Wednesday, December 21, 2016


There's very little I write in this blog that would rightly be considered profound. Since my days contributing to The Weekly Standard (and it really could be counted in days), I've always considered myself nothing more than a wiseacre shooting spitballs at the passing parade. If I wind up typing something even semi-discerning, it's strictly by accident.

Therefore, it would be the height of hypocrisy for  me to suggest that celebrities lay off with the tweets, podcasts, and political campaigning, and stick to what they do best: convincing the world they deserve a shameless amount of money in order to share their talent with the world. 

"One day I'm going to have my own HBO
series called Lamas!"
But then there's Lena "Voice of Her Generation" Dunham, whose $6-million annual salary for Girls, and $3.5-million payday for her poorly-selling semi-fictional autobiography has apparently convinced her that she's the 21st-century Chang, the High Lama of Lost Horizon.

Her latest phrasal faux-pas started innocently enough:

Shall we parse this a bit? She says "a few years ago." According to Ripley's Believe it Or Not!, "a few" means eight. Now, Ripley was going by a Biblical passage (believe it or not), so maybe that's not how it would be defined now. So let's say it was three years ago. 

That would have made Dunham 27. So this 27 year-old describes her interlocutor as "a young girl." What does that mean? Eight? Ten? Six?

Probably not. This sounds like a college project, so figure she was at least 18, closer to 20. For a serious feminist like Lena Dunham, using the phrase "young girl" sounds awfully sexist, or at least condescending. But she has her own cable series, so it's understandable.

On the other hand, she gave the young girl woman a heads-up, re: her non-abortion history. That's fine, even if she seems to be saying that women who have had abortions are somehow blemished.

But Dunham quickly annuls that wisdom in her next sentence:

Lena counts the number of abortions she wished
she had.
Hoo boy. And you thought Florence Foster Jenkins was tone-deaf! 

Not surprisingly, the cyberworld came down on her like 500-pound sack of flour. Her response, less sincere than concerned for herself as a celebrity in good standing, came the following day: 

Wait. First she describes the comment as a "distasteful joke," then she says she would never "intentionally trivialize" abortion -- or, as she now puts it, "terminating a pregnancy." For a writer who has her own publishing imprint at Random House, she ought to know the meaning of the word "contradiction" by now.

But more to the point: she wasn't joking and she knows it. Own it, girlfriend! You wish you had an abortion to be part of the in-crowd -- while millions of women, many of them rape survivors who don't have the access or the money to abortions, wish they could suffer your rich-person guilt pangs. 

We can all look forward to Dunham's longings at future women-centric events:

I still haven't been beaten by my boyfriend, but I wish I had.

I still haven't been homeless, but I wish I had.

I still haven't had stage four breast cancer, but I wish I had. 

The result of last month's presidential election, Lena Dunham says, "made me ache in the places that make me a woman." Dunham makes me ache in the places that make me a sentient human being.

But you know what? I still haven't had my own HBO series, but I wish I had.


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