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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jersey Shore's Dark Side

Life at the Jersey Shore seems like a lot of fun. The beach, the Sunday dinners, the fist pumping, the catchphrase-laden t-shirts—the Shore appears to promise and deliver a non-stop orgy of summer good times.

But there is a dark side to
Jersey Shore that I’ve up until this point failed to weigh in on. I think it’s because if one chose to dwell in this shadowy place for more than a couple of seconds, one would quickly realize that Jersey Shore might possibly be the worst thing that has ever appeared on television in the history of mankind.

I’m not 100-percent on this, but I’m pretty sure no one from the
Jersey Shore has ever presented him/herself as any kind of role model. Maybe I missed that episode. Has The Situation ever looked into the camera during an interview and earnestly explained, “I’m just trying to be someone kids can look up to, you know?” Of course he hasn’t! He has, however, lifted his shirt, gently stroked his abs like a Bond villain petting his evil feline companion, and said something derogatory about the entire female race that Mtv has had to bleep out.

It took becoming a parent, specifically the father of a daughter, to help me see the icky underbelly of
Jersey Shore. Well, becoming a father and breaking the spell Jwoww’s breasts had over my fragile male mind. Damn you, Jwoww’s breasts!

It isn’t the fact that Snooki is an unrepentant alcoholic that bothers me. It isn’t Ronnie’s rage issues. It isn’t even the fact that the cast’s dangerous tanning regiment will assuredly lead to skin cancer for all in the near future. It is, simply put, the rampant sex-having, and all of the disrespect and misogyny that comes with it.

I’m not against young people and Mike Sorrentino having a little “roll in the hay” from time to time. You’re young! You’re wieners and hoo-hahs still function efficiently! May as well smoosh ‘em together. But the ease with which these guys (and it is mostly the guys) admit to a cameraman, and, thus, the viewing public, that they intend to use a sweaty dance club as their sexual grocery store, that their one and only goal for the evening is to discover a new hole to passionlessly hump, is not only shocking, but stupefyingly depressing. Presenting life as one giant drunken fuck-a-thon isn’t Mtv’s intention, is it? Omigod! I bet it probably is!

Listen, I’m 33, ok? I’m an old man. My views on sex and relationships are old fashioned, out of touch, and totally gay. I get that. But I’ve also been kicking around on this planet long enough to know that the
Jersey Shore crew does not have it all figured out. Dudes who vag hop and refer to women as “hippos” and “grenades” without any emotional attachment to anything, are not the dudes you should be modeling your life after. I know the Jersey Shore guys are just living their (edited) lives, but, seriously, you guys can’t go one night without burying your bronzed boner in something?

And isn’t entirely Mike, Pauly or Vinny’s fault. It takes two to do that one dance people like to do or something. Seaside Heights appears to be full of lonely, fame-hungry young women DTF with the GTL crew. What, does providing Sitch with a blow jibber before summer’s over give you the high score at life? Is this really all you Shore girls have to look forward to in your life, to have intercourse with Vinny while Pauly D bangs your best friend just three feet away? Vinny and Pauly have had their names etched forever into the hallowed pop culture tablets. You, however, will simply be remembered as “Karma Slut #1” or “Frizzy-Haired Grenade.” Or you won’t be remembered at all. (Fun Fact: It’s that second one.)

Jersey Shore showcases a lot of despicable behavior—excessive drinking, violent street fighting, gleeful stereotyping, water wastage (all that laundry! Sheesh!)—but somehow the meaningless sex is the worst.

(I'm done now. No more Jersey Shore talk until Snook's shoots out her baby. Thanks for reading.)

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