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branwyn


Member

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 10:33pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
I got very excited when the subject of posters commonly found in students' dorms came up in this podgram. Mostly because I am easily excited by strange things, but also because I had such an operatic relationship with wall decorations during my brief tenure as a dormitoried college student.

There's an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which a gang of vampires who have been killing college students and stealing things from their dorm rooms are looking through their loot. There are two kinds of fancy art-print posters on the walls, and about fifty copies of each---I think one was van Gogh's Starry Night and the other Klimt's The Kiss. The vampires were betting on whether they would find more copies of the Klimt or the van Gogh. The point was, practically every student on campus had fancy art prints hanging on their walls.

Even though that episode aired long before I actually went to college, once I got to my first dorm living experience, I was startled to find how accurate the caricature was. Every-freakin'-body had art prints on their walls. I was no exception. I was mad for the pre-Raphaelites. I had discovered them the year before when I was still in high school---all on my own, and didn't I think I was clever, that's what happens when you ignore the arts in public education---and as a college student I had disposable income for the first time in my life, which I invested, in part, in beautifying my living quarters.

As seen in this picture:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y21/branwyn1914/reynolds2.jpg

My domicile, circa 2002. I don't know what a hobnob is, Mr Fry, but you would have been very welcome to a cup of tea and...um. Probably a dried out apple or a bowl of Top Ramen, which would have been the best I could have provided at the time.

At any rate, I think this underscores the point of the "Wallpaper" podgram rather fascinatingly---it's not that I never saw Einstein on people's walls when I was in school, or Wilde either, but that I saw beautiful paintings a great deal more often, which certainly demonstrates the spirit of aestheticism as truly as pictorial homage to the founder of same. In some cases, I'm certain it's just the desire to appear very grown up coming out in young people who are living independently for the first time, but I think it's also something more genuine than that. Ray Bradbury refers to "the sound truth makes when it's spoken out loud" and something comparable happens when beauty strikes the eye, especially for the first time, and especially in a young person's life.

--LOL pretentious,
Brittany

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karen m


Member

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 10:55pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
sadly i think you would be more likely to see the centrefold from nuts magazine and the like on student walls these days

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 11:13pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
It's funny, my only roommate at university - before I moved in with my boyfriend - had Orlando Bloom on her wall. It was hilarious. University of Chicago, bio-chem-sci major of some sort... Orlando Bloom as Legolas on the wall.

M boyfriend/husband's dorm room was decorated with prints by Dali and some other bloke I can't recall. And some mellow black-and-white photogtraphy. And that sort of thing predominated, really, in my experience. I had... what did I have on my walls?.. god, it's only been a couple of years... I had some original art prints, some of them my own, and the Soviet Russian equivalent of "Uncle Sam Wants YOU," with a Red Army infantryman.

Here's the thing, though. One has to account for statistical significance, and sample size, and sample quality. Fry only gets invited to a certain kind of University, where the students aren't exactly a run of the mill sample of the youth. And from those schools, only the more intellectually inclined ones with a well0developed sense of humor probably attend the talks. And of *those* only the boldest and probably the cleverest dare invite him over for tea and HobNobs. So one can't really speak of "What the Kids have on Their Walls at University These Days" - more like, "What do the Kids inclined to know and love Stephen Fry Have on their Walls these Days."

And I'm somehow not at all suprised that it's usually Oscar Wilde and Albert Einstein.

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Piera


Member

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 11:23pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
I was quite surprised to hear about the sort of decor Stephen has come across in colleges. Was he talking about American dorm rooms or English dorm rooms? I either can't remember, or he didn't mention it.

From my experiences in the US, guys always had bikini clad chicks on their walls, while girls had pretty boy posters on theirs (Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, and the likes).

I found it more aesthetically pleasing to cover my wall with The Who, Beatles, and Cream posters in my college days.

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karen m


Member

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 11:34pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
It's funny, my only roommate at university - before I moved in with my boyfriend - had Orlando Bloom on her wall. It was hilarious

think i had that poster?! hmmm

that's my point though, it's different times and it would be those who love stephen fry and had the balls to invite him over that would have that sort of decoration, saying that, i'm not that worldly even if i do love the collective works of stephen fry i have a certain inability to comprehend half of what has inspired him. I'm half ashamed and half proud of my ignorance. I would like to see the world and question things more, get into an intellectual debate about the point of existence or the meaning of a stanza for example but i'm also thankful that i can take things in at face value without the feeling of needing an explanation or reason.

as they say, ignorance is bliss

but an overdose is deadly

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 11:36pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
I was quite surprised to hear about the sort of decor Stephen has come across in colleges. Was he talking about American dorm rooms or English dorm rooms? I either can't remember, or he didn't mention it.

From my experiences in the US, guys always had bikini clad chicks on their walls, while girls had pretty boy posters on theirs (Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, and the likes).

I found it more aesthetically pleasing to cover my wall with The Who, Beatles, and Cream posters in my college days.

It might have been America, the story of him meeting up with some college people on his recent tour of the middle US is pretty well known now. 'Could be in the UK too. I've did uni study in both countries and the student decor was pretty much the same in both nations.

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ysabella


Member

Posted Thu Apr 10th, 2008 11:54pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
Branwyn, Hobnobs are something like an oatmeal cookie, sometimes with chocolate coating on one side. Prepackaged, not homemade.

I'm trying to remember what my best friend had in her dorm room. Certainly some of her own drawings and some of mine. On the door they had a sign that said "Math and alcohol don't mix - please don't drink and derive." She was a math major who also studied a lot of art. Actually, she now teaches a class on music and math. She's a real smartypants (and a PhD in topology).

I never had a dorm room, but I would have had a poster of Peter Gabriel on the wall if I did. I had one at home, at that time of my life. If I had an art poster, it would have been Las Meninas, come to think of it.

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 12:38am Post subject: Dorm room posters
I was quite surprised to hear about the sort of decor Stephen has come across in colleges. Was he talking about American dorm rooms or English dorm rooms? I either can't remember, or he didn't mention it.

From my experiences in the US, guys always had bikini clad chicks on their walls, while girls had pretty boy posters on theirs (Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, and the likes).

I found it more aesthetically pleasing to cover my wall with The Who, Beatles, and Cream posters in my college days.

Well, it would probably largely depend on the university - and on the major of the student in question. I mean, Texas A&M and Princeton would probably have different dorm decors, since they'd house different types of kids. But I suspect math majors and engineering students in both of these places are inclined to put up math joke or chemistry joke or engineering joke posters.

I've also know some people, like my best friend, who never had any posters up. (There were years when I had no posters up either.) They would collect books and stack them along the wall in crates, and that was the sum and total of the decor. And in my best friend's case, of the furniture. There would be a matress on the floor, but that would be about it. At the Unviersity of Chicago, you're only required to live in the dorms one year, and then a lot of people move out to small subleted rooms of their own around the University. Once they do that, those inclined to make a House Beautiful do so, and those whose life and entire being is in the Books only come to the room to sleep. (Although, once the library got a 24-hour study space, not always that either.)

But our university always had a weird sort of culture... one could be a normal kid attending it, just because it was the best school in the Midwest, but usually that wasn't the case: they'd be there *specifically* because it was renowned for catering to nerds. So I can't generalize about all university kids from my own classmates... we were a crazy bunch..

Incidentally, if I could get Fry to speak to me about anything, it would probably be about his unversity days. Not the ones he spent in the Footlights with Hugh, - although that would also be intersting - but the ones he spent studying. What sort of classes did he take? Which ones did he like the most? What sort of long research projects did he undertake? Were there any topics that particularly intrigued him when he was a student and on which he read an exorbitant amount of academic literature? What sort of relationships did he have with his professors?

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Piera


Member

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 1:14am Post subject: Dorm room posters
You make a great point there, AxmxZ. I think what I meant (now that I think about it, I mean), is that I've never come across anyone who has hung an Oscar Wilde poster in their room. In fact, I don't think I've ever met any Wilde fans during my time in college or otherwise, so I think I was surprised to hear about what Stephen had come across in his travels.

I'm curious about his University days as well. Moab is My Washpot ends with him being admitted to Cambridge on a scholarship while still on probation. I'm wondering about his post-jail behaviour and if he still struggled in college to be "clean" (if that's the word I'm looking for). Not that I want to intrude on his life, but he talked about himself so openly in his book, I don't think I'd be crossing the line asking him about that.

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ysabella


Member

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 1:21am Post subject: Dorm room posters
So did anyone ever make wallpaper with images of Oscar Wilde on it?

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 1:32am Post subject: Dorm room posters
You make a great point there, AxmxZ. I think what I meant (now that I think about it, I mean), is that I've never come across anyone who has hung an Oscar Wilde poster in their room. In fact, I don't think I've ever met any Wilde fans during my time in college or otherwise, so I think I was surprised to hear about what Stephen had come across in his travels.

Me neither. And I think that's the very thing: you can't generalize from a self-selected audience. It seems almost a given that someone who loves Fry would love Wilde, and probably vice versa.

I'm curious about his University days as well. Moab is My Washpot ends with him being admitted to Cambridge on a scholarship while still on probation. I'm wondering about his post-jail behaviour and if he still struggled in college to be "clean" (if that's the word I'm looking for). Not that I want to intrude on his life, but he talked about himself so openly in his book, I don't think I'd be crossing the line asking him about that.

Yeah, that's really what I'd love to hear about, too. But then again, it's not even so much that it's *him* going through all this... how should I put this... It's a story. Moab was the childhood story, and Cambridge would be the youth story. And I'm a huge sucker for stories of intelligent and humorous people, first of all, and also for stories set at a University or other kind of learning establishment. It's why I'm so potty for the works of writers like Umberto Eco or the Strugatskie brothers - stories about clever, intellectually-focused people are where it's at for me. Especially if there's humor involved - and with truly intelligent people, there almost always is.

I'm writing a novel currently myself about two blokes in college, and I'm basically trying to write the book I myself would find most entertaining. As a consequence, there is no sex, no romance, lots of erudite banter and obscure references, several languages used casually, and at heart of it, a fundamental mystery about the protagonist's mysterious best friend.

And something tells me that Fry's Cambridge days would bear some not insignificant similarity to that sort of book.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 4:54pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
So did anyone ever make wallpaper with images of Oscar Wilde on it?

haha!

that way there's no deciding between who's going first, him or the wallpaper.

about the dorm posters...at the beginning of every semester a company goes round to all the college student unions and has a huge poster sale. it's the same company at almost every school. i think that's why there's all the repeats. (though, they are responding to demand....)

however, when i was in college, i provided the decor for my best friends. turns out a guy they all lusted after was a model in my figure drawing class.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Fri Apr 11th, 2008 5:39pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
I was surprised at first by the kind of posters he found. I've only ever seen movie posters and rock bands on student's walls. I think this is more to do with the sample of students Stephen Fry met. If he went into the dorms of the average student who has probably never even heard of him he'd probably find very different posters to Wilde and Einstein.

Assuming direct control...

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Tourmaline


Member

Posted Sat Apr 12th, 2008 1:35pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
I suppose it varies according to the fashion of the time, too - in my university days (early-mid 1990s) The Doors were the big poster phenomenon. My personal preference was for a Jeeves & Wooster poster but sadly there were none to be had

Thankfully I had finished university by the time the "amusing" interpretations of the Periodical Table, student road signs, etc appeared. But the notion of a large spread of Oscar Wilde on the wall is too delicious

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alley


Member

Posted Mon Apr 14th, 2008 2:59pm Post subject: Dorm room posters
hmh i never lived in a dorm :(

well actually i'm pretty glad bout that hehehe
but i shared rooms with a friend for quite a while and i have to admitt we hat the regular students flat with all the shennanigans; mainly filmposters on the walls, or big selfmade paintigs, one wall in the study was all covered in magic marker cause we used it as our "message board" for year's i've been staring at telephone numbers or supid jokes like "if i save the whales, where do i put them?"
there were post it's all over the place with messages like "xxx called, call back" or "don't eat the yoghurt!"
the bathroom had a laminated sheet of paper with a check list :
feet 2
legs 2
arms 2
etc
i am still living in that same flat, on my own now and i notice how time after time the "student work up" disappears.
the posters disappeared ad were replaced b bookshelfes or paintings (no prints for me i took a bob ross class *lol*)
the furniture gets upgraded from junkyard sale to, well okay to ebay....
and the wallpapers change..
That's why i nearly keeled over when i saw the new podgrams title....
i've just re-wallpapered a small hallway with the ugliest wallpaper you'll ever see... ( i love it)
and i've been waiting for a wallpaper delivery for the bedroom for 6 weeks now, this one as well especially ugly.
well not for me, i love the design but several people who saw the design promised me that i'll have no "fun" in this bedroom, at least not with a partner *lol*

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