DUBLIN - Talk about a tough professor.
Trinity College in Dublin was spoofed Thursday when an unknown prankster posted an academic profile of its newest English lecturer: a certain Conan T. Barbarian, complete with Hollywood mug shot of a shirtless, sword-clad Arnold Schwarzenegger in his maiden film role.
Trinity removed the parody site — but not before dozens of fans had archived the Web page of the mock biography and turned it into an Irish viral sensation.
Trinity spokeswoman Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn said the university had never had its Web site disrupted like this before. She confirmed that Trinity was certain it was an inside job, not the work of a hacker.
Dr. Barbarian's Trinity profile contains a warrior's feast of references to the arcane plot of the 1982 film, which was critically panned but a box-office hit that launched Schwarzenegger's movie career.
It claims he has been preparing for the rigours of academic life since being "ripped from his mother's womb." His Ph.D thesis is titled "To Hear the Lamentation of Their Women: Constructions of Masculinity in Contemporary Zamoran Literature."
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The latter refers to one of the most famously ridiculous lines from the film, when Conan is asked what is best in life and replies: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."
The parody faculty listing claims he was appointed to the School of English "after successfully decapitating his predecessor during a bloody battle which will long be remembered in legend and song."
It cites his upcoming courses as including "Vengeance for Beginners" and "Deciphering the Riddle of Steel." That riddle is central to the film's plot and concerns whether a sword is more powerful than a man. Answer: Nope.
Conan's stated classroom policy is to crucify students who cheat or show weakness.
Ni Lochlainn said the prank posting was being broadly viewed as "quite humorous," but Trinity investigators were seriously trying to identify the culprit. She said punishment would depend on "the full facts of the case."
Conan the Scholar, http://bit.ly/rsL3xD