Miss Guided

You know something?  Not everybody looks good when they take off their clothes …

Lena Dunham makes my skin crawl; however, I’m not going to go so far as to say she offends me.  I pride myself on the fact that I am seldom if ever offended by anything.  In my world, those who are perpetually offended by people, their remarks, their choices, or their actions are buying into the zeitgeist of victimhood.

Having made that proclamation, let me say that Lena Dunham’s latest video (albeit being marketed as a spoof) where she raps about her BFF Hillary Clinton, tongue in cheek or not, is going to come back to bite her fat ass.  After I watched it, all I could think of was that even Clinton’s supporters are doing a collective face-palm.  Would you really want her on your side?  Because in the worst possible way, Lena Dunham represents the worst ideals of liberal ideology.  When I think of the body of Americans who identify as liberal or who belong to the Democrat party, I’m pretty sure that not all of them rally behind Lena Dunham’s misappropriated tribute to their candidate, her morbid, obsessive, and worshipful love affair with Planned Parenthood, or her contempt for any man who doesn’t find her do-able.

Or, maybe they do.

You see, Miss Dunham resides in that artificial world where actively hating everything that is considered a mainstay of traditional American values is part of her brand.  That’s how she gets everyone’s attention.  Her latest attack on straight white men would be ridiculous if there weren’t others out there who are swayed by Dunham’s relentless bullying of the vanilla establishment.  In her world, unless you’re LGBTQ, had an abortion, or think that climate change is the sole responsibility of the same straight white men she wishes were extinct, you can’t possibly expect to be treated with any modicum of respect or acknowledged as a contributing member of society.  She’s the savior of the progressive movement.  She’s the stalwart champion of all those who have been hapless victims of the same slice of society she so enthusiastically despises.

The utter lack of tolerance Lena Dunham has for those who don’t endorse her particular brand of misanthropy screams irony.  Look, it’s okay to be edgy, different, to march to a completely alternative drummer, but it’s not okay nor is it very tolerant to spew hatred at what you perceive to be the establishment, but in reality is the foundation of our very culture.  Not everybody’s queer, most rational people don’t take off their clothes to get attention, and for the love of all that is holy, ending your sentences with an upward inflection suggests that even you are not sure about what you are saying.

Not that I have any skin in the game (she’s not my kid, thankfully) but I can’t help but wonder if she could have made a more positive and rational impact upon those causes she champions if she used her powers for good.  Go ahead and be a Hillary fangirl if that’s how you swing politically, but understand, too, that if you’re preaching tolerance, you might want to steer clear of suggesting that the world would be a better place if an entire segment of that world’s population—straight white men—would become extinct.

But what am I saying?  I take it all back.  Go ahead and make an ass of yourself, dear.  It’s working.  For me, anyway.

Kitten Knittin’

Fem-art or fem-offensive?  Depends on your definition of ‘art’.

Years ago when I was teaching and my eighth grade students were reading the play The Diary of Anne Frank, I offered them a choice of three projects that they were to complete following our study of the play and its wider implications.  Two projects were research and writing-based—the third?  Build a scaled replica of the Anne Frank house using mostly found objects—nothing purchased, just stuff found lying around the house to make this replica as close to the real thing as possible.  I even introduced the word ‘verisimilitude’ as a way to stress that the house should be neither whimsical nor resemble a standard dollhouse. The goal of this project was for students to have a comprehensive understanding of the limitations that the families in hiding had experienced.

Some students created amazing replicas; others had their parents do it (we can always tell, Mom), and still others half-assed the whole thing.  Like Brian.  Brian handed in a cardboard box.  Inside the box was a stick and a rolled-up piece of clay.  Brian was completely mystified when I refused to accept it.

“But it’s art.”

No, it wasn’t art.  It was a box with a stick and a piece of rolled up clay inside.  Just like this is not art:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/04/vaginal-knitting_n_4386419.html

No, your eyes did not deceive you.  That pants-less woman with the really bad haircut is self-proclaimed “craftivist” Casey Jenkins from Melbourne, Australia, and she was indeed pulling yarn out of her body from a place where yarn really doesn’t belong, then knitting it into … I don’t even know what.

Nothing I want throw around my neck, that’s for damn sure.

2015-10-01 18_27_06-'Vaginal Knitting' Is Here To Make Everyone Afraid Of Performance Art Once AgainBefore I join the millions worldwide that Casey Jenkins has categorized as “Haters” and provide a cursory commentary on her particular brand of performance art —because what can I say that hasn’t already been said—I have some questions for her.

  • Are you in a committed relationship with any of the balls of yarn you’ve introduce into your portal of happiness?
  • You’re putting different balls of yarn all up in that thing every day. Are they wearing protection?
  • Where are you finding these balls of yarn? In a box? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
  • What exactly are you knitting? Doesn’t look like a sweater to me.
  • What are you going to do with that seemingly endless streamer of knitted v-yarn?
  • What do you actually do to earn a living when you’re not knittin’ from your kitten?
  • Does it hurt?

Look, I consider myself rather creative.  I’ve written a few things.  I appreciate allegory, allusion, alliteration, and extended metaphor as much as anybody does.

But come on.

The only metaphorical thing I can conjure from this—and this is a stretch, I assure you— is that the yarn is being stored in an entryway, of sorts, that leads into a room (of sorts) where babies grow. She’s pulling yarn out of this entryway and fashioning it into … what?  A baby blanket?  For the love of all that is holy, I certainly hope not.  So, maybe this extended metaphor is a little too … well … extended.

So, what is her point?  And, please dispense with any statement that has the word “awareness” in it. Even if I’m not hip enough to get this, I can tell you that this is not art. This is a cry for attention.  This is a case of throw-enough-shizz-up-against-the-wall-and-some-of-it’s-bound-to-stick-edness. Except that instead of sticking to the wall it’s stuck all up in there.

Ew.

Does she have a right to express herself thusly?  Yes.  Do the rest of the normal people on the planet have to pretend to think that what she is doing constitutes art?  No. As a woman, does this offend me?  No, because that would make me a victim, and victims, especially feminist victims, get all excited and empowered over crap like this. Not me. I say, do your thing, Casey, just don’t expect the rest of us to whisper in hushed NPRish tones about how courageous and daring you are.

That Casey Jenkins has opened up the floodgates (ah, here come the metaphors) of criticism about her art is really not surprising. Anyone with a scintilla of common sense or intelligence will realize that her unique style of craftiness is nothing but this:  Look at me! I can pull yarn out of my girlfriend, knit a really long scarf, and call it art!

Like Brian and his box, it’s not art.  It’s just stupid.