Save Me From Jersey Shore

The problem with pop culture is that once you're a fan (and I most certainly am), it becomes difficult to filter out the repulsive dreck from the rest of the content you like (or even the stuff you don't care much about but can tolerate in small doses).  There is plenty of material that I enjoy as guilty pleasures that most people would consider juvenile, pointless, and a waste of time, from Godzilla movies to comic books to video games to science fiction and fantasy stories, and so on.  As a writer of a pop culture blog, I feel it is my duty to know the buzz on TV shows, movies, music, anything and everything that mainstream media and the online entertainment community are talking about.  But I do not watch, nor do I want to watch, Jersey Shore.  Despite this fact, I cannot escape its presence.  I hear about it everywhere, I see promotions for it all over the place, I cannot hide from its vile essence. 

You know it must be bad when even an admitted reality show junkie like myself cannot stand to watch one of these programs.  Some folks claim they are like traffic wrecks with passersby unable to resist rubbernecking, but to me Jersey Shore and shows like it are so bad I'm stepping on the gas pedal to zoom by them because I don't even want a tiny little peak at the atrocity. 

But I cannot escape Jersey Shore's wretchedness!  I open a magazine or a newspaper and JWOWW and The Situation are there.  I watch Saturday Night Live and they're doing an impersonation of Snooki.  I turn on the news and they're actually covering some ridiculous altercation with the cast.  I go to my sister's house only to see one of the infamous hot tub scenes on her television screen (against my will), forever scarring my mind.

How did these narcissistic wackjobs become celebrities?  Make no mistake, these are not actors performing written fictional roles, these are not even comedians putting on an act, these are real people in all their drunken, lewd, reprehensible, self-centered, disgraceful silliness. 

Does society and media truly need to reward such embarrassing behavior?  People watch because the foolish antics might amuse them, or maybe they wish to laugh at the soap opera-ish melodramatics, or, yes, maybe they cannot pull their eyes away from the outrageously unpredictable trash that takes place on the screen every episode.  I do not begrudge anyone who chooses to watch Jersey Shore or anyone who derives pleasure from the tanned clowns who strut around in front of the cameras like half-witted caricatures, signifying nothing.  But do the rest of us have to endure the cult of Jersey Shore?

How do I avoid the commercials, the billboard signs, the online banner ads promoting Jersey Shore's new season?  How do I shun the parodies that seem to be multiplying in every direction I look?  How do I shut my ears from the friends and relatives who recap the latest misadventures of DJ Pauly D, Ronny, Vinny, and all the rest.  I thought the "guido" trend died in the 1980s, but apparently I was sadly mistaken.  These guys and gals embrace their stereotypical behavior with a passion and seem to believe that people are laughing with them instead of at them.

More power to them for making a living at binge drinking, sleeping around, and getting up in each others grills.  I am happy if their rambunctious behavior brings some pleasure to the lives of television viewers who might live precariously through them or who feel better after witnessing their mostly uncensored follies. 

I mean no disrespect, but only ask that you please save me from being a part of it.

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