Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WTF: How Does One Misconstrue A Stereotype???

For those of you who haven't watched Jersey Shore.


The show is as addictive as Lays potato chips ... betcha can't watch just one episode.Jersey Shore is as bad for your thought process as PIG LARD is to your arteries.The show... is an experience... Jersey Shore is an hour long well managed minstrel "reality" show. It's the "black face" of North American Italians. It's the Italian BET. Not to hate on BET too much, I mean the station has done some good for Blacks in America....I am sure...But when? I mean... but as a Canadian Black North American female looking in...I can't live up to the Booty Booty Booty Rockin' Everywhere, the Gun toting, Gold tooth wearing, check my blackness it has rims programming nor do I want to. Although I can appreciate the Gospel hours...

Anyway even as I watched the first commercial for Jersey Shore, I thought someone needs to call the cops... Because this is a crime.

Jersey Shore is a hot spot in New Jersey and as a Canadian from watching the show I gather, the Jersey Shore is populated by primarily Italian Americans???

The show is based on the reality of a group of young Italian Americans. They are:

* Vinnie, the Momma's boy.
* Mike "The Situation" as he lovingly calls himself
* J-WWOW whose breast implants explain the name
* Snooki who looks like a Snooki if it was an actual creature
* Pauly D who DJ's and has a Funky Fresh blow out
* Ronnie who is a nice guy but easy to take advantage of
* Sammi the self proclaimed Sweetheart who spends most of the time ripping out Ronnies heart
* and then there was Angela who was dating a married man? But she left the show early on.

So as you can tell this show is a class act;) I did not make a concious effort to watch the shore but when it was on I could not turn away. I watched as Mike made a play for Sammi who was down for him until she realized he was a bit of a player and would not make her the focus of his world. As quickly as Snooki was cast out by the group for her self centred ways, she threatened to go home and soon taken under the groups wing as a delicate but agile party goer. As Vinnie began to date the 'bosses" girl and as Pauly and JWWOW damn near consumated their "friendship" time and time (to her boyfriends dismay) I watched. I watched Snooki at 5'2 get hit in the face by a pretty well built and very grown man (who turned out to be a highschool teacher) and as she also got a few shots in the face from a girl Mike kindly referred to as "Hippo?or Rhino?" a couple nights later. I watched theses self proclaimed "Guidos" and "Guidettes" talk about being juiced, tanned, fist pumped and ready to party.

For anyone who had not visited the Jersey Shore,the show would have you thinking on even a subconcious level (even for those of us that are truly aware) that the Grandsons and daughters of the God-Father were tanning, fighting, making pasta, talking loud and getting juiced on this strip of boardwalk in New Jersey. It seemed to be sort of like a Mecca of Italian Stereotypes. The equivalent in my eyes to BET...

I was not surprised to walk into work and here people talk of the show saying things like " well that's true about Italians" only to hear some Italian Canadians say" Well I know people like that but its not me". Many people say there is no harm in it. It's just a joke. But I kept asking the Italian Canadians what if people do think thats you? What if people dismiss you simply on Sight? I wonder how funny would an Italian Canadian find it if I walked up and said "Hey you juiced?! You tanned?! GUIDO?!". I wonder how many Italians world wide would laugh at that. Or what would a person of Italian descent would do if they were in a job interview and the potential employer said "Hey I been watching Jersey Shore, that's some funny stuff. I like a good fist pump too! eh- eh!"

MTV boasted huge ratings and has tried to say the show poses no harm . The 'cast' of Italian Americans has already begun to diversify and capitalize on their "success" by creating clothing lines, colognes and making guest appearances.

Italian American groups tried to fight MTV on airing this show and its heavily stereotypical references to this "lifestyle" as being Italian. The show went on. Sometimes humor can be dark. And jokes sometimes can be dark also. The Jersey Shore was a dark cruel joke and the effects of it will last for sometime.

I find racial jokes often stray into the mainstream mentality. I find racial stereotypes hold individuals hostage. I find cultural pride is lost when a group of people are deduced to the lifestyle choices of the few who happen to be in the spotligh. Just as people will say stereoptypes are just a joke, no big deal and who really thinks that way? Does a person laughing at the joke say it must be kinda true, I think I saw a guy do that, that's been my experience so it must be true ... Depicting a group of young people as they drink and fight and call each other outside of their names while using the true Italian American culture i.e. ( Food, flags and descendants) in the back drop of this classless chaos seems irresponsible to me.

I have never experienced heaven, but I know it exists. I may have been subject to bigots, that may be my experience but it doesn't make it true of all people I encounter of certain races.

The funniest part of the Jersey Shore and the people who "sold" their amped up tanned "Guido" personas to the world...Is the fact that Snooki and JWWOW are not Italian. Two of the girls yelling the loudest, fighting the most, announcing they were Guidettes and looking for a "Juiced and tanned guidos" have stated that what we saw on the Jersey Shore was not about Italian Americans, which I agree...It wasn't. They say it was about a lifestyle. Living the life of a Guido/Guidette which they have chosen to do.

“Guidette is a stereotype that people misconstrued with Italians – it’s a lifestyle,” said JWOWW in an interview posted at , she's Irish by the way. “It’s like the mafia – there’s the Russian mafia.”

Oh and Snooki...She's Chilean.


Ah I see now...It is all so clear...

Check out the blog article on the Jersey Shore.