Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Valley girls take New York

No, this isn't about some old 1980's B-movie featuring dim-witted denizens of San Fernando Valley heading off to make it big in New York City. Or maybe it is.

A blast from the past (from 1982, to be exact):


Fer shur, fer shur, right? Like, totally.

Vapidity, the unrestrained usage of certain words and phrases, and an incredibly ironic superiority complex, these were signature traits of the Valley Girls, a cultural phenomenon so ably mocked by Frank Zappa and his daughter Moon Unit (who was definitely not a real member of that class) in the above song. And predictably, when the song came out, high school girls who had adopted the "Valley Girl" persona misread the song as being largely complimentary, not critical.

While this general persona has faded into memory by and large, elements of it remain, particularly with regard to valleyspeak. "Ohmygod" for instance is going strong, aided by the OMG of the texting and social media world. Even more prevalent is the usage of "like" as a place-holder in conversation (a habit my very intelligent teenager has picked up and I am trying to help her break). But at least such habits are largely confined to young people, who have the time to undo such tendencies. Right?

Not so fast. A former intern for the Weiner Campaign (sounds like the National Hot Dog Association's new ad program), one Olivia Nuzzi, has published something of a tell-all about the Campaign's hiring practices. While it makes Weiner look bad, it's hardly earth-shattering stuff. Nonentheless, the Campaign's communications director--Barbara Morgan--saw fit to respond to the piece in a TPM interview. Some of what she said about Ms. Nuzzi (my boldface):
I’m dealing with like stupid fucking interns who make it on to the cover of the Daily News even though they signed NDAs and/or they proceeded to trash me...And by the way, I tried to fire her, but she begged to come back and I gave her a second chance...

Fucking slutbag. Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again...

It’s all bullshit.I mean, it’s such bullshit. She could fucking — fucking twat...

I have no idea, but I can tell you she … like accosted me at like our petitioning thing to be able to become my intern, begged me to be my intern, sent me something within like 20 minutes of meeting her and then proceeded to — she came in the next day and was like, basically, 'I want to be your bitch all summer long, that's all I want to do is be your righthand person.' I was like, 'OK, well, it’s not really glamorous, like, you’re going to do clips, and you’re going to do media catching, and you’re going to do x, y, and z and maybe I’ll get you to the point where you’re like doing some other stuff'...

She sucked. She like wasn't good at setting up events. She was clearly there because she wanted to be seen. Like it was, like, terrible and I had to like - she would like, she would just not show up for work. For the four weeks she worked there — she didn't work weekends, so twenty days total. Of those twenty days, she missed probably five because she would just like not show up and not tell me she wasn't going to be there. So, yeah, so there’s that...

And then like she had the fucking balls to like trash me in the paper. And be like, ‘His communications director was last the press secretary of the Department of Education in New Jersey. You know what? Fuck you, you little cunt. I’m not joking, I am going to sue her...
Like wow. The name-calling and needless profanity is bad enough, coming from someone who is supposed to be in charge of communications, but come on. Like, like, like, like, like. From an adult PR professional. Fifth paragraph, fourth sentence: thirteen words in and four of them are "like." Is such stupidity acceptable at this level? At any level? Weiner's campaign is a mess, dignity went out the window ages ago. And Morgan's name-calling only makes things worse. But is it too much to ask for some proper spoken language, for actual linguistic skills from people hired under the "communications" umbrella? Before coming on board the Weiner Campaign, Morgan was employed as a spokesperson for both the New York City Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Education. Like, really? It's a sad day for the human race.

Cheers, all.

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