Fictional characters going to Shimer? Well, as readers of this blog know, that is one way to think about what Shimerians are like, in a somewhat ideal typical sense (a la Weber) or in one's imagination, with a bit less seriousness! We have looked at figures such as Harry Dresden as well as the authors who create wildly popular characters like George R. R. Martin or Neil Gaiman.
Now, we turn our attention to one of the creations of Shonda Rhimes, one of the women defining our culture through the lens of television. Grey's Anatomy? Scandal? How to Get way with Murder? Definitely, most definitely Shimerian Shonda Rhimes. (Plus she has a newish book out.)
Today, though, we are asking about Olivia Pope, gladiator. Is she Shimerian? According to the wonders of quick web based research, she is distantly inspired by a real life figure, Judy Smith, who while smart enough to be a Shimerian attended Boston University.
But what about Pope? As far as I can see, she went to Shimer and is a Shimerian.
(1) According to Wikipedia Pope " thinks fast and effectively" and is a figure who is "emotionally strong, professionally powerful, and personally complicated" (see here). She has been described as intellectualy strong, though too many emphasize her intuition, and I admit I find the comparison to Monk a bit gender biased, since Monk is himself . . . well. . . In any case, all this leads to the notion that Olivia Pope is definitely Shimerian, despite the source (which is referencing other sources, of course).
(2) Stories say that she graduated from Princeton in Political Science and then went on to Georgetown Law. (See this site.) Of course, Shimer has a direct connection to Princeton's department of political science through graduate and trustee Robert O. Keohane, and we can definitely see his influence on her in her understanding of International Relations. But we think she lists Princeton in order to continue the obfuscation about her background necessary for her in the world in which she "operates."
(3) Olivia Pope tries for a "white hat" in a world that is amazingly grey (at best) and filled with folks quite close to her whose hats are most definitely not white. As she does so, she also allows for the language of gladiators. Thus, she connects recent history to history that is long past, and steers between reality and utopia in ways that are quite Shimerian.
What do you think? Olivia: we know that you are really a Shimerian. Shonda: we know you are as well. We think Meredith might have been as well. Do you?