When the HBO show, “Girls“ first came out I clung to it because of my affinity for awkward hilarity and its endearing portrayal of the humiliating twenty-something experience.
Now, after having read a bunch of articles on Dunham-criticisms, Twitter-controversies and the like, I’ve found the answer to the gripes I have with the show in the book, “Ernest Hemingway On Writing.”
An excerpt on the racial controversy surrounding “Girls”, published on TheWeek.com last May:
Dunham directly addressed those critiques in an interview with NPR, arguing that she based the show on her own experiences as a “half-Jew, half-WASP.” She felt she couldn’t write truthfully about an African American girl living in New York, and wanted to avoid tokenism when casting the show.
The enlightening quote by Hemingway:
A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.
Hollow writing comes from hollow people living hollow lives, but you don’t perceive yourself to be empty, do you?
Loneliness is different than emptiness. Where loneliness evokes longing and lusts after connectivity, emptiness seeks immediate replenishment despite depth. Loneliness requires intimacy and emptiness requires bite-sized, adrenaline-gushing experience to feel whole.
Of course, becoming yourself is a lonely process, but feeling empty and the inability to relate comes from experiences that have not been digested properly.
Think about it.
The universe pulls people in different trajectories, toward different people and the mind accelerates the process of these experiences by making judgments.
People regret more than they learn. Hate more than they love. Miss more than they take risks.
If we don’t take time to appreciate our place in the universe, the people we meet, find our purpose and recognize that everyone is brought together to inform each others’ stories, humanity will never become peaceful, wholesome and without judgement.
I know Lena Dunham is barely an adult and since this is her first time becoming famous, I wish I could give her a break, but that’s all the more reason to hold a public figure accountable for their ignorant, exclusive societal commentary.
If you grew up in a city — let alone THE New York City, crawling with segregated diversity, wouldn’t you feel the need to portray life as it is — the horrors, the filth, the beauty and the serendipity of your home?
A city twisted with perversions slightly more filthy and corrupt than the mind of a selfish twenty-something would urge anyone to scribble down semblances of thoughts just to make sense of it all.
I know she means well, and meant to do justice to this experience of “making it” as a young woman, but I’m not taking “I don’t know how,” as an answer to leaving out everything else. She, and whoever else wants to be “the voice of a generation,” is going to have to try much harder to be empathetic.
While figuring out what we don’t know yet, who we don’t exactly understand, and what we haven’t yet experienced — we try to become ourselves.
And that’s all life ever is, right? Trying?