OK, I’m beginning to despair of averaging anything like a book a week. But I am still reading, so there’s that.
My most recent book accompli (that’s totally a thing, right?) is Lena Dunham’s memoir Not That Kind of Girl.
I am in awe of Lena Dunham, a really young woman who has the balls to just put herself and her art out there. I am amazed at the hate and anger her work generates from all sides… the frat boys who can’t stand that she dares to be naked on their TV sets and the lefties who rage against the whitey-white-whiteness of her show.
I haven’t seen “Tiny Furniture” (though it’s in my Netflix queue, and has been since before “Girls” started… A LOT of things are in my Netflix queue, ok?). But I really do like “Girls.” I like the female friendships, the awkward sex, and the casual one-liners like, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation—or at least a voice of a generation.” I relate to her procrastination, fear of success but terror of failure, wanting to be special but fearing you’re not really, and uncertainty of how to have fun, work hard, and not feel like a sucker.
I also don’t think every TV show / movie / book / piece of art needs to tell everyone’s story. There should be more representation of more kinds of people in all of these media. But it’s not on any one person to make that happen. Just because Lena Dunham is a feminist doesn’t mean she’s the perfect liberal in every situation. “Girls” reflects her experiences (yes, it’s fiction… but this is her world that she’s telling us about through her fiction). Maybe she should have more black friends so that her experiences (then reflected in her show) would be richer and more diverse. I should also have more black friends. So should, like, every single white person in America. So chill the fuck out about Lena Dunham and ask if you enjoy her show for what it is. If you don’t, cool. Don’t watch it. But why get so angry that she hasn’t made the TV show that you think she should make? You don’t see me taking to the internet to lambast Chuck Lorre for the depiction of university scientists in “Big Bang Theory.” I mean, except for right now.
I am incredibly interested to see what Lena Dunham will continue to create in her career. I really loved her memoir. I even decided to highlight a couple of choice passages and record them here, in case I want to remember them later.
“…the sex in television and movies had always rubbed me the wrong way. Everything I saw as a child…had led me to believe that sex was a cringey, warmly lit event where two smooth-skinned, gooey-eyed losers achieved mutual orgasm by breathing on each other’s faces.”
“Family first. Work second. Revenge third.”
This last one really might be my motto for the upcoming year, when I have to return to my department from the joy that is my sabbatical.