Lion of the Blogosphere

Welcome to the Dollhouse

A reader wrote in a comment:

Lion: can you do a LOTB post about the film “Welcome to the Dollhouse”. The proles featured in the film were likely very similar to the proles you grew up with. The film really lets the viewer get a sense of prole values and how the differ from true middle class values.

I took the reader up on his suggestion.

This movie was released in 1995, but I think it takes place in the late 1980s, in a prole white area of New Jersey. The main character, Dawn (a 7th grade student) is from a Jewish family. Yes, there are prole Jews.

What can I add that wasn’t addressed in the review by Roger Ebert?

I thought the movie was very accurate. I thought while watching the movie, that’s just like what my junior high school was like, that’s just how the interior of my house looked (or the houses of my friends). People speak with prole accents that, if anything, are toned down compared to how real proles in the New York City area spoke thirty years ago.

Among prole kids from that era, the worst possible insult is to be a “faggot.” At school, Dawn is in physical danger from the other kids, and the school staff seems oblivious to the problem. It seems pretty familiar. If the apathy of the school staff is exaggerated for the sake of dark comedy, it’s only very slightly exaggerated.

It’s my interpretation that the reason why the older brother is obsessed with getting into a good college is to cover up his social inadequacies. No girl will date him because he’s a nerdy beta-male, but by pretending that the girls aren’t good enough for him and that he has more important things to do like build up his resume for college applications, it boosts his self-esteem. Additionally, he no doubt has a genuine desire to get the hell out of his parents’ social class and sees college as the way to do that.

I assume that the movie is partially autobiographical. Todd Solondz, the screenwriter and director, is said to be from Newark, NJ, which is a pretty prole part of New Jersey. The hell he experienced in junior high school as a smart nerdy kid amongst proles is probably just like what Dawn experienced.

* * *

Commenter Otis asks:

Would even prole Jewish parents scorn their 2 bookworm children in favor of their princessy daughter? The mom and dad loved Misty but didn’t care at all about Dawn and her brother. I can’t imagine Jewish parents being like that.

Prole Jews don’t behave much differently than prole gentiles. Proles have lower investment parenting compared to SWPLs. Dawn’s prole parents are content to let her and her brother sink or swim on their own.

Yes, the parents love Misty the most because she is what prole parents want in a child; she is physically attractive and has a winning gender-appropriate personality. She is destined to be one of the popular girls when she’s Dawn’s age.

Dawn’s older brother is nerdy and unpopular, but at least he’s smart. Dawn has nothing going for her at all. She’s not pretty, she’s not athletic, she’s not especially smart, and she has an awkward and moody personality: unlike her younger sister who always says the right thing, Dawn is always saying the wrong things.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 12, 2016 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies, Proles

13 Responses

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  1. “Welcome to the Dollhouse” remembers with brutal and unforgiving accuracy the hell of junior high school. Many movies reconstruct those years as a sort of adolescent paradise; it’s a shock, watching this film, to remember how cruel kids can be to one another, and how deeply the wounds cut.

    I can recall today with perfect accuracy the names and faces of11-year-olds who made my life miserable. If I met them today, so many years later, would I forgive and forget? Not a chance. I still hate them. Was I also cruel? Did I have my own victims? Strange, but I can’t remember…

    Given the enormous number of aggrieved nerds it has generated over the years, one may ask whether government school really is a good idea. It’s always amusing to hear the claims that, even if the larnin dispensed is of poor quality, it at least helps with ‘socialization’. (In the same way as does prison, presumably.)


    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

  2. I watched the movie just now based on your post and liked it too.

    It was set in 1994. Quite a few of the cars pictured were from the mid-80’s, but the older brother’s pen-pal talks about “getting e-mail soon” for their next letters, and 1994 appears on a calendar.

    As a nerdy tween, I remember 1994 really well. That is when the Internet started being mentioned a lot in popular media. I begged my parents and my teachers to let me use a computer with internet access. We had a crappy 386 at home with windows 3.1 and no modem so I could not even do a BBS.

    I was in a middle-middle class public schools then. I do not remember much of the “jock v nerd” bullying dynamic there. The athletes were not especially popular, and the smart kids not especially unpopular. The teachers were nicer too.

    Another difference is that nobody would ever have smoked marijuana or cigarettes inside school or even near it either. If they did it was in a vacant lot, in a secluded spot in a park, or in the woods.

    Overall a great movie though.


    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

  3. I miss your posts talking about different occupational fields and how they relate to status and politics.


    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

    • Me too. I’ve stopped coming as often since it’s been all Trump, all the time.

      Samson J.

      July 13, 2016 at EDT am

    • America has fallen to a crass proletariate state, with a restive black underclass, brewing to strike when opportunity arises.

      What is there to status in America? Furthermore, many elite settings have been sabotaged by liberals, who demand that a rainbow coalition of rowdy non-Whites, be met with impunity!


      July 13, 2016 at EDT pm

  4. IHTG

    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

  5. Happiness is Solondz’s masterpiece. Please review that, Lion.

    Horace Pinker

    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

  6. would even prole Jewish parents scorn their 2 bookworm children in favor of their princessy daughter? The mom and dad loved Misty but didn’t care at all about Dawn and her brother. I can’t imagine Jewish parents being like that.

    Otis the Sweaty

    July 13, 2016 at EDT am

  7. A real life Guidette plays a Yenta in the movie.

    20 years ago, I wouldn’t say proles around the tristate area were total losers, given the fact that much of Manhattan and NYC in general, was a sh*thole. It was and is still better to live among proles than NAMs. It’s really the current gentrification process of major urban centers, that make outlying prole areas very undesirable.


    July 13, 2016 at EDT pm

  8. I saw Dollhouse in Princeton, NJ when it came out in 1995. Two things I remember: the story was quite realistic to the extent that no matter how far down the social pecking order Dawn was, she was still brutal to kids even further down than her, and–Heather Matarazzo is REALLY ugly, and her roles in later films really bear that out.


    July 13, 2016 at EDT pm

  9. See, I enjoyed this post, and in fact I might watch the movie, just to get a glimpse of the world Lion says he grew up in.

    Samson J.

    July 13, 2016 at EDT pm

  10. That movie put me into labor with my now 17 year old. I was so disturbed by the cafeteria bullying scenes that I started having contractions.

    Lord of the Rings (seen in the theater) put me into labor with my 14 year old.

    slithy toves

    July 13, 2016 at EDT pm

  11. I’m curious what you would have to say about Donnie Darko, a film which oozes 80’s pre-SWPL upper middle class. Well, aside from the villainous prole teacher into self help and children’s dance performances.


    July 14, 2016 at EDT am

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