Fist pumping: A cultural epic fail
Jersey Shore seems to be a shining star in terms of viewership among a sea of reality shows that have been flooding the networks as of late, becoming the highest rated show since MTV’s inception.
As with most televised fads, they tend to have, for better or worse, some sort of social effect on its viewership. In this case, it is the resurgence of the Italian-American stereotype: the ‘guido’.
‘Pauly D’, ‘The Situation’, and most other cast members fit this reboot of the guido stereotype with spiked hair sustained by a seemingly limitless supply of hair gel, orange skin comparable to that of an Oompa Loompa, shirts so tight that their chests cry out in agony, and an obnoxiously cocky attitude rounded off with an equally cocky (and incoherent) vernacular.
This persona has seeped out of television and into real life, the aforementioned style being adopted by its viewership, and the idea that all Italian-American men act and dress as such has come along for the ride.
Women do not exactly get a respectful representation either. The female star of the show, ‘Snooki’, was quoted saying the following:
“I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning. [Sen. John] McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan, Obama doesn’t have that problem. Obviously,”
This uninformed mindset, (possibly a result of brain damage caused by slathering gallons of spray-tan onto her skin.) on top of her promiscuous and violent behavior, (she frequently has physical altercations with other female cast members.) makes most any typical Italian-American woman bang her head against a wall in frustration.
It’s also worth noting that Snooki is not even Italian, a key fact that seems to be glossed over in the show.
However, it would be silly to assume that all of the viewers take such shenanigans seriously, but the fact that the stereotype is being broadcasted on such a powerful medium does present the possibility for widespread ignorance. Or perhaps it might just become so terrible and shallow that it heralds in the Apocalypse, dooming humanity for all eternity.
Thankfully, there are those who have watched the show, and maintained their sanity enough to realize the absurdity behind it.
“I think the whole thing is made of Italian stereotypes, they just overplay it all the time,” Junior Morgan Morris said.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see some ‘real’ Italians on the show? Just a few average-joes to break up the monotony of ridiculous hyperboles for what is a culture rich with history integral to the formation of North Eastern America?
But that wouldn’t bring in much of a viewership would it?