Philosophy Club Part 1 (or: an anthropological study of white dudes with unique beards)

Published January 15, 2013 by pipsqueak

Ah, Philosophy. That enlightener of humankind, propelling us from our animalistic darkness and onward, ever onward, towards the noble truths of life are at last revealed! So surely something called Philosophy Club would be full of clearheaded seekers of wisdom willing to debate and discuss and argue for what they believe in?


I visited the callout meeting of IU’s philosophy club for purposes of absorbing some new ideas + pizza. Here’s what actually happened:

The Minutes of the Meeting (recreated haphazardly):

7:00-7:10 – introductions + people trickling in late

7:10-7:13 – We were told that as a surprise, Don LaFontaine (of movie-trailer voiceover fame) was going to introduce philosophy club. Everyone became confused, milled around. The lights were turned off and 2001: A Space Odyssey theme played on a tinny laptop speaker.

An undergraduate dude with a big fluffy blonde beard got up and stood in the corner and asked us, in a rough approximation of Don LaFontaine’s grave intonations:

“Are you ready… to questions all your assumptions?

Are you ready… to deconstruct reality as you know it?

If you are, you might be ready… for Philosophy Club.”

7:13-7:30 –  explaining what Philosophy Club is, strange improve game involving the organizers of the club ad libbing answers to questions by each saying one word at a time, resulting in sentences that didn’t make sense (but were certainly quite droll in their spontaneous silliness!)

7:30-7:40 – more introductions because approximately 20 people sauntered in late

7:40-7:59 – small groups, discussion of the question “What is Philosophy to You?”

8:00 – abrupt adjournment of Philosophy Club, retreat of most members to after-party (like Philosophy Club, but at an apartment so there can be alcohol)

The Philosophy Clubbies:

Around forty people showed up to the meeting. Most of them, with a few interesting exceptions, were woefully similar. I’m going to make a generalization and call this person-type Philosophy Phil. 70% of Philosophy Club were PhiPhils.

The hallmark of a Philosophy Phil:

  • philosophy major or minor
  • caucasian as all get-out
  • unkempt beard thing OR stringy goatee. This element is very important to PhiPhil’s physical appearance, and a source of great pride. Beards were mentioned con frequencia at Philosophy Club. I don’t know why, maybe a performing hypermasculinity thing?
  • favorite animal is wolf
  • bonus: t-shirt with philosophy pun on it, ie:

although you may wish you kould

  • and lastly, a deep love of speaking at length and with an air of weary, knowing intellectualism.

Although the modern PhiPhil dominated Philosophy Club, there were a few members who were more unique. I’ll write about them tomorrow, when I don’t have my eyelids melting down my face.


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