Why is Doonesbury's "Walden College" a slacker school?
OK, this has always puzzled me: in Doonesbury, they often talk about "Walden College". Walden is clearly supposed to be Yale. That's where Trudeau started writing Doonesbury, and there are numerous Yale-specific references (e.g. "Harvard of south central Connecticut" in the strip above). But in the Doonesbury universe, Walden is a total slacker school, as this series of strips indicates. Though Harvardians might see nothing wrong with this, I was under the impression that in the real world my alma mater still had some cachet.
Of course, maybe Trudeau just decided that there's a lot more comedic potential in a dis-accredited slacker school. Clearly he's using Walden's plight to satirize certain lax attitudes towards academic achievement. But it just seems very strange, because I suspect Yale is filled with the exact opposite kinds of people from those depicted attending Walden. At least it was when I was there. There were slackers, too, of course, but they didn't dominate the culture.
It is fun to depict the antics of a bunch of uber-slackers (and some recent movies, like Knocked Up, have done this pretty well), but why so clearly identify Walden with Yale? Is he just trying to take our alma mater down a peg? Yale does have a pretty inflated sense of its own place in the world. (If only it had managed to instill a sense of curiosity in our current president...sigh.) And Lord knows there's plenty to satirize. But the depiction doesn't ring true, and clearly isn't meant too. Unless things have changed a lot more than I know. I haven't been there in a while.