Finally, a viral meme based on a woman who does her job really well, who’s able to express what we’re all thinking but not able to put into words.
Lydia Callis, Mayor Bloomberg’s expressive interpreter during
Hurricane Superstorm Sandy, broke through the media clutter and became a viral sensation last week. And not for her clothes. Or her looks. Or who she was dating. She became viral because her work was awesome during a time when the media-capital of the world needed a little bit of awesome.
At first I was hesitant because I thought her audience was laughing, essentially, at disability and how funny it is to be hearing impaired. Which, obvi, not cool. But I think, and I hope, the joy of Callis is that she’s able to emote and express feelings that we wish Bloomberg, or anyone in power for that mater, would express.
Callis has been interpreting for her mom and three siblings — all of whom are deaf — since she was a child. When Bloomberg Businessweek wanted to interview her after a recent press conference, she was like, HELL NO. She told the New York Post, “I’m here to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. I’m just glad, and I’m honored, that I was able to get the message out there…that’s what it’s all about.” Good for her. After all, her job as an interpreter is to accommodate and create effective communication.
“If he stutters, if he messes up a sentence, you’re going to see me stuttering, and you’re going to see me messing up the sentence,” she told DNAinfo, adding that she also tries to convey his sometimes-sarcastic tone through facial expressions. “The point of interpreting is to render the message faithfully, and that’s what I have to do.”
And did you see the Lydia Callis SNL skit? The Chris Christie/White People excerpt was hilarious and the best part, IMO! Speaking of white people, LOVE THIS: