Lena Dunham published a quiz this week in The New Yorker — entitled “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?” — and it’s causing a stir, as everything she produces tends to do these days.
Some members of the Jewish media are crying anti-Semitism, complaining that the stereotypes Dunham plays with are beyond the bounds of propriety. Even the Anti-Defamation League got in on the action, declaring the quiz “tasteless.” Personally, as someone with fairly well-honed anti-Semitism radar, I’m not in the least bit offended on that score. Dunham is Jewish by every conceivable rule, and therefore has a right to make jokes that poke fun of her own group, and stereotypes about them. This item in the quiz made me laugh out loud.
9. This is because he comes from a culture in which mothers focus every ounce of their attention on their offspring and don’t acknowledge their own need for independence as women. They are sucked dry by their children, who ultimately leave them as soon as they find suitable mates.
Yet the rest of the quiz fell flat, it’s true. It’s amusing to see the way Dunham and other celebrities who write for major magazines are given a pass on mediocre jokes and stories that would never get past the pitch phase otherwise.
Although The New Yorker‘s audience isn’t likely to take up pitchforks against Jews because Dunham makes a sideways reference to her famous boyfriend being cheap (although I can’t say it’s the most original joke I’ve ever read), it’s a good idea for everyone to remain calm. So without further ado, I offer you some sample Dunham pitches that will make all involved happy — both The New Yorker‘s Dunham-hungry readership and those members of the community who are ever vigilant about casual anti-Semitism.
Shouts and Murmurs:
Illustrating My Therapy Session with Emojis
Sexts From the Rabbi
“I Came Over from the Old Country So You Could Show Your Tuchis to America?” Bubbe’s Emails from Beyond the Grave
Quiz: Is This From a Family Seder Table or My Mom’s Performance Art (Which, Ahem, Is Currently on Display at the Jewish Museum?)
Cats and Goyim: What Their Body Language Is Trying to Tell Us
If Hashem Had Facebook
Quiz: Swarm of Dangerous Wasps or a Nantucket WASP?
Quiz: Who Said It — Kanye West or Your Israeli Cousin?
I Got a Tattoo — of a Bagel and Lox
Eight Nights of Hanukkah, Only Four Nights of Presents: A Childhood Trauma Revisited
I Got So Wasted on Purim, I Actually Couldn’t Tell Haman From Mordechai
Antidepressants and Manischevitz: A Chronicle of My Mood Swings