Note: Bing Lena Dunham book review for details on this 'controversy'.
In England, they are at least open about its class society. No one pretends it doesn't exist, with the upper-classes still showing a noblesse oblige that is both charming and disarming. In America, we'd rather ignore the 'pink elephant', because many influential people who are in a position to mention it don't want to expose the very system that may have catapulted them, and don't want their skills pinned on mere 'family connections'. Understandable. But by ignoring this, we continue to perpetuate the American dream -- the myth -- that anyone can achieve anything through hard work and talent. This is not true. You really do have to be asleep to believe that 'dream', paraphrasing George Carlin.
It does the Millennials and our children no favors at all to keep them asleep in these tight financial times; to keep them locked in the matrix and unaware how 'the system' works. Enter now, stage left, fellow Millennial Dunham whose TV series 'Girls' is about her alter-ego Hannah Horvath, the very personification of the American dream. Hannah is a creative soul from a culturally uninspiring middle-class suburban family. She's absolutely desperate to make it 'big' as a writer in NYC. She's on the outside looking in, always scrabbling for money, in survival mode so to hit 'Big Time' -- which 'voila!' she does. Yet as her non-fiction book reveals, Dunham's success in real life emerged from quite opposite circumstances.
The re-hashing of the American dream, especially by those who've reached the pinnacle through nepotism in high places, is dishonest and potentially dis-empowering to the ones viewing. It's like reading those celebrity interviews where the Hollywood star acts like it was just hard work and exceptional talent that got him or her into movies. If only we work harder, better, stronger, faster! When -- dig deeper -- that star was usually connected by some sixth-degree of separation. We either stay forever locked on a work-achievement loop that somehow fails to satiate, or find and nurture our own passions, interests, callings -- whatever they may be, with nothing to prove. For many of us, the truth is that we have absolutely nothing to prove, neither in our asanas nor in Life itself.