In order to combat the Matrix we must understand the Matrix. On that note:
There’s plenty about Girls to annoy conservatives, yet this often creepy, usually skeevy, critically-acclaimed HBO series is also a test for conservatives.
Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart’s warnings about the importance of taking pop culture seriously or just keep fiddling as the culture burns?
If conservatives are going to be in the popular culture – and act to change it – they can’t simply ignore shows like Girls that capture the zeitgeist, even if the zeitgeist makes their skin crawl. Season two is well under way, and conservatives need to participate in the discussion.
Girls is about four young, aimless college grads living in New York. Think of Sex and the City, except Sarah Jessica Parker has doubled her weight, dresses like a potato sack and fancies herself the voice of some undefined generation. There’s sex and nudity – just not hot Homeland sex and nudity. This is the first show in the history of cable television where male viewers actively root for the heroine to keep her clothes on.
Said heroine is played by Lena Dunham, who like most of the starring actresses is the daughter of somebody famous. David Mamet’s daughter is in it, as is NBC’s Brian William’s daughter. But this isn’t just some vanity project. They are all talented, and Dunham is very talented. She created the show and writes most of the episodes (and well – the dialogue is sharp and funny), but her fearless portrayal of an awful, awful young woman truly makes the show something special.
There are plenty of red flags for conservatives, off-screen and on. Off-screen is the fact that Dunham is an Ivy League, wealthy, 26-year old New Yorker who has all the pretentions and prejudices in real life that one would expect from an Ivy League, wealthy, 26-year old New Yorker. She made that obnoxious “my first time” Obama ad which pitted her gushing credulousness against her tacky innuendo in a race to the bottom.
It’s the kind of thing her kids will someday show her on YouTube; hopefully, she’ll mature enough by then to be embarrassed. She also is given to “Hollywood brave” pronouncements like that she won’t get married herself until gays can. And you members of the Greatest Generation thought you knew courage.
The characters seem to live in a minority and Republican-free bubble (though a black Republican (!) shows up as a character this season). There is no reference to religion – that wouldn’t occur to them.
Questions of traditional morality never arise – of course you should consider an abortion! Instead of facing questions of morality, the characters face questions of behavior along the lines Seinfeld parodied – who has “hand” in a relationship, or the social faux pas of the “close talker.” To put it bluntly, these are not the big questions that the great thinkers of Western civilization have pondered over the centuries.
In the same vein, don’t miss this interesting article which examines what inspires the hatred and venom of the left when it comes to pop culture icons: