Why So Loathsome Lena Dunham?
Let’s get out of the way right now that I’m jealous of Lena Dunham. I’m jealous of every talented, young, and successful writer; even more so screenwriters.
When the promotional campaign for Girls first started I’ll admit I was interested. Luckily, I was warned away by a more discerning male friend. And good culture blogs warning of the one-shade only concept of the show.*
Poor Lena Dunham.
She is so god-awfully easy to hate. It’s to the point now where I wonder if she’s doing it on purpose. And if so for what purpose?
I want to believe that someone so creative and intelligent could be capable of pulling off the greatest troll of the mobile era – where attention spans last only as long as a Snapchat video, and within four to seven days tempers will rage against the Newsfeed for an entirely different topic.
I want to believe there is some grand reveal where she shares her case-study of Modern Backlash Against The Avegrage White Girl. I want it to be a strong, inspiring, feminist call to arms against the White Patriarchy which has brutalized and coddled so many of us into the fucking disasters we are today.
She is so completely convincing of her own belief in her shtick:
Whoops, you guys, I didn’t mean that thing I said that you didn’t love; at least not the way you think I meant it. I am just expressing how much I loathe myself because I constantly feel inadequate and need to be praised for being fearless in the face of my own endless reflection on ME.
I truly believe she steps in shit by accident. Like she’s gone retarded on privilege and literally can not see where she’s going.
White Privilege is.
That is a complete thought, sentence. The subject and verb need no predicate. White Privilege is because White Privilege. Ouroboros. It is a natural cycle, reinventing and reestablishing itself every few years, in all sorts of ways. Violence, scandal, injustice, sex symbols, religion, war. You name it!
And there is Lena Dunham, eating her own tail in the never ending cycle of false belief that every single piece of her inner world is valid for expulsion outward. Partially, this is a creative’s curse. There’s a lot going on up top, within. And usually it’s always going on.
That much I can relate to.
But it would seem Dunham believes the world is either owed, or she is entitled the right to subject it to, whatever idea catapults from her at any given time. She seems to think she is important, that her voice is relevant to anything, her contribution vital to the times.
It is not. She only serves to enrage and cause backlash, and not even in the useful way that Art should. An artist’s opinions in an interview are not Art. Saying things in a blog is not doing the work. And her work reflects only one dimension of modern life – a deep, gagging, self-absorption of whiteness, of the frivolity of a high income which affords one the freedom to do little else but muse one’s own existence and indulge whims because one knows nothing of struggling simply to exist. I mean Biggie Smalls, “sardines for dinner” struggling.
And, hey, considering your existence is good and important intellectual and spiritual work if you can get it – if you find and make the time for it. But is Dunham doing the work, or is she sticking her finger in her butthole and then pushing that finger under our noses?
Culturally, as a society unable to escape our preoccupation with either compliance to or resistance against racial inequality and injustice, it’s almost too easy to feed into the polarizing effect of Dunham’s foot-in-mouth syndrome. I almost feel guilty for surrendering to the cacaphony, for dropping my two cents, for feeding into her need for attention by any means necessary. But two things: 1) Lena Dunham doesn’t care what black and brown women think or feel. Her dimension of artistic brain does not compute their existence. And also, blog traffic amirite..?
*I will probably get around to watching GIRLS, the same way I got around to watching SATC, and I will probably find that I enjoy it. But right now my TV schedule only has space for Black television and shows which purposely play with race dynamics in a real world setting, even if not always – or at all – very thoughtfully or responsibly. (I’m talking to you Chicago PD) Basically, I have no time for GIRLS rn.