Centuries separate Julie Adélaïde Bernard Récamier, (1777 - 1849) and Moon Unit Zappa, (1967 - ). But these two proto-tweens each exhibited mind-numbing precocity to spearhead similar sociological shifts: triumphs of luxury, leisure, and most importantly, way infectious loquacity. Ascend A PyrAmid, shall we? In order to get a better perspective on the subject.

Julie is remembered for, like, stimulating good conversation. At fifteen, she married and quickly established herself as a leading Parisian hostess. Everyone-who-was-anyone came over to her salons, to talk about important stuff. Julie was very keen on literary types, like Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, and François-René de Chateaubriand. She would recline on a sofa named for her -- the récamier -- in order to chill out, and just listen. If Julie dissed someone and they weren't invited to speak at one of her salons, they still wanted to go really bad. Julie had gnarly personal taste. Her house, one of the grandest in Paris, had been done up in the new, neoclassical style: à la Grecque, they called it. Because, after the monarchy fell, every self-respecting French person ditched those silly powdered wigs. And frilly clothes. Instead, they decided to dress real simple, like Greek gods and goddesses. And lived in houses that looked like old temples with big white columns, and stuff. That's what neoclassical style means. Julie was way responsible for these trends. The most renowned artists captured Julie's likeness, 'cause she was so beautiful and rich and popular. The best-remembered is Jacques-Louis David's portrait, (1800). Julie was so famous that it was reproduced as an engraving. (Kind of like the Farrah Fawcett poster.) Everyone got one, and stuck it on the wall. "Journal des Dames et des Modes", one of the first women’s fashion magazines, ever, reported on Julie's glamour and explained that her head band was an ancient Greek invention, called a filet. And how her iconic white dress showed off the woman's silhouette in an entirely new way. It belted below the bosom, instead of at the waist. This so-called Empire waist was a big fad. Complicated undergarments, padding, the corset -- all were eliminated. Napoleon was Emperor, a genius on the battlefield with the victor's laurel leaf wreath on his head, just like a sculpture of classical antiquity. This was no fussy old queen, er, um, king, in a pathetic wig and makeup and silly satin clothes. It was a new century! No one wore underpants, anymore! Julie was a star! Everyone saw her picture, and wanted to be just like her. Before cable, or "In Touch" magazine was invented. (But, of course, these things were revolutionary, too.)

Moon, was a lovely, fourteen-year-old torch-bearer of materialism and self-centeredness, and, of course, corrupted English. She made talking about shopping the chief resort of political society that pretended to fashion. Just like Julie before her, Moon was a keen listener. With acute powers of observation and an eagle's ear, Moon studied the Byzantine language of her contemporaries. And mimicked so-called Val'-speak at her father's recording studio. Frank's re-mixed Moon's Val'-speak as Valley Girl (1982). A lyrical celebration and skewering of the affluent young ladies who resided in California's San Fernando Valley bedroom communities. These Valley Girls were habitués of the extravagantly appointed  Sherman Oaks Galleria, with its soaring, three story interior of glass, chrome and mauve defined by massive, floating escalators. There, ensconsed in the mall's food court, Valley Girls engaged in heated discourse regarding, say, Contempo Casuals, while dining on Coca Cola Slurpees and cheese fries (pomme frites et fromage). Their distinctive speech pattern was defined by narrative sentences often spoken like questions, using a high rising terminal. Words were spoken with high variation in pitch combined with very open or nasal vowel sounds. For Moon's appearance on Solid Gold, she performs the memorable meta-anthem while wearing a white Laura Ashley dress with leg o' mutton sleeves, white stockings and Mia flats. I remember my sister in Connecticut used to dress just like that, for a while, too. Sold Gold dancers, however exhibit a more proletariate, low-rent version of the Val'. They wear Jane-Fonda / streetwalker Lycra aerobics gear, with a Lurex filet in their hair, à la Grecque, and just like Julie's.