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Zombie HBO Girls with Bob Balaban

March 6, 2013

ZombieLaw has previous written about HBO’s Sunday night sitcom “Girls”. There have been claims that Lena Dunham is the voice of a zombie generation. But also the Sunday night timeslot pairs it against “Walking Dead” and so the comparison (like those made to the similarly situated Sunday night soap Downton Abbey also compared to zombies) But this week, the “Girls” script included the word itself.

Dunham’s character, has become stressed and is now exhibiting O.C.D. symptoms — she says the symptoms caused her to stay up all night and go to school the next day like a zombie. Then she says that the reason she doesn’t take her medication is because it also made her too tired. Recall that zombie condition in social security cases is a experienced mental state that can be created both by pains or psychiatric disorders and by the side effects of psycho-pharmaceuticals and pain medications.

The shrink is portrayed by none other then Bob Balaban, also previously featured on this ZombieLaw blog because he is the author/director of what I think may be the first modern zomromcom, My Boyfriend’s Back.

“Girls” is a truth-in-fiction kind of show and furthering that theme, Balaban really did write a book series about a robotic dog who repeatedly saves the world (the McGrowl series – about a bionic superdog who battles evil veterinarian Dr. Minderbinder)

EW ShelfLife by Clark Collis writes: “‘Girls’ guest star Bob Balaban really has written a best-selling series of books about a bionic dog. No, really…”

This scene could also be read as Bob Balaban giving writing coach session to Lena Dunham – Lena Dunham’s O.C.D. was a bit over-the-top but it made the point. Let’s hope Balaban and Carol Kane are recurring characters (recall Ann Romney’s recent Princess Bride “mostly dead” reference)?

In a Publisher’s Weekly interview by Sally Lodge: “Q & A with Bob Balaban” explains that the executives at Scholastic changed the gender of the child and the breed of the dog for Balaban’s book. Where do these demands come from, market research no doubt. But this goes to the question of who is author? and recall the Public Editor at NYTimes wrote on how the Op-eds writers at Nytimes (like Paul Krugman) write freely but . Margaret Sullivan wrote “A Mind of Their Own, and the Freedom to Speak It” but only gently alluded to the influence of the copy editors.

The EW show recap “‘Girls’ recap: Crazy Eights” By Lindsey Bahr

Shoshanna just kind of drifted into cohabitation and an incredibly serious relationship with someone she’s not really ready for yet, and she’s restless and desperate. Ray is, in some ways, the opposite of everything she wants. He’s goofy looking. He has no money. He’s condescending. She wants the magazine spread and the romantic comedy and the candlelit dinner. Appearances mean everything to Shoshanna right now, and she’s just now realizing it.

It’s all about appearances. It’s brand-identity politics and any time there is a Great (wo)Man Theory there is some form of metonymy hiding parts of the authorship.

Balaban also said in that same Q&A interview:

Kids are, literally, physically transforming every day.

And we are all kids. All our cells physically transforming all the time.

Meanwhile there’s this Twitter account of “Jols De Santis” who appears to be a girl in Staten Island. She has a pretty picture and a few hundred followers and she tweeted a picture of a Jeep Wrangler with “Zombie Hunter” logo. The picture has been picked up by SILIVE, The Staten Island Advance: “‘Zombie Hunter’ spotted in Staten Island’s New Dorp neighborhood” by Ken Paulson – so now she’s zombie generation famous. This your 15 minutes. Enjoy it!

I particularly wanted to include this Staten Island twitter girl because Staten Island girls are somewhat upset by their portrayal on a previous episode of HBO’s “Girls” from this season – see review from Ken Paulsen again: “‘Groundbreaking’ HBO show (yeah, right) ‘Girls’ heaps insults on Staten Island” — though personally to be honest, as a resident of Manhattan, I found the Staten Island episode to be somewhat humorous true-to-life (or as much as the Balaban bit) (so sorry to my Staten peeps — perspective is a tough thing – a bitch even).

Because here’s the thing – O.C.D. is a real problem and it’s not always crazy eights and in a sense one could argue that my entire ZombieLaw project is obsessively and compulsively collecting (hunting!) the “zombie” usages from across the media and that this entire activity is totally an O.C.D. symptom project from it’s very inception. And I too also have a “book deal” in my own minimal way in that my Kickstarter was funded and time is running short on delivery of a book that is only about halfway through the editing process. So it’s March Madness – time to scramble and focus and not get lost in the compulsive obsessions.

As Slavoj Žižek wrote “Enjoy Your Symptom!” with an exclamation point because it is the Lacanian return to Freud imperative to “Enjoy!” – the very demand to “Be Creative!” that sparks the Lost Generation of Zombie malaise, uncertainty and insecurity.

From the Financial Times: “Listen out, there are zombies about” by Tyler Brûlé subtitled: “Millions could soon die of boredom if they are left in the company of Generation F – twenty-something ‘flatliner’ drones” – which combines the generational zombie issue with drones – like cyborg dogs – (recall Seal Team 6 had a sort of bionic dog when they killed Osama).

Bill Bonner blames parents for mollycoddling (“If a man makes a lot of money and gives it to his children, he risks turning them into zombies.”) but this world is scary and Lena’s character wouldn’t do well cut off either. The world is teaching kids that self-expression is dangerous – see New Republic “The Dangerous Logic of the Bradley Manning Case” by Yochai Benkler – and then we are wonder why so many become hysterical. Contrary to Bonner’s diatribe, we need parents and government that encourage expressive risk within a safe and secure space. Instead worldviews are shattering and cures become part of the disease.


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