Mary Tyler Moore continues to be mourned by many millions of fans who remember her warm, funny show from the 1970s in which she was a feminist icon when such could still be charming. The New Yorker cast around for a modern equivalent to write about Mary’s passing and, having not found such a person, settled upon Lena Dunham, the perpetrator of a show on HBO called “Girls.”

Apparently, Dunham remembers first seeing the show in the 1990s in her childhood and found herself quite taken with it. But then she makes the most remarkable statement:

“Despite my mother’s insistence, I knew I was a Mary.

There are lots of us.”

To paraphrase a fellow Texan, “Lena, I may not have known Mary Tyler Moore. She was never a friend of mine. But I am pretty sure that you are no Mary Tyler Moore.” Indeed, Mary never molested her sister nor did she falsely accuse someone of rape. Lena Dunham defiled her memory by saying that she was her. That statement was the rough equivalent of Bill Clinton claiming to be Beau Brummel or his appalling wife comparing herself to Queen Elizabeth I.

Dunham may have found inspiration from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, ” but one would not know it from watching “Girls.” While Mary Richards famously “turned the world on with her smile” Dunham’s character tends to turn the stomach simply by being.

A whole generation of young men fell in love with Mary, one part poise, and one part hysteria. The same cannot be said for Dunham\s “Girls” character from whom any sensible person would run with great speed.

Ironically The New Yorker missed the boat by passing over a real life, 21st Century version of Mary Richards. “The Big Bang Theory’s” Penny not only turns the world on with her smile but is just a sweet turn on.

The character, despite herself, fell in love with and married a science nerd who lived across the hall, inspiring the dreams of millions. One wonders if Kaley Cuoco has any thoughts about Mary Tyler Moore and her iconic character from a TV show more than a generation removed.

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