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"I have come to realize how exhausting and narcissistic and ultimately boring this whole dynamic is."Spot on. What an apt description of "Girls" and the culture it celebrates.
I've never watched it, but a line like that is one reason why.
This hilarious WaPo article written by a paranoid libtard SJW sounds like something from a TV show:The coded language of the alt-right is helping to power its rise"SJW" and "libtard" are secret code words! Used by evil people! Like me! But you need a decoder ring to understand why!
If she came out as a Republican like her real life father, now that I would watch.
I loved the episode. I am so going to miss Girls.
I watched the first season because of the hype. That season was very good, and I left it thinking that National Review could not make a better advertisement for conservative values if they tried. Lena Durhams character mooches off her parents for her expenses and at the end of season one actually has to ask Kylo Ren to be her boyfriend. And she is HAPPY when he says yes. The slutty character has to get an abortion but it turns out that she was not pregnant (if I remember).One character is a virgin and she has angst about it and how to find a good boyfriend.And the pretty one breaks up with her loser boyfriend.I thought it was a case study on how to actually become an adult.
I want an Elijah spin off.
I've noticed about Girls something I've also noticed about Transparent.The show is actually able to poke fun at things the writer/creator of the show cannot make fun of in real life. Things they are quite strident about actually, the show is not. It's weird.
"'I have come to realize how exhausting and narcissistic and ultimately boring this whole dynamic is.'"Spot on. What an apt description of 'Girls' and the culture it celebrates."Aren't you paying attention? The show doesn't "celebrate" this culture, but looks at it with a determined clarity...we're meant to see these characters as distasteful, emotionally stunted, and unhealthy.There are many stories to be told and many ways of telling them. Don't make the lazy mistake of assuming the primary protagonists of a given story are intended to be the "heroes," characters to be liked or admired. Stories can be about awful people.(I'm watching "Shades of Blue" on NBC with Ray Liotta and Jennifer Lopez; I think it's a terrific show of its type. The story is told in a way to make us sympathetic to the humanity of these characters and the plight they're in, but...they're terrible people who do awful things, and they have put themselves into the very terrible, awful plights they're in.)
I've never seen the show. Is all the dialogue this realistic and natural-sounding?
"There are many stories to be told and many ways of telling them. Don't make the lazy mistake of assuming the primary protagonists of a given story are intended to be the "heroes," characters to be liked or admired. Stories can be about awful people"The Lena Dunham character was a main speaker at DNC conventions on prime time TV, such venues are for people who are liked and admired by the intended audience.What writers intend and how the audience identifies the characters are two very separate things.
I was THINKING DEEPLY about it a little while ago, Professor, and I think your position re: Girls and your position re: attending a free speech event honoring/lecture by Charles Murray have some interesting differences.You chide people who criticizing Girls without watching it. You chide people who criticize Girls after watching it if you decide they don't "get it" and aren't understanding Girls properly. You assert that the show isn't necessarily PROMOTING the characters it presents, since it shows their flaws and can be seen as criticism of those characters' POV/attitudes, etc. You assert that by watching the show you're therefore not endorsing the ethos or the beliefs of the creator and/or characters, that the message is more nuanced than that, and that we should understand that nuance and not stupidly associate anyone who watches/likes the show with the political or other beliefs of the show's creators. Ok, fair enough.With the Charles Murray lecture, though, you argue that attending such an event MUST be taken, at least in part, as an endorsement of Murray himself. The event was nominally in celebration of free speech (an ideal you support) but the method of that celebration involved hearing Murray speak and by attending one would be arguing that Murray's POV deserved to be supported (at least to the extent that one would voluntarily attend/pay to attend such a speech)--that's your formulation. Now I didn't attend, but from what I've seen of Murray's speeches they're pretty nuanced affairs--he's not exactly a bomb-throwing demagogue and he typically presents number of arguments in a rational way.So on the one hand it's your position that people shouldn't criticize the content of a show without watching and really "getting" that show, and that no one should assume that people who do watch/enjoy the show are endorsing the show's political/ideological POV, and that bad-faith caricatures of the show are stupid and wrong.On the other hand it seems to be your position that people who attend that Charles Murray free speech event should be understood to be endorsing (at least in part) Murray's POV, that it's fine to criticize Murray without hearing his speech, and that bad-faith caricatures of his positions are understandable and to be expected.I'm not sure how to explain those apparent differences. I hope it's something more than saying "it's art!" and waving one's hands.
"The Lena Dunham character was a main speaker at DNC conventions on prime time TV, such venues are for people who are liked and admired by the intended audience."What writers intend and how the audience identifies the characters are two very separate things."This is a result either of the writer having failed in conveying his or intent, or in the audience being insufficiently perceptive to get it.As for "the Lena Dunham character, etc.", do you mean, the character of Hannah Horvath on GIRLS? If so, does this mean we are supposed to see Hannah as likable and admirable? Do you assume all the people you see on prime time TV or speaking at DNC conventions are likable and admirable? Many people we see on tv as affable and charming are toxic shitheels in life.Also, people are complex. A person can be awful in many ways yet also likable and enjoyable to observe or even to be around, (up to a point), a person for whom one can feel sympathy. This doesn't mean the person isn't awful in whatever way that person is awful.
"This is a result either of the writer having failed in conveying his or intent, or in the audience being insufficiently perceptive to get it."So you do understand what is going on then.orPeople embrace celebrity culture and like the characters on TV and want to emulate aspects of them even though the characters are not good people.
I've never seen the show and have only read about it on this blog. I've been thinking for awhile that the portrayal of these characters that many of us of a certain age find lazy, entitled and somewhat repulsive was not an endorsement of them as good people. The writers present them as flawed millennials with many foibles commonly associated with that group. That doesn't mean the writers see them as admirable, even though in my own mind, I associated Ms. Dunham with the worst characteristics of her generation. Probably unfairly, because she is busy, entrepreneurial and successful. She also apparently has a self awareness I had suspected she had, but which doesn't much present itself outside of her writing.
"As for "the Lena Dunham character, etc.", do you mean, the character of Hannah Horvath on GIRLS?"That is why people at that time watching the convention knew who Dunham was. The Obama campaign wanted to identify with that demographic and to be seen as cool, hip and fun. That is why they put Dunham's character on the podium.
Real people generally cannot survive the mistakes made by the people portrayed on shows like Girls without significant detriment to the rest of their lives.That is why it is wrong that such characters are promoted by a certain political party.
What writers intend and how the audience identifies the characters are two very separate things."TosaGuy I present you Archie Bunker.
"That is why people at that time watching the convention knew who Dunham was. The Obama campaign wanted to identify with that demographic and to be seen as cool, hip and fun. That is why they put Dunham's character on the podium."I'm not clear. Do you mean in real life they had Lena Dunham speak as Hannah Horvath?That seems odd. I suspect those in Obama's campaign were unconscious of the character's deep imperfections and were just dimly aware of her as a current "youth celebrity," or saw her as a pop culture symbol to attract this generation to their campaign. And...to be fair, many people of this generation who identify with the Horvath character, (if there are any), either do not see the character's failings as distinctly as do people who don't identify with her, or they see her failings as "charming" rather than crippling...they being young, immature, and narcissistic themselves.Or...it was all intended to be ironic and oh so meta.
Robert Cook said...Also, people are complex. A person can be awful in many ways yet also likable and enjoyable to observe or even to be around, (up to a point), a person for whom one can feel sympathy. This doesn't mean the person isn't awful in whatever way that person is awful.Wait, really? I thought that people we've decided are bad people are always bad people and must be shunned. You know: the racists, the homophobes, the sexists, the xenophobes, the right-wing extremists...all the deplorables. I've been assured that any hint of such belief or behavior on anyone's part is immediate grounds for no-platforming, for boycotts and harassment, for extended campaigns to get the person fired, etc etc. That's how it works, right? If you donate to the wrong cause it should cost you your job and your place in society. You must be shunned, since you are an awful person. If you use the wrong pronoun--well, you're out on your ass, too. Hell, if today you hold the same beliefs about marriage that our last President promised he held up until a few years ago, then none of the rest of your life matters, you're done-zo.It is hilarious how nuance and context and the broader picture, etc, are invoked when defending SOME people but all of that is wholly missing when attacking OTHER people. Maybe I'm biased, but the difference between SOME and OTHER sure seems to split along ideological and partisan lines...
@HoodlumDoodlum at 11:07 AM:Of course there are many people who act and believe as you describe.I'm not one of those, and there are many who are not.
I would try to watch Girls if you could promise me I would not see Dunham naked.
Robert Cook said...Of course there are many people who act and believe as you describe.I'm not one of those, and there are many who are not.Many?
"I'm not clear. Do you mean in real life they had Lena Dunham speak as Hannah Horvath?"I haven't watched the show, and her speech was barely a speech. It was a collection of rather disingenuous slogans.http://time.com/4425328/dnc-democratic-convention-america-ferrara-lena-dunham-transcript/So I can't say that her character was used in politics as such. What is clear is that whatever conservative thread or nuance is alleged to run through the show is not apparent here.
"I'm not one of those, and there are many who are not."Unfortunately this "many" is not very many, nor are they influential.The commanding heights of that side of politics are held nearly-entirely by a lot of slogan-thinkers. And we know this because we read them.
This thread is especially fun to read as a microcosm of the blind men and the elephant, which is also my metaphor for the culture at large.Few people have direct experience of Girls here, yet that doesn't prevent us from arguing over it. HoodlumDoodlum recharacterizes Althouse's comments about Girls, the people who comment on it, and Murray's lecture. Since I haven't read those posts, should I take HD seriously? Many would, just as many would take CNN seriously when they're bloviating about Trump.I recall some study that showed the effectiveness of brown-nosing, even when the person receiving the praise knows it's fake. It still works, maybe not as effectively, but it still works.As for Girls, we ordered the DVD set from the library, and I got my wife to watch the first episode with me. It seemed clearly like an anti-Sex in the City. The characters were unpleasant, but pretty much on par with the immature judgement and opinions of girls that age who have money to shield them from the worst (except for Lena Dunham's character, of course).It was funny, and sad, and my respect for Dunham went up. Brave or narcissistic, it takes guts to exposure herself like she did. Since I wasn't writing a column for New York or Slate, we stopped watching, but at least I knew a little more from direct experience than someone else's opinion. Beside, we were in the middle of the Expanse, and that was far more engaging to us.
I ignore anyone who uses 'dynamic' as a noun.
I've never watched the show, aside from clips, but after reading the article, I am already exhausted. We all grow up differently and most of us, if we have any self-awareness, eventually come to recognize that the frightened, insecure child in us had many goofy ideas. And that we needed to shed those ideas to order to become happy and mature.Once we've done that, watching others not getting it is just painful.
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