The Internet has often been summarized with the analogy of a snake eating its own tail. That’s a highly simplistic way to summarize something so vast, but it’s also exceedingly accurate. If anything proves the merit of this analogy it’s the ongoing domestic violence disputes between Lena Dunham and Gawker, the Whitney and Bobby Brown of the web.
Gawker’s own John Cook was one of the initial leaders in the charge against Dunham’s own brand of millennial ennui, snarking against her with claims of both nepotism and racism, and continued to do so throughout the first season, recapping each episode of her hit HBO show Girls.
Last Friday, Gawker leaked Dunham’s $3.7 million illustrated book proposal, posting the highly sought-after 60-page pitch on Scribd. That same proposal had incited not only a bidding war between publishing houses the month prior, but also a fair amount vitriol from the Internet’s blogging class, millennials without literary agents.
In the most ironic twist of all, today Gawker’s main page is sponsored by the season one DVD release of Girls, the same day that Dunham’s legal counsel Charles Harder threatened legal action against the site for leaking her proposal. Cook, the poster of the original article and Scribd file deleted the entire proposal but still has 12 quotes from the proposal on the site, taking a decided approach not to play nice and sidestep the legalese by clarifying how each quote is “indicative of a nauseating and cloying precociousness that permeates the entire proposal.” Or other variations on that same sentiment.