I remember when the trailer for Unstoppable came out and I thought to myself, “That’s stupid. I don’t need to pay nine bucks to see a huge train wreck – I’ll just hop online and see what Courtney Love is up to.” Unlike Ustoppable, Courtney rarely disappoints, and such was the case last night when Trinity College presented the former Hole singer with an Honorary Patronage from the Philosophical Society of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Kurt Cobain’s widow was in rare form as she took to the stage to accept her award looking a bit disheveled and wearing an overcoat with the tags still attached to the back collar. (I am assuming that was an oversight, but perhaps Courtney is trying to establish herself as her generation’s punk rock version of Minnie Pearl.)
Once taking the stage Courtney apparently began going through a series of zombie-inspired convulsions while I assume discussions were being made about the connections between lyrics of “Doll Parts” and the poems of William Butler Yeats.
So what’s Courtney’s connection to Trinity College? (Cue the “Did You Know?” music) It’s a not-so-well-known fact that Courtney Love was a student there for two semesters in the early 1980s, during which time she moved into the Liverpool home of musician Julian Cope and established a friendship with Echo and the Bunnymen front man Ian Ian McCulloch.
If you’re like me, looking at these photos has you asking yourself, “So what is an Honorary Patronage from the Philosophical Society at Trinity College anyways?” In other words, “Was it a big deal Courtney Love was acting the fool while receiving it?” From the Philosophical Society’s web site:
The Honorary Patronage is the highest award that the Society can bestow on a non-member. The earliest councils selected leading minds from Irish and British society, and made them into Honorary Patrons, charging them with protecting the Society and using their good names to ensure its continued survival.
In modern times, suggestions for Honorary Patrons are submitted at the end of every Session and approved by Council. These potential patrons are then informed of their nomination by the President and accept the award with a speech or interview. More recently, Honorary Patrons are selected from the fields of Politics, Business, Academia and Arts, and only those guests whose contribution within their sphere is considered exceptional are made into Honorary Patrons…
Some former recipients of the honor include actor Gabriel Byrne, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, film director Oliver Stone, actor Al Pacino and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Sounds pretty high-filutin’ don’t it? That’s what I thought, until I did a little more research and discovered some of their other, seemingly less accomplished recipients like Rush Limbaugh, Naomi Campbell, and… David Hasselhoff!?! So it’s not just the Germans who love David Hasselhoff!
The Hoff wrote about receiving the “honor” in his book Don’t Hassel the Hoff: The Autobiography:
And so the curtain came down on the first season of America’s Got Talent and I flew to Europe to attend the premiere of Click in various capital cities. In Dublin, I was invited to Trinity College to receive an ‘Honorary Patronage” from the university’s Philosophical Society. The presentation was made in the same room where Winston Churchill had had once spoken. As I entered, students chanted, “Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!” People were lining up to meet me dressed as Michael Knight and Mitch Buchanan. I made a speech and took questions.
One of the students asked me, “Was KITT gay?”
“No,” I said, “but we have some fairly X-rated outtakes from Knight Rider. KITT was constantly asking, “Do you want me to take you home, Michael?” in that very camp voice of his.
Then I went home to California to finish writing this book.
So the answer is… No, it was not a big deal that Courtney was acting the fool. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome though! As we anxiously wait for Trinity College Philosophical Society to dole out one of their HPs to Lindsay Lohan, let’s take a look at a couple more examples of Courtney Love, the undead honoree, including a loooooong last look!