If you are offended by four-letter words, read no further. This is your final warning.
New York based PR man Jeremy Murphy has his first book out.
Its title is: F*ck Off, Chloe: Surviving the OMGs! and FMLs! in Your Media Career.
The publicist’s (and publicists’) publicist claims it is “America’s most offensive book about media, woke-ism and GoogelSharedZoomDrive”… that it “invites the writer’s inevitable cancellation”… and that “its title is almost as offensive as its contents”…
So, obviously, I had to have a transAtlantic video chat with him at the weekend via Zoom.
(Other equally good or better services are available).
Another warning for over-sensitive Americans: the word ‘humor’ is correctly spelled as ‘humour’ throughout what follows…
JOHN: Who or what is Chloe?
JEREMY: Chloe is like a stereotype of Generation Z.
It is a unique species. I’m sure (a lot of) Generation Z are very hard workers. But the Chloes in Generation Z have too much self-esteem; they were raised by parents who liked them too much; their parents wanted to be their best friends, which is just weird; and they’ve been raised on Social Media.
So anything they say has to have Likes, Comments and Shares. They expect this and have grown up on this. So, when they enter the workforce, that’s where their mind is. They think anything they say should get attention. They are very sensitive and want constant validation. And they are WOKE. So woke. They have these ideals.
They want to know your carbon footprint, your stance on Black Lives Matter, your minority makeup… I’m sorry. Look, you’re lucky to have a job. Why don’t you just do the job?
I’m over 40 and I’ve been in media for 20+ years. Once you’ve worked in media that long, you get a little jaded and you see things as they are. The Chloes come in and they want the corner office on Day One. They have such expectations – and I find great humour in that.
JOHN: Your name is Murphy. Presumably you have Irish ancestors?
JEREMY: Yeah! I think one of the grandparents. Definitely the great grandparents.
JOHN: Do you feel the Irish in you somewhere?
JEREMY: Well, I drink a lot!… But, yeah, I mean, the Irish are firebrands. They don’t mince words. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. There is no passive-aggressive. What they feel, they say. But what I love about the Irish is they say it and then it’s over and you go to the pub and have a pint and you’ll laugh and sing.
JOHN: So is this a definition of you too?
JEREMY: I’ve just reached that age where I just don’t care any more. I just don’t. I don’t have time for grudges. I don’t have time for micro-aggressions or passive-aggressive. I’m pretty honest.
I wrote a book. I own my own firm (360bespoke). There’s nothing you can do to me. You can’t fire me. So I’m gonna put it out there. I’m going to say what everybody else is thinking.
JOHN: Bigtime movie producer Julia Phillips dished the dirt on Hollywood in her book You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again and the outcome was pretty much what was said in the title. Are you worried?
JEREMY: I don’t care. I checked with my clients and they thought it was hysterical. There’s nothing anyone can do to me. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s real salty and offends everybody, but I’m hoping that, in that, we all laugh… We are so sensitive right now. Everyone’s looking for something to be outraged about.
JOHN: You were only allowed two uses of the word ‘cunt’ in the book, not your original ten.
JEREMY: Well, that word is not so accepted in America. I have a lot of British friends and I know our ‘bitch’ is your ‘cunt’. I have so many British friends who use it like that and I kind of do and the publisher was Errmmmmmm…. So I had ten instances and I had to lose eight of them.
I had to lose a few things, because it was very very salty. I had a chart: MATCH THE TERRORIST GROUP TO THE PR AGENCY. That had to go. Then I had a list of HOW TO IDENTIFY THE OFFICE CUNT. That got nixed. And I had a whole chapter on body shaming and the publisher said: “Jeremy… Someone has to buy this book.”
JOHN: So you can, to an extent, offend cunts but not fat people?
JOHN: The Chloe problem exists in the US AND the UK?
JEREMY: Yes. We are SO similar. But dealing with the UK is a pleasure. People work at the same speed; you always get a response. Try dealing with the French!
JOHN: What’s wrong with the French?
JEREMY: Well, they don’t like to work!
JOHN: (LAUGHING) Do you really want to be quoted as saying that?
JEREMY: I WILL! I mean, they’re nice people! I mean, in Italy, they don’t even respond. Oh my God! I’m kind of jealous, because they’re not so obsessed with their jobs. What’s the old adage? WE LIVE TO WORK AND THEY WORK TO LIVE.
JOHN: It helps that the English language is…
AMAZON ALEXA: I don’t have an answer for that.
JOHN: Bloody Hell! That’s my Alexa breaking in. She must have been listening all this while. I didn’t even say “Alexa…”
It’s always said the Americans don’t have a sense of irony and the British do.
JEREMY: Oh, yeah, I mean, we DO have a sense of irony. But your sense of humour is so clever and very ironic. You guys can insult us and we don’t realise. We hear a British accent and we’re like: Ooh! It’s so sophisticated! I think it goes back to being a Colony. We hear that accent and, all of a sudden, you’re better.
JOHN: Surely we might also say something jokingly – and ironically – and Americans might take it seriously?
JEREMY: Exactly. It’s so clever. I love British people.
JOHN: You have gone into PR mode.
Is there a difference between East Coast and West Coast? I think maybe New York understands irony, possibly because there’s a lot of Jewish humour in there. And the West Coast doesn’t understand irony at all.
JEREMY: Yeah. Not at all! Because everything’s about THEM. I HATE dealing with the West Coast.
JOHN: What’s the difference between the East and West Coasts, then?
JEREMY: IQ level…!
JEREMY: I think it’s about speed and urgency and getting shit done. In New York, it’s like rat-a-tat-tat. Now-now-now-now-now. We take care of business. There’s no bullshit.
In LA, it’s a little more relationship-based. Hey! Let’s do lunch! and I love you, babe! and You’re the real stars!… I don’t want to say it’s superficial, because Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world and they produce a lot of amazing stuff.
But the cultures are totally different.
JOHN: Is that because of the weather? You were saying the Italians are more laid-back than the British and the Californians are more laid-back than New York… Compared to Italy and the Mediterranean countries, the weather is shit in Britain… and the weather in New York is not quite as good as it is on the West Coast, so New Yorkers concentrate more.
JEREMY: It could be. I know when New York people move to LA, their skin becomes orange, their hair becomes blond and they don’t eat.
JOHN: Donald Trump is a sort-of New Yorker and he is orange.
JEREMY: He is unique. Maybe more of a Palm Beach person.
JOHN: I read somewhere that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry use American PR people who don’t really understand the British public’s psychology. So the PR advice they give Meghan & Harry is wrong for the UK.
JEREMY: No. THEY are wrong. They’re horrible. I’m sorry, I think they’re grifters. They’re looking for cash any way they can get it. I think Harry is communicating with us through eye-blinks. I think he’s really got Stockholm Syndrome, like he’s been kidnapped.
JOHN: Well that’s just lost you a potential lucrative Harry PR contract… Why should I buy your book?
JEREMY: I think it’s a funny read. It’s HONEST. I put on paper what people have to deal with and I think it’s maybe cathartic for people. I’ve got great feedback: Oh God! I experience that every day! I do think it will appeal to British people too because Chloe is universal. It’s an international plague.
JOHN: So, a sequel book?
JEREMY: Chloe Doesn’t Have Bandwidth.
JEREMY: This is the new thing. When you deal with a PR person or a journalist and they don’t want to deal with you, they say: “I don’t have bandwidth right now…”
JOHN: What does not having bandwidth mean? The WiFi is going to crash?
JEREMY: Thankyou! It’s like I don’t have the mental capacity, I don’t have time… I don’t know what it means, but everybody says it… It’s the polite way of saying, “Fuck off!”
JOHN: Does ‘bandwidth’ vary between West and East Coast?
JEREMY: Oh, no! Everybody! Everybody! I think it’s an American thing at the moment; I’ve not seen it from anybody in Britain yet.
JEREMY: I’m going to get in so much trouble for this…