588: Pep Rally
Title text: You know, pep rallies weirded me out in high school, and they've only gotten creepier in retrospect.
Any American who went to high school remembers the convocations they had during football or basketball season, in which class would be interrupted and everyone was crowded into the gymnasium for a pep rally. Cheerleaders would cheer, they'd play the school fight song, the cheerleaders might do a routine, and the team would be introduced.
This is used to inspire school spirit and get people excited about attending the games so that they'd come to the games and spend money on tickets and concessions. A common boast at pep rallies is "Our school is the best!"
"Wait, why?" says one of the students, quite logically. Why is their school the best? The student population is simply made up of students living in the general ZIP code of the school's location. There's no intrinsic reason why any school is any better than the rest of them in any way that really matters in real life. And even having the #1 basketball or football team in the state doesn't mean the students in that school are any "better" than anyone else.
This comic subverts the usual expectation of unanimous agreement with the cheerleader's sentiment, and reminds you that people who go to other schools or root for other teams aren't "bad people". In fact, they are capable of being quite kind as is demonstrated by the North High football team who helped rebuild someone's deck, the principal who donated his kidney, and the welcoming invitation from one of the student's friends to his school's events. Randall would no doubt argue that this is the same of people who follow a different religion than you, are of a different ethnicity, or have a different political party affiliation.
The title text says that Randall was weirded out by pep rallies growing up, as many introverted people do because of the noise and excitement, and possibly because of the thinking presented in this comic. Now that he's older, he finds them even more creepy, perhaps because of learning about historical events that feel similar like the Nuremberg Rallies or even the various tribalisms of adults.
- [Ponytail stands in front of crowded bleachers (with only Cueballs in it), waving pompoms high in the air.]
- Ponytail: Lakeview High is the best!
- Crowd: Yeah!
- Voice #1: Wait, why?
- [Zoom on Ponytail, now with her hands and pompoms down.]
- Ponytail: What?
- Voice #1 (off-screen): A guy on the North High football team helped me rebuild my deck.
- Voice #1 (off-screen): It seems ungrateful to presume we're better.
- [Same picture with Ponytail now just listening.]
- Voice #1 (off-screen): I mean, school districts are just based on zip codes.
- Voice #2 (off-screen): Their principal donated a kidney to my dad.
- [Ponytail looks down, holding up her pompoms.]
- Voice #1 (off-screen): I'm texting with my friend there now. He says it's okay, and we're invited to their events if we want.
- Voice #1 (off-screen): But he sounded kind of hurt.
- Voice #2 (off-screen): Why are we doing this rally, again?
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