« Latest poll on Zimmerman | Main | Paul Fussell is dead at 88 »

May 22, 2012

Comments


It will be a shame when after this season the incessant leftist critics get to Lena Dunham and make her censor her insights that they feel are too spot on to be allowed.

You have the three stages of 20-somethings in this episode. The pharmacist kid who is part owner of a business and perfectly happy having normal sex without a finger in his ass with a girl he likes. He is going to be fine. Then there is Hannah who left and is now so screwed up she cant enjoy Normal (and she used to give advice to *other* people in high school). Finally, there is the blond girl. If she stayed home, she could have a fine life with coffee store boyfriend and people would like her poor dancing. Instead she has to off to LA and we all know how that will end up for her.

Would you still go to NYU law school if you could do it all over again? It doesn't seem like you are using your law degree.

"It’s understandable why a smart and elite-college-educated person of either sex wouldn’t want to work in a dead-end retail job at a florist. Doing crappy internships in New York City is more likely to eventually lead a quality professional career."

Well maybe in real life, though that's debatable, but in the show's universe it doesn't matter. Hannah didn't seem interested in doing any more unpaid internships no matter what potential they might have. She took a clerical job in a law firm that was just as dead-end as working in a Lansing florist shop would be, and couldn't even do that competently. Also note that her parents told her about a job opening at Michigan State that might have had some potential.

"Hannah’s sluttiness and sleeping around with alphas (even a guy like Adam who’s not a real alpha, but rather a beta masquerading as an alpha based on advice from PUA resources) has ruined her for a relationship with a nice-guy beta-male provider like the pharmacist."

It sure seemed more like Eric the pharmacist was less than thrilled with Hannah. She put a big damper on their fling with her awkward attempt at postillionage (as they called it in _The Joy of Sex_) and then with her ludicrous "am I tight like a baby?" question.

Curious, why do you keep saying non top 14 law school instead of say non top 15 one?

I agree with your general point about that though - unless you're black or Hispanic and want a low work tepid money job with the Federal government.

'Hannah’s sluttiness and sleeping around with alphas (even a guy like Adam who’s not a real alpha, but rather a beta masquerading as an alpha based on advice from PUA resources) has ruined her for a relationship with a nice-guy beta-male provider like the pharmacist.'

When did women, in history, ever 'enjoy' relationships with nice-guy-beta-male providers? Women have always been naturally attracted to alphas and have always vastly preferred them.

Durnham has Arfin and Apatow backing her up. She has been stunned by the criticism and has promised more NAMs in season 2 but other than that won't change the show much. She knows what she's doing.

I think the word you are looking for is 'hope'. By staying in NY, she has hope that she'll break into a field that she wants to work in.
Move back to MI, and she gives up that hope.
In your 20's, having hope is easy. In your late 30's? Its still possible. Once you've hit 40, it's well past the time to dream.

>>off to LA and we all know how that will end up for her.

Porn. Hopefully we get to see it

can you take me off moderation? I didn't know that you were pro Hispanic or I wouldn't have said what I did. I promise to not say anything bad about Hispanics again.

[HS: The blog is neither pro nor anti Hispanic, it's about the truth, and if the truth is that the average Hispanic immigrant has a lower IQ than the average white, then that's fine to talk about. It's mean-spirited comments that don't add any value which are frowned upon.]

Liberal site exposes dangerous working conditions for blue-collar white guys...SWPL commenters are bored/unimpressed. Labor rights just don't get them worked up the way FREE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS do.

http://www.propublica.org/article/cell-tower-fatalities?google_editors_picks=true

"It's mean-spirited comments that don't add any value which are frowned upon."

Just delete the comments you strongly object to AFTER they are posted.

Or could you at least lower moderation periodically during certain times in the week?

'Just delete the comments you strongly object to AFTER they are posted.'

How will that work?
What if one of those mean spirited comments sparks a 20 comment long debate?

Off topic but funny: NYPD Coward Cops(tm) run in fear from a naked man. Only when there are at least a dozen of them on the scene do they take him down to the ground. Seriously, where does the NYPD find its applicants, in a school for sissies?

http://www.worldstaruncut.com/uncut/46827

As someone who grew up middle to upper middle class in the Northeast, if you're young and educated, there are like 10 cities you can live in to meet other young, educated people in America. NYC, Boston, DC, San Fran, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, etc. Of course, I'm a guy, and women drive much of this. If more young, educated women stayed in suburbs and small towns, men wouldn't have to go to cities to find them. But as it is now, I've lived in the suburbs, and there your social life is shit unless you're married or close.

OT. Interesting research finding:

As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. In fact, a new studypublished this week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, has found that organic food may just make people act a bit like jerks.

“We found that the organic people judged much harder compared to the control or comfort food groups,” says Eskine. “On a scale of 1 to 7, the organic people were like 5.5 while the controls were about a 5 and the comfort food people were like a 4.89.”

When it came to helping out a needy stranger, the organic people also proved to be more selfish, volunteering only 13 minutes as compared to 19 minutes (for controls) and 24 minutes (for comfort food folks).

“There’s something about being exposed to organic food that made them feel better about themselves,” says Eskine. “And that made them kind of jerks a little bit, I guess.”


http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/05/does_organic_food_turn_people_into_jerks.html

HS, how does a fictional show "demonstrate" anything? You said yourself the writer seems to just get her ideas from the Internet.

I'm stymied as to why you find this twaddle so engrossing. I've never seen an episode of this -- I was turned off the moment I realized it was a rich little East Coast brat writing about rich little East Coast brats and that the whole damned CAST was even full of rich connected brats.

Then again, you also like Whit Stillman and Sofia Coppola, who both spout the same kind of recycled upscale memes. Ugh. It is your weakness.

"(even a guy like Adam who’s not a real alpha, but rather a beta masquerading as an alpha based on advice from PUA resources)"

This may be true about the actor, but the show isn't trying to suggest this for the character. In fact the writers underline that he's kind of dumb and non-intellectual. There are no books or computers in his apartment. There are no clues like aspie personality traits leaking out to suggest a recovering nerd. Dumb, masculine, non-computerish guys don't fall into PUA culture. The traits he's displaying are supposed to be his natural personality.

I'm not sure what clues you're using to define him as "beta" outside of his ugliness or his weird fetishes. [The writers, by the way, portray Adam's fetishes are an alpha trait, by the way they contrast them with the beta pharmacist who just wants to have boring missionary style sex. Adam's odd fetishes are a way to illustrate him always taking control of sex. Note that Hannah becomes confused when the pharmacist doesn't boss her around in bed.]

"Dumb, masculine, non-computerish guys don't fall into PUA culture."

Actually, they are the primary members of the PUA community. I haven't been to a PUA seminar before, but it seems to mostly be full of ugly proles.

"I'm stymied as to why you find this twaddle so engrossing. I've never seen an episode of this -- I was turned off the moment I realized it was a rich little East Coast brat writing about rich little East Coast brats and that the whole damned CAST was even full of rich connected brats."

Are you angry there are no "people of color" in the show?

You described exactly what it is that makes the show so good. It is about the up and coming SWPL generation: vapid, boring, talentless and spoiled. It is the first show in at least 2 decades to portray women negatively (and realistically). Also it has no diversity, which is refreshing in this day in age.

"In fact the writers underline that he's kind of dumb and non-intellectual. There are no books or computers in his apartment. There are no clues like aspie personality traits leaking out to suggest a recovering nerd. Dumb, masculine, non-computerish guys don't fall into PUA culture. The traits he's displaying are supposed to be his natural personality."

I am grieved that I need to keep explaining this, there is no question he is following Roissy. Here are some examples:
1. He has a patronizing pet name for her, calling her "kid"
2. He tells her what to do in bed and does it badly, indicating that it isn't natural for him. Compare his behavior to the natural alpha behavior of Jorma Taccone in episode 3.
3. He "sexted" her and immediately followed it with a mispelled claim that it wasn't for her. That is so Roissy that Roissy actually had an entire post telling guys to do just that.
4. He uses push pull, alternating affection with treating Hannah like dirt.

There is plenty of evidence that his whole alpha thing is just an act:
1. He shows jealously and insecurity when Hannah indicates she almost slept with some other guy.
2. His fantasies are the bizarre fantasies of an beta weirdo, not those of an alpha
3. He is with Hannah, who is certainly no pin up
4. As mentioned above, his alpha imitating behavior has a completely different feel than the natural alpha behavior that other male characters have demonstrated.

"I'm stymied as to why you find this twaddle so engrossing. I've never seen an episode of this -- I was turned off the moment I realized it was a rich little East Coast brat writing about rich little East Coast brats and that the whole damned CAST was even full of rich connected brats."

What makes the show interesting and relevant is that the characters are NOT rich. It's not Sex and the City with closets full of Manolos. In particular, Hannah's endless financial struggles are a recurring and significant plot point.

"Adam's odd fetishes are a way to illustrate him always taking control of sex. Note that Hannah becomes confused when the pharmacist doesn't boss her around in bed."

Eric the pharmacist takes control plenty well. He rebukes Hannah when she tries to engage in a bit of _postillionage_ and then in response to her absurd "am I tight like a baby?" question.

"HS, how does a fictional show "demonstrate" anything? You said yourself the writer seems to just get her ideas from the Internet. "

Because it in fact is real- and that is what is offensive to some people. Sex in the City was a made up fantasy world of gay men. Girls is the real consequences of believing that image. Sex with people you just met and have no connection to is likely to be unfulfilling. Journalists are unlikeable to be able to afford stylish shoes and urban life styles. Lena Dunham is a size 8- which is pretty average. On SITC, everyone was a size 0, which is a gay fashion designer's dream but no one elses.

Dunham has said that the show is based on her and her friends life. Which isnt surprising:
"I said, “Here’s the kind of show I would want to see. Here’s what my friends are like. They don’t totally have jobs but they’re really smart. They take Ritalin for fun, but they’re not that fucked up. They’re having these kind degrading sexual relationships yet they’re feminists.” I was sort of just describing women I know and how I would love to see them on TV"

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/04/12/lena-dunham-interview-part-one-what-girls-is-made-of/


Please Siggie, enough of these "Girls" episode recap posts. You're clearly obsessed with this show. Please create a new blog (or a new section of this blog) where you can dump your annoying "Girls" episode reviews. Trust me, very few of your readers are as obsessed with this show as you clearly are. I'm so embarrassed for you !

"I think the show is demonstrating exactly what conservative and game bloggers have been writing about for the past several years."

That's why I'm calling it. . .we are already past the point of Peak Alpha. My sister has been laughing and telling me stories of all the guys who come up to her in bars negging her and going through their aloof routines. A lot of women have already read The Game and have bookmarked Roissy and can see through the trying-too-hard-to-be-alpha guys like Adam. Increasingly these guys come across as socially inept nerds who needed to get their dating advice from the internet rather than High Value Men Who Are In Demand With The Ladies.

I'm not saying that women will ever stop going for good looking, outgoing, charismatic guys. But the alpha thing is playing out just like online poker. At first a few talented guys who had a good intuitive feel for the game and tons of prior experience dominated. Then more people learned the game and books and online courses and videos proliferated to the point that any idiot with an internet connection and a few bucks could learn to play decent poker. But eventually online poker became a larger and larger pool of human poker bots fighting over a smaller and smaller pool of suckers until that style of play ceased to be all that lucrative. If guys like Adam are mustering all of their alpha prowess to snag someone at Hannah’s level, then “alpha” has ceased to be a very profitable style of play.

The alpha/beta/”all women are like that” meme is already played out if the social commentary of the show is generating a lot of head-nodding and "yes, that's the way it is" clucking by the internet set. I'll give Lena Dunham some credit, though - her show may very well be intended as a counter-feminist-revolution for average women sick of the cock carousel, sick of bouncing from one empty friends-with-benefits arrangement to another, sick of yet another dead end office job rather than being at home with her own kids (and a guy who can support that lifestyle).

Times are rough and more and more people are losing their jobs or not even finding them in the first place. The "beta" provider characteristics that have been so denigrated over the past years are coming back as things look bleaker. When all you knew in your childhood was prosperity it’s tempting to hold out for a long time and take a shot at a genuine alpha. But if you came of age in a time where there are no jobs and no real possibility for advancement on the horizon, the provider guys start to look pretty tempting as well. This is starting with 30 something women who are out of options and desperately looking for someone to settle down with, but the advice will eventually pass from the burned out husks of women from the Sex and the City generation to a younger generation of Girls. The message will be clear - "Don't waste your 20s on the cock carousel - find a good guy early and settle down. I wish I had done the same." Roissy et. al. are betting on a full-on societal collapse before that happens, but I think the shift has already begun.

Half Sigma, you are correct. There is the impression among many young people, especially young women, that they have more of a shot at the big time in Manhattan than they might in the rest of the USA.

That being said, for young men born with the right IQ and work ethic, I think there is more opportunity outside Manhattan

You should google the Wilks brothers. They were born without any connections to the coastal elite, born in to a family where their grandfather was poor and hungry, the Wilks brothers didn't get any fancy education they just put their head down and put their high genetic IQ and work ethic to work and made themselves billions of dollars

And they live a non flashy life, still hanging around with their high school friends, with no desire at all to hang around with other billionaire types

Young men may not be so smart to move to Manhattan

"Then again, you also like Whit Stillman and Sofia Coppola, who both spout the same kind of recycled upscale memes. Ugh. It is your weakness."

Whit Stillman's Barcelona was great. Watch it. Coppola is overrated.

"Off topic but funny: NYPD Coward Cops(tm) run in fear from a naked man. Only when there are at least a dozen of them on the scene do they take him down to the ground. Seriously, where does the NYPD find its applicants, in a school for sissies?"

And meanwhile, all of your gym-hardened toughness is put to waste in your job selling undisclosed products for an undisclosed company. Maybe you should take the NYPD test? Good money with OT, and lavish retirement benefits.

"Durnham has Arfin and Apatow backing her up. She has been stunned by the criticism and has promised more NAMs in season 2 but other than that won't change the show much. She knows what she's doing." by Otis the Sweaty

Why should Durnham include more NAMs? She should explain that there is nothing inherently wrong about a show with an all-white cast. Minorities, and their left-wing white allies, need to stop whining about everything.

Matt the summer camp friend has sex (of sorts) with Shoshanna and Eric the pharmacist has sex with Hannah even though neither one uses any PUA tactics.

bitter celibate:
"A lot of women have already read The Game and have bookmarked Roissy and can see through the trying-too-hard-to-be-alpha guys like Adam."

3.5 billion women worldwide have bookmarked game blogs? riiiiight.
oh, and btw, it's better to be trying-too-hard alpha than not-trying-at-all beta.

"Increasingly these guys come across as socially inept nerds who needed to get their dating advice from the internet rather than High Value Men Who Are In Demand With The Ladies."

guys with tight game are High Value Men. this is because women love charming, aloof, dominant bastards.
ps your capitalization gives you away as someone with a spiteful gripe against men successfully running game.

"The alpha/beta/”all women are like that” meme is already played out"

if it's true then it can never be played out. it's the play itself.

"Trust me, very few of your readers are as obsessed with this show as you clearly are."

+1 HS Your social commentary is interesting. But you are reviewing every single episode of this show. It is getting old.

Diablo 3 has become the fastest selling PC game of all time. One of the features of Diablo 3 is a 'real-money' auction house. Maybe HS is right about people eventually getting paid to play MMORPG's...

HS is a lawyer cum programmer.

How did that happen?

"Why should Durnham include more NAMs? "

Because she is a dumb SWPL whore. What she should do doesn't matter, she has already announced there will be more NAMs on season 2.

Tburger: your comments are borderline pro-woman. The guys your sister meets at clubs are misusing PUA principles. Guys like Adam in "Girls" are using PUA principles correctly. Women mainly care about height, muscles and looks but there are other things that have been demonstrated to work, they don't translate well to the club scene though.

People who don't like the girls reviews: as someone said above, "Girls" demonstrates what far right bloggers have been talking about for years. Finally there is a negative depiction of women and SWPLs in the media. The importance of the show is it's truth.

"Would you still go to NYU law school if you could do it all over again? It doesn't seem like you are using your law degree."

Went to UPLS. Haven't used it. But it impresses tools and chick dig it.

"Women mainly care about height, muscles and looks but there are other things that have been demonstrated to work, they don't translate well to the club scene though."

Looks and height, girls play equal weight on both (unless you are like 5'7" or below), both of which matter more than muscles. I think many girls do not like men who have too much muscle.

But, all in all, it does not matter so much. I know lots of nerdy guys with cute girlfriends, fiances, wives. Hot? Probably rarer. But like marries like, and few male nerds are hot.


Two more points:

Also, re women and muscle, women have NO idea about working out. They think a guy is a fitness god if he is 165 pounds and has abs, and consider someone "huge" if he is 185 pounds and under 12% body fat. A 180 pounds @ 12% body fat is obtainable for almost all men within a year to two of working out.

Yes, can we move on from re-capping Girls? If I didn't know better, I would think HS is actually a writer for this, and is trying to astro-turf for more viewers.

"I am grieved that I need to keep explaining this, there is no question he is following Roissy."

The writers are probably mining PUA sites for material, but they leave no clues to suggest the Adam character is putting on some kind of act based on reading PUA materials. Again, there are clues this guy doesn't read much at all. He's supposed to be dumb and manly.

"He shows jealously and insecurity when Hannah indicates she almost slept with some other guy."

I don't know when this happened. He seemed completely indifferent when she told him about sex with the pharmacist.


"His fantasies are the bizarre fantasies of an beta weirdo, not those of an alpha"

Again, the writers use Adam's fetishes to show how wild and unboring he is, and how he always takes control of sex for his own purposes.

The idea here that beta=weird is dubious. Omegas and alphas should be the biggest non-conformists, while betas should just be boring.


"He is with Hannah, who is certainly no pin up"

This has nothing to do with whether he's faking a personality or not. He could be a virgin and his personality could be just as real. And he's not "with" Hannah, she is one of the girls he screws. We haven't seen his other girls yet, although the show keeps reminding us that they exist. They will probably be attractive because the show likes to humiliate Hannah, and this will cause her stress.


"As mentioned above, his alpha imitating behavior has a completely different feel than the natural alpha behavior that other male characters have demonstrated."

I did not feel the short, hipster artist who claimed he was a "real man" seemed more genuinely masculine than Adam. Just the opposite. But either way this probably has more to do with the ability of the actors than anything intended by the writers.

Re Adam: Here is a Leah Dunham interview. Hopefully they dont soften Adam anymore than has has been. There are hints hat he could be PUA, especially since she elsewhere talks about women's self help books, which I imagine must reference PUA techniques.

"It’s interesting how Adam is portrayed–he seems like a total asshole and then maybe he’s not a complete asshole, you know, in moments. Is that showing us the way Hannah sees him, like this is why she’s staying in the relationship?

I think it is. You’re not crazy, so you don’t stay because there’s never a sweet moment. You stay because there’s these hints that something could be greater and you’re like kind of reaching for it. So I think Hannah has this sense that below it all Adam cares about her, and I think he does. And I didn’t want to see a one-dimensional relationship where like he’s a dick and she has low self-esteem. She’s sort of implicit in her own treatment and **he is sort of doing what he thinks he’s supposed to**. But, at the same time, neither of them is ready to commit. So I really wanted to explore the fact that these are two characters who like almost love each other and almost could be strangers. 

I think Adam Driver brought a lot of complexity to that role, because he’s an actor unable to do anything in a one-dimensional way. So I think we really started to write to him and his kind of odd sweetness.

And I really fell in love with that character–he’s my favorite character to write for, hands down. I love every single one. But for me Adam is like—he’s actually very old fashioned. I get very poetical talking about him. To Hannah he’s almost just like a Walt Whitman or Thoreau figure who’s like talked and lived his life in his own way and sees beauty in odd things—even though he’s lived in the shitty apartment and has no job, he’s about as like liberated as a person can be. 

And I think there’s a lot of qualities in him that she wants for herself, like she’s partially sleeping with him because she wishes she was him."

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/04/12/lena-dunham-interview-part-one-what-girls-is-made-of/

Please ban "Rain And" for disagreeing with me

"I think many girls do not like men who have too much muscle."

It's not so much the muscle _per se_, it's the concern that an overly muscular man is obsessed with muscle building.

--
"Also, re women and muscle, women have NO idea about working out. They think a guy is a fitness god if he is 165 pounds and has abs"

In fairness, many men also think that visible abs = muscularity. It's really just a function of body fat.

--
"I did not feel the short, hipster artist who claimed he was a "real man" seemed more genuinely masculine than Adam. Just the opposite."

As I noted some time ago, the artist (Booth Jonathan) had a definite advantage with Marnie because he's a famous artist whose work she admires. It was obvious that she'd go along with pretty much anything he said.
--

"But for me Adam is like—he’s actually very old fashioned. I get very poetical talking about him. To Hannah he’s almost just like a Walt Whitman"

Of course if he actually was like Walt Whitman he wouldn't be interested in nailing Hannah.

Has anyone inquired as to whether Lena Dunham is related to Barack Obama? Obama was, of course, raised by his grandparents -- the Dunhams.

"There are no books or computers in his apartment."

In the first or second episode there is a pile of books by his bed. The top one was "Him With His Foot In His Mouth," which is a great collection of short stories by Saul Bellow. I wondered as well if they were making a joke about Hannah's tendency to say inappropriate things.

I've been reluctant to watch this show because everything on television is ridiculous. Women are angels and have everything together. They're witty and wise and blah blah blah.

Ok, so I finally decided to watch the show and I'm stunned. It's great! It actually portrays women as they are today - being led around by their vaginas with absolutely zero introspection. It's so refreshingly honest and different from everything else you'll see in popular culture.

Next season it'll be different so enjoy it now.

Exactly, what makes this show so revolutionary is that we finally get a negative portrayal of women. The show is extremely anti feminist.

I think it will still be anti woman next year because Durnham is essentially hostile to women. There will, however, be more NAMs in it.

Anyone who says women havent been portrayed as bad on TV in 20 years did not watch the first couple seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Sure they were smart doctors, but they were self centered, irrational, sexually loose psychos compared to the sensitive, smart, + still manly male docs that populated that hospital. I thought the show was written by men until I looked up the writing staff.

First of all, Grey's Anatomy was such garbage that even if what you said was true it would be irrelevent.

Second of all, the show portrayed blacks as intelligent doctors, so even if it was anti woman it was still pro NAM.

Third, the show did not truly portray women negatively. Yes it showed them as self centered but that is not inherently anti feminist. It certainly did not portray the female characters as weak, obsessed with pleasing men and vapid. "Girls" portrays young women as they are and that is revolutionary, full stop.

I haven't watched the show because I can tolerate only so much modern degeneracy, but it does seem more interesting than I had originally surmised. Perhaps some commenters should be a bit less sanguine about the "negative" portrayal of women by this or any other show. One could instead interpret the portrayals as chest-beating displays that feminism has won, and women get to behave like (more irresponsible) men from the bad old days without significant consequences. Unless the show triggers a backlash against such behavior, not much good will come of it.

Anyone know the real name of the actress who plays Heather, the hot blonde?

I just read an interview with Lena Dunham in Bust Magazine, and it did not instill confidence. In the interview, she called herself a feminist, made it clear that her character Hannah is not a whore, and said that judging anyone for her choices is bad.

Given how good she seems to be at conveying the bleakness of modern life, maybe the bleakness of her intellect should not come as a surprise.

The comments to this entry are closed.