Sunday, October 23, 2005

Annoying Boy of the Week: The "Philosophy Boy"

At almost every institution of higher education there is a group of sleek, chiseled man-boys with high cheekbones and furrowed brows. They congregate on the quad, smoke Gaulois cigarettes, and talk loudly about Satre, Derrida, and especially Nieztsche. Despite being so very intellectual, they still seem to spend a great deal of time grooming themselves. Their most common posture is that of the cocky chest-thrust, though some of them also practice the studied slouch. When women walk by, their talking seems to get even louder. If they are alone and can not talk (so sad!), they are forced to brood underneath trees, reading their dog-eared copies of
Thus Spake Zarathrusta. Their hair is always just so, and they make sure that their pained visages are frequently available to be gazed upon by (what they must imagine to be) their throngs of admirers. Ah, to be smarter than everybody else! Such a burden!

Now don't get me wrong; I have nothing against philosophy. And I like books (obvs). But I do, however, have a problem with boys who think they are better than others simply because they've read x, y, or zed. I have a problem with boys who feign aloofness among their peers simply because they think it makes them cool. I have a problem with boys who pretend to listen to you only so they can respond by putting words in your mouth (for example, they love to tell you what "you think"). And I have a problem with boys whose favorite sentence is along the lines of "Obviously you've never read ____." Give me a fucking break.


Penultimatina said...

Ahh yes. I know the species well from my days at U of Michigan.

Off to ponder my pathetic existence.

juniper pearl said...

almost every institution--there was no such animal at worcester polytechnic institute.

femme feral said...

I've ammended the post to say "almost."

zp said...

Quote from actual living Philosophy Boy: "Where are the girls who read Plato and Marx?"

Fleeing, fleeing in horror.

But everywhere I've been, we've called them Theory Boys.

femme feral said...

Yeah, "theory boys" is an alternate name for this species.

"The Theory Boys" would also be a cute, if a bit cheeky, name for a band. Not as good as the Pet Shop Boys, but cute.

juniper pearl said...

hey, i read plato! does his work still count as philosophy if i was only reading it to gain a deeper understanding of heisenberg's lectures on quantum theory? i've honestly never been plagued by these fellows. well, there was one boy in high school who quoted nietzsche to me a lot, but it was mostly in justification of his obsession with the iron man competition.

i figure these boys grow out of it and become appropriately sheepish about their earlier behavior. the really troublesome blokes are the philosophy men, you know, those fellows in their 40s and 50s who are still looking down their noses at you and chuckling derisively at your global ignorance, but quoting all the same books as the quad gnomes. those dudes are bastards.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

Had a friend at Rutgers who called them 'Boy Geniuses' (emphasis on the Boy). There are copious amounts of such boys at Rutgers. I pity those fools.