It is not cliche to hail Lena Dunham as our leader, because her crown is so very deserved. As Lena’s interviewer (and friend) Miranda July very weirdly and whimsically put it at Lena’s Not That Kind of Girl book tour last night in Pasadena, she has changed the world for the better—particularly for women writers, from where we stand.
grl u look gr8 here.
The ladies of Tube Top were lucky enough to get front-balcony seats at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church (“This is the second Church I’ve played this week!” said Lena) for Not That Kind Of Tour. Comedienne Morgan Murphy opened the night with some much needed jizz jokes. And after a soft-spoken introduction from a bookstore employee, Lena clomped onto the pulpit to read two passages (“Girls and Jerks” and “15 Things I Learned From My Mom”) from her essay collection. Lena’s friend and collaborator Miranda July then meekly took to the stage for a pretty strange Q & A in which Miranda and Lena sat on white chairs with pretty cushions and Miranda spouted some nonsense and Lena continued to deliver gems. To cap off the night Jimmy Kimmel came out to play the voice of Lena’s vagina (whatever, I don’t know) before the audience got to ask some pretty fan-girl-y questions.
Ok Lena, you get a free pass on this one because you were clearly under the influence of Miranda.
So back to that not cliche “All Hail Lena” thing… to hear this woman speak is an inspiration—as a creative, as a feminist, as a fan, as a friend. In between the stories and jokes were nuggets of wisdom delivered on the fly about sisterhood and writerliness and more. And though they seemed unrehearsed and in response to Miranda’s strange questions, these words cut to our hearts just as strongly as the first time Hannah Horvath delivered the perfect “I don’t even want a boyfriend right now” speech to Adam on the dingy Brooklyn apartment GIRLS set. We’re proud to have a “voice of our generation” as eloquent and hilarious as Lena, delivered from a woman who is exactly herself. She’s helped us all (to quote one of my favorite GIRLS lines) along in “the process of becoming who we are.” So we enthusiastically, unapologetically support her book and her voice, and would like to share it with you. Here were some of our favorite moments and takeaways from Not That Kind of Tour at the Pasadena Presbyterian with Lena Dunham and Miranda July.
Some day, we really hope to have books as beautiful and full of lols and wisdom as this baby.
Answers compiled from @offtothegraces, @realkrauswife, @amyscarlata, and she who shall be known affectionately as “DK: Kween of the Deen.”
1) Strongest feeling felt
SO MANY FEELINGS, SO LITTLE TIME
*Jealousy that Lena’s version of procrastination is creative. When I am putting off work I’m mostly idling on Instagram and talking to my cat.
*Commiseration over idealizing her childhood: “Because I was such an anxious kid, I have this deep nostalgia for my childhood, like I wasn’t experiencing it then so I miss it now” (or something along those lines).
*Feeling ~known~ when she explained her theory about how girls who have wonderful, nice fathers seek terrible dude partners as a form of Rebellion. Whoah.
*Empowered when, as an offhand joke about Miranda July being ticked off about an instagram, Lena came back with “The government can’t police our bodies, and you can’t police my Instagram!”
Just…. empowered. Overall.
2) Most tweetable quote
TWEETS, TWEETS EVERYWHERE
*Lena, re being able to fall asleep anywhere/anytime: “But my life is also a series of constant vivid nightmares. Like whenever I watch a horror movie and they’re running away from the bad guys but they have like a minute to rest behind a tree? That’s about as relaxed as I get. So I’ve just learned to fall asleep in that state.”
*Lena, re, working out issues through lots and lots of writing: “We can all make our memories better by renaming our ex-boyfriends Joaquin”
*Lena, re sisterhood: “It’s an amazing thing to be born tethered to another woman in this world”
*Lena, re voting: “When you don’t vote you don’t get to complain”
3) Weirdest thing Miranda July did
SUPAFREAK, SUPAFREAK, SHE’S SUPAFREAKY
*Treating this interview like a hangout addendum… “I’ve been meaning to ask you this since last time we hung out…”
*Can’t believe she asked us to meditate and then claimed she wanted to be seen as what she referred to as an average person from the midwest.
*I dunno, Miranda July’s hair might just be the weirdest thing about her.
*Gulping spoonfuls of honey mid-interview
*And then, of course, there was the aforementioned pregnancy-Jimmy-Kimmel-baby-talk stunt… wut.
4) Heartiest LOLs
THEY SEE ME LOLLIN’, THEY HATIN’
*When Lena’s mom told her that she could empathize with her twitter trolling because she has been bullied by the anime community. Seeking motherly guidance, Lena explained that she was very upset by all the twitter hate re: her book (“you’re not a rape victim why would anyone want to have sex with you” etc) and her Mom said she was also getting lots of hate, and could totally empathize, due to the anime community’s recent negative reactions to her work and like, lol, artist parents. I kind of wish I had them and am also SO grateful that I don’t + scared to be one.
*So many great quotes from her book! Such as her A+ use of footnotes to explain her ex-boyfriend “Geoff”‘s flaws.
*Tales of the Naropa Institute and how she blames them for a lot of her writing’s bad habits.
*In-the-moment reflections such as “well this is going great” and “I just tried hand gestures for the first time, and I hated it.”
*Discussing gratitude for her sister as an ‘activist,’ she explained “without her I would just be interested in like candy and interesting bras.”
5) Biggest lesson learned
WE ARE FAMILY, I’VE GOT ALL MY SISTERS AND ME
*Lena Dunham has amazing stage presence. Wow! Who Woulda thunk?
*That writing a memoir essay collection takes a lot of time, and is a therapeutic exercise in and of itself.
*How to register to vote in California before Monday. How to volunteer at Planned Parenthood. That midterm elections are important, and “not just a hobby to keep old people occupied until they die.”
*That the mistakes we make and ridiculous experiences we have are basically just memoir/personhood fodder for our fully realized selves.
*Forever and always that telling your intimate truths to the world frees others and makes us all LULz
6) Anything else to add?
YOU SAID IT WAS CHEAPER FOR YOU IF I WAS ON THE FAMILY PLAN.
*How much better this particular essay collection is to read than to listen to.
*We maybe hate Miranda July.
*It was transcendent and amazing and I really loved seeing her in person. Joanna Avillez’s illustrations in the book are adorable and incredible.
*I love this new brand of inclusion that people like Lena and Rookie Mag are starting where its not really CELEBRITY vs. FAN, it’s just a group of like-minded ladies who can get together and have a convo. Lena’s honesty and relatability are what make her m’fave.
*That a book tour really can be everything an author and reader hopes it will be.