The Jersey Shore Dilemma

As I sat at a Buffalo Wild Wings bar last night, watching the 9th inning of the Yankees-Indians game and Matt Garza add to an already incredible pitching year in the MLB, I made a new friend. A young man most likely a few years older than myself, wearing a mesh tank-top, earrings, his hair gelled up, a cross tattoo on his right shoulder. He said he was from Long Island, the greatest place ever, where the nightlife is second to none, and the girls are all gorgeous dimes. Literally nothing this gentleman said to me came as a surprise and I was very aware of the fact that, had we not both been sitting at the bar alone, I would most likely have no interest in talking to this person or even being near him. Watch him on TV, however? Well, that’s a different story entirely. In this blog I blast the loyal followers of shows like Real Housewives of Who Gives a Shit because they put the saddest, most vile characteristics of rich self-absorbed bitches on a platform for the sake of entertainment. It’s a point I used to make in regards to rappers like Soulja Boy and Hurricane Chris (now read: Waka Flocka Flame). If we reward the lowest common denominator, celebrate someone solely for their entertainment value, then aspiring celebrities/musicians will emulate what they see is working. If being an asshole is what gets the camera to look at you, then don’t you figure we’ll have more people acting like assholes in this country? With all that said, “Jersey Shore” returns to the airwaves with its second season this Thursday. I watched the first season like the five million other Americans, marveling at these new pop culture icons. (But didn’t we all watch for “the punch.”) I now mockingly fist pump when I can, make “situation” innuendo whenever that now infamous word is casually dropped, correct people when they say “GLT,” and regrettably, tried to pull-off a semi-blow out for about a week last spring. It was obvious that “Jersey Shore” was rubbing off on me. But I kept my foot down on some points, I refuse (refuse!) to own anything Ed Hardy, and can stand maybe two techno songs in a row, if that. So with America’s newest sweethearts making their triumphant return I, as well as you, have to ask, Will I be watching? Do we even have a choice? There is that one Soulja Boy verse I like after all. But wait, wait, what am I thinking, why conform to the same television practices I encourage you not to just because the appeal is a little bit larger? Why contribute to these peoples success when the very foundation that made them successful is one I disagree with entirely? But I don’t think I can turn away and boycott the program. It’s the train wreck phenomenon in its simplest form. We love to watch from afar, but would never want to be next to them when the wheels come off. Truthfully, I haven’t decided whether or not I will watch Thursday night. I think “The Situation” is a character that transcends the program that catapulted him to fame, and really want to see what this Angelina chick has to say for herself considering she left the show two weeks in (MTV gave her a second chance, which is generally how life goes, right? Get the opportunity of a life time, voluntarily give it up, then have the plane turn around, and pick you back up again.) But we’ll see. It’s hard to believe MTV will have an image quite as buzz worthy as this, but again, we’ll see. Just know going in, that these people may make great television performers, but turning into them will mean a strain on our friendship.

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