Okay. Unless you don’t clicky-click on current culture at all, you know that Lena Dunham is (once again) in the (self-imposed) penalty box for saying/doing/showing things in a politically/culturally/sexually incorrect manner.
Just last week I was mildly wishing for Lena’s creative demise. There is just too much of her. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. She has a way of aggressively absorbing all the energy from the Zeitgeist. She can be rude, for one thing, and too-frequently naked for my taste, and she has done some really not-well-thought-out things like making in print what could possibly have been construed as a false accusation of rape. That’s not cool.
But with this new wave of hysterically cacophonic hate coming from a tongue-in-cheek piece in The New Yorker, I find myself (sadly, reluctantly) defending her. Come on, guys, it was kind of funny! If we want to have a hissy fit about Anti-Semitism (and we absolutely should!), let’s maybe focus our white-heat anger where it belongs. (hint: a little closer to the Oval Office, maybe?) If Lena (who, as I’m sure you know, is half-Jewish) hadn’t used the word “Jewish” in the header, she might be trending toward a life of well-deserved obscurity instead of trending on Twitter.
If you haven’t read it, turn to page 31 in March 30 issue of The New Yorker magazine. It’s the one with the cover peppered with emojis of Hillary Clinton. Along with nineteen versions of Hillary facial expressions, there is a globe, a flag and a gavel, but there is apparently no way to draw an emoji of a wiped computer hard drive, so that one is missing.
But back to Lena. Has anyone considered that it may just be that she has a dog of a boyfriend? If more restaurants allowed us to bring our pets, maybe we wouldn’t have to dine with (quiz question #13) people who don’t tip. And as for the zinger (quiz question #9) that raised much of the current uproar, I defy you to prove that the Jews have any kind of sole claim on “a culture in which mothers focus every ounce of their attention on their offspring/don’t acknowledge their own need for independence as woman/are sucked dry by their children…who ultimately leave them as soon as they find suitable mates.” Move over, Jewish mothers, because you have plenty of company here.
Anyway, my quiz. Without further ado, me or Lena?
1. Might love her dog more than she loves most people.
2. Has a penchant for confessional prose.
3. Bad hair? Just keep it short.
4. Went to college in Ohio.
5. Secretly wishes the word zaftig would come back into fashion.
6. Has been published in The New Yorker (yes, this one is easy…)
7. May have some teeny, tiny issues with propriety.
8. Hangs out with Terry Richardson.
9. Not a lot of space between those thighs…
10. Needs, but apparently is not willing, to pay for a stylist.
Yes, I made this a no-brainer because it’s Saturday and it’s not fair to make anyone (especially me) think too hard. But let me just say that I DO know someone who knows someone who knows Terry Richardson.
And you’ll see that, amazingly, the famous, talented Lena Dunham and I actually have a few things in common. (dear God, these thighs…) I would not for a moment trade my WASP-y, generous-tipping husband for her Jewish boyfriend, but I might put up with a dog prone to urine crystals and a beef allergy (assuming I have made the correct choice on quiz answer #24) just to have a smidgin of her (sometimes misguided) talent and honesty.
I’m rooting for you, Lena. I don’t exactly wish you more success, because then I will be forced to think of you more frequently and remember, with horror, that you once equated voting for Obama to losing your virginity. But Lena, I admire your bravery and your vulnerability. And I look forward to reading many more of your essays in The New Yorker because your first one, A Box of Puppies was awesome and made me cry.
But just one piece of advice from someone older and, actually, amazingly, given what I see as some colossal mis-steps on your part, wiser: keep the dog; lose the boyfriend.