April 6, 2016

"On Sunday’s episode of 'Girls,' the show resurrected the story of Kitty Genovese, the 28-year-old bar manager attacked outside her Queens apartment in 1964."

[In the episode,] Hannah, played by [Lena] Dunham, attends a play called “38 Neighbors,” in which audience members are set free to roam through the units of an apartment building, where they encounter actors... who play the neighbors ignoring Genovese’s screams. The attack is rendered with an abstract tableau in the courtyard below: A couple of white dummies posed in a grappling position, lit with blinking red lights and piped with a recording of a woman’s screams. And as the characters of “Girls” move throughout the play and prove more interested in acting out their own minute psychodramas than bearing witness to the crime, Ms. Genovese’s tragedy forms the backdrop for a tragicomic tour through the conflicted state of female empowerment.

“It’s ‘Girls,’ ” [said the writer of the episode, Sarah Heyward]. “Our characters have to be self-involved and focused on their own problems.”

In “Girls” world, the single woman is less at risk of physical threat than a kind of soft social erasure. As Hannah navigates the rooms of the play, she watches as her old friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke) couples up with her ex-boyfriend Adam; her best friend, Marnie (Allison Williams), glibly dismisses Hannah’s relationship problems; and her new boyfriend, Fran (Jake Lacy), is repelled by her odd brand of sexual self-expression....

.... “I was doing some Wikipedia-ing last night, and I had completely forgotten the fact that Kitty was a lesbian,” Hannah says. “Do you think that may have been a factor in what happened to her? Wouldn’t surprise me. Another woman deemed unacceptable by society and left to die for her sins.”
By the way, in case you haven't been watching and you can't tell from that description, the show has leaped to a new level this season. If you've dismissed "Girls" and you have HBO on Demand, go to the beginning of this season and watch. It's very impressive, comically, dramatically, and artistically. The characters are self-involved, but the authorial viewpoint is not that of a self-involved person. The episode was titled "Witnesses," and we, the audience were witnessing the audience at the play, who were witnessing themselves and the actors in the play, who were enacting the witnessing of a murder that took place long ago. At all of those levels of witnessing, there was imperfect attention and understanding. Pay attention! Check it out.

102 comments:

Brando said...

Leave it to someone stuck in CLM (Constant Leftism Mode) like Dunham (expressed as Hannah) to see the Kitty Genovese thing as "clearly a lesbian left to die".

First, how would anyone hearing the screams know she was a lesbian? Was Kitty screaming "help me, I'm a lesbian being stabbed"?

Second, why not focus on the fact that she was Italian American? Italian American lives matter!

Third, how about the actual reasonable interpretation--people in crowded cities don't want to get involved in each others' messes and they mistook her cries for help for the drama of a couple having a spat. Or, the bystander effect in action--everyone assumed someone else was already calling the police.

But no, not with CLM--must find a way to indict the hopelessly conservative mainstream.

SteveR said...

To be honest, I am unable to be less interested in anything than what you have described here. My effort to comment is only to admit my smartassery.

Tank said...

A couple of white dummies posed in a grappling position...

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA...

It's BS all the way down.

============================

Tank does not have HBO.

Nonapod said...

I'd have to overcome a personal dislike for Lena Dunham in order to give that show a chance. I've enjoyed a lot of entertainment that's been produced and performed by people I disagree with and disliked over the years though, so it's not impossible.

holdfast said...

That "play" sounds like a cheap knockoff of "Sleep No More".

I find that I viscerally dislike both Dunham and her character Hannah. I know that they are not the same, but both seem to push a lot of my buttons, and neither has any redeeming features that I can see. That said, while character Hannah is really only incredibly selfish and narcissistic, Dunham is actually malicious with her false rape claim used to smear conservatives.

EMD said...

Do you think that may have been a factor in what happened to her? Wouldn’t surprise me. Another woman deemed unacceptable by society and left to die for her sins.”

Because she was a lesbian? No.
Because she was a New Yorker? Probably.

EMD said...

The best thing about the show GIRLS, is a guy. (Adam Driver)

Ironic?

Bay Area Guy said...

It's very impressive, comically, dramatically, and artistically.

But the episode in question -- the Kitty Genovese rape/murder -- is not portrayed honestly.

Indeed, the narrative has been thoroughly debunked by two books and a New Yorker Piece by Nicholas Lemann.


It’s now clear that this version of events is wrong, thanks to a number of Genovese revisionists who have emerged over the years. They include Jim Rasenberger, a journalist who has written a couple of influential articles about the case, notably one in the Times, in 2004; and Rachel Manning, Mark Levine, and Alan Collins, the authors of a 2007 article in American Psychologist (which quotes from, and debunks, the textbook rendering). The essential facts are these. Winston Moseley had been out in his car, looking for a victim, when he came across Genovese driving home from work. He followed her. She parked at the Kew Gardens train station, adjacent to her apartment. Moseley parked, too, and attacked her with a hunting knife. She screamed, and a man named Robert Mozer opened his window and shouted, “Leave that girl alone!” Moseley ran away. Genovese, wounded but not mortally, staggered to the back of her apartment building and went inside a vestibule. Moseley returned, found her, and attacked again, stabbing her and assaulting her sexually. He fled again before she died.

The Times story was inaccurate in a number of significant ways. There were two attacks, not three. Only a handful of people saw the first clearly and only one saw the second, because it took place indoors, within the vestibule. The reason there were two attacks was that Robert Mozer, far from being a “silent witness,” yelled at Moseley when he heard Genovese’s screams and drove him away. Two people called the police. When the ambulance arrived at the scene—precisely because neighbors had called for help—Genovese, still alive, lay in the arms of a neighbor named Sophia Farrar, who had courageously left her apartment to go to the crime scene, even though she had no way of knowing that the murderer had fled.

Just as Rolling Stone had an agenda in publishing the rape hoax story about the University of Virginia frat house, the NY Times had an agenda in publishing a false narrative about Genovese in 1964 -- to downplay the black rapist/white woman victim angle in the context of the Civil Rights era.

Really, how peaceful and enlightened and harmonious could liberal New York be if its single women get raped and murdered by black thugs?

So, AM Rosenthal of the NYTimes shifted the focus onto the cruelly apathetic white Queens community, rather than the perpetrator. And the rest was history -- distorted by a leftwing agenda.

Lyle Smith said...

"Girls" is an excellent show. I find it very self-critical of the modern progressive woman. Adam Sandler, is ironically, the best actor in "Girls". He is fantastic.

Lyle Smith said...

Brando... You must not have ever watched a show of Girls".

samanthasmom said...

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

Brando said...

"Brando... You must not have ever watched a show of Girls"."

I must not have, I didn't know Adam Sandler was on the show.

bbkingfish said...

Thanks for the tip. I appreciate the review.

Lyle Smith said...

Adam Driver, I mean. ;)

EMD said...

Adam Sandler, is ironically, the best actor in "Girls". He is fantastic.

His performances are so sublime, it's almost as if he's not even there.

Will Cate said...

I've watched this show from the beginning, and have always thought it was great (despite my not being a fan of Ms. Dunham in real-life).

Lyle Smith >> the actor's name is Adam Driver; the character's name is Adam Sackler.

Shane said...

I have adopted a policy of not watching entertainment where the participants have chosen to make their personal statements, political or otherwise, or of whatever leaning, as significant and often more so than the facts that they are producing entertainment, that I can certainly do without.

Am I missing some things that may be entertaining? Artistic? Sure.

There are levels of degree these performers have chosen to impose themselves personally above their "art." Lena Dunham has written a book where she falsely claimed she was a rape victim, and sufficiently identified who she falsely manufactured as her attacker so as to have a significant negative impact on his life, and she just walked away allowing people like Althouse to blithely celebrate her art and encourage others to do the same. She write bizarrely of molesting her little sister, and she just walked away allowing people like Althouse to blithely celebrate her art and encourage others to do the same.

We dumped DirecTV ten months ago, and subsist on AmazonPrime and Netflix for television entertainment; often getting recommendations from sources I respect (and I respect Althouse). There are many great shows. I try to adhere to this policy, because when it comes down to it, I simply do not ant to support people like Lena Dunham, who lie and degrade, and bizarrely manufacture their bloated and self-centered Kardashian's life while sacrificing others for their own personal gain.

The last "recommendation" I read about "Girls" focused on Brian Williams' daughter receiving what is apparently a thing now, called "analingus" wherein she described the difficulty of placing a kind of tape over her anus so the actor designated as "lickee" didn't really have to go there. I am guessing this was a former season's episode, which explains Althouse's gushing over the incredible new heights of this current season.

Thanks, Ann.

Unknown said...

I will say that this season is by far the most impressive and makes me want a another couple seasons. writing has been superb. the direction almost as good.

Ann Althouse said...

"Leave it to someone stuck in CLM (Constant Leftism Mode) like Dunham (expressed as Hannah) to see the Kitty Genovese thing as "clearly a lesbian left to die"."

Lena Dunham did not write the episode. Sarah Heyward did.

Dunham writes some of the episodes and she's also an actress that plays a character named Hannah. The character, Hannah, said what you quoted. Are you being deliberately obtuse about how fiction works?

Alexander said...

I live in the age of Cologne, Rotherham, and Malmo...

The same people who tell me I'm a bigot for mentioning the above want to lecture me on a black man murdering a white woman in 1964, so long as nobody mentions that particular aspect of the case.

rehajm said...

More evidence the largest audience for Girls is men over 50.

Good for the show to go out on a substantive way. I'll allow all y'all senior citizens to enjoy the final season.

Ann Althouse said...

"But the episode in question -- the Kitty Genovese rape/murder -- is not portrayed honestly. Indeed, the narrative has been thoroughly debunked by two books and a New Yorker Piece by Nicholas Lemann."

Did you see it?

If not, there's some irony in your comment.

There was a play within the TV episode and that play was based on the Kitty Genovese murder. It didn't purport to show what actually happened in the different apartments. That was imaginative fiction inspired by the idea that people heard the screams but couldn't really see or quite connect enough to do something that might have saved her. What are you calling dishonest? The show was about characters going to a play and how they reacted, so it's not even about whether the play was good or accurately inspired by real facts. The show could be about characters going to a bad play or a flawed play. The honesty in question has to do with a set of fictional characters whose lives were shown to us as they attended a play.

As far as the reporting on the Genovese murder and the later research, I've covered that more than once on the blog, so I chose not to develop that part of it in this post, which is about the TV show and the coincidence of the murderer's death.

Ann Althouse said...

Must everything come back to the idea that conservatives don't get enough respect.

I mean, I'm with you up to a point, but it seems to be the knee jerk reaction to everything around here. It's ridiculous.

EMD said...

Dunham writes some of the episodes and she's also an actress that plays a character named Hannah.

True, but she's also the creator and main creative visionary for the show.

Lyle Smith said...

rehajm,

I am under 40

Dan Hossley said...

Self-involved? More like adolescent self-absorbed.

Brando said...

"Dunham writes some of the episodes and she's also an actress that plays a character named Hannah. The character, Hannah, said what you quoted. Are you being deliberately obtuse about how fiction works?"

I think I understand a bit how fiction works--so whether the lines by Hannah were not written by Dunham (which I'd incorrectly assumed) but by someone else, this still represents Constant Leftism Mode. At all costs, reportray everything to blame the Right even where it makes no sense to do so. Or am I misinterpreting that line?

Brando said...

"I mean, I'm with you up to a point, but it seems to be the knee jerk reaction to everything around here. It's ridiculous."

Sometimes conservatives can be overly sensitive too, and of course when people look for patterns they will find them even when they're not there. But it's also true that often the culture-makers of the Left will twist any news event to fit their narrative and this Genovese story just takes the cake. I mean, what next--blaming white privilege because Kitty had a black-sounding voice and that's why no one called the cops on time?

Bay Area Guy said...

What are you calling dishonest?

Any depiction of anything about the Kitty Genovese rape/murder that ignores the fact: (1) that the rape/murder occurred at 3:00 am in the morning, when folks are usually asleep, (2) that witness Robert Mozer yelled at Mosely to leave Kitty alone, which frightened the Perp away (temporarily), (3) that two apartment dwellers called the police, (4) that witness Sophia Farrar, courageously comforted Kitty, while she laid dying, before the ambulance came and (5) that NY Times misreported all this in 1964 to perpetuate a false contrary liberal narrative, that has lasted for 50+ years.

I have more. Do you want them?

"Imaginative Fiction" doesn't quite capture 50 years of lying about Kitty Genovese.

Smilin' Jack said...

""On Sunday’s episode of 'Girls,' the show resurrected the story of Kitty Genovese, the 28-year-old bar manager attacked outside her Queens apartment in 1964.""

There was a play within the TV episode and that play was based on the Kitty Genovese murder.


Next Sunday: 'Girls' re-imagines the JFK assassination as musical comedy!

Lyle Smith said...

Brando,

You need to watch the show. It isn't a show that blames conservatives. If anything, it is more critical of progressive mores or even progressive shibboleths.

Birkel said...

When was ridiculous banned?

I wouldn't watch the show unless you paid me. If that's your brand of entertainment, enjoy. Art, music and TV shows are subjective choices.

I think it's terrible marketing to give up 50% of a potential audience by announcing your political views. Hollywood does that all too often. The proper response is for conservatives to engage more in the marketplace of ideas and entertainment.

tim maguire said...

I don't have HBO and have watched only a handful of episodes, but it's obvious to me that Dunham, for all her faults, is a real talent. What you describe is brilliant--the characters go to a play about Kitty Genovese, who is famous for being murdered in front of dozens of neighbors who did nothing (this is an urban legend, but the legend, not the truth, is what this episode revolves around). Instead of being all shocked that the neighbors ignored the murder like they're supposed to be, the characters instead emulate the neighbors and ignore the play. That's solid.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

There was a play within the TV episode and that play was based on the Kitty Genovese murder.

I think his point is that "There was a play within the TV episode and that play was based on a gross popular misunderstanding of the Kitty Genovese murder."

Bay Area Guy said...

Next Sunday: 'Girls' re-imagines the JFK assassination as musical comedy!

Heh! Next Sunday -- Lena Dunham and the Girls re-visit the Tawana Brawley rape/abduction and how it really went down!

It's ok, though, because it will be a play within a play: "Tawana -- the Musical!"

Bay Area Guy said...

The NY Times obituary for the Murderer, Winston Mosely:

While there was no question that the attack occurred, and that some neighbors ignored cries for help, the portrayal of 38 witnesses as fully aware and unresponsive was erroneous. The article grossly exaggerated the number of witnesses and what they had perceived. None saw the attack in its entirety. Only a few had glimpsed parts of it, or recognized the cries for help. Many thought they had heard lovers or drunks quarreling. There were two attacks, not three. And afterward, two people did call the police. A 70-year-old woman ventured out and cradled the dying victim in her arms until they arrived. Ms. Genovese died on the way to a hospital.

Better late than never, I reckon.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

At all of those levels of witnessing, there was imperfect attention and understanding.

And yet another level of witnessing would have been achieved had one of the audience members rushed the tableau, beat the crap out of one of the white dummies, and then started humping the other white dummy.

You'd get improved attention and understanding, I should imagine.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think I understand a bit how fiction works--so whether the lines by Hannah were not written by Dunham (which I'd incorrectly assumed) but by someone else, this still represents Constant Leftism Mode. At all costs, reportray everything to blame the Right even where it makes no sense to do so. Or am I misinterpreting that line?"

What you're missing is that the line represents the person being un-smart for at least 3 reasons and that the writers expect the audience to understand that Hannah is not their mouthpiece but a young woman with a lot of problems and blindspots, serious and funny.

Ann Althouse said...

And the show is rarely about what's wrong with conservatives. It's all about people of the left. That's just about all who's on the show. All the satire is done looking at those people. I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot ... unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If I were being generous I'd say that the statement Dunham's character makes (re:Genovese being a lesbian) was written to show her air-headed/reflexive Leftism and portray that aspect of her character as faulty. Your review suggests that I should give the show itself respect enough to be willing to accept that interpretation. Counting against that is the fact that we're dealing with Dunham and HBO here...so I'm not sure "presented with sincerity" isn't just as likely an interpretation.

I watched several episodes of the first season and read quite a number of reviews and articles about the show. I didn't find it entertaining nor all that interesting--most of the characters were thoroughly unlikable (some deliberately so, I admit) and the deep messages the show was trying to convey were either trite, insulting, or just wrong.

I'm willing to believe that from a storytelling and technical standpoint this current season is much better and even possibly quite good, but I don't think I can overcome my displeasure with the show/it's past enough to actually watch it. Thank you for the recommendation, though.

Robert Cook said...

"Sometimes conservatives can be overly sensitive too...."

Sometimes? Conservatives seem to carry chips cemented to their shoulders, whining about "progressive-this" and "leftist-that," when they have won! They control the public conversation and their policies have prevailed in Washington for nigh on 20 years, (with disastrous consequences).

I guess they won't be happy until everyone in the world tells them how right they always were and now brilliant they've always been.

Bay Area Guy said...

Here's the 1964 New York Times 2 weeks after the Genovese Murder

First graf: For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law‐abiding cit­izens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.

This is a lie. This framed the story, which framed the legend, which has lasted for 50+ years.

Buried in the article, though, is that Murderer Winston Mosely confessed to murdering 2 other women:

When questioned by the po­lice, Moseley also said that he had slain Mrs. Annie May John­son, 24, of 146‐12 133d Avenue, Jamaica, on Feb. 29 and Bar­bara Kralik, 15, of 174‐17 140th Avenue, Springfield Gardens, last July. In the Kralik case, the police are holding Alvin L.Mitchel1, who is said to have confessed that slaying.

In essence, you have a serial killer, who happens to be black, and the police shifting the focus from their incompetence to a false legend about how mean and cruel the folks of Queens are.

Talk about a real War on Women, sheesh. Thanks, New York Times!

Birkel said...

False dichotomy, much, Althouse?

Some people watch movies with violence. Some watch comedies. Some think comedy includes videos of men hit in the groin. Some people like Everybody Loves Raymond - go figure!?!

It is purely subjective.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's the self-congratulatory smugness of the show (and other works like it) that turns me off so much, I think. I've accepted that me-me-me is where most Media is now, but from the episodes of Girls it seemed like the argument was "my internal emotional experience is not only the most important thing but in fact I should be celebrated for believing that and acting on it. We'll show some silly things that make my character look bad for being overly self-involved (and acting irrationally, etc) but in the end we're celebrating our self-involvement by labeling it empowerment and elevating our broken relationships (based largely around our own selfishness and moral & intellectual emptiness) as an ideal to be reached rather than a sad, pointless existence to be avoided."

The episodes I watched made some gestures towards criticizing the idea "celebrate me, my feelings are deep and important!" but in the end that seemed like what it was actually saying. I didn't find the evidence presented for that idea at all compelling, and wasn't entertained much in the process.

Allison Williams (who can be funny) seemed like a pretty good actress and the hippie-type one (Jessa, maybe?) was convincingly awful; I guess there were a few funny moments as well.

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse sez:

And the show is rarely about what's wrong with conservatives.

Ok.

It's all about people of the left. That's just about all who's on the show.

A little tautological, but ok.

All the satire is done looking at those people.

More tautology, but Ok.

I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot

Can't speak for conservatives, but I find the show uninteresting and unwatchable. At least the ladies in "Sex in the City" were attractive and somewhat interesting.

... unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do.

Heh, heh. We, er, I mean, they, have no sense of humor, darnit!

Brando said...

"You need to watch the show. It isn't a show that blames conservatives. If anything, it is more critical of progressive mores or even progressive shibboleths."

"What you're missing is that the line represents the person being un-smart for at least 3 reasons and that the writers expect the audience to understand that Hannah is not their mouthpiece but a young woman with a lot of problems and blindspots, serious and funny."

Fair enough--I didn't see the actual episode so my reaction was based on the quote in the blog post where that context isn't apparent.

I did watch the first episode of the show, and my impression was that it was more critical of the Hannah character than anything, in that she was self-absorbed and clueless. Perhaps I should have figured that's what they were going for here and mocking the CLM mentality rather than condoning it.

Birkel said...

Also, that is quite a bit of condescension.

Birkel said...

Old people watched Walker, Texas Ranger. I don't know why young people couldn't enjoy that.

Birkel said...

Housewives watch soap operas. I don't know why more people couldn't enjoy that.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do.

Humorless lefties and righties both are a drag.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...
I mean, I'm with you up to a point, but it seems to be the knee jerk reaction to everything around here. It's ridiculous.


Which point is that up to? One might say "must everything in the Media/popular culture attack conservatives? I'm with the substantive criticisms up to a point but it seems like the knee jerk reaction to anything non-Leftist is to attack conservatives. It's ridiculous.

Both can be true, of course.


Ann Althouse said..And the show is rarely about what's wrong with conservatives. It's all about people of the left. That's just about all who's on the show. All the satire is done looking at those people. I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot ... unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do.

Ha-ha, busted; conservatives don't enjoy anything! Well, wait, they enjoy polluting/harming the environment, restricting the freedom of women, bashing minorities, stealing money, oppressing the downtrodden around the world, that kind of thing.

But that's definitely part of it (the dislike for the show Girls & similar shows)--they're about leftist people in leftist-drawn situations with a leftist POV. Nothing wrong with that, but what appeal is there for a non-leftist? As I said earlier I recognize that Girls tries to present "realistic" portrayals of its characters and shows them as flawed in many ways, but the overall framing and argument both are that their (leftist) worldview is correct. That's natural, but it's similarly natural that something like that wouldn't automatically appeal to someone who sees themselves as a frequent target of the left!

I mean, do you watch Duck Dynasty? I don't, but I'm given to understand it's a relatively pro-conservative show (assuming it's still on the air). Why don't more leftist people watch the show--I'm certain it shows the people on the show making mistakes and looking foolish from time to time, so there should be a lot for a leftist to enjoy. Does that argument convince you? I don't think it should--but neither does yours convince me.

Michael K said...

"I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot ... unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do."

I saw "Eye in the Sky" two nights ago and enjoyed it. An ugly child molester, not so much.

TV sucks the intelligence right out of those who watch anything but football.

Theo Parinson said...

I think I can all agree that when only masturbation is an option and only a fat girl will do, Lena Dunham is the go to option. The thought of her as a flawed progressive performing in a thing within a thing about a thing only makes it more rococo. The only thing which could make it more special would be if she tantalizingly withheld her question marks from questions.

Michael K said...

Modern movies are as bad as TV. We saw a series of previews because we made a mistake and got to the theater too soon. Usually, of we go, we wait until 15 or 20 minutes after show time to avoid the previews. Everything seems to be based on comic strip characters now.

A few years ago, I showed my kids the movie, "Thomas Crown Affair," the original with Steve McQueen. They could not believe how good it was. Last night we watched my DVD of "Topper."

The special effects must have wowed audiences in 1937. Constance Bennett was gorgeous and a fashion figure everywhere.

Lena Dunham, not so much.

Brando said...

I don't think the reason I don't watch Girls is due to politics--mostly I just found the show dragged with no likable characters and it seemed dark and depressing. For better viewing I'd recommend Broad City or Inside Amy Schumer, for a vision of trainwreck NY-based young people and usually very funny.

Maybe Girls has improved since I tried watching it, but I don't know if I can stomach going back over the old episodes.

hombre said...

Cook: "[Conservatives] control the public conversation and their policies have prevailed in Washington for nigh on 20 years, (with disastrous consequences)."

What a remarkable statement! Cook is apparently so far to the left that conservatism is just a blur in the distance.

Which policies are those, Cookie, freedom, particularly freedom of religion and freedom from government intrusion? Governmental adherence to the Constitution? Limited government? Sanctity of human life? Limited government spending? Peace through strength? An enduring moral order? Those kinds of policies? Really?

As for the public conversation, it is controlled by the media. It's difficult to imagine anyone seriously claiming the media are conservative.

Widmerpool said...

Girls is very entertaining and enjoyable - and I could not disagree more with Lena Dunham's politics.

n.n said...

More projection. The "=" deception.

Another baby deemed unacceptable by society and left to die for her sins.

The long, hard road of reconciling moral principles and natural imperatives.

Rob McLean said...

Sometimes? Conservatives seem to carry chips cemented to their shoulders, whining about "progressive-this" and "leftist-that," when they have won!

Funny, it seems to me that the more things move leftward in this country, the less my liberal friends are satisfied. I swear, after gay marriage was legalized, my lefty friends actually got angrier, because it didn't happen fast enough or for the right reasons. Or something.

n.n said...

The most recent examples of unacceptable or competing social classes, include a mass serial black, transgender/homosexual rapist; and before him a mob of black and Hispanic males who raped a white transgender/homosexual female in a sanctuary city. There are other examples, but the press and entertainment industry are notoriously selective.

The class diversity class schemes are fundamentally unstable.

Nonapod said...

Rob McLean said... Funny, it seems to me that the more things move leftward in this country, the less my liberal friends are satisfied. I swear, after gay marriage was legalized, my lefty friends actually got angrier, because it didn't happen fast enough or for the right reasons. Or something.

Indeed. It seems like it's not in lefty nature to ever be content or truly happy. There's always a grievance, always a cause. The more battles they win, the less happy they seem.

That's not to say that there aren't lots of angry conservatives out there. But, at least in my experience, even though conservatives might be upset about larger issues (things going on in the country, the world, political issues, moral issues, ect) they generally seem to be much more happy in their own personal lives than liberals/progressives/lefties. This is all purely anecdotal of course, I have no hard proof of this. But it's like lefties are constantly looking outward for peace and contentment rather than inward. They're looking for someone to blame for unhappiness rather than dealing with it themselves.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Rob McLean said...Funny, it seems to me that the more things move leftward in this country, the less my liberal friends are satisfied.

Atlanta NPR this morning (WABE) had a short item about one of the sponsors of the recently-vetoed "Religious Liberty Bill" saying he plans to boycott the sports teams and corporations who lobbied against that bill. They included a clip of an opponent to the bill saying the bill was against common sense and was unnecessary since the kind of problem it was supposed to solve didn't exist in GA. About 5 minutes later they had a long item on the problem of too many foster kids in GA and how some private foster care agencies don't place children with same-sex parents...and how awful it is that discriminatory service providers like that get "millions of tax payer dollars."
It's like...I dunno, this stuff must be obvious to them too, right? Even allowing that the believe their positions to be correct--it must still register, right?!

Roger Sweeny said...

There was a play within the TV episode and that play was based on the Kitty Genovese murder. It didn't purport to show what actually happened in the different apartments.

But the episode leaves the impression that Rosenthal's narrative is true, when it is actually very wrong. I would feel the same (bad) way about a show which included a play about Emmet Till, where he was lynched because he raped a white woman.

EMD said...

At least the ladies in "Sex in the City" were attractive and somewhat interesting.

The entire genesis of the show Girls was what S&TC would really be like.

I think the show can be good. Very good, at times. But I agree with Brando that shows without any likable characters are harder to enjoy. Seinfeld proved that characters needn't be likable but it was so stupidly breezy (and highly relatable to anyone) viewers didn't care about unlikable characters.

amielalune said...

I love your blog; I think you brilliant and thoughtful, but will not read a post about "Girls" even from you. :)

Nonapod said...

shows without any likable characters are harder to enjoy

I know it took me awhile to get into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But the idea of a show with nothing but the most appallingly awful characters has its own bizarre charm I guess.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

hombre said...

It's difficult to imagine anyone seriously claiming the media are conservative.

It's easy if you try...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Nonapod said...I know it took me awhile to get into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Always Sunny is funny, though. Archer is full of terrible characters but it's funny. Now, both are comedies, so maybe it's different...
Actually there are a lot of modern comedies built around unlikable characters (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, most of the Ricky Gervais cringe-comedies), so maybe it's just different for "serious" shows.

Brando said...

"I know it took me awhile to get into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But the idea of a show with nothing but the most appallingly awful characters has its own bizarre charm I guess."

I'm not sure all their characters are unlikable--Charlie is sort of a well-meaning dunce more than a bastard. And there's something about Danny DeVito--Dr. Mantis Tobaggin!--that makes even his repulsiveness watchable.

I guess it's not so much "unlikable" but if the characters are uninteresting or not funny enough to justify watching, it's easy to lose interest.

Michael K said...

"They're looking for someone to blame for unhappiness rather than dealing with it themselves."

It's in their DNA. I know some people that are very left wing and that is all they care about. Who to blame.

Static Ping said...

I've never been a fan of any form of fiction or non-fiction promoting real life, factually false narratives. I mainly do so because I do not appreciate the encouragement of ignorance and I don't like being lied to. I don't have a problem with faster-than-light hyperdrives or talking unicorns or other things that do not exist in reality but do exist in the story's universe. Some of my favorite stories involve them. I don't dislike it when a story's background relies upon things that did not really happen (the Russians won the Cold War) or could not have happened (the Earth is 100-years-old) when it is clear that this is merely something true for this universe with no claims on reality. Exploring those counter-factuals can be fascinating. But when the story is based in our reality and it claims or implies something that is known false, I find it contemptuous.

For this reason, I don't read Dan Brown. Also, the reason why I wouldn't watch Birth of a Nation for any reason other than film history value.

I didn't see the episode. Maybe someone mentioned that the urban myth version is indeed a myth. Maybe the play within the play does not fall for it either. I dunno. But from what I gather here, the episode can be dismissed. They can lie to someone else.

Bay Area Guy said...

Seinfeld made me happy. Elaine was a great, quirky, female character.

Cheers made me happy. Shelly Long was so pretentious and haughty, it made me laugh.

The Office made me happy. The Jim/Pam romance was funny and sweet.

Girls? I imagine myself being a young single man, age 27, living near these ladies in Manhattan, and thinking, "Yuck! Get me away from them." They just strike me as shallow and stupid. Not very hot, either, I respectfully add.

Different strokes for different folks, I reckon.

tim maguire said...

Blogger hombre said...
Cook: "[Conservatives] control the public conversation and their policies have prevailed in Washington for nigh on 20 years, (with disastrous consequences)."

What a remarkable statement! Cook is apparently so far to the left that conservatism is just a blur in the distance.


I believe Robert Cook is the commenter who a while back asserted that the NYT was a conservative publication. When pressed to defend that statement, he said it's because they don't support show trials for the wreckers. (He didn't use that phrase, but that is litterally what he said his minimum standard for being a liberal is.)

If I am dentifying him correctly (and I think i am), you are more right than you know.

Matthew Blaine said...

I don't like Lena Dunham but I do enjoy "Girls." Lena has a gift for physical comedy, the way her body looks and moves. It's written well. She's a better writer than throwaway lies like "Kitty died because she was a lesbian." If Lena was truly concerned about lesbian victims of violence she should do an episode about lesbian intimate partner violence.

"Girls" most unforgivable sin was foisting Adam Driver on us. He's the most ridiculous villain in movie history.

Big Mike said...

“I was doing some Wikipedia-ing last night, and I had completely forgotten the fact that Kitty was a lesbian,” Hannah says. “Do you think that may have been a factor in what happened to her?

Do lesbians have some external markings that identify them to predators and warn off potential good Samaritans? Or do lesbians generally look like any other woman? So Hannah -- Lena Dunham, natch -- is pretty stupid.

But Lena is pretty stupid.

Note to Lena: you want to know where Donald Trump came from? Reread your own scripts.

Alex said...

Why am I not shocked that the professor has found the most leftist show on TV and is urging us to watch it too!

Fuck no! I am a man and I still have some pride left.

Sopranos tonight.

Alex said...

Girls? I imagine myself being a young single man, age 27, living near these ladies in Manhattan, and thinking, "Yuck! Get me away from them." They just strike me as shallow and stupid. Not very hot, either, I respectfully add.

Basically it's a show for ugly Manhattan 20-something women who are all shocked & awed that men don't really want them. Well at least they've got a TV show.

Alex said...

He's the most ridiculous villain in movie history.

Blame the writing. Star Wars has never been Shakespeare. TFA was an total embarrassment.

Jim at said...

"That's just about all who's on the show. All the satire is done looking at those people. I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot ... unless enjoying things is just not what conservatives do."

Maybe some of us simply refuse to waste our time and money on products or shows pushed by people who spend their real lives hating us and what we stand for.

I know. Ghastly, isn't it?

Birches said...

I really did like Walker, Texas Ranger.

Chuck Norris kicking people is fun....

Paul Snively said...

I'll try to address the point Dr. Althouse made by shifting context a bit.

When my stepson was still in high school (he''ll be 28 in June, so about a decade ago—yikes!), a good friend of his named Max was the son of Russian immigrants. One day, at an event, Max showed up wearing a red hammer-and-sickle t-shirt. I managed not to throw up, and once we were home, I explained to my Jewish stepson that Max's t-shirt bore the symbol of Soviet Communism—the system his parents escaped—and that Communism was responsible for over 200 million deaths in the 20th century, making the Nazis and the Holocaust look like amateurs on open mic night at the local coffee shop.

He was very quiet for a moment. Then, only slightly less quietly, he asked if I could recommend any books on the history of Communism, since he felt quite uninformed about it. And it struck me: oh, my God, he's right. He was born the year before the Berlin Wall fell, and at age three was probably not especially interested in the collapse of the Soviet Union. He hadn't had the childhood experience of hosting a Vietnamese boat family, as I had. Ensign Chekov on Star Trek was, like Lieutenant Uhura, a perfectly reasonable crew member, not a "yeah, like that'll happen within the next 300 years" dream.

So I pointed him to The Black Book of Communism and Communism: A History.

The point is this: Dr. Althouse is right. The Kitty Genovese murder is farther back in the rear-view mirror than the fall of the Soviet Union, so a (fictional) TV show about Millennials' response to a (fictional) play about it, which is already second-hand at the very best, is going to be more of a mirror of the writer's views of Millennials views of the playwright's views of this distant memory-that-probably-isn't-even-a-memory than anything else. And as the quote says: "This is Girls. Of course it has to be self-absorbed." Now, that's refreshingly honest. But I'm definitely among those who are tired of having to accept repulsive anti-heroes and peel back the onion skin, with the attendant tears, to determine what's edifying or even fun in my "entertainment," because nuance. Drama is drama and archetypes are archetypes for good reasons that were understood by the ancient Greeks, and while I appreciate the evolution past the deus ex machina, I'm not on board with the "anti-deus" motif, although I enjoy a good tongue-in-cheek literal deus ex machina now and then (The Matrix, I'm looking at you).

tl;dr Watching Girls is too much like work.

eric said...

I was going to start watching girls, but then I realized I could have more fun stabbing my eyes out of my skull with dull pencils.

Nancy Reyes said...

Kitty was a lesbian? and I could tell that from my third floor apartment window?

Of course, the whole Genovese story, which already has been debunked, is made into another Matthew Shepherd story, which also has been debunked.

So the Girls show sounds like propaganda. So tell me again why I should watch it? Because it was brilliant? So was Leni Reifenstahl...

Titus said...

Love this season of Girls. So fucking good. It will only play to a certain crowd though, not flyover older white men, who no longer get it up. Lots of sex and other people enjoying sex while the older crackers can't get it up is depressing for them. Also, the fact that they are unfuckable has got to hurt....just a little.

The episode on Sunday was fucking intense. All my friends were texting fiercely expressing are drama about the show on Sunday.

I think the gay news guy this season is supposed to be Anderson Cooper.

tits.

Titus said...

Say hello to my new grindr fuck-Colombian with a Thunderbird tattoo on his chest!

tits.

Beldar said...

Our hostess wrote, "Pay attention! Check it out."

Not even for all the money Donald Trump pretends to have. Nope.

Birkel said...

More bigotry, Titus?

Does all that hatred hurt you down deep?

Smilin' Jack said...

The episode was titled "Witnesses," and we, the audience were witnessing the audience at the play, who were witnessing themselves and the actors in the play, who were enacting the witnessing of a murder that took place long ago.

Not that long ago. Kitty Genovese was a real person, and she was young at the time. There are probably people still alive who knew her and cared about her. I doubt they would appreciate the sublime artistry of all this meta-witnessing shit, but fortunately they are old enough to have the sense not to watch 'Girls.'

Rhythm and Balls said...

By the way, in case you haven't been watching and you can't tell from that description, the show has leaped to a new level this season.

Seriously?

I figured they jumped the shark with over-the-top self-absorption two or three seasons ago. At some point, the characters themselves have to develop. It's not enough to say that the writer has finally figured out how self-absorbed they are. The author has to make it clear that there are real consequences to this - consequences that will either force them to change or to undergo a hilarious series of never-ending comeuppances for it. Horrifyingly painful comeuppances, not just mildly amusing ones that anyone with a sense of humor can just laugh off and continue avoiding to learn from.

CStanley said...

I just don't think I can handle one more show about self absorbed young people. I'll take your word for it that the self absorption and progressive mores are satirized rather than celebrated, and I suppose that's a healthy development, but it doesn't sound entertaining.

rcocean said...

I'm always torn on this kind of entertainment. On one hand, some new TV shows, movies, etc. *have* to be good - just by the law of averages. And I don't want to dismiss new things because "they did things better in the old days".

OTOH, almost every TV show recommended to me, has turned out to be full of weird, unlikable characters or full of leftist propaganda, or just plain mediocre.

So, I might give the show a look or I might not.

narciso said...

it's a more and more selective audience, now is it as bad as l & O take, where they 'revisited' the case, and 'found' the rapist not guilty,

David said...

"a murder that took place long ago."

Is anyone who loved Kitty still alive? I bet for them it does not seem very long.

David said...

"older white men, who no longer get it up."

Your day will come, Titus. And implants don't count.

John Nowak said...

The NY Times media hoax about Genovese reinforces the conservative narrative; the liberal society of New York has so corrupted people they will ignore women calling for help. Yet it seems that only conservatives are reminding people it was a media hoax.

It's like only one side actually cares about the truth.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Titus said...
Say hello to my new grindr fuck-Colombian with a Thunderbird tattoo on his chest!

tits.

4/6/16, 5:35 PM
-----------------------------------------------

I'm sorry your marriage didn't work out. Please stay away from the bathhouses.

furious_a said...

Stopped watching "Girls" when I realized that, appropriating Chris Rock, one's only duty as a father is to keep one's daughter from turning into one of the empty-headed little sluts portrayed on "Girls".

At least pole-dancers are self-aware and earn a living.

And who did Patrick Wilson piss-off to get stuck in a sex scene with Lena Dunham? (See "with Malin Akerman in 'Watchmen'" and "with Kate Winslet in 'Little Children'").

furious_a said...

Elaine was a great, quirky, female character.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a stone fox. Rich, too, before Seinfeld. Life is so unfair.

furious_a said...

It's all about people of the left. That's just about all who's on the show. All the satire is done looking at those people. I don't know why a conservative couldn't enjoy that a lot.

If you were raising a daughter, Althouse, you'd understand why, politics aside, some find the show frightening and repulsive.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I read this column in the New York Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/catherine-pelonero-imagine-black-kitty-genovese-article-1.2589747

ALL black lives (should) matter. (not just those of people who encounter a member of the police)

Of course his problem has bene true for a long time. People who call themselves fair and unbiased, have variopus excuses, like that juries won't convict, or that witnesses aren't as respectable. At every step of the way it's a loweer priority.

But someone would have to understand things. There are not too many but not enough blacks in prison, and a black person (in the right location) can get away with a lot more before going to prison than someone trying to do the same thing somewhere else. That's not what all the advocates are saying.

SGT Ted said...

I am out of fucks to give for Lena Dunhams narcissism.

SJ said...

@RobertCook
For some reason, I'm reminded of some poetic snark I saw once.

To avoid the legal nets
That entangled Bernie Goetz
Just cry "Help, Please!"
Like Kitty Genovese


Even though the usual version given of the Kitty Genovese story looks to be false in most respects, it makes me think.

Which would you rather be?

Kitty Genovese, or Bernie Goetz?