Yale U. cites The Oxford English Dictionary definition of guido as "a person regarded as socially unsophisticated, one whose attire and behavior are viewed as typically lower-class suburban. Also: an Italian-American man, esp. one who is aggressively masculine and vain regarding his appearance and possessions."
While it gives a broader view of "Jersey Shore" than found elsewhere, it never the less uses the commonly used descriptive terms, buffoons, disgusting conduct, drunk people make asses of themselves, tasteless, offensive, shocking, laughably absurd, abrasive, bellicose girl, unwillingness to work, showing off her breasts, cheating, ignorant, oblivious, self absorbed, aggressive, and aspirations that are composed of only "dreams" with no intent on effort.
Gym, Tan, Laundry: Revisited
Yale Daily News; By Austin Bernhardt ; Friday, January 29, 2010
...I'm still holding out judgment about whether MTV is alive or merely a reanimated corpse. But whatever the case, Jersey Shore" far from ending any debates, made things infinitely more complicated...."Jersey Shore" has generated more publicity, more controversy and higher ratings than any MTV show since "The Hills"...
But "Jersey Shore" has produced more questions than answers: Who is the butt of this joke?
What does it mean for MTV to be dealing in stereotypes?
And perhaps most importantly, what does this mean for the future of reality programming?
...MTV is pushing the boundaries of television, even if it is doing so in ways that occasionally disgust us and often make us uncomfortable
In a recent article in The New Yorker, Nancy Franklin argues that the popularity of shows like "Jersey Shore" is based on their ability to show us how different we are from the buffoons pictured on screen.
...The absurdity of the show appeals to both highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities. On the one hand, MTV's winking self-awareness has turned the show into a postmodern "reality" extravaganza, the perfect fodder for snarky blogger types and college students alike. On the other hand, it's funny to watch drunk people make asses of themselves
, and the "Jersey Shore" crew is drunk all the time.
In an informal poll of "Shore" fans here on campus, most students said they think the show is the funniest of its kind... but the show is tasteless, offensive and shocking enough
.... Maybe the show's outrageousness piqued
the interest of Yalies like us ? we tend to have a penchant for the laughably absurd. ...
Angelina "Jolie" Pivarnick, is an abrasive, bellicose girl
from Staten Island, N.Y., who prides herself on her all-natural figure and who left the show early in the season due to her unwillingness to work
. There's Jenni "JWOWW" Farley of Long Island, N.Y., a young woman with a propensity for showing off her breasts
and cheating on her boyfriend
. Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, the self-named "man of the house" from Staten Island, starts off the season as cocky and inconsiderate
,... Arguably the most absurd character on the show, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
hails from outside Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and achieved fame after being punched in the face by a man in a bar. She has since garnered attention through her crazy antics
and her habit of striking out with men,
(even begging doesn't help) and has been described as an Oompa Loompa
and a "hobbit Elvira"
on the Slate and New York magazine culture blogs...
...The New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus, Unico National, the Order of the Sons of Italy in America and the National Italian-American Foundation... and Seaside Heights officially expressed its disapproval of the show,...also criticized the show and called for its cancellation.
And with good reason. The people featured on the show are ignorant, oblivious and self-absorbed.
The men follow a dogma of "GTL" (gym, tan, laundry) and are often misogynistic; the women express their love of juiceheads (i.e., steroid users) and dress inappropriately
. Everyone pushes the line between a healthy tan and an orange sheen
. Everyone drinks too much.
And everything, from their clothes to their garage to their wall ornaments, is adorned with the red, white and green of the Italian flag.
To make matters worse, the show's cast members freely identify themselves as guidos and guidettes, a traditionally derogatory term for Italian men and women.
The term nowadays is accepted among some groups of young Italian-Americans as merely being a style of living and dress....Snooki told Conan O?Brien: "We like to look good, we like to go out, be [the] center of attention"
The Oxford English Dictionary
defines guido as "a person regarded as socially unsophisticated
, esp. one whose attire and behaviour are viewed as typically lower-class suburban.
Also: spec. an Italian-American man, esp. one who is aggressively masculine and vain regarding his appearance and possessions."
"Jersey Shore" may have complicated the "guido" debate to the point of futility. At the very worst, it is no better than ("nigger") ? At the very best, it is a word that has become divorced from its origin as a derogatory term for Italian-American men and has become a signifier for a lifestyle and attitude adopted across a wide ethnic spectrum....
Perhaps the reason the offensive implications of "guido" never occurred to the cast of the "Shore" is one of the reasons we find these people so laughable: They are completely removed from the realities, subtleties and complications of the world that plague the rest of us.
When Pauly D famously encountered an Israeli girl who (was absolutely intent on bending him to her will, and became a "stalker") he said he didn't want to discuss religion.....[He] just [wanted] to get to the "business" (fornication)
The show is designed to encourage just that obliviousness
: If you take a bunch of people linked by their ignorance and self centeredness
....after a certain point, these people slowly understood
that the allure of the show came from the fact that their viewers found them ridiculous.
What's the point of cultivating talents or even getting a job when you can (get famous, "by just being your ignorant self" ...
What I find most interesting about the "Jersey Shore" crew's meteoric rise to fame, however, is not merely that they are the human being equivalents of cartoon characters,
but how they stand to change the nature of reality-based celebrity forever....
It feels different ! In their obliviousness... They told us things that anyone who had any semblance of what they were saying wouldn't say , like "I feel like this job is beneath me. I'm a bartender. I do, you know " great things"
Angelina said in one episode). The atrocious acting skills they exhibit in the moments in which they play classical actors playing themselves....
..What does this all mean for MTV?...There was an almost anthropological bent to the advertising and presentation of "Jersey Shore": REAL LIFE GUIDOS! ...But the game-changing fact was that they didn't seem to get the joke
, at least not while they were filming. ...
Which, at least in my mind, helps to explain why "Jersey Shore" has gotten so much negative attention. Michael Farina, an Italian-American and a senior lector in Italian at Yale, sees this as a discussion that should have come to light sooner. "It just seems to be that Italian-Americans can continually be mocked in the media from the news to "The Sopranos" to the "Jersey Shore", and it's seen as acceptable,?..
My search for Italian-American students who find the show offensive was ultimately fruitless, possibly because of this strange tension. MTV got too ridiculous;
they stretched the boundaries so that they were making fun of their own schtick as much as they were making fun of the butts of their joke.
The whole thing seemed like a con, but it was unclear who was conning who.
"It's too much of a satire of itself to be taken too seriously," Max Saltarelli -13, an Italian-American freshman, told me in an interview when asked if he found the show offensive. "I find it funny that these people tried to create this whole subculture and tie it together with an Italian flag when that's actually really irrelevant to the whole thing"
, he added.
Perhaps it's telling, then, that MTV's shift toward "realer" reality is being paired with a shift toward more scripted programming. "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" a new MTV series about a high school nerd with a big penis (seriously!) will air this summer as part of MTV's new project to reinvent itself for a changing youth demographic. The network will also premiere a new show called 'Warren the Ape"....
Meanwhile, all signs seem to show that the stars of "Jersey Shore" continue to dream big. What exactly that dream means is unclear,.... [ when it appears that ALL you intend to do is ,....Dream........No Work,....... No Education.......Just Dream !!! .... after all. Why Work ? They invented the Lottery so you don't have to work.....just Booze and Broads !!!!!! ]