Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jersey Shore: The American Dream

I admit it: I "Like" DJ Pauly D of "The Jersey Shore" on my Facebook page. On his recent happy Facebook update about the show's cast members' group appearance on last Sunday's VMA Awards, I responded (one of a couple of thousand responses) something like: "Congratulations! You guys are really living the American Dream!"

And I meant it. The cast all came out of nowhere and are now highly in demand based on their interesting, funny personalities. They're not hurting anyone. Good for them if they can make some money from the media attention.

The show's been derided for its "decadence," for displaying little but casual hook-ups and drinking and generally loutish behavior, for giving a "bad name" to Jersey residents. Those are all mild points (except the latter-- only one of the cast members is actually FROM Jersey). It's true that you don't see the cast members reading and/or discussing world affairs. But as Vinny said during a cast appearance on "Ellen" this week when asked about being "bad" for America [paraphrasing]: "We're bad for America? What about the wars and the economy and equal rights? I don't think we're the problem."

Exactly, Vinny. What's wrong with America is not a bunch of kids getting drunk and hooking up and putting their touchingly open, undeveloped personalities on display for the world to see and getting paid for it. Good for them if we all want to watch, and the networks want to pay them to let us watch.

Entertainers, and athletes, and even Internet entrepreneurs like Gates... I've never, ever begrudged them their money. They've never exploited anyone.

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