Wednesday, April 20, 2011


N.W.A., "Kamurshol":

You have witnessed, you have heard
So we're gonna take time out for a commercial break

Last week commenter biggayslut asked: Is it fair to say you also like Jersey Shore for some of the reasons that its intended audience likes it?

I don't know that I'm not part of the Jersey Shore's intended audience; I'm probably close to whatever age range marketers hope to reach through that show. Do I like it for the same reasons other people do? Why, isn't it just like someone who goes by the handle "biggayslut" to be awake to the possibilities!

In a similar vein, commenter Todd S. hints at a newfound "temptation" to watch the show, which he resists valiantly. Let me just reassure everyone who is concerned about the corrupting tendencies of the Jersey Shore by offering my own foolproof method of inoculating oneself against its dangers.

First, fill an oversized brandy snifter to the brim with your favorite boxed red wine. A snifter is the kind of thing you procure from the "stemware" division of Crate & Barrel. As for boxed wine, Bota Box Shiraz is how I roll at present. Don't worry about the fucking bouquet -- you can smell that later. Just fill'er up.

It goes without saying that anytime my brandy snifter is engaged we are having a bonafide occasion. And do you know what that means in my household? Looking your best! Because, let's face it, looking your best means feeling your best. If you spend a lot of time in capitalistic society, this is important, because capitalism can get you down.

Inside the domicile, a dude of my sensibilities has two options for footwear, depending on the season. One are the L.L. Bean slippers that my mom gives me every year for Christmas. I don't know what animal they are made out of, or what quantity of congealed, dead human labor resides within. Sometimes you're just too busy writing a kick-ass anticapitalism blog to take the time to find out, you dig?

The other option are what I regard as my finest dress shoes: Mexican-made Crocs with the leather sown right into the plastic. If you've ever lived in my urban area and regularly worn Crocs around you quickly find that few other souls do -- which I believe is proof of something.

The last necessary item of apparel I should mention are the Grinch-themed pajama bottoms that my mother-in-law got me too many years ago; she really needs to think about getting me a replacement pair, because now when the cats claw my gonads there just isn't enough material to make it worthwhile. Anyway, the Grinch-theme is what I like to call "ironic," because I'm not actually anything like the Grinch, even if he is kind of lanky. Not that I've ever really sorted out what "ironic" means, though.

Finally, if you're going to watch something like the Jersey Shore, I find I require somebody else to be present in the room. Luckily, I have a partner who will often perform this role, even if she thinks the show is "horrible" and insists I stop writing about it. This is where looking your best comes into play, because if it weren't for that, one's powers of persuasion might be critically impaired. All the more so when your companion will not be taken in by boxed red wine.

As an anarchist, I can't in good conscience tell you what to watch or what to think any more than I should tell you what to wear or what to drink. What's important in your case is what you watch and think and wear and drink for your own reasons. I can't possibly know what those are -- you have to tell me. As I like to say, you really have to start fucking shit up in your own way.

Nevertheless, I have shared with you my own patented method of not being corrupted by any individual object of mass consumption. Follow this method precisely and you are sure to remain emancipated from the worst excesses of modern living!


Ethan said...

Why, you're drunk!

JRB said...

It's sweet of you to think so, Ethan!

Ted said...

JRB, I haven't been remotely tempted to turn on the TV, but your cultural criticism has never been sharper or more entertaining than during the last couple of weeks of Jersey Shore blogging. Please keep watching so that I don't have to. Thanks!

Justin said...

Such a man of mystery, JRB. I am always certain there is some joke going just over my head when reading you. I can't see it, but I can feel it passing by.

Beth E. said...

I've had a taste or two of Jersey Shore myself, and have to say that I can't bear to keep the t.v. on more than about a minute-and-a-half when that show is on the screen. It's been really fascinating, however, to see you wrap your noggin around the thing--which is making me want to figure out just what the hell gives me such an intense aversion to it. As they say, "gnosei seauton" [badly transcribed Greek]....

Richard said...

I've never seen "Jersey Shore", but I have seen way too many episodes of "Jerseylicious", which, like most television, is both "horrible" and weirdly compelling and somewhat addictive. I have nothing further to add, other than to say I'm not drunk, but maybe should be.

biggayslut said...

Yeah, I'm with Justin on the joke going overhead. A corollary is aggression so passive as to be barely perceptible. I doubt if I'd notice it at all were it not SOP for your less compliant readers.

Not sure how my comment got lumped in with someone who 'resists valiantly' a newfound temptation to watch the show. Like you I don't give a shit what people do and I certainly don't disparage watching Jersey Shore for any reason. Only a snob would consider it at all provocative.

What I intended to get from my question was whether or not underneath all your Marx-inflected anarchist appreciation of the show (commodity this and authority that blah blah) you did not also appreciate the soap opera, gossip and drama aspect, which I presume, perhaps incorrectly, is what the target demographic is looking for. I am pretty sure anarchists who blog in Crocs are not a target, if only by virtue of their spending habits.

And Crocs? Really? Jesus. Never, ever a good thing.

JRB said...


I reference comments I think are interesting or worthwhile, from my perspective.

I think I answered your question by acknowledging that there's no reason to rule anything out as to why I watch the show.