A reader from Fifteen Days of Sirlo, IN writes: "In far too many films, when the male protagonist falls in love with a woman, the woman is a poorly fleshed out ideal without actual human traits. Men run Hollywood, after all. Incidentally, I agree with the Beaubaxton friend about Clementine. I thought she was a depressing, pitiful, lonely-dork-boy wet dream. That in itself ain't a crime, but that's all she was. Hence, concept."
Actually, the dispute between myself and my friend from Beauxbaton was strange: I thought Clementine was a concept, but I could see someone falling in love with her as a concept. Indeed, her warning "I'm not a concept!" seemed to be a warning to Joel not to fall in love with Clementine-the-concept, but rather Clementine-the-impulsive-psycho. What I couldn't see what how any woman would find Joel appealing. Mme. Beauxbaton, meanwhile, had no trouble seeing why someone would fall in love with Joel--using a calculus of amorousness that was way outside anything my straight male mind could apprehend--but she couldn't see what any man would genuinely find appealing in Clementine.
Meanwhile, at least a couple readers of the early morning edition of my weblog noticed that I originally named a specific individual as an example of a person-as-concept, only later to replace it with "[insert name here]." I did this on the advice of the crackerjack JFW legal team, as apparently some people might construe (unintended) negative implications of being labeled "a concept." However, later, upon opining that said individual was a concept but a complex enough one as to make perhaps even a good protagonist in a novel, I received an e-mail as I was getting my lecture together this afternoon saying "screw your class! write the novelization of me!!!!"