According to a number of people who I am shocked still have full heads of hair given that they spend a great majority of their time attempting to pull it out by the roots in fits of faux outrage, the writer, director and lead of HBO’s “hipster Sex and the City” comedrama, Girls, Lena Dunham thinks that all Republicans are Nazis and cannot understand for a second why anyone with half a brain would date one, especially one that happened to also be a minority.
Now, Hollywood does have this ignorant streak about them, and it sort of flows into every aspect of the entertainment operation, leading people within the little inner circle of A-listers to believe things that are otherwise obviously false to the normal human population: namely that Sarah Palin jokes are still funny five years later, and that Ben Affleck, as a director, can somehow compete with Katheryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino.
But people. People. Let’s think critically about this, shall we? Here’s what Lena Dunham actually said in her interview with the NYC mag, Vulture:
I want to start with the fourth scene of the entire season, which is you, topless …
… on top of Donald Glover.
Why make him a Republican?
We liked the idea of a Republican entering their universe. And Hannah doesn’t really have a clear sense of why you shouldn’t date a Republican; it’s kind of just like the same reason why you shouldn’t date a Nazi: You just shouldn’t.
Wait, so your position is that you shouldn’t date a Republican?
My personal position is that you should date anyone you want so long as they treat you respectfully and share your value system. So it might be hard for me to date someone who was against gay marriage and abortion rights — I don’t think I would be attracted to them — but I don’t have any personal problem with dating a Republican. I do think that Hannah has this reverse ignorance where she’s like, If they’re Republican, get them out of my airspace, and that was a fun thought to explore.
Okay, what I got from that exchange was that Lena Dunham thought it might be an interesting idea to explore a “reverse ignorance” that certain stereotypical single females have against the possibility of dating a Republican. To the character, the decision to date a Republican is as black and white as a potential decision to date a Nazi, it’s just not done. And here’s this guy, who she likes, who happens to be a Republican, and Girls is going to take the opportunity to explore an integral liberal bias.
Look, this wouldn’t be such a big deal if this weren’t demonstrative of the wrongheaded, knee-jerk conservative approach to culture. Is Lena Dunham’s show basically a kind of hipster fantasy where she creates characters who have the miserable lives that a bunch of urban trust-fund French Experimental Poetry grad students imagine they have, so that the resultant faux-ennui will further inform their parent-paid-for thesis, and quickly enough before the same family revokes the housing allowance for their 1500-square-foot Williamsburg artist loft? Sure. In her acceptance speech last night at the Golden Globes, Dunham, who is famously the daughter of a successful painter of “oversexualized pop art” and a well-known photographer who created “disquieting domestic tableaux” with dolls, repeatedly reiterated that her work is informed by a horrific childhood spent at expensive New York private schools and summer camps, where she struggled to maintain the integrity of her psyche amid the horrors of life as the kid of upper-middle-class urban artists. The whole thing is bizarre and self-fellating. But it’s also self-referential. The joke here isn’t that Donald Glover (who is adorable) is evil. But that Hannah, Dunham’s character, thinks he’s evil and has to handle the internal conflict.
Its shows like this and like Portlandia, a farce co-created by Fred Armisen poking fun at entrenched liberal hipster culture in Portland, which show a distinct chasm between the cultural approach by liberals and the cultural approach by conservatives. Liberals try to inject humor, self-parody and subtle themes into material that is, by itself, interesting, well-written and entertaining. Girls is really no exception. And the foment their hold on the audience by creating projects that have an independent appeal. Conservatives seem to spend their time handing the movement’s creative reins off to one of two groups: evangelical Christian musicians and filmmakers whose ham-fisted products are nothing short of horrendous, and sixty-year-old white men who spend their time writing essays about how Hollywood should just get off their damned lawn, even when the “liberally biased television program” they’re bemoaning takes a moment to explore a theme that they themselves visit time and again.
Conservatives and libertarians cannot avoid culture, nor can they afford to pounce on every perceived slight with church lady outrage. Making inroads into the collective consciousness means embracing trends and using them, having a sense of humor about ourselves and our approach, and taking to heart that the core value of entertainment is to entertain. Will conservatives ever be among the recognized and revered? Maybe not. But if the track record of tangentially conservative-focused enterprises (like, for example the Blue Collar Comedy Tour) has taught us anything, they will be rich. Which means they’ll be powerful.
I mean, take a second to think about it. Bretibart might reach a million visitors a month. TMZ does that in less than three days. And then you wonder why I spend my time watching reality television while everyone else is watching Bill O’Reilly pop a neck vein.