I started writing a book about myself yesterday but then I stopped because I realised it wouldn’t have any Chinese people in it. That’s a problem, right? That my book about myself wouldn’t have any Chinese people in it… Because there are Chinese people in society. And I’m not reflecting that. I am not reflecting the real world where Chinese people exist.
Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I need to take a bigger look at my life and ask WHY EVE… WHY are there no Chinese people in your life?!!!Is it because you are not living in the right environment where you have the ability to meet the biggest cross-section of society and mingle with all different races and ethnicities and minorities, including even the odd person who still likes Downton Abbey? Only then can you write the book about your life and your experience of living because only then will you have the right to comment on the world. But now you are just ignorant of how life’s experienced by EVERY PERSON of EVERY RACE and EVERY ETHNICITY because you do not currently have any Chinese people in your life. When was the last time you knew a Chinese person? Was it really as long ago as University? THINK ABOUT IT. Have you buried a deep-seeded racial prejudice against Chinese people and never noticed until now when you sat down to write your book and realised you couldn’t write it because you couldn’t be the voice of your generation while not knowing everything about every minority?! Didn’t you realise that writing a book about stuff means you’ve elected yourself the most proportionally representational House Of Commons OF THE WORLD?!
[Note: I’m NOT being racist against Chinese people, I’m just exaggerating shit to illustrate some nonsense that’s been going on regarding criticism of Lena Dunham’s show Girls and its apparent “racist” agenda with it’s lack of casting ‘Women Of Colour’. Don’t get all weird on me now.]
Your Political Correctness hasn’t just gone mad, it’s gone counterproductive, it’s become insulting. Here I am thinking about how to actively not be racist by being hypersensitive about people of other races purely because they are of another race. WTF. When I went to see Rob Delaney on Friday night he joked about multiculturalism. Something about how it would be really weird to actually walk into a pub reflecting the perfect microcosm of society where a white girl, a black dude, a gay Muslim and a transgender Japanese person would be sitting round a booth together all drinking a pint of Stella. That would look a bit… staged. Whereas if the diversity is allowed to just actually happen all by itself it ends up totally random - say three Ukranian women with two black New Yorkers. It was funny. I laughed. I recognised the authenticity of that situation.
Of course, sometimes diversity doesn’t happen or isn’t apparently staring at you in the face because it just is. We don’t need to constantly pat ourselves on the back for living in a multicultural world, we can get on with enjoying it, enjoying being humans together. Because at the end of the day, that’s what we all are - humans. That’s the thing we were trying to progress towards with all this positive discrimination stuff - recognising that we’re all merely the same weird facial expressions, awkward hand gestures and weird knobbly bits on our feet.
But no. We are still going over it. Highlighting our differences and searching for our own “type”s in everything we consume. And because Lena Dunham hasn’t included black people in her TV sitcom she has been actively racist against the black community by denying them a voice in her statement dramedy. As someone who got on the school bus once and was met with the comment “YA DIRTY JEW” I fail to appreciate where the racial slur lies here. Maybe it’s too subtle for me. When I think about all the subtlety of this racist act some more, I begin to realise… I guess I never related to Will Smith in Fresh Prince Of Bel Air because I was white. I guess I related more to the characters in Skins because it was a salad bowl picture of youth in all its various races, genders and sexualities even though it didn’t have a realistic plot or make any sense to me whatsoever. I guess I only ever related to Monica Geller in Friends because she was the only girl that was Jew-ish. WRONG. I related to Phoebe the most because she was CRAZY.
[I saw a group of people just like this on Primrose Hill earlier today]
THIS IS ALL TOTAL BULLSHIT. I can’t understand why Lena Dunham writing about what she knows makes her a racist. It’s beyond my comprehension. Surely encouraging someone to write about their life but *hold on make sure you have a token few “WOC”s in there* is a far more discomforting affair. It’s augmenting someone’s experience, altering someone’s reality to make it more reflective of some Platonic multicultural society we desperately want to remind ourselves is working. What’s more, this is an issue that’s existed since television, nay THEATRE began. It sounds to me like the world has seen a prodigal, female, forward-thinking brainbox who has made a cool, relevant sitcom that’s actually saying something about my generation and decided to offload this centuries-old issue upon her in a bid to DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY. Well world, screw you. You don’t deserve Lena Dunham. Or Fresh Prince. Or Star Wars. Or Woody Allen. Or The Godfather. Or Destinys Child. Or even The Flintstones. You deserve Affirmative Action policies to be applied to all TV sitcoms so that they look like United Colours of Benetton adverts. What was that show called? Oh yeah, MTV’s The Real World. “Realistic”.
I can’t wait to see the next episode of Girls because a) I’m not jealous of Lena Dunham and b) I’m not jealous of Lena Dunham and c) I’m not jealous of… Oh look there’s only one reason why anyone wouldn’t want to watch the next episode of Girls. The only reason why Girls (a show about city-dwelling girls in their mid-late 20s) has got so much backlash from city-dwelling girls in their mid-late 20s is because they’re not the city-dwelling girls in their mid-late 20s who are currently enjoying the success of Girls. Namely they’re green with envy. Lena Dunham is the writer, director and starring character in Girls and she’s smashed it (well she has so far… most of us have only seen one episode FFS, all this premature commotion is like bleedin’ LANA DEL REY ALL OVER AGAIN). I mean, apparently she’s “privileged” so doesn’t deserve to be loved. Who gives a… shit, looks like you’ve got something on your shoulder there.
It’s hard when you’ve ached, when you’ve dreamed that YOU and YOUR friends would make the perfect Sex And The City: The College Years (I’m tiring of this description) style sitcom and you just didn’t beat Lena Dunham to it (I only got the first episode of mine written) but you sooooooooo could’ve done a better job. Sorry to burst your bubbles but… just don’t go down this road. Envy is no catalyst to female empowerment; spiteful jealousy between women is to the promotion of feminism what Sectarianism is to the safety of Glasgow City Centre. Credit where it’s due: the pilot of Girls was simply so heart-warmingly hilarious I could watch it again and again and again. Hold me, kiss me, squeeze me, Girls. I have not felt this in love since The OC.
[Girls: it was interesting searching for this image in Google]
I am nothing if not fair, though. So let’s look at the things you’re all criticising Girls for:
1. Girls is shit because I don’t like any of the girls in Girls.
Since when do you have to like a TV character to judge that there’s a good TV programme in front of you? Have you even seenThe X Files. Plus, I didn’t think the girls were that hideous. Actually (shhhh) I know these people. All of them.
2. Lena Dunham is a self-indulgent, pretentious prick.
Lena Dunham is writing about what she knows. Which FYI is the opposite of pretentious. Also, this is TV, not Nobel Prize Literature. It can afford to be a little self-serving and inward-looking. Also, HELLO! We’re all self-indulgent! It’s 2012. You found out about this post on Twitter; a social network where you’re sometimes (in my case almost every time) being self-indulgent. Not necessarily in a bad way – a lot of your collective self-indulgence entertains me massively (thank you by the way, I don’t say that enough). I think if this is your beef then Girls might be smarter than you.
3. Girls is racist because there are no Black people in Girls.
4. Girls is not funny.
YOUR MUM. Let me expand. Main character Hannah during the pilot episode sits down opposite her parents and requests two years’ worth of additional allowance so that she can write a book based solely on the belief that: “I think I might be the voice of my generation. [Pause] Or at least A Voice. Of A Generation.” This is precisely what I was getting at in point 2: this is Lena writing about what she knows. This is self-awareness. This is saying, “Hey I’m a narcissist, but I know I am, and aren’t we all in a way, and isn’t everyone so lost now, and hahaha.” This made my heart burst… But no, you’re absolutely right, not everyone has the same sense of humour. Let’s put an episode of Who’s Been Framed on… Girls is not funny? It’s too funny.
There are also some whisperings about how it’s not feminist enough and is thus a massive disappointment (presumably for not nailing such an easy subject matter…) What’s not feminist enough is this RIDICUMULOUS BACKLASH that will cause feminism to implode (I am prone to a bit of exaggeration).