Thursday, September 12, 2019

Woke. Spook. Accomplished. Bougie. The Language of the New Generation.

Languageification was not invented by George Bush, nor is Donald Trump the only practitioner today.   We use language to unite with one another - and to divide as well.

In a recent article online, Alexandria Occoquan-River, the freshman rep from the Bronx (by way of Westchester County), touted during a hearing about student loans that she made a student loan payment online during the hearing, instead of paying attention.  Kids these days - always multitasking on their cell phones!  She said "I feel so accomplished" which is not really grammatically correct.  She owes about $19,000 in student loans which should be easy for her to pay off, now that she's making well over 6 figures as a member of the House of Congress.  Why she didn't just pay off the entire balance during the hearing is unclear.

Well, actually it is clear.  If she paid off the entire balance, that would make her one of the evil one percenters who could afford to pay off their student loans.  By carrying a balance, she can claim to be one of the "little people" who are struggling with student loan debt, even if the amount of debt is less than what it would cost to buy a stripped down Toyota Camry.

But what struck me about the report was her use of language.  She said "I feel so accomplished" which is really a nonsensical phrase.  "I feel I accomplished something" would make more sense to me.  In an earlier video she made regarding garbage disposals, she used the words "woke" and "spook" which I didn't understand at all.  Then again, that's the nature of generations, they each have their own language that they use to separate themselves from others.

It wasn't long ago that the word "disrespect" became popular among African-Americans not as a noun, but as a verb.  Of course disrespecting was not really a verb, but since those days it has entered the lexicon and is now in the dictionary.  And that is the nature of language, it is fluid and changes over time.

When I was a kid, it was the hippie era, and we use phrases like "far out, man!" and "that's cool!"  Our elders were wondering what the heck we were saying, when in fact we weren't saying anything at all, but merely using coded words to communicate with our peers that we are one of them and not one of the others.

So AOC's use of millennial slang is just another pathetic attempt to be "with it" and connect with her perceived "base."   But in a way, it reminds me of the awkward moments when Obama tried to sound "black" before black audiences, slipping to the accent and cadence of the inner city, and not his natural speaking voice.   It reeked of in-authenticity.

Similarly, some of this slang is used to clearly demarcate the "us" from "them".   In the 1950's, the older generation were called "squares".   In the 1960's, it was "the establishment".   In the 1980's it was "the man".   With today's generation, the despised others are written off as "Bougie" or bourgeois (the latter of which is harder to spell).

Of course, that's the problem for Miss Alexia, as she has become one of the others - the establishment.  While she may feel so "accomplished" in making a big payment on her student loan, she knows that many others are struggling to pay off serious amounts of debt, not because the amount of debt is staggering, but only because they studied stupid things in school, got bad grades, now nobody's offering them jobs.  And what jobs are available, they deem to be beneath them They're not about to go to work for Amazon after spending four years at expensive University.  Sacrifice is something grandpa did, not for them!

Now that Alexis Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt is making the big bucks, and paying off her student loans, maybe she can splurge at Home Depot and buy herself one of those fancy garbage disposals (Oh, wait, she already has one).  Hey, if you're going to go Bougie you might as well go all the way.