Joy in the Jacuzzi, avoiding falling in love, and, above all else, not stalking one’s “whole entire life at the boardwalk,” are just a few Jersey Shore lessons MTV brought the world. The “Guido” lifestyle the show presented brought viewers one comparable to other offensive subcultures.
Shore life is ethnic, albeit too self-involved to be supremacist. Instead of fighting the power, in came fists pumping and bodies bumping.
To Italian Americans’ chagrin, tangerine skin, hair tiaras, sweat resistant spikes, bulging biceps and busty women with Mike Tyson tendencies showed masses how to hurl insults and “beat the beat up.”
If it included Mandingos and welfare queens, I probably wouldn’t have watched.
The Shore presented a mindless vortex of caricatures sending spellbound reality junkies into a trance of house music and hookups.
Even their of-the-moment lingo is ridiculous in an I’m-glad-they-don’t-resemble-me way.
“Joisey” slang is composed of endless expletives and kindergarten terminology.
Something about a man saying “smushed” instead of “had sex” screams ratings.
Between manic make out sessions, scant clothing, drag queen makeup and narcissistic nicknames, this season’s self-proclaimed Guidos and Guidettes gave us curious dance moves, exponential energy and, admittedly, a new group of victims.
While tuning into programming that seemingly depletes brain cells per second, the reality remains that powerful Italians aren’t having it.
They refuse to accept prostitution of their image for hypersexual, alcohol-induced mayhem.
The New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus labeled the show derogatory and guilty of ethnic stereotyping.
As a result, Domino’s Pizza and Dell pulled advertisements from the show.
Black people can laugh at Shore antics all day, but we can learn from Italians.
I’m not implying that the most pressing issues in our community are disturbing portrayals by and a willingness to participate in the media.
But I am saying that, much like Italians galvanized to point out the flaws in one of America’s latest fixations, we can decide what we will and won’t stand for on the boob tube.
About five years ago, students at Spelman boycotted rapper Nelly’s appearance at the college. The women didn’t appreciate the portrayal of Black women in his “Tipdrill Remix” video.
During its climax, a credit card was swiped down a woman’s posterior, infuriating feminists and scholars across the nation.
Reality TV heads are a desensitized lot. We’ve sat through the antics of former conscious hip-hopper Flava Flav, his rejected lover New York, College Hill (s), and Ray J’s melodrama.
We’ve watched video vixens rise from best bedders to best sellers. MTV and BET still play the same formulaic gyration, bass line, light brown shawty fantasy that sells.
Escapism by way of stereotyping will exist as long as we do. Perhaps minorities, whose wounds are still fresh from mainstream fascination with the “exotic,” need a break from Tila Tequila and Ray J fame-seekers like blonde Latina “Caliente.”
Guidality brought that. Apparently the public’s obsession with them exists in real life too.
According to The New York Times, about a week ago, the personalities attracted 2,000 people to a club in Newark, N.J., that houses less than 1,000 people.
While ratings and controversy blaze, MTV reps haven’t confirmed a second season of Guidaction. This might appease people often classified as clowns or mobsters. However, projecting the behaviors of clusters as commonplace occurrences won’t stop washing up on our shores anytime soon.