What we do for attention

October 4, 2012





This past year I fell in love with the HBO show “Girls” and its writer-director-producer-star, Lena Dunham.


Last year I saw Dunham’s movie “Tiny Furniture,” which she financed for $20,000 and also received the attention of comedy mogul Judd Apatow, and she immediately became my favorite new voice in film.


Pretty much anything Dunham has done lately, from her ultra witty Tweets to talk show appearances, I defend and praise.


I feel that Dunham’s humor is something quite unique in this time of scatological overabundance.


She takes very dramatic situations and through very intelligent dialogue and super awkward sex scenes finds the humor in those things.


She also does not have a model type body, yet is also comfortable enough with herself to bare it all. It is HBO. Dunham’s humor is not for everyone. While an undergraduate student at Oberlin College in Ohio, she made a short film of herself taking a bath in a fountain.


Dunham goes to some pretty extreme measures for her art.


She somehow can take those things that are difficult in life: like what to do post collegiate life or having a minifridge in your university apartment, causing you to have to buy a meal plan, and applies a nice humorous gloss on it.


According to Slate.com, Dunham has a book in the works, supposedly a book of advice modeled after self-help guru Helen Gurley Brown’s book.


God help us all.


While I like to defend everything that Dunham does, I ran into a roadblock the other day.


At a weekend charity event for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Dunham showed up as her usual atypical self.


This time though, her typical atypical self was not wearing any pants.


She was sporting a long green militaristic button down shirt and that was pretty much it.


While everything inside of me wants to say “Go, Lena!” I cannot help but wonder if Dunham is doing this more for shock value as a type of upscale Gagaesque ploy.


Another writer of whom I respect is Nora Ephron, and I cannot imagine her to ever show up to an event without any pants on.


When I read about the “shocking” state of Dunham’s clothes mishap on The Huffington Post, I just sighed and moved onto the next story.


What surprises me even more than this story is that it was one of the biggest stories of the weekend.


Oh, yes and the fact that Paul Ryan won’t explain Romney’s tax plan to us, because it is too complex, but let’s face it—someone going pantsless to an event is more interesting.


Trying not to teeter off onto a tangent, but the story made me question the state of humor in the media.


Is it funny because this was an important story over the weekend and this is a sad indicator of how media has gone down the drain?


Or is it a color story about a famous person leaving their pants at home, giving us a break from the mundane news stories about us not being able to understand taxes?


I guess in the end I am thankful to Dunham for leaving her pants at home, even though I do not particularly think she is cool for doing so.


It provided the material for a funny story to break up all of the malaise that seems to hover over news stories recently and add a little humor to our intake of daily news.


Patrick Boyd is a senior English and journalism major from Choudrant who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to gpb009@latech.edu.


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