Because Sady Doyle's essay about
class and the 'We Are the 99%' movement her anxieties about her upbringing has been making the rounds, I was thinking about (and then reread) her '13 Ways of Looking at Liz Lemon' piece, which in addition to having a title that signifies to the Educated Reader exactly what intellectual circle the Educated R. is about to enter, is a decent bit of media/cultural criticism wrapped around a gigantic, embarrassing-if-the-universe-were-actually-just, Media Studies 101-level misunderstanding.
The title of this post should clear everything up for the interested reader. Just as Dustin Hoffman is neither autistic nor a cross-dresser nor a dental torture victim, just as Sarah Michelle Gellar has slain precious few vampires in her life, just as Geoffrey Rush is not a classical pianist (nor a pirate!), just as Brad Pitt is not a daft environmental terrorist, Tina Fey is not a frumpy comedy writer! LIZ LEMON IS NOT TINA FEY, she is a fictional character, and TINA FEY PLAYS HER ON TELEVISION.
Which is to say, Doyle's anxiety about Tina Fey's character/creation, Liz Lemon, wouldn't just disappear if she stopped eliding this difference, but then at least she (Doyle) would be able to other, perhaps more abstract but at least less dodgy matters, like this:
WHEN a comedic type (e.g. the Liz Lemon type) evolves at a different rate or in a different direction from the prevailing cultural winds, the audience's relationships to that type will undergo transformation under tension; afterward the type can still serve its purpose, illuminating relationships and releasing anxiety, but maybe our responsibilities change too. THEREFORE it's reasonable - important - to ask what work the Liz Lemon character, with her roots in 1960s stories about women entering the workforce (e.g. The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and earlier status/degradation texts like I Love Lucy, is doing in our culture right now, and MOST IMPORTANTLY I THINK find ways to revel in the great pleasures of these women's comedic work while keeping a sharp eye out, not for transgression and that-over-which-we-are-obligated-politically-to-become-persnickety, but for the next incredible thing. WHICH IS PERHAPS the long way 'round to saying, Pissing on your competitor for cultural oxygen doesn't further your cause. The culture wars aren't actually wars; you don't win by shooting the other guy.