Rebecca Martinson, the Viral Sorority Girl Letter Writer: How to Go From Unknown to Infamous in 60 Seconds
Tricia Romano on the speed with which Rebecca Martinson went from unknown to infamous viral Internet star.
She might be estranged from her sorority sisters at Delta Gamma, but Rebecca Martinson is now a household name, though some would say for all the wrong reasons. In the span of one week (an eon in Internet time), the sorority girl has risen from total obscurity to viral star to yesterday’s news.
Why? Her scathing, unintentionally hysterical letter to her fellow sorority sisters, chiding them for being so effing lame, first turned up on April 18 on Gawker and Deadspin, and quickly caught fire on the Internet. Faster than you could click and email that link, Martinson was on her way to the Internet Hall of Fame—and subsequently the Hall of Shame. Consider your neck snapped.
How did she do it?
1. Have a Way With Words— a Really, Really Unique Way. (April 18)
Anyone can write bitchy letters to their sorority sisters, but how many people can do it with the eloquent vitriol of Martinson? You can practically hear the eye rolls when she writes, “If you're reading this right now and saying to yourself ‘But oh em gee [first name redacted], I've been having so much fun with my sisters this week!’, then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don't have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.”
The entire letter is a cutting putdown of her fellow sorority sisters, who are apparently too busy talking to each other rather than flirting with the boys, particularly the boys in the Sigma Nu fraternity. This, naturally, enrages Martinson, who has taken the use of ALL CAPS LOCK and elevated it to new heights:
“This also applies to you little shits that have talked openly about post gaming at a different frat IN FRONT OF SIGMA NU BROTHERS. Are you people fucking retarded? That's not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you're mentally slow so I can make sure you don't go to anymore night time events.”
But the crowning achievement of her letter? The phrase “cunt punt.”
As in: “I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don't give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.”
“Cunt punt” earned her mentions on The Daily Show, and a place in the Urban Dictionary. (“Verb”: “The swift act of kicking a female in the crotch with enough force that the foot actually gets lodged in the cunt.”)
2. Inspire a Series of Viral Videos Made About Your Insane Email. (April 22)
It helps if the viral video for Funny Or Die is recorded by none other than Michael Shannon, an Academy Award-nominated actor and Boardwalk Empire madman.
It also helps that Shannon’s performance is nearly as epic and deranged as the original material. In the four-minute long video, which has garnered over 2.8 million views in less than four days, Shannon sits on a couch in the dark and begins the monologue with a deadpan, stone-cold delivery. By the middle of the video, he has escalated into a place that is a cross between Marine drill sergeant and a psychopathic serial killer.
It is Oscar-worthy perfection.
3. Make the Mainstream National News. (April 24)
Anyone can be Internet famous, but not everyone can be real world famous. When your incredibly well written screed becomes an Internet meme, you will be rewarded with a clip on “Good Morning America,” comparing you to a true life “Mean Girl.”
You will also get coverage in CNN and the Washington Post, the latter of which dedicates an entire think piece to the “Peculiar Brilliance of That Sorority E-Mail.”
“This e-mail’s quote-worthiness lies in the total disproportionate flair of the insults. It is deadly serious about something most readers would consider basically frivolous,” writes the Post. “There’s an art to the well-structured rant. This one is almost Mametesque in its exuberant overkill.”
4. Celebrate Your Five Minutes and 30 Seconds of Awesome Notoriety. (April 24, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time)
That’s it. Time’s up.
5. Have a Mini-Scandal Within the Scandal and Get ‘Fired’ From Your Sorority. (April 25)
Though her ugly and now deleted Tweets about Mexicans, Jews, and old people were revealed the day of the scandal, it took seven days for Martinson to “resign” and for her sorority to issue a totally humorless response distancing themselves from the letter and Martinson. They wrote: “Delta Gamma has accepted the resignation of one of its members whose email relating to a social event has been widely distributed and publicized through social media and traditional media channels. The tone and content of the email was highly inappropriate and unacceptable by any standard.”
6. Be Offered a Paid Internship. Blogging. (April 25, 5 p.m. Eastern)
While some would be afraid to hire such a loose cannon, others see raw talent. Mommyish editor-in-chief Koa Beck wrote an open letter encouraging the ex-sorority sister to apply for their paid internship.
She wrote, “While I don’t condone some of your word choices—particularly the homophobic slur, mockery of special needs, and threats of violence—I think that with some sensitivity training, you could be a valuable addition to the Mommyish team. I like your enthusiasm as well as your ability to take charge of utter incompetence as you see it.”
7. Playboy Centerfold Spread and Career in Comedy. (TBD)
With such a stain on her reputation, it’s unlikely that Martinson will get a corporate job any time soon. But with her good looks (she’s a sexy brunette), she might as well cash in the way other scandal-plagued ladies have for time immemorial. Pair her hotness with her salty mouth, and she will make a great comic or host in the vein of Sarah Silverman or Jenny McCarthy. A tip for Martinson: Comedy is also the only career where you don’t have to apologize for saying off-color things while yelling at people, and, in fact, can get paid well to do it! (See also: Sam Kinison.)
Until then, we eagerly await the Saturday Night Live skit about Martinson that is no doubt being written as we speak.