Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Berk Faction Brofile: Brofessors

Panoramic View of Berkeley in 1910, from alamedainfo.com
Before the First Event, the city that would become Berk was well known as a college town. Learned professors taught their young pupils the sciences and the humanities, while the young people did their best to fit as many poor decisions into four years as they could. In today's Berk, the Brofessors have accepted the challenge to keep university culture alive by embodying both of these ideals in a single group of individuals.

Unlike the Librarians, who managed to just barely hold out against the Neo-Luddites after the Second Event, all of the students and professors at the University were either killed or driven off. The Brofessors faction began when survivors discovered the remains of the University after the Neo-Luddites had finished with it. The Brofessors pieced together all they could of university culture and decided to recreate it themselves.

At the time, there weren't enough members of the group to have both students and professors at the school, so they decided to combine the two, and the Brofessors were born. Now there are more Brofessors, but they never got around to separating out the student roles from the professor roles.

Brofessors are often discussed in terms of their relationship with Librarians. The Librarians are, without a doubt, the more successful of the two. They have more pre-Event texts and more technology. The Brofessors have an advantage, though: while Librarians try to collect information and make it available, Brofessors interpret it and (arguably) apply it in new ways. Plus, Brofessors have more fun.

Tweed as a lifestyle

Brofessors dress as much like professors as they can, with a definite "bro" element. Tweed is as important as popped collars. Different Brofessors take different routes, but at least a little bit of "professor" and at least a little bit of "bro" is required. For instance, if a Brofessor is decked out in tweed, with glasses and a fedora, that fedora had better be worn backwards. If a Brofessor is dressed in the colors of the school sports team (or the colors the Brofessor believes the school sports team would have, if they had one), the Brofessor will turn up the 'professor' angle by wearing half-moon glasses and a watch on a chain.

Lady Brofessors exist as well. Pantsuits can be combined with short shorts, sometimes with great effect. Sometimes not so much, but that's what being a Brofessor is all about.

Party like you just got tenure

Brofessors are known for the parties they throw. When a Librarian who studied pre-Event university culture mentions "keg stands" and "beer bongs", he or she is met with blank looks, until the Brofessors realize that what the Librarian means is "teapot stands" and "tea bongs."

One of the goals of Brofessor parties is to show how much caffeine you can consume while working on a paper. Logical fallacies and failing to cite your sources are considered "party fouls." One legendary Brofessor got so wired at a party that she stayed up for a week, and when she finally went to bed, her friends found that she had written an entire dissertation about the use of reader response theory in explaining crowd chants at gatherings.

The Ultimate Bro

One of the greatest sources of contention between Brofessors and Librarians is the Bard himself. While Librarians put him on a pedestal as the measure that all subsequent writers are compared to, Brofessors see him as the ultimate Bro, who, along with other famous Bros like Chaucer, wrote about drinking, farting, and jokes to do with naughty bits.

The Librarian-Brofessor Rivalry

Brofessors are convinced that a big part of the university experience is choosing another university to be rivals with. As there are no other universities in Berk (and possibly no other universities remaining anywhere in the world), Brofessors have decided that the Librarians are their rivals. The Librarians have come to accept this, as Brofessors for the most part are decent Berk residents.

The rivalry does have some rather annoying elements for Librarians, though: first, pranks. No Brofessor is allowed to attain tenure until he or she has pulled off a prank against the Librarians. These pranks are encouraged to be as "madcap" as possible. Classics include sneaking into the Great Library and emerging with a rare translation of Proust, or finding the logs of a Librarian and inserting dangling participles and comma splices.

The other thing that Librarians cannot stand is Brofessors' continued insistence that Foxworthy was nothing but a hack comic and not at all the genius that Librarians believe him to be. Librarians insist that Brofessors clearly have no understanding of the impact the great Foxworthy had on late twentieth and early twenty-first century culture. Brofessors wonder how much time Librarians have been spending around Ents.


Brofessors lack any great reserves of ranged weapons. They make up for this with a staggering variety of melee weapons adapted from sports equipment. Baseball bats are common, as are hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, javelins, shot-puts, discuses, and even weightlifting weights. Most blunt instruments will have quotes from famous writers and poets written on them as a last-ditch attempt to get some literature into a raider's thick skull.

Thanks to their love of bicycles, Brofessors are one of the most mobile factions in Berk. As it can be dangerous to travel the city alone, a little dingle-ing sound heralds the approach of a group of traveling Brofessors on bicycles.

Brofessor Membership

Brofessor parties are open to anyone and serve as the main avenue of Brofessor recruiting. If you choose to attend a wild Brofessor party and the next thing you know it's morning and you've been up all night and, what's this document, oh no, it's a treatise on the use of fraternal rivalry in Shakespeare's Othello, you might as well start shopping for tweed.

New Brofessors go through a "hazing" ritual that is often described as "publish or perish" but can be more accurately summed up as "publish or receive humiliating punishment like being forced to stand on a street corner in Downtown Berk and read a passage of Foxworthy."

Once a Brofessor pranks a Librarian, he or she receives tenure and is a Brofessor forevermore. At that point, the Brofessor receives a new name to indicate his or her status. The names are often famous literary characters and/or something in Latin, which is a language that no Brofessor can really speak but they all agree is really impressive.

Brofessor Adventurers

While Brofessors do not have the same focus on acquiring lost technology and texts that the Librarians do, they aren't about to let the Librarians get it all. For this reason, Brofessor adventurers are rarer, but those that do take up the calling always have something to prove.

There is often another reason a Brofessor would join an adventuring party. If a Librarian is in the party, that Librarian had better find out quickly if the Brofessor has tenure, and if not, be on the constant lookout. Otherwise, the Librarian may wake up to find his or her eyebrows shaved off and "Foxworthy is a knave" written in permanent marker on his or her forehead.


  1. "If a Brofessor is dressed in the colors of the school sports team (or the colors the Brofessor believes the school sports team would have, if they had one), the Brofessor will turn up the" Turn up the what? :<

    Also, pant-suit plus short-shorts? Haaaaaawt. I want to know more about girl Brofessors. :3

    Inserting comma splices? WHAT MADNESS WOULD POSSESS THEM TO DO THAT!

    This is one of your best write-ups yet. It really has unique feel and is filled to the brim with personality, humor, and charm. Next time I'm drinking tea, I'll imagine I'm surrounded by a bunch of Brofessors chanting, "CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG!"

  2. Thanks for the help with that half-finished sentence. Sometimes I run out of steam on something and keep writing the next sentence. Usually I remember to come back to it, though!

  3. I saw a Brofessor run off with half of your sentence.