Stop the animosity

By Erin Moy

It’s hard to imagine the way a true high school rivalry should be exhibited. Should we mimic the television show “90210” and release pigs on the other school’s campus before a big lacrosse game or attempt a clever prank similar to the 2004 Harvard-Yale football game when Harvard students were tricked into holding signs that spelled out “we suck”? These methods are far too cliché for Los Angeles high schools. Instead, we have put our tech skills to good use via Facebook and YouTube in the form of rap.

YouTube has provided a new arena of controversy with Loyola, a long-standing rival in athletics. Spurred by a Prom music video made by Harvard-Westlake seniors, a Loyola student replied with a rap video of his own. The Loyola response video has 133 comments and thousands of views. There are now at least three other rap videos in response to the Loyola video on Facebook and YouTube. In a reaction to what many see as a direct attack on Harvard-Westlake, students on both sides have risen out of their apathetic states and taken to their keyboards. Comments have been vicious, personal and have made broad generalizations about each school.

Though last year the Fanatics were criticized for being too aggressive during athletic events, at least they had the overarching purpose of supporting sports teams. The continuing comments that attack individuals or entire student bodies are an entirely different story. No longer are we basing our sense of competition on talent in sports or academics, but instead we are jumping into a fight over which student has the ability to rap. If that’s not ridiculous enough, the ensuing comments on all the videos have become out of hand on both sides. Profanity aside, the comments have demonstrated nothing more than our willingness to attack each other’s schools based on a vague stereotype.

Although many friendships do exist between the two schools, it is hard to imagine it when reading the posted comments. It has gone from a semi-entertaining video war to an all-out comment war between Harvard-Westlake and Loyola students.

Our access to the internet seems to only be adding fuel to the fire. Comments have become more profane with the anonymity provided by YouTube, allowing students to express themselves to the fullest extent of their vocabulary only to further aggravate the conflict. Though I highly doubt that the posted comments accurately reflect each author’s personal view of the school and its students, the inflammatory nature only prolongs the controversy. While having school rivals can add to a sense of community within each school, attacking each other over YouTube videos serves no purpose but to aggravate and embarrass both schools. The internet provides us far too many opportunities to engage each other in pointless viral fights that can evolve into something larger.

I’d rather we go old school á la the 2004 Harvard-Yale football game.