Jersey Shore, Semi-Defence

14 Dec

Not a defence of Jersey Shore as quality programming because, as any common sensical human being would assert, it is equivalent to equating Brooke Hogan to Mozart.

UNICO, the Italian-American service organization as well as other Italian businesses and anti-defamation groups consider the show to be an insult to the Italian-American community and cite the word “Guido” as an offensive word. Although traditionally, the term is meant to depict something offensive, it seems like some young Italians have reclaimed it as a distinct social group.

In the context used by the show, I don’t see how the word is offensive. I don’t think it has the same shock value as the “N” word, for example. Guido is meant to glorify a certain kind of Italian-American 20-something [uber tanned, buffed, done up etc…].

And I also don’t think that it makes the Italian-American community as a whole look bad, it’s  just a spotlight of this East coast subculture. Ya MTV is exploiting the house members and is fishing for shocking reactions for their attempted controversy, but there’s no use in getting up in arms. This isn’t a spotlight on the whole community, and MTV has never attempted to generalize or cloak the show as a documentary, it is strictly entertainment.

The most unfair thing to do is have Italian-American organizations turn their backs on the most loyal Italian-Americans that exist. Sure, the Guido culture is a bit tacky, but there are few other subcultures that take so much pride in their heritage. Mind the cliche, and give them a break, would you?

Or should you not? Thoughts?

p.s. Here’s a piece on the subject from TIME

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