HOW MEDIA AFFECTS OUR BEHAVIOUR
I remember a time when 13-14 year old girls in North America most certainly did NOT talk like Valley Girls from Encino CA. The game-changer which altered the lay of the land was in 1983, when Frank Zappa released his hit single ‘Valley Girls’, with his own 14 year old daughter ‘Moon Unit’, rapping out some inane San Fernando Valley gibberish in a ‘totally’ mock version of how Mall Rat eighth graders girls from that part of Southern Cal spoke at that time.
Well, wouldn’t you know, the hit went ‘viral’ as we would say in today’s digital world, and pretty soon, you had journalists from all around North America going out into shopping malls looking for pubescent girls who spoke in this same manner and who emulated this sort of materialistic 1980s type of consumer lifestyle, which, to all appearances looked to be very superficial and quite frankly devoid of much moral substance.
Yet the media attention which it garnered seems to have almost deified, sacralised or sanctified this sort of lifestyle or consumer ideology as a valid form of being and thinking, to the point that now, almost all girls in North America, even the French-Canadians, speak that way, albeit with their own French-Canadian rapid fire version of Valley Girl speak, replete with their own colloquialisms which are essentially very similar in form and substance to their Anglo North American cousins insofar as their socio-cultural and linguisto-cultural cleverness in describing whatever up-to-the minute (or even up-to-the-second) emotion or behavioural, psycho-social, psycho-sexual, or social-emotional phenomenon which may be unfolding at that moment.
The same goes for young boys. They are all conditioned by Southern California ‘skater boy’ sorts of ‘dude, where’s my car’ kinds of Southern Cal reefer head BMX and skateboard culture. The lingo is heavily laced with references to ‘dude’ this and ‘dude’ that as well as ‘bro’ this and ‘bro’ that. Everything is also ‘awesome’, ‘bogus’, or ‘sick’, as the case may warrant, indicating varying degrees of greatness, worseness or perverse kinds of weird sorts of ‘coolness’, as the case may warrant.
I’m sure there is some sort of movie or show on cable with some mop haired blond punk assed kid called ‘Cody’ and his buddies that every North American kid has watched over the years which has conditioned them to speak that way. I’m telling you folks, it’s an Americano-centric plot to get us all to speak like Southern California reefer heads and Mall Rats and to sound absolutely retarded. But then again we could all watch Coronation Street or East Enders and all end up speaking like a bunch of permanently half-cut proletarian Limeys whose grasp of Shakespeare’s language is equally mortifying, at least from the viewpoint of us mere mortals who deign to speak some sort of standard North American version of the Queen’s English. Ah, ‘tis a joy!!!
Well, I shan’t keep you, as Mother always said. Toodloo! Or should I say, ‘Later dude’, or ‘Oh my God, I’ve gotta go to the mall and get my toenails done! They’re grody, grody to the max, I’m sure!!!’