Grief, American Celebrity Style


Manchester proves once again that terror strikes are little more than passing hashtag opportunities for the red carpet walkers

By Mark Cromer

Word to ISIS from Lena Dunham: Kill as many as you will in the West, it’s still all about her.

The echo from the Islamic State’s bomb that ripped to literal shreds more than 80 people at a concert in Manchester last Monday, killing 22 and wounding at least another 59, hadn’t even faded before the 31-year-old actress, author and all-around Hollywood ‘It Girl’ took to her Twitter stage to declare: “Heart breaks for everyone at the @ArianaGrande show—terrorism and hatred disrupting a magical escapist experience. Sending all love.”

The ‘star’ of HBO’s Girls followed up that profound declaration 24-hours later with another Tweet that advised her nearly five and a half million ‘followers’ that she still wasn’t quite yet over the horror visited upon the United Kingdom that had blown children to pieces.

“Can’t stop thinking about the joy of your 1st concert. Bravery & hope. All violence is tragic. This is impossible to shake.”

Well, as it turns out, not quite that impossible.

Lena Dunham grieves, real time.

Less than 24-hours after Dunham had informed the world that she couldn’t shake the mass murder that an Islamist had exploded in Manchester, Dunham was musing about the smoothie her father had dumped because she was late to her rendezvous with him. “Warning,” she Tweeted. “If you are 10 minutes late to drink your smoothie my dad will pour it down the drain because he takes healing fucking seriously.”

As parents in Manchester were still looking for their children or looking at what was left of them, Dunham followed that Tweet up with “Riddle: my parents are the best but also the reason I’m the worst.”

The fruit of Dunham’s origins are so abundantly clear that she need not pose it as a riddle, though she likely did so thinking she was making another clever goof at their expense, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Katy Perry, Dunham’s sister wife in the Hollywood wing of The Resistance, also wasted little time after the Islamic terror squads had struck Manchester before she used a radio interview to offer her words of calming wisdom to her Millennial fan base: “I think the greatest thing we can do is just unite and love on each other. No barriers, no borders, we all just need to co-exist.” While Perry’s pop advice sounded more like an invitation to a Manson Family orgy than some sage-like musing from the Dalai Lama, it wasn’t as if she was taking her own words all that terribly seriously, considering the armed security detail that surrounds her and her entourage of sycophants virtually everywhere they go, to say nothing of the gated, walled and patrolled mansions she calls home.

Surrounded by armed bodyguards, Katy Perry wants you to “love on” ISIS.

Of course any cogent human born before 1980 understands that no one was nodding more vigorously in agreement than the Daesh who read Dunham’s fleeting bleats on Twitter or heard Perry’s surreal transcendental appeal on the radio, and they were surely instructing the agents of ISIS Entertainment, Inc., to see if a double-bill by the dynamic duo might be booked for shows in Mosul or Raqqa—as headliners of course. That the resulting director’s cut video, so to speak, would feature ISIS foot-soldiers gleefully playing soccer with their skulls on the dusty streets of the caliphate would have to be buried somewhere deep in the fine print of the contract for the Dunham & Perry Love Conquers All Tour 2017 matters not. It would have to be something that was worked out by the lawyers. Still, the ‘Special Features’ on the DVD would undoubtedly capture some priceless moments with pre-beheading interviews of Perry smiling nervously at the camera through the face-screen of her burka and gushing “The second my agent told me Abu Muhammad al-Shimali was producing this show I said ‘Yes!’ I didn’t even need to see the script. Dancing and singing for the boys in black on the whispering sands of Syria? Well, it all sounded like Arabian Nights to me, though apparently it’s not going to be a thousand and one of them. Still, I hope to become a slave-wife before they kill me. Allahu akbar!”

The Islamist terror bombing in Manchester revealed once more a few stark realities beyond the undeniable fact that the West faces a committed enemy that’s prepared to mercilessly unleash slaughter against its most vulnerable; the blast also highlighted again the sterile complicity of the governments that are sworn to protect the people who charged them with that duty and, most alarmingly, a large number of the people themselves who now seem paralyzed as the ashes of their deadly misjudgment rain down upon them.

Yet it also offered the world another explicit glimpse of the faux grief the West’s celebrity class cynically employs now as a cheap branding vanity vehicle dressed as a condolence card to the masses. But their casually contrived grief unintentionally reveals far more about them and their politics than any ginned-up cover story in Vanity Fair or the Hollywood Reporter.

Consider Dunham’s words carefully.

She writes her heart was breaking for everyone at “a magical escapist experience.” That makes a lot of sense given that it defines Dunham’s lifeblood: peddling a magical, escapist experience. She wasn’t horrified and enraged that an Islamist terrorist slaughtered people, and children specifically, but rather disrupted that escapist experience. Her follow-up the next day doubled-down on the sentiment: It wasn’t that ISIS was dancing over their continuing ability to butcher people in the West pretty much at will in order to crush a culture that she couldn’t stop thinking about, but rather that the bombing ruined “the joy of going to your [first] concert.”

In other words, Lena Dunham feels the tickets for the Ariana Grande show should have read: “Rain, shine or bombs: Absolutely no refunds.”

But even that wasn’t enough of a qualifier for Dunham, as she felt compelled to add: “All violence is tragic.” That’s a Hollywood Resistance dog-whistle for the relativism that now defines their staged ‘movement,’ one that posits the ongoing battles against ISIS and Al Qaeda around the world that have killed their Islamist fighters is somehow equally tragic.

Dunham draws no distinction between eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos who was killed in the ISIS bomb blast in Manchester on Monday and the death of Al Qaeda In Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on June 7, 2006, who finally met his fate under the weight of two 500-lbs bombs delivered by a United States Air Force F-16. Some may remember that Zarqawi was the jihadi who beheaded 26-year-old American captive Nicholas Berg and heralded a new era of gory horror as he built the groundwork for what would become ISIS.

But as Dunham sees it, at least in this pleasant construct for her, there isn’t a relevant difference between eight-year-old Roussos’s death at the hands of ISIS and Zarqawi’s death courtesy of the USAF: “All violence is tragic.”

No, it’s not.

But Dunham betrays her nanosecond of phony mourning in the river of Tweets that has flowed from her fingertips long before ISIS came to Manchester. And this is where we come back to her parents. They are a consistent presence in Dunham’s pronouncements on life, love and liberalism, often in backhanded slaps that reflect the pure privilege of wealth and unconditional adoration that was heaped upon her as she grew up (well, actually, aged is a better term for it). On January 20, as Donald Trump was inaugurated, Dunham provided a glimpse of the dynamic that prevailed between her and her parents from virtually the beginning. “When I was little & my parents went out I’d call restaurant they were at, have the manager find them, cry. About 2 do it 2 Barack & Michelle,” she posted on Twitter. Since Dunham seems to have spent precious little of her life actually alone for more than a moment—which for her must raise an existential question of without an audience does she actually exist—it isn’t much of a leap to conclude that her mommy and daddy (although it seems Lena has two gender-neutral mommies) dropped their forks and raced back home to comfort and reassure their little dumplin’ that the gravitational center of her sun remained undiminished.

Mommy, daddy (aka Mommy #2), come home now!

Such social network musings by his daughter likely brings a broad smile to the face of Dunham’s biological father, Connecticut painter Carroll Dunham, who just days before the November 2016 election was the subject of an interview with him that Lena Dunham had posted to her Twitter page entitled ‘How Are You Feeling About The Extinction Of White Men?’ It sounded less like he was playing along with the perversity of her premise and more like he agreed—conveniently in the late stage of his own life—that white folk of the Y-chromosome variety need to go the way of the Mastodon. A jubilant Dunham exclaims at the end of the clip “That’s my dad!”

Yes it is, Lena, that’s definitely your ‘dad.’ But more than 150 million other white folk in America may tend to be laughing at you, not with you.

Lena Dunham’s father is so proud…

Dunham’s fearless declaration of her fantasy of the extermination of white males stands as a clear measurement of just how the Hollywood Left interprets Manchester, as her cultural colleague Lauren Duca from Teen Vogue demonstrated before and after the Islamist terror attack.

In March 2017, Duca took to Twitter to offer this little ditty: “Friendly reminder that there’s an uneven playing field, and straight, white men are generally trash!”

After a presumably straight Arabic male of the Muslim faith scattered bloody bodies across the foyer of a Manchester arena last week, Duca was back on Twitter with this estimation of the terror attack: “On choosing love in the wake of the Manchester terror attack” with a post that featured a photo of young women and at least one ‘male of color’ making heart signs that was linked to a story reminding readers that “Love is the answer” and that’s what the West needs to remember as they are murdered.


As your children are being slaughtered literally in front of you, it’s all about ‘unity.’

Condé Nast 2017. Oh Alexander Liberman, where have you gone?

If there’s any lingering doubt as to how prevalent Duca’s view that white males are, generally speaking, “trash,” and that the slaughter of their eight-year-old daughters is little more useful than a reminder that ‘love is the answer,’ then one only need to watch TBS’s star of Full Frontal Samantha Bee at the April 2017 MTV Awards, where Bee gushed, nay, squirted, all over the stage about Teen Vogue.

She is just so proud of them.

Hollywood loves to grieve, online and especially onstage, if only for a moment and only for the appropriate victims and only in the appropriate terms. As the body count from Manchester rolled in last week; Lena Dunham, Katy Perry, Lauren Duca and Samantha Bee, among so many others of Tinsel Town’s finest, would have soaked themselves in glee even as the crocodile tears streamed down their digital faces if the color and religiosity of the perpetrator was one they’d prefer.

It’s grief, American celebrity style.

Before they get back to their smoothies, (never quite) over their selfies.