Well now Lena Dunham’s really gone and done it. Last night at some kind of political event that I am not at all interested in, the Girls star insulted my hometown. Just straight up called it out for absolutely no reason. The Atlantic Wire quotes her as saying the following:
Recent college graduates, she said, are “struggling to find jobs and pay the rent and if they struggle for too long, they’re leaving New York” for other cities, “even Tampa.”
At one point, Dunham spoke about growing up with her family in a Soho loft, where her the rent was “$350 a month, if they just hid their stove from Con Edison. Now, the building that I was born in houses a Victoria’s Secret and is next door to a Sephora. Anyway, we can’t have our generation’s Patti Smith moving to Tampa. That’s going to seriously fuck our shit up.”
Look, let’s get something straight. No one’s forcing artists to move to Tampa. All artists from all over the world have two choices. And when I say choices, I really do mean choices.
1. Pursue your artwork despite the fact that it might mean sacrificing some of the finer things in life. Which may range from eating out at nice restaurants to a living in an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
2. GET A JOB! Love that you’re an artist, but if you can’t find a way to make that pay the bills, then it’s not your job, it’s your hobby. You can tell me all the live long day that it’s your calling, but newsflash, callings aren’t accepted as a suitable form of payment for rent. I love baking, but as of 12:48 PM today, no one’s offered me any money for my baked goods. So it’s a hobby that I pursue in my freetime.
Now let’s get something else straight. Tampa is not the worst place you can possibly be in the world. I’m from there. And while I no longer live there, I’m very confident that there are far more undesirable cities for artists to be exiled. You know places where the airports don’t have monorails. Yeah you read that right, we monorail to our planes there. Sure we have our stupid “Tampa socialite” and sure we have more strip clubs than strippers, but goddamit we voted for Obama in the last election. Despite what Lena and her (literally) poor friends may think, Tampa is not a slur. And the only thing worse than her thinking it is, is the fact that I’m now driven to defend it.
Oh no, the poor artists are distracted from their work by the constantly nice weather. How is anyone supposed to get any work done with the beach an hour away in one direction and Disney World an hour away in the other. Why just the other day, Theo the Watercolorist told me that he was just about to start his next masterpiece when a friend asked if he wanted to take a scenic walk along the bay. And he did and he liked it. And then — get ready for this — after taking that walk, Theo and his friend had dinner outside. IN JANUARY. Poor, poor Theo. If only New York had taken better care of their artists, he wouldn’t be stuck in Tampa.
Okay, rant over. Just had to throw this out there for a hot sec in case anyone’s actually spending any time worrying about artists being forced to move to Tampa.
(Photo: Lenny Abbot, PacificCoastNews.com)