Absent Mind - Absent-mindedness in Popular Culture

Absent-mindedness in Popular Culture

The absent-minded professor is a stock character often depicted in fictional works, usually as a talented academic whose focus on academic matters leads them to ignore or forget their surroundings. This stereotypical view can be traced back as far as the philosopher Thales, who it is said "walked at night with his eyes focused on the heavens and, as a result, fell down a well". One classic example of this is in the Disney film The Absent-Minded Professor made in 1963 and based on the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel W. Taylor. Two examples of this character portrayed in more modern media include doctor Emmett Brown from Back to the Future and Professor Farnsworth of Futurama.

In literature, "The Absent-Minded Beggar" is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, written in 1899, and was directed at the absent–mindedness of the population of Great Britain in ignoring the plight of their troops in the Boer War. The poem illustrated the fact that soldiers who could not return to their previous jobs needed support, and the need to raise money to support the fighting troops. The poem was also set to music by Gilbert & Sullivan and a campaign raised to support the British troops, especially on their departure and return, and the sick and wounded. Franz Kafka also wrote "Absent-minded Window-gazing", one of his short-story titles from Betrachtung.

Other characters include:

  • Amberglas from The Seven Towers by Patricia Wrede
  • Alicja, a detective created by Joanna Chmielewska. Alicja is described by the author as "the epitome of absent-mindedness".
  • Caboose, from the popular web-series Red vs. Blue by RoosterTeeth.
  • Hay Lin is an absent-minded character from an Italian comic book series, later made into an anime and Disney production.

Read more about this topic:  Absent Mind

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