Brooklynites Are Mad That Girls Paints Brooklyn as Lazy Person Paradise


Americans in big cities (but particularly Americans in those big, grey northeastern cities where we’ll imprison the burgeoning mutant population after the nuclear fallout) love to brag about how hard they work. They wear their work ethic like a badge of courage, as if working an hour longer than one’s peers had some kind of intrinsic merit; it doesn’t — work is meant to accomplish a task, not fill up time (unless you’re in a Siberian labor camp). Work is something people have to do, and, sure, some people like to be engaged and feel productive and not be stuck on their stupid couches all day farting into their sweatpants in between old episodes of Futurama, but if you can’t imagine how you’d fill up your days if you didn’t have to work but could still live in relative comfort, than you have the imagination of a cabbage. Working (and especially working hard) is for suckers. We’re all suckers, then, but the city with the most suckers is clearly New York.

If New Yorkers couldn’t brag about how hard they worked, they’d have no reason to go on dealing with their oppressive city. This is probably why New Yorkers — but specifically Brooklynites — are so irked by the popular perception Girls has apparently helped cultivate: that Brooklyn is a land of loafing trust fund babies who fill up their days planning for the next warehouse party and rubbing their sweaty bodies together.

A hilariously gripe-y article in the Daily News features some hard-working Brooklyn residents who want to set the record straight. See, people who only know Brooklyn through Girls might think that no one there works all that hard. So not true! People in Brooklyn work plenty hard. They’ll work all the way to the glue factory, just like Animal Farm‘s Boxer, the borough’s unofficial mascot. Girls doesn’t represent New York anymore than Seinfeld or Sex in the City or any other New York-based TV show that doesn’t feature silent, sleepless characters toiling silently at office desks or nodding off on the subway during their morning commute away for 25 straight minutes.

“It’s like some bizzaro alternate universe of New York,” says Marek Fuchs, a writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College who was probably laying bricks and writing scholarly articles while speaking to the Daily News. “New Yorkers are defined by ambition, not stagnation. To sit around isn’t the New York way.”

What’s worse (and boy does it get worse) is that now Girls fans are turning Brooklyn into their own personal MGM backlot tour by making guidebooks to cafés and art galleries that have appeared on the show. Gah! New Yorkers aren’t fish in an aquarium — they’re real people living real lives, and Girls is making it really hard for them to tell themselves that they’re authentic humans rather than pastiches of different New York characters their subconsciousness minds have absorbed over a lifetime of media consumption.

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