anyone else sick of dweeb protagonists complaining about getting hit with dodge balls? I am. Picking off the fat kid isn’t even mean--it’s Natural Selection, motherfuckers.
Why is it that every single goddamn high school movie now is about unathletic, unpopular, undesirables weaseling their way into a roll in the hay with the most beautiful girl at school? That’s not even an admirable goal. Most of the cheerleader types are vapid vortexes of slutiness and stupid opinions. Always go for the Brittany Murphy--she’s ascending--not the Alicia Silverstone--she’s at her apex.
So, why is this happening? I think most people just prefer remembering themselves as the underdog, which is categorically hilarious since everyone’s goal in high school is too vault their way atop the social podium. Selective memory, baby. When you were fourteen, you would have stolen a Bunsen Burner to be universally liked, and that is closer to an understatement than an overstatement. Sure, retroactively we smile and root for Sam Weir to kiss Cindy Sanders in between fourth and fifth period, but back in the day, most of us were probably closer to Romy White or Slater from Dazed And Confused--not the coolest kid on the block but not a walking punch line either.
It’s not even as if I hate these movies. Superbad was hilarious. I smiled with McLovin and I laughed at Jonah Hill and his penis-drawing obsession, but this whole worship-the-losers brand of comedy is getting out of hand. When Bill Murray and Gilda Radner dressed up as nerds on Saturday Night Live, it was refreshing to see how the other half behaved. Hell, it was even a little exciting when John Hughes turned dweeb exploits into a goddamn franchises in the mid-80s, but it’s quickly getting stale and obvious. When’s David Wooderson’s turn to take the lead?
I get it. Most teenagers secretly despise the most popular kids and kinda want to go Christian Slater in Heathers on their gorgeous asses---but more than that, they want to hang out with them. Most people don’t view it from the bottom. They see it from the side. That’s why American Pie will live on forever. It’s the only movie in recent memory which gave us a group of guys who weren’t the epitome of popular--but also weren’t shoved into toilets.
We need more Mallrats and less Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist. And that’s not going to happen until most people look in the fucking mirror and remember what high school was truly like--a roller coast of ups and downs, cries and smiles, and times of both popularity and unpopularity.