Brown in Hollywood

by Brian on March 12, 2004

The NY Times reports that my department just acquired a new fictional graduate.

Orders Come From a Talking Lion
Jaye [the main character in Wonderfalls] lives in a tricked-out trailer, which makes her seem resourceful; she also has a degree in philosophy from Brown. And in the second episode we learn that she can write.

I would like to think that when we learn she has a degree in philosophy from Brown, we thereby learn she can write, but I’m not sufficiently down with the requisite fictional conventions to tell for sure. I do think it’s cute that saying a character is a Brown grad is a way of placing them in American fiction. I don’t know how exactly many other schools have fictional stereotypes associated with them, though obviously there are a few.

{ 10 comments }

1

alkali 03.12.04 at 6:35 pm

“I don’t know how exactly many other schools have fictional stereotypes associated with them, though obviously there are a few.”

Bennington comes to mind.

2

jdw 03.12.04 at 6:52 pm

Am I the only one who read the article and had to look up “animism” to make sure he wasn’t going insane?

3

harry 03.12.04 at 7:05 pm

Weird — last night I discovered that one of the characters in Robert Goddard’s latest novel (for which the phrase ‘rolicking good read’ might have been invented) teaches art history here at University of Wisconsin. I KNOW that she is fictional because she gets a sabbatical moved up a year on compassionate grounds….absurd.

4

Dave 03.13.04 at 1:11 am

I definitely have a stereotype of Brown, which I developed immediately upon taking the tour. They talked incessantly about “empowering” me and encouraged me to take all my courses pass/fail. Though, it’s not a question of whether people actually graduate from Brown, but rather whether any of them manage to retain their [already tenuous] grasp on reality.

Needless to say, I declined Brown’s acceptance. The only school that scared me more was Dartmouth, whose selling point seemed to be “all the dirt and crime of a city school, none of the entertainment”. Or, perhaps, “none of the minorities” – I can’t decide which fits better.

5

Jon H 03.13.04 at 3:21 am

Anyone else think the idea for the talking animals thing in that show came from the things in Amelie’s bedroom?

6

Abiola Lapite 03.13.04 at 11:14 am

“all the dirt and crime of a city school”

You live in a different world than I do if you can say this with a straight face. “Dirt and crime” at Dartmouth, of all places?

I don’t believe you ever stepped foot in Hanover; if you did, you had to have been under the influence at the time.

7

Mac Thomason 03.13.04 at 8:09 pm

I watched the show, and if it helps the stereotype any she drinks a lot.

8

Marc 03.14.04 at 3:13 am

as a graduate of brown’s philosophy department ’02, i was a bit sore that no one contacted me for creative consulting. however, i am at least mildly pleased that the character in question is subject to hallucinations. as for the above commenter’s oh-so-clever quip about brown students’ tenuous grip on reality, if I’m not mistaken, it seems as though you were the one conflating the television show’s stereotype with brown’s actual philosophy grads.

9

Dave 03.14.04 at 5:38 am

I was mostly just poking fun – sorry if I offended anyone.

As for Dartmouth’s campus, the one thing I remember clearly (other than the pretty scenery) was all the paper trash and cigarette butts lying about on the streets. Then again, it was almost ten years ago and my memory is not what it once was.

10

Marc 03.14.04 at 5:54 am

mac–that helps the stereotype a great deal. i would say that, on balance, i got a great philosophy education from brown, but it was in spite of spending most of my time alternating my time between Jim Beam and Dave Hume.

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