Tuesday, August 07, 2012

There's No Reason to Be Afraid of Lena Dunham - Entertainment - The Atlantic Wire:

We bring Lena Dunham up at all because yesterday The New Yorker published an essay that Dunham wrote about an ex-boyfriend, and the sight of a personal, Thought Catalog-esque piece written by Lena freakin' Dunham in the hallowed pages of The New Yorker certainly outraged some. She's back in the conversation right now, so let's once and for all deal with her. Well, not "deal with her," that sounds kind of sinister. What I mean to say is, let's just all accept the fact that Lena Dunham is part of a particular kind of establishment now so we can all stop trying to figure out what Lena Dunham says about the way we live now.

Yes. Lena Dunham, a smart and talented white woman who grew up in New York City with substantial privilege, has become part of the rarefied world of the literati and the taste-makers and that's where she will stay. Or maybe she always existed in that world — she was sort of born into it after all — and the past six months has just been her official induction ceremony. So we should not bother ourselves trying to mold her to shape the narratives of our more alarmist arguments. She is not ours to debate anymore. They, big bespoke They, have got her.

Meaning, Lena Dunham is now the spokesperson for The New Yorker. She's making Tim and Eric-esque shorts with the likes of Jon Hamm and is likely doing it less for the money and more for the fact that The New Yorker asked her to. Because she's Lena Dunham. And that's what Lena Dunham does now. She's shilling, but it's for a good cause.

And whether she's shilling or not, for money or not, is kind of a moot point. Why are we griping on and on about the perceived Lena Dunham economy? We didn't complain about characters on Friends sometimes being broke, like the girls on Girls, even though everyone who worked on Friends was doing pretty darn well in real life. Sure Girls may have slightly higher intellectual ambitions than Friends and thus gets held to a stricter standard of, well, let's call it honesty, but come on. Lena Dunham makes a well-reviewed television show for an expensive premium network with the guy who did Knocked Up. We're not talking about Marina Abramović here.