Today in Awful People

Lena Dunham ups her game.






173 replies
  1. 1
    El Caganer says:

    This is the same stunt Amanda Palmer tried to pull in recruiting back-up musicians for a tour. It wasn’t cool then, either.

  2. 2
    Botsplainer says:

    From the comments – I couldn’t say it better myself:

    Dunham is a solipsistic preppie with niether talent nor scruples who is using resources which would otherwise go toward a woman with actual ability instead of family connections.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    If you don’t approve of Lena Dunham’s every act and utterance you are a horrible misogynist. Or something like that.

  4. 4
    Alison says:

    @beltane: Not defending her at all, because this and so much else about her is not defensible, but literally no one has ever said this.

    A lot of the criticism of her HAS been solely about SHUT UP FAT CHICK AND PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON. That is stupid sexist bullshit.

    Criticism of her racial ignorance, her class privilege, her poor writing, etc, has been done and is completely valid. Criticism of a woman’s work because the work sucks is fine. Criticism of a woman’s work because she’s a woman is not fine. Easy to tell the two apart.

  5. 5
    Mike J says:

    I would agree she should pay her opening acts, but Lemieux wants to argue that Dunham is a horrible person because her publisher is paying her what he perceives to be too much money, and because she believes she can charge admission to people who watch her perform.

    I don’t believe publishers act out of charity, and I don’t believe they simply hand out huge chunks of money with no expectation of making it back.

    I also think Dunham will learn very quickly if people will pay $38 to see her. If she can convince people it’s worthwhile, good for her.

  6. 6
    dance around in your bones says:

    I loved this comment:

    Nobdy says:
    September 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Easy for you to say, but do you know what the going rate for sand artists and ukelele players is these days?

    That $4,000,000 starts looking like $3,999,500 pretty quickly when you start paying the warm up acts. Lena Dunham doesn’t write her name, let alone a whole book, for that kind of piddling sum.

    I mean, really – what IS the going rate for ukelele players?”

    I had an old friend who played the accordion, and I sent him that cartoon from the New Yorker that had a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk with an accordion and a sign that said “Will stop playing for money”.

    My best friend sent him the same cartoon LOL

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    Since Kevin Williams will qualify, I will mention him. And say that if that is what he believes, he is more honest than most anti-abortion people. And I think if his view is propagated more, more rejection of anti-abortion views will come.

    National Review’s Kevin Williamson allows as how he thinks women and doctors involved in abortions should be executed by hanging. But there’s no “war on women” on the Right, of course.

    Washington Monthly, and then from there to LGF.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    Drives me crazy.

    If you work (and I don’t care what you do) you will not benefit from devaluing someone else’s work.

    I get that people are desperate for work but really, prospective worker, you’re not helping with this either. Demand to get paid.

    It can’t be just up to the individual employer if people get paid or not.

    I spoke to a 20 year a coupla weeks ago who told me he had a “working interview” as a dishwasher. That means the restaurant had him wash dishes for a shift before they agreed TO PAY HIM. They are stealing his labor. He can’t just go along with this.

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    @Mike J: I am amazed by what tickets to events go for these days.
    I think there will be enough at $38 per. It sounds not very high.

    Now going to upgrade the onion in my belt.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    @dance around in your bones: What is perfect pitch?
    When the accordion you throw in the dumpster crushes a ukelele.

    ETA: ukelele or banjo, depending.

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    You people don’t understand: not paying artists and exploiting the hungry people behind you on the ladder ares time-worn traditions in the entertainment industry, handed down from generation to generation.

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    @Kay: My teenage son had a similar “working interview” at a restaurant last summer. It came to an end when my ex-husband went over there and made sure our son got paid for the hours he worked. Needless to say, he didn’t get the job (perhaps they thought it would be an unpaid internship), but he learned a valuable lesson.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @catclub: At least he doesn’t think women and their doctors should be stoned to death because that would be totally barbaric.

  14. 14
    Haydnseek says:

    I watched the first episode of “Girls” out of curiosity. One of the main plot points was that things were fucked up and bullshit because interns at companies that were seen as desirable employers were not paid, and she had been there long enough to qualify for a job offer which never materialized. The irony with regard to her recent venture is only matched by her total lack of self-awareness

  15. 15
    Tommy says:

    Her body type isn’t my cup of tea but I think it is kind of awesome she will put herself out there like she does ….

    My problem is I don’t find her show remotely funny. Maybe at 44 I don’t get the NYC hipster thing. But not sure that is it, because I think in my day that was called “metrosexual.” I’ve been called “metrosexual” a lot in my life :). I also gave the show a try, watched at least two, if not three full seasons. Sure it had some shows that were funny. But taken as a whole I could find 2-3 (easily) other shows I’d like to watch at the same time.

    IMHO I think anybody that criticizes her gets called “sexist” or gosh knows what else. I am not those things. I just don’t think the show is remotely funny most of the time.

  16. 16
    Tommy says:

    @Kay:

    I spoke to a 20 year a coupla weeks ago who told me he had a “working interview” as a dishwasher.

    WTF. A dishwasher. I’d think you could tell in like five minutes if a person can wash dishes.

    I’ve hired a lot of interns in my life (we always paid them — although not a lot) at the ad agencies I worked at over the summers while they were in college. The reason was simple. It helped get them experience in a field they wanted to enter and let us learn if they were capable of the work and maybe a future hire.

    I like to think it was a win/win.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Randy Khan says:

    I read the article and stopped short at that point. I don’t care that she got $4 million for the book or that she’s charging $38 for the events (which apparently have been selling pretty well), but it’s just peculiar and wrong not to pay the artists.

    I suspect that she’s confusing her relationships with the friends and colleagues who are interviewing her or doing joint talks – there’s a fair exchange there if she doesn’t pay them, since she’ll probably do the same for them or something else equivalent down the road – with the performers who are enhancing the quality of her events. This is not an excuse, of course, as she should know better.

  19. 19
    Tenzil Kem says:

    @catclub:

    $38? I paid less than that to see Camera Obscura, and Camera Obscura is ****ing awesome.

  20. 20
    shelley says:

    Umm, I’m all for people being able to make a good living for what they like to do….but charging people 38 bucks for what’s essentially a book tour? Don’t most authors just have book signings? Well, like somebody else posted, she’ll find out soon enough if people are willing to shell out.
    So she’s not paying her opening acts (gymnists?) Do they get any kind of stipend, do they have to handle their own traveling expenses? I guess it’s up to them to decide if it’s all worth it.
    ***********

    But speaking of some really awful people. Pam Gellar’s anti-Muslim ads go up in NYC subways today.

  21. 21

    If that isn’t a labor law violation, it should be.

  22. 22
    Belafon says:

    Let me tell you about the rich county I live in, Rockwall, TX. I volunteer for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), where I train in case we have a major disaster and the emergency responders need some help.

    The reason I say rich is that Rockwall County is one of the wealthiest counties in the state. So, once a year, they have a dinner for the volunteers (which really is more of an appetizer because they get some of the local restaurants to supply what are not much more than appetizers). This year, after thanking us for volunteering, the mayor began telling us some interesting facts: How much money the county saves because they don’t have to pay the nearly 500 volunteers – in a county of about 50,000 people – a salary. Which means lower taxes.

    My volunteering is to be ready in case of a disaster, so the few things we do are for making sure we’re organized. But none of the high school/college kids who work for the parks are paid, most of our firefighters are volunteers, and we even have some citizens who drive around on police patrols. But, here’s the deal: These people can afford to not get paid. There are, though, a number of people in the county who could benefit from a salary.

  23. 23
    Tommy says:

    @shelley: The authors I read just do book signings and of course they are free. Now I don’t read “celebrity” authors, but I am sure others have done what Lena Dunham is doing. I don’t have any examples, but it is my experience if you can milk your fans for money somebody will do it.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Belafon: Some guy said that “a workman is worthy of his hire.”
    I take that to mean you should pay people when they work.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    Some musician friends of mine were once invited to the wedding of an acquaintance. The day before the wedding, the bride called them and asked “Can R_ bring his guitar? It would be really nice to hear you guys play.” My friends ended up not going to the wedding, with or without their instruments, and they felt very violated by the attempt of the newlyweds to grift some free entertainment for their wedding.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tommy: David Sedaris puts out a tip jar at his signing/readings. He also does ticketed readings, I think. I guess for he and others who do the same, the free reading with signed copy is a reward to those willing to stand in line, whereas lazy old farts like me pay for the privilege of not standing in line

  27. 27
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: I do web sites for a living. It is getting to the point that just about everybody wants a web site. Maybe for their hobby they hope could become a business. A book club. Their pootie. You name it somebody wants one. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and even family members want me to do one for them. They are often stunned when I quote my hourly rate and send them an estimate.

    I often get “can’t you just throw something up for me?” I am like yes, and again my rates are such.

    I’ve never asked my friend that is a yoga instructor to come to my house to teach me a class for free. My friend that is a nurse to come to my house to give me a physical.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    @Alison:

    Criticism of her racial ignorance, her class privilege, her poor writing, etc, has been done and is completely valid. Criticism of a woman’s work because the work sucks is fine. Criticism of a woman’s work because she’s a woman is not fine. Easy to tell the two apart.

    I can’t stand Dunham because she reeks of White Privilege.

    Nobody Black who is as talentless AND looks like her would remotely be taken seriously.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Tommy:

    Her body type isn’t my cup of tea

    Why does this matter in the context of this discussion?

  30. 30
    Tommy says:

    @Tommy: Oh I should note I did do a site for my dad to help promote a book he self-published. Never mentioned a fee to him. Bless his heart when I was done he asked me what he owed me. I was like dad, I never could repay you for all you’ve done for me. This one is on the house. I am not a total ass :). But he is the only one.

  31. 31
    dance around in your bones says:

    @catclub: ROFL

    Kevin was a great guy and I saw him perform in nightclubs in Canada……he was very attractive, despite the accordion.

    My sister’s husband is a doctor from Mexico (they live in Texas where he has nephrology clinics) – He and my sister and his brothers who lived in Tijuana came to visit us in Baja, and we went out to a small seafood kinda place. Well, of course the mariachis came by and played for awhile, but after a few songs my brother-in-law and his brothers appropriated their instruments and began to play themselves.

    That was muy especial :)

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah:

    Nobody Black who is as talentless AND looks like her would remotely be taken seriously.

    Juan Williams might like a word.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Doctors get asked for medical advice all the time. Lawyers get asked for legal advice. Those are things people generally have to pay for but they ask anyway.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @catclub: Wait, Lena Dunham looks like Juan Williams? I can’t keep up.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    @rikyrah: She is kind of like Luke Russert. When you’re a child of the elite, your every bowel movement is considered a work of genius.

  36. 36
    shelley says:

    “can’t you just throw something up for me?”

    And you’re tempted to reply “Yes, and that’s exactly what it will look like.”;-)

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Because in the context of my comment I was talking about her TV show, not the book tour (or whatever it is). I pointed out her body type because at least the first few years the show was on, much of the commentary was about her body and her nudity. Just saying although she isn’t “my cup of tea” that has nothing to do with what I think about the show. Nothing more, nothing less. I didn’t mean to offend anybody.

  38. 38
    Calouste says:

    @Violet: Bit different between being asked advice and being asked to do work for free. I’m sure Tommy will be ok to give advice on which hosting company to use for a website. I’m also sure that a doctor is not going to perform surgery for free if you ask him.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @beltane: She reminds me more of the Bush daughter that’s on NBC. Sure, she’s competent enough at her job. But she never would even have got an interview in the first place if her dad wasn’t president.

  40. 40
    Randy P says:

    @Tommy: One thing that stopped me dead on watch king “Pursuit of Happyness” was that internship program. Basically all these people were working as stockbrokers for Dean Witter absolutely free for a year, while making millions for the company. And then only one gets hired.

    I think when I read Chris Gardner’s real story that I found out it was even worse. The real interns paid for the privilege.

  41. 41
    Pogonip says:

    @Kay: If they didn’t hire him, I hope he sabotaged their dishwasher before he left.

  42. 42
    KG says:

    @Tommy:

    I like to think it was a win/win.

    well see, there’s your problem, you think that capitalism isn’t zero sum.

  43. 43
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Of course. I feel like I provide tech support for my entire family and many of my friends. I don’t mind this much, I like to be helpful. I assume any profession you are in people will have questions, regardless if you are a doctor, lawyer, tech nerd (like myself) or even a roofer or plumber. But when we move from questions to work product, well that is something else.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Calouste: Doctors get asked things like, “I have this pain in arm. It hurts when I do x, y, z but not when I do a, b, c. What is it?” That’s the doctor’s job–listening to physical complaints, making diagnoses. Not all doctors perform surgery.

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    @Violet: The doctors I know socially are quite evasive when asked these kinds of questions. They usually tell people to go see their doctor. Aside from the monetary angle, no one wants to be held accountable for a diagnosis made based on nothing more than a question asked at a cocktail party.

  46. 46
    Trollhattan says:

    @Kay:

    Wait, what?!? Am so stealing this idea:

    At the Home Depot
    “Hey, I’m taking applications for a ditch-digging project.”
    “Okay, I can do that!”
    “There’s an interview and a test.”
    “To dig a ditch? What’s the test?”
    “You dig a practice ditch so I can see your work.”
    SFX: Shovel through windshield.

    And, scene.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @beltane: Me too. But people can be really persistent. And get huffy if the doctor won’t answer.

  48. 48

    @Violet:
    I think there’s a difference between asking a question and getting a full service. I might ask a doctor for a generic medical question, but I know they’ll qualify their answer by saying it’s not good medical advice without a proper exam. The same thing with a lawyer answering a legal question, or a computer person answering a computer question. I’m sure that Tommy gets tons of “PC or Mac” and “iOS or Android” questions and is generally OK with answering them. There’s a huge difference though, between that and building somebody a web site.

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    @Randy P: In that scenario “intern” means someone without the right connections. People with the right connections start at $200,000+ right out of college.

  50. 50
    Randy Khan says:

    @Tommy: As your example shows, it’s pretty easy to distinguish the people who deserve a freebie from the ones who don’t – the people who do deserve it appreciate the value of what you do and want to pay for it; the ones who don’t fail one or both of those tests.

  51. 51
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: I would sure hope so. I’d hate to be in their position because I am sure they want to help and/or be helpful. But I am also sure there have been many cases where a doctor or lawyer were later sued over something they said at a holiday party.

    Not an apples to apples comparison but when I was on the ad agency side of things clients, paying clients of course, would often ask questions that clearly were about advertising, but went into the legal side of things. We would never answer those questions. We had a law firm on speed dial just for these occasions.

  52. 52
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Ah yes the old offer of “exposure”, which as Robert Scott and his team could tell you is vastly overrated.

  53. 53
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): It doesn’t, which is itself an example of the point about how some comments about her are, um, sexist. It’s sort of a privilege thing. Men expect to be able to weave those comments into a discussion.

    It would read – to most of you, I’m sure – pretty odd for me to say in a discussion about Jim Carey’s movies “his body type isn’t my cup of tea, and I never found his film performances funny.”

    There plenty to criticize Lena Dunham for, and it’s been noted above. A pay per view book tour is yet another example. Whose cup of tea her body type might be is in no fashion relevant to any of those topics. Yet some men add the comment anyway.

  54. 54
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T Okay Florida Man, your move.

  55. 55
    JCJ says:

    @catclub:

    @dance around in your bones: What is perfect pitch?
    When the accordion you throw in the dumpster crushes a ukelele.

    ETA: ukelele or banjo, depending.

    I hope you did not just offend our wonderful ukulele playing front-page, the highly esteemed Betty Cracker! No idea about her ukelele skills (or lack thereof,) but I loved the poem Suibhan Duinne (sp?) wrote along with the post where there was a lizard inside the ukulele

    ETA: Comment #10 on this thread
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....ha-lizard/

  56. 56
    cokane says:

    @shelley: ya this. i guess she’s putting on a show and all so that’s why the ticket price? whatever, she has clearly a large and raging fanbase, so she can easily take their monies. i went to a mario vargas llosa signing, who won the fucking nobel prize, and he didn’t charge shit.

  57. 57
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: These days cheapo websites can be thrown up using a template. Tommy could do that and it would be something of the equivalent of some of the more intrusive questions people like doctors and lawyers get from people who don’t seem to know how to take “make an appointment” for an answer. There’s a continuum for sure.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Really, this is what corporate America does to make sure that the riff raff, who aren’t parasites on trust funds and have to work for a living, are kept out of all those internships required to get the good paying positions.

    Just look at talentless, gormless hack Luke Russert, for example.

    Our so-called “meritocracy” is such a fucking joke. Regency Britain had greater social mobility than we have.

  59. 59
    Trollhattan says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    I see what you did there.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    I’ve heard that some doctors’ reply is, “Sure. Take off all your clothes and I’ll examine you.”

  61. 61

    @Calouste:

    I’m also sure that a doctor is not going to perform surgery for free if you ask him.

    Maybe not just for the asking, but some doctors are willing to do work with the genuinely needy pro bono. Among lawyers, pro bono work is considered to be a standard part of the practice, and big firms will brag about it as a way of showing how great they are.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    You would not believe the number of unpaid interns at non-profits and NGOs based in the Bay Area.

    Only wealthy/trustfund kids can afford to intern – It takes money to not make money

    If rich kids are fighting over the lowest paying jobs, wtf is everyone else going to do?

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Tommy: When I get those kinds of questions in a social setting, I usually throw a lot of weasel words into my answer (“From what you have told me, it sounds like you may have a claim for ….).

  64. 64
    Tommy says:

    @Randy Khan:

    the people who do deserve it appreciate the value of what you do and want to pay for it;

    I do some pro bono work. Several years ago reached out to this guy that has a non-profit that has sent tens of thousands of care packages to the troops in Afganistan. Said I wanted to help. No charge, no strings attached. I don’t even want to be mentioned on your site. I just want to help because I am behind your cause 24/7.

    When I was done he was so surprised I didn’t half ass it. I gave him a world class site. Of course, I didn’t even hint at payment at ANY time during the process.

    One day I got a check in the mail. It was a pretty large check. Not nearly what I’d normally charge, but $500 isn’t chump change either. The note just said, “our Board of Directors thinks you should be paid, they are blown away.” Warmed my heart to its core.

  65. 65
    Kay says:

    @Tommy:

    (we always paid them — although not a lot)

    You have to pay interns because if you don’t you are giving wealthier applicants, those who have support from family, an unfair advantage in getting into your field.

    Can we have some solidarity, some teamwork here? :)

    We have to stick together. No accepting free labor and no working for free. It sets a bad precedent and they take advantage of it :)

  66. 66
    Trollhattan says:

    @JCJ:
    Tis still a funny joke. Once attended a Peter Schickele concert where the entire evening was stitched together with a string of viola jokes.

    You had to be there.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shelley:

    I don’t have a problem with her charging admission — if people will pay, why not? — but it’s a HUGE problem that she would charge admission and expect her staff to work for free.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    well see, there’s your problem, you think that capitalism isn’t zero sum.

    Well, Adam Smith didn’t seem to think that, but then again, Adam Smith is ignored by modern “capitalists” who really long to have titles of nobility and have forelocks tugged when they pass by.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    @Roger Moore: Pro bono work is a form of charity. Performing for free at a for-profit event is exploitation.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): That was my thought.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Randy Khan:

    This is not an excuse, of course, as she should know better.

    But she does not.

    Which is why I believe she should be made an example of.

  72. 72
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I would say about 15% of the referrals I get, and that is my only new business channel, I push people to the free or close to free web sites (like Squarespace). I just tell them from our conversation and the statement of your needs, I am not cost effective for you. I could not live with myself by milking you just because you don’t know there are other options out there that will do everything you need. I then note please remember this conversation as your business grows and needs something more advance. Maybe give me a call cause I was honest and didn’t just bill you for every penny I could have :).

    @Roger Moore: I talk for hours here about tech. I don’t mind doing that at all here or offline (kind of a passion of mine). As I said in another comment it is when we get to actual “work product” that I won’t work for free or anything close to it.

  73. 73
    jl says:

    @Trollhattan:

    ” the entire evening was stitched together with a string of viola jokes ”

    There will always be more viola jokes, and good ones too.

    Interesting that the artistic accompaniments were important enough to be ‘carefully curated’ but not important enough to pay.
    I have no idea who this Dunham is or what she does, but this operation smells pretty bad.

  74. 74
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Do women commenting about, say, George Clooney or Antonio Banderas write solely about thespian skills?

  75. 75
    catclub says:

    Somebody on LGM pointed out that Lena Dunham is being excoriated for this, while her publisher, which is probably paying for the tour, isn’t. This seems to often be the case for whatever she does. The focus is far more on her than it has previously been on anyone else, for doing remarkably similar things.

    The counter example was that as well as “Girls,” “Seinfeld” and “Friends” were also criticized for being lily white. The difference is that Seinfeld and Friends were number one shows and got talked about all the time, with all kinds of reviews and power. “Girls” is a really a much smaller deal, but gets a disproportionate attention ( for good or mostly ill).

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    Decided to read the NYT article linked in the link to LGM:

    “I found the idea of a traditional author tour, where you go and stand behind the lectern and talk about yourself, I found it a little bit embarrassing, a little blatantly self-promotional and a little boring,” Ms. Dunham said. “I wanted it to have an arts festival feel, which is why we now have all these remarkable, special weirdos who I found on the Internet.”

    A traditional book tour is “a little blatantly self-promotional”? And this is….? And she found the “weirdos” on the internet? Cats on Roombas, no doubt.

    And then there’s this:

    Random House hopes to cast Ms. Dunham as a major new literary talent, not just a celebrity who leveraged her fame for a big book deal.

    No.

  77. 77
    FridayNext says:

    @srv:

    In my profession (museums) this practice is so common as to be unremarkable. In fact, suggesting interns should be paid will get you branded a crazy person, and it is actually worse than you describe. Many times, in order to qualify for an internship you have to be getting credit from a university. Museums think, I guess, that this lends their exploitation an air of legitimacy and scholarship. But that means not just that young professionals work for free, but in many cases have to pay thousands of dollars in tuition to their school for the privilege of working for free. And not only does this mean that the profession is pretty much full of rich white people, but the salaries of those people who do find paid work is well below the median for professions requiring similar experience and education. It drives salaries down across the industry.

  78. 78
    IM says:

    The 38 $ include a signed hardcopy of her book (28$). So only ten $ for her performance and signature.

    Dpesn’t justify using the old exposure trick, though.

  79. 79
    Tommy says:

    @catclub:

    Somebody on LGM pointed out that Lena Dunham is being excoriated for this, while her publisher, which is probably paying for the tour, isn’t.

    Bingo. I have not really commented on the tour itself, but that was my first thought. I almost know this was the publishers idea and not Lena’s. Now that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have vetoed it of course, but I am not thinking she is pulling bong hits with her friends and came up with this idea on her own.

  80. 80
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Just for the record, I don’t think you should work for free. And kudos for pointing people in the direction that best fits their needs.

  81. 81
    Skerry says:

    @Kay: Even the federal government hires unpaid interns. There is no solidarity.

  82. 82
    Tractarian says:

    Sexist

  83. 83
    beltane says:

    @Tommy: I don’t know. Look at Violet’s comment at 76 where Dunham is claiming the idea was all hers.

  84. 84
    Violet says:

    @catclub: @Tommy: Read the NYT excerpt I linked above. She says she wanted the tour to be this way and that she found the “wierdos on the internet”.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @Skerry: But the Federal governement is more likely to follow the rule that: “The work has to be educational for the Intern, and the work was unlikely to be done if there was no intern.” My experience with science interns is that is the case. Not perfect, but better than average.

  86. 86
    Suffern ACE says:

    @shelley: I paid good broke college student money once to hear Kurt Vonnegut speak when he had a new book. He gave a lecture I had seen him give on PBS once, read a little from his book and answered a few questions from the audience. It is not unheard of to make a book launch tour into an event. Whether or not people want to pay to hear her isn’t the issue. Its not paying the people who make the show that’s the ethical issue.

  87. 87
    catclub says:

    @beltane:

    where Dunham is claiming the idea was all hers.

    Important if true… The publisher still probably has significant input.

  88. 88

    @Kay:

    You have to pay interns because if you don’t you are giving wealthier applicants, those who have support from family, an unfair advantage in getting into your field.

    You also ought to pay them because the rules about unpaid internships are very strict and easy to fall afoul of. There have been a whole series of recent lawsuits about abuse of unpaid internships. A wise company would try to avoid being involved in the next one by paying their interns.

  89. 89
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Oh I know you never said I should work for free. Of that 15% I mentioned, 75% say I still want to pay you because I don’t even want to have to deal with it on my own, building a business, but thanks for being honest. I try hard to be in-your-face-honest and amazing how well it works, at least for me.

    It seems every time I do it, even if I lose a paycheck or two, it comes back to me in spades. Like clockwork. Karma going on I like to think :).

  90. 90
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Roger Moore: And pro bono isn’t giving advice at cocktail parties. Legitimate pro bono clients don’t go to cocktail parties. To those inquiries I would reply with something along the line of “it sounds like you need to make an appointment with [insert name of practitioner of that area of law here].”

  91. 91
    Waynski says:

    @Violet:

    @Tommy: Doctors get asked for medical advice all the time. Lawyers get asked for legal advice. Those are things people generally have to pay for but they ask anyway.

    This is true. My BIL is an orthopedic surgeon and family members ask him for advice all the time, and he’ll usually say, it could be this, this or this, maybe, but you should go to your doctor. However, he will come through in the clutch if you need him. After Hurricane Sandy, I got bronchitis from sitting in our cold damp apt. without heat or electricity. He called in a prescription for antibiotics to the local pharmacy for me from CA to NJ. That said, it would never occur to me to ask him to surgically fix my knee or elbow for free. That’s essentially what asking a Web designer to build you site for free is akin to.

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Wow. This gimmick just seemed like a NYC publisher thing. That it was her idea, well that is telling. I often joke how much money is enough? Now if they get a book for the price of the show, it makes it a little better. But do you think if Jetter is going to do a signing in the Bronx, he would charge a longshore men a fee to sign a bat. I don’t think so. Again, how much money is enough. Just sell your book to your fans and make them happy. Don’t fleece them for every penny you can.

  93. 93
    Violet says:

    @catclub:

    Important if true… The publisher still probably has significant input.

    Read the NYT article. The publisher is “packaging” her on this tour with well known writers like Zadie Smith to (hopefully) give her literary credibility. So yeah they’re involved. Don’t know about the performer side, whether they’re involved with that.

  94. 94
    Randy Khan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have no problem with that. I just like to try to understand why people do what they do. It’s partly an exercise in examining my own behavior to see if I’m being a jerk or stupid or whatever, too.

  95. 95
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Fair enough. But if we’re discussing, say, Clooney’s Darfur efforts, it’s unlikely to come up. At least I’m not about to insert his decorative appeal into that kind of discussion. I might be an outlier.

    Of course in a different context I might note that he is easy on the eyes. Folks occasionally suggest tha M. Q bears a slight resemblance to the George named above and I smile politely. It’s good for his self esteem, but they have the same hair color, and they are both white guys of comparable age is about the extent of it.

  96. 96
    KG says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: we need sarcastic tags here. but yeah, count me among those that believes the more employees get paid the more money they’ll spend, meaning the more money the businesses will make which will allow them to employ more people, who will then spend more money.

  97. 97
    Botsplainer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Among lawyers, pro bono work is considered to be a standard part of the practice…

    My fucking ass. Maybe some unplanned, unintentional pro bono, but most of us have figured out that racket.

    The main problem is that it drops the fee floor, and is the need for pro bono is typically invoked by the sort of assholes who don’t really deserve it, because it is going to be used to make a decent human being’s life miserable.

    ,

    …and big firms will brag about it as a way of showing how great they are.

    They’ll assign the young lawyers who don’t have a lot to do to do it.

  98. 98

    @FridayNext:

    Many times, in order to qualify for an internship you have to be getting credit from a university. Museums think, I guess, that this lends their exploitation an air of legitimacy and scholarship.

    As I understand it, they’re legally correct. Labor law says that internships can only be unpaid if they’re genuinely educational and primarily beneficial to the intern rather than just an attempt to milk some free labor. The intern getting University credit for it is going to be very powerful evidence that it falls into the educational and beneficial to the intern category rather than the trying to milk the intern for free labor category.

  99. 99
    mattH says:

    @Mike J:

    I would agree she should pay her opening acts, but Lemieux wants to argue that Dunham is a horrible person because her publisher is paying her what he perceives to be too much money, and because she believes she can charge admission to people who watch her perform.

    Ah, no. He’s complaining that she got a $4 million advance for the book, is charging $38 on top of that for each stop, and still can’t be bothered to pay the “internet freaks” for her “festival”.

  100. 100
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    @catclub:

    Juan Williams might like a word.

    Actually, Williams wrote one of the best pre/early MLK-era books on the Civil Rights Movement, in my opinion — Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. And I’ve not read the book he helped write to go with the Eyes on the Prize documentary, but I’ve heard good things about it, as well.

    That he ended up on the grift isn’t because of a lack of talent.

  101. 101
    bemused says:

    @Tommy:

    I don’t know why her show reminds of the Ben Stiller movie, Greenburg. Hated that movie.

  102. 102
    beltane says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill: Juan Williams would never have reached a position where he could sell out if he hadn’t had talent in the first place.

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Botsplainer: Maybe a “racket” among lawyers, but I have two friends who are dentists who do some pro bono work, and it is most definitely among a population whose only other alternative involves a shot of bourbon, a string and a doorknob.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I saw those. But relying on regulation isn’t enough. There aren’t enough regulators in the world, and the vast majority of people are not going to spend 5 years of their life suing their employer.

    I have another example. My youngest is taking music lessons from a PhD candidate. So the musician and I talk on the phone and we reach a price, and I get there and he offers “1st lesson free” and then the SECOND lesson (Sunday) he comes in under his own number! I don’t know what’s wrong with them. Did someone tell them wages are optional? Is this some kind of crazy “sharing economy” thing I won’t approve of ? :)

    They’re going to take us all down with them. I can’t even imagine his IU student loans. I’m saying to him “this is work and I’ll pay for it” and he’s (basically) like “oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s a hobby, there are a LOT of brass players”. Why do they adopt this rich person attitude? He lives in a falling-down house. Just crazy.

  105. 105

    @beltane: I’d totally do that for a friend (assuming anyone actually wanted this, which I doubt) and I had a couple friends play at mine, but asking last minute like that is BS.

  106. 106
    Suzanne says:

    @Tommy: Sure, you’re sexist. You opened your comment with your opinion on Lena Dunham’s looks rather than addressing the issue at hand, which is Lena Dunham’s exploitation of creative talent.

    Imagine if I made a comment such as, “Well, John Cole’s body isn’t my cup of tea….but his dogs are really cute.” What does his body have to do with his dogs? Why does his body matter on the internet anyway? Conversely, what does Lena Dunham’s body have to do with your opinion of her show, or of her shitty choice not to pay these people?

    This is the essence of sexism, BTW: her attractiveness (or not) is literally the first thing to talk about. Imagine living like that.

  107. 107
    catclub says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill: Thanks. I had a sneaking suspicion I would get called on that. (But I did not know the details.)

  108. 108
    beltane says:

    @SatanicPanic: The couple who asked weren’t really friends, they were firmly in the “people you know because you live in a small town and travel in the same circles” category. If my friends had been asked to play ahead of time they would have treated it as a gig and maybe settled for a tip jar being put out, but being invited as a guest and then being asked to work at the last minute was just tacky.

  109. 109
    Tommy says:

    @bemused: Never seen that Stiller movie.

    My favorite character on the show is either the rich hippie liberal chick or Lena Dunham’s boyfriend, who does some messed up shit on a daily basis.* The only show, and again I watched the first 2-3 years, that I found myself watching for a second time, was the road trip to get the rich hippie chick out of rehab. The banter in the car was wonderful.

    *Not watched the last year or so.

  110. 110
    brendancalling says:

    As a performing musician, there is nothing more infuriating than the venue that wants you to play for free or for “exposure”. Most of the bands I’m in expect a guarantee, and while we’ll waive it in certain circumstance, in general you can take your exposure and shove it up your puckered purple poopchute.

  111. 111
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suzanne: Imagine if I made a comment such as, “Well, John Cole’s body isn’t my cup of tea

    What if John Cole derived the lion’s share of his income from displaying his naked body to paying customers on teevee, would that make things any different?

  112. 112

    @Suzanne: Word. The first thing to be commented on about the Indian women in the Mission Control for the Indian Mars Mission was what they were wearing (bright silk sarees) and how they looked.

    P.S, I am as guilty as the next person of making fun of people’s fashion choices but usually I restrict that to fashion bloggers and celebrities and/or politicians.

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    @Trollhattan:

    O/T Okay Florida Man, your move.

    Re: the “I need to see a weapon” in the linked article:

    Is this the proper response?

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Tommy says:

    @Suzanne: Well your comment would work if people in the reviews of his movies talked about him being nude in his shows. I am pretty sure everybody I know, two years of comments here, not sexist. I often talk about the power of women here. You know not what you talk about.

  116. 116
    Tommy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Or Bobak Ferdowsi’s hair?

  117. 117
    Ripley says:

    @Tommy: Stop digging. It was a sexist comment by definition.

  118. 118
    Gravenstone says:

    @Belafon: I was a member of our site emergency response team. We are all volunteer, but that had to do with the liability incurred if they paid us for participating. I’m wondering if something similar might not be underlying your county relying on volunteer members.

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: We never saw video of that incident, IIRC.

  120. 120
    Skerry says:

    @Roger Moore:
    My daughter had an unpaid internship this summer with a non-profit in Seattle. No college credit.

    It’s a fantasy to think that internships are tightly controlled. I don’t know when the idea of unpaid workers started. It was unheard of when I was in college.

  121. 121
    SFAW says:

    @Botsplainer:

    The main problem is that it drops the fee floor, and is the need for pro bono is typically invoked by the sort of assholes who don’t really deserve it, because it is going to be used to make a decent human being’s life miserable.

    Am I misremembering – didn’t Whitey Bulger try to get a court-appointed lawyer? (Which is, or may be, different from pro bono, I imagine.)

  122. 122

    @Gin & Tonic: It is in Tunch’s stash, along with the mustard.

  123. 123
    FridayNext says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s not exactly correct. In fact that very argument was called out and discredited by Judge Pauley in the Black Swan intern decision. He described the assignment of credit by a university as “of little moment.” to quote from this NYT article

    “Undoubtedly Mr. Glatt and Mr. Footman received some benefits from their internships, such as résumé listings, job references and an understanding of how a production office works,” Judge Pauley wrote. “But those benefits were incidental to working in the office like any other employees and were not the result of internships intentionally structured to benefit them.” Judge Pauley added that “Searchlight received the benefits of their unpaid work, which otherwise would have required paid employees.”

    Too often, at least in my profession, the college credit requirement is a short cut for people to blind themselves to the fact that the internship they are hosting is actually an entry level job and they are providing little, if anything, of educational value. It makes them feel better about what they are doing and they think it protects them from criticism and/or legal action. (And museums, being non-profits, are given more leeway in terms of unpaid internships, but I figure that is one court decision away from falling. Also, as an aside, the NFL is a non-profit and last I checked, their internships are unpaid.)

  124. 124
    ChrisH says:

    @Tommy: There was a tale from Lake Wobagon about this, of a local contractor who could never get business. The townsfolk would be willing to hire an out of towner for three times as much for shoddier work, but would always want a discount for the local contractor because everyone knew everyone.

  125. 125
    SFAW says:

    @Tommy:

    You know not what you talk about.

    Or, as Ripley suggested, you might stop digging. Seriously. You want to comment about her nude scenes with that wording, that’s one thing. Attempting to apply it to her Grande Espectaculo, when it clearly has nothing to do with anything vis-a-vis the mooching off of the starving artists, is not pertinent, not relevant, and is Right Out. It does not matter whether her body type helped get her some notoriety because of the show – it’s not germane to this discussion.

  126. 126
    Tommy says:

    @Botsplainer: I don’t know, I am asking. Is pro bono only a legal term that went to other industries outside the legal profession? At my last ad agency we did what we called pro bono all the time. For a few firms. One was for the National Wildlife Foundation. They did pay a few bills, but a fraction. They paid mostly media buys for their ads we did for free. We didn’t front them on media buys.

  127. 127
    Botsplainer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Maybe a “racket” among lawyers, but I have two friends who are dentists who do some pro bono work, and it is most definitely among a population whose only other alternative involves a shot of bourbon, a string and a doorknob.

    The calls by people who want pro bono work generally fit into a narrow set of categories:

    1. PITAs who think I’ll take a really stupid, crusading case on their factually and legally incorrect beliefs because it is something “interesting” (they actually say “you’re going to be blown away by what happened to me” when they call, as if we’re friends and not complete strangers).

    2. Somebody with a substance problem and a bug up their ass about something that happened to them decades ago and can no longer be rectifed.

    3. Ex-cons with a chip on their shoulder and a penchant for revenge on people they deem have “done them wrong” by getting them locked down in prison or on the sex offender registry (as an aside, I really like those calls – I tend to release a lot of pent up hostility when I hear from those guys).

    4. Men and women who haven’t had a relationship with their children for a couple of years or more, have a solid new 30-90 day record of sobriety (with an awesome temp job), and want their kids back, an order of sole custody in their favor, a medal, a laurel, a pat on the back, a party and a parade.

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    Speaking of awful people:

    Supreme Court blocks early start for early voting in Ohio

    5-4 vote. Guess how they split?

    Can we haz new thread?

  129. 129
    dance around in your bones says:

    @JCJ:

    I thought about including the Incredible Betty Cracker in my comment, but it didn’t seem to fit the story. My best girlfriend just took up the ukelele as well, and I didn’t mention her, even though the accordion player was one of her best friends since grade school.

    Life is so weird sometimes , no?

  130. 130
    Tommy says:

    @SFAW: Again, read my first comment. About her show and not the tour.

    Read the entire comment. I said, not somebody pulling a phrase or sentence out of context:

    Her body type isn’t my cup of tea but I think it is kind of awesome she will put herself out there like she does ….

    My problem is I don’t find her show remotely funny. Maybe at 44 I don’t get the NYC hipster thing. But not sure that is it, because I think in my day that was called “metrosexual.” I’ve been called “metrosexual” a lot in my life :). I also gave the show a try, watched at least two, if not three full seasons. Sure it had some shows that were funny. But taken as a whole I could find 2-3 (easily) other shows I’d like to watch at the same time.

    IMHO I think anybody that criticizes her gets called “sexist” or gosh knows what else. I am not those things. I just don’t think the show is remotely funny most of the time.

    Have you read what I wrote ….

  131. 131

    “Artist Dies of Exposure” joke here.

  132. 132
    SFAW says:

    @Tommy:

    Oh, dreadfully sorry. I though we were discussing her book tour (or whatever it’s being called), not her Dazzlingly Original Oeuvre which appears on HBO (or wherever).

    So, keeping that in mind, why don’t we discuss whether Juan Williams has ever done a nude scene, and if so, did he do it before, or after, his Thurgood Marshall book was published? Because that is certainly as relevant as Dunham’s body type is to this thread.

  133. 133
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tommy:

    I don’t know, I am asking. Is pro bono only a legal term that went to other industries outside the legal profession? At my last ad agency we did what we called pro bono all the time. For a few firms. One was for the National Wildlife Foundation. They did pay a few bills, but a fraction. They paid mostly media buys for their ads we did for free. We didn’t front them on media buys.

    As a term, pro bono merely means “donated”. I’ve done stuff for my church and some charitable organizations in the past without expectation of payment because I like what they do. There are some appointed representations that I do for free because the appointed rate is so low that it doesn’t justify the paperwork.

    I generally steer clear of committing to do work for individuals for free because real causes of action have value; I feel like there is too much of a public perception that people in my locality can find somebody to do just about anything for free, a contingency fee, a reduced rate or payments (which means that I’d never get paid), and it is of value to me to dispel that perception.

  134. 134

    @brendancalling: Especially since “exposure” means “no one of consequence.” It’s not like they ever set you up to play in front of anyone that might sign you to a record deal.

  135. 135
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW: I honestly know almost nothing about Ms. Dunham, but would there have been a book tour to have, had it not been for the HBO program?

  136. 136

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I honestly know almost nothing about Ms. Dunham

    Neither do I but what does her body have to do with the issue at hand, which is paying people she will have working for her.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Will this comment post?

    ETA: Interesting. My comments were disappearing into the ether – probably the best case scenario, but still.

  138. 138
    Ripley says:

    @Tommy: Give this a read: Unintentional Sexism. You’re genial and well-liked commenter here; this isn’t intended as a scold – more along the lines of an awareness boost. We all need one from time to time, self included.

  139. 139
    StringOnAStick says:

    So, Dunham is getting paid, but the people she carefully auditioned to perform before she speaks will not get paid for their performances? If that doesn’t reek of celebrity privilege, I don’t know what does. Getting paid $4 million for anything would be hitting the jackpot for most regular people, but she can’t part with even a little bit to pay the people who are responsible for creating the “festival atmosphere” she thinks will provide the best intro to her reading, which people have paid to see? Wow.

    I never watched her show and have paid only a bit of attention to the whole right wing two minute hate about her because of her PSA’s to get people to vote last election cycle. Wait; that’s not entirely true. I saw a few clips from her show and it reminded me so much of pampered white kids getting pissed off when Mumsy and Pops shut off the endless money supply that it just rankled. I do give her credit for being willing and strong enough to do nude scenes when she isn’t in possession of the standard Hollywood-required anorexic perfect body. I also found the rethug slam-fest based on that to be extremely telling, but not at all surprising.

  140. 140
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    schrodinger’s cat beat me to it.

    What does her body type (Dunham’s, not cat’s) have to do with anything regarding the tour? Does anyone, outside of Rich Lowry, care about Sarah Palin’s body when it comes to the stupid/crazy shit she says? Because there’s a reasonable possibility that her 1984 Miss Alaska performance helped get her a TV job, etc., etc.

  141. 141
    Eric U. says:

    @Tommy: the idea came from an unpaid intern at her publisher

  142. 142
    Suzanne says:

    @Tommy: No, you made a sexist comment. Her body is not germane to this discussion, no matter how many people have seen it.

    And telling me I know not what I talk about is also pretty sexist. Look up “mansplaining”.

  143. 143
    LanceThruster says:

    Forget it, Jake. It’s Tinsel-town.

  144. 144
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Kay: I’m not defending Dunham, who really should pay the people helping her charge the rubes, but in the arts this boat long ago (as in centuries ago) left the dock. I’m trying to make it in writing and a lot of my competition comes from people who do it for free and just put their stuff on the web. You know, kind of like all of us do here at Balloon Juice. Obviously, it scales up from there, up to and included multi-novel length series that you can get for free.

    For a lot of people, just having an audience appreciate their art is sufficient payment. And you know what? I don’t begrudge them that. But it is essentially the same thing: they are working as artists and providing customers for something in exchange for nothing but recognition. On some level that makes it harder for me to make a living at it but that’s not their problem. And, hell, I’ve even been known to partake of the free art that gets published.

  145. 145
    SFAW says:

    @Suzanne:

    Look up “mansplaining”.

    I did, and I don’t think you understand it, so let me explain it to you, little missy.
    .
    .
    .
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’m sure I’ll boil in Marinara (a/k/a Hell, for you FSM-worshippers) for that one.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    It’s a fair point, but I don’t “count” Balloon Juice because it is not a revenue producing entity. I actually think it’s quite a bit of volunteer work for John and The Regular Bloggers, honestly.

    Blogging has a “feed me”, incessant quality that can feel like a burden, I imagine, or that’s my take on it. When I used to look at the Tunch graphic, “FEED” I would think “that’s what feeding the internet is like- it’s just a constant demand”.

    This is a discussion among journalists, about getting paid and how they may be devaluing their own work. I spoke with an older journalist about it for an hour at Netroots in Detroit. They’re having this whole soul-searching debate. I think they should give it some thought. I don’t want “real” journalism to go away, and people have to get paid to do that job.

    My daughter is an artist. She’s a painter. She has a “real” job, but she essentially works a second job in her spare time. She sells her work. She doesn’t give it away. I don’t want her to give it away. It’s her work.

    That doesn’t mean she can’t volunteer or be charitable -she’s a Big Sister (in Pittsburgh, where she lives) to a little boy who is interested in art- it’s just that those two things need to be apart and distinct.

  147. 147
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Suzanne: I’m sure it will be mansplained to us how we don’t understand what the comment isn’t mansplaining at all. Gosh, you’d think we were dumb because we got boobs or something. Holy rollerskating fuck just shoot me. It would be more pleasant.

  148. 148
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Kay: Yes, but many artists of all sorts, be they writers, musicians, or visual artists, don’t feel the need to get paid for their work. Are you going to tell all of the people who post stories to the web that they are wrong to do so and are devaluing their work? Be prepared for a rude reaction if you do.

  149. 149
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I do get what you’re saying about having an audience. It DOES set the bar really low, though, at “zero”. I took an internship at an urban juvenile court in law school because they do so much volume I knew I’d see every possible charge and case in 6 months. That was valuable to me. I also got credits toward graduating. I’m fine with those types of deals.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Well, no, because it’s none of my business. I do think they’re devaluing their own work and the work of others, though

    It’s not mandatory, my solidarity idea. It’s voluntary. If a brass player starts offering
    free lessons to all 6th graders here, I think that horn player is hurting the student I hire to tutor my 6th grader. It’s a market. What individuals do in and with it matter.

  151. 151
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Kay: I was kind of looking for a yes or a no. And if you do somehow eliminate people sharing their work for free, you’re going to find that there is a lot less art that a lot of people enjoy.

  152. 152
    PST says:

    What Dunham is doing isn’t remotely like what it’s being portrayed as. She isn’t asking anyone to tour without pay. At each location, she is recruiting someone local to perform for three to five minutes, with the proviso that it be something that requires only a microphone. It sounds like more of a lark than a job. Go to an event you wanted to go to anyway and get the chance to stand up and do a bit. Like being on Stupid People Tricks with Letterman. No wonder thousands of people were interested.

    I care nothing for Dunham and have never seen her show, but it bugs me when people look for something to be offended by, even if they have to distort it to make it offensive. I’m talking about the way the story was told, not the reaction of those commenting on it.

  153. 153
    Suzanne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Srsly. I really think that dudes just do NOT grasp how harmful it is that our hotness/fuckability is acceptable to bring up ALL THE DAMN TIME. It is ridiculous. It is damaging. It is insulting.

    My value to humanity does not swivel on the axis of Whether You Would Bang Me Or Not.

  154. 154
    Fitzwili says:

    FYI
    Per her twitter account, Dunham is compensating those who perform on her tour now

  155. 155
    rikyrah says:

    @catclub:

    Juan Williams might like a word.

    Juan Williams is a slave catcher, a lawn ornament and a sexual harasser, but he’s not unattractive.

    I said Black woman.

    Men can be unattractive if they have money.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    There’s a difference between you, personally, making the decision to put your art up on the web for all to see and having someone else come to you and demand that you give them something for free.

  157. 157
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW: You’re right.

    After four decades or so of living in a household with, at various times, from one to three women who were more than willing to share their views on what’s sexist and what isn’t, I shouldn’t have gotten caught out on this slope.

  158. 158
    Kay says:

    @Fitzwili:

    Good.

    BTW, I like Girls. I don’t have HBO but I watch it when I visit my daughter because she likes it. I do think it’s brave and interesting that Dunham is so physical as an actress and how she doesn’t conform to traditional ideas about beauty. I do think a lot of the criticism of her goes to her appearance. I didn’t read the dispute in this thread so I’m not pointing at anyone here. IN GENERAL, women on television who aren’t physically perfect don’t take the sort of risks she takes. I had a younger male lawyer tell me here in a lecturing serious tone how he didn’t find the show “realistic” because her boyfriend is “attractive”. I mean give me a break. He’s offended that she’s normal-looking and on tv and in a relationship. Her boyfriend isn’t even all that “attractive” and he’s annoying, IMO, if we’re ranking. This viewer would only find it “realistic” if she were wandering the streets, looking for a man who might take her in, ya know, reluctantly.

    So I’m glad she did the right thing and paid people for the work they do. Next time I’m at my daughter’s I’ll watch her show.

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    i never said I was “eliminating” anything. I’m not the job police. I think if you’re going to sell your writing it doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense to set the opening bid at “zero”, because it might be difficult to go up from there. If you never intend to sell it’s probably fine.

    The flip side of “people enjoying art for free” is artists not making a living at it, which tends to limit the people who can be artists to people who have some other source of income.

  160. 160
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    That’s actually part of this blog, BTW. The whole point of “artists among us” that John does is to find buyers for peoples’ art work. Buyers. The artists need the money so they can make some more art.

  161. 161
    chopper says:

    @PST:

    Actually, you get paid if you go on letterman for the ‘stupid human tricks’ gag.

  162. 162
    FridayNext says:

    @chopper:
    Beat me to it. You get paid just walking on the stage. You get paid more each time you speak.

    Letterman pays his interns, too.

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @chopper:
    @FridayNext:

    I would have to look it up, but I’m guessing it’s probably a (gasp!) union rule — specifically AFTRA (now SAG-AFTRA). Even non-members have to be paid the minimum.

  164. 164
    JR in WV says:

    @Violet:

    Come on, you know the innertubes are full of crazy people looking for attention, any kind of attention. Don’t nail Dunham for knowing the medium.

  165. 165
    JR in WV says:

    @Tommy:

    No, Tommy, pro sports guys charge for autographs all the time. Even ex-college stars charge for signing posters, pretty much their only post-NCAA sports income if they part of the 98% who don’t become pro players.

  166. 166
    JR in WV says:

    And for the record I think Dunham is quite attractive physically. Her voice from what I heard on the interview on “Fresh Air” was not so good, but she is pretty.

    I’m not now and have never been fond of how skeletal people look… practically, we all need to look like we won’t suffer if we miss a couple of days of regular meals just in case there’s a storm or something.

  167. 167
    Gian says:

    @JR in WV:

    I wouldn’t know. No HBO, and when it comes to the latest big thing, I’m usually watching the wild kratts or word girl. Having grown up in both a rural new England state and southern California, the news coverage I’ve read reminds me of the kids in Orange County who thought they were super smart when they were really mediocre (but they did drive a new BMW to school)

    But that’s just an impression from secondary sources. It could be as true as Al Gore is wimp becuz earthtones.

  168. 168
    Wally Ballou says:

    @catclub: This is the same Kevin Williamson who likened a nine-year-old black kid to a “primate”, right?

  169. 169
    Paul in KY says:

    @JCJ: Ingred Michealson plays a mean ukulele.

  170. 170
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Maybe your child convinced him you’re dirt poor.

  171. 171
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: I guess he’s saying ‘fan fiction’ is killing him.

  172. 172
    Paul in KY says:

    @JR in WV: I also think she’s attractive. Has a cute face.

  173. 173

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