Liberal activist Lena Dunham has a show on HBO called “Girls.” I have never seen it, but it enjoys a niche popularity. It’s nothing like “Game of Thrones,” say, but apparently a decent number of people watch “Girls,” mostly, it seems, to laugh at how obnoxious the characters are. But liberal critics love “Girls.” If you Google a bit, you will find that one of the words most often associated with the show is “smart.” Lena Dunham is smart. “Girls” is smart. The characters, obnoxious though they may be, are smart.
I question that. I think the whole lot of them, critics included, are dumb. Why? Consider this bit of dialogue from the most recent episode of “Girls,” which aired yesterday. Dunham’s character attends the writer’s workshop at the University of Iowa, which is in Iowa City, a well-known program:
[Phone chimes] – Hey, my dad’s gonna be here at 6:30.
– Why is he coming?
– Oh, he has a conference in Minneapolis, so he’s just gonna swing by for dinner. You wanna join us?
– Um, no. What are you working on?
– This article made of pictures of how fat kids make for slutty adults.
– Did you have anyone sign releases?
– God, no.
– You could get sued.
– We’re in Iowa. They don’t know what a fuckin’ release is.
So the Dunham character’s father has a conference in Minneapolis, and he is going to “swing by” Iowa City for dinner. This is really stupid. It is a long way from Minneapolis to Iowa City, over 300 miles in fact:
Round trip, it’s a little over nine hours, according to Google. For purposes of comparison, it is almost 100 miles farther from Minneapolis to Iowa City than from New York to Washington, D.C., and it takes about an hour longer:
“Swinging by” Iowa City from Minneapolis is almost as far as “swinging by” Pittsburgh from New York City.
You see, I don’t think people who write dialogue like this, and turn it into a television show, are smart. I don’t think reviewers who hail the show for its intelligence are smart. I think they are ignorant. Ill-informed. Frankly, pretty stupid. Let’s not stop with the distance from Minneapolis to Iowa City. How about the suggestion that people in Iowa “don’t know what a fuckin’ release is”? That is stupid, too.
The thing about being an elitist is, it works better if you are actually part of an elite. Lena Dunham isn’t. The fans of her show aren’t, nor are the liberal reviewers who try to make the show into a hit. These people are average at best, and the rest of the country–including the majority who are better-informed than these insular, self-absorbed narcissists–shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives.