Since last week, when she Tweeted and subsequently deleted a reference to Precious as a movie that didn’t show “representation of ME,” Girls writer Lesley Arfin has been taken to task (most eloquently by Gawker’s Max Read) for her utter, if benign, cluelessness. In short: Ms. Arfin reacted to a debate over the manner by which Girls depicts New York broadly, and the Brooklyn of young creative types specifically, as largely white but for service industry employees by stating there are white entertainments and black entertainments.
Ms. Arfin has not sought to publicly defend herself (indeed, her second-most-recent Tweet is some weird, illegible snark about the Global South), but that’s where Vice founder Gavin McInnes swept in. His piece wherein he dug deep into matters like Ms. Arfin’s use, in writing, of slang comparing President Obama to feces (everyone does it!) and compared her experience being written about to water torture was titled “The Lynching of Lesley Arfin.” Strange fruit, indeed!
Being taken to task, in writing, for your super-out-of-touch-at-best sense of humor has not in recent history resulted in a person hanging from a tall tree. Not that Mr. McInnes’s sense of the English language is terribly robust. As he recently wrote on Taki’s Magazine:
I don’t think I’ve ever entered a bar without saying, “Hey homos” to my friends or at the very least, “Oh, what are you guys doing here? I didn’t know this was a gay bar.” The fact that everyone got their panties in a bunch over it is, well, queer.
This is only the beginning of Mr. McInnes’s writings, all of which exhibit the language and thought pattern of the soi-disant hipster: where you should be allowed to say whatever you want, and criticism of your every blessed utterance is the only thing that is offensive. (He elsewhere writes, “I wish there was a spooky resurgence of Nazi skinheads”–is Ms. Arfin sure this is the guy who ought to defend her from charges of casual racism?)
A primary critique of Girls has been the manner by which it presents its characters as overindulged from the moment of their birth, far too self-possessed as they scribble their memoirs with an eye only on self-fulfillment at the expense of contact with any world that might be described as “real.” While Girls can be read as satirical, and its whitewashed world as the result of its characters’ satirically cloistered points-of-view, the attitude it diagnoses of shock-value-craving mindlessness in the guise of individualism is apparently real.