If last night's Republican Candidate Debate in Iowa proved anything, it's that one's understanding of a complicated situation doesn't even have to be remotely accurate, as long as enough other idiots believe the world works the same way you do. With that in mind, we turn our eyes to MTV's "Jersey Shore," where we have our weekly check-in on eight very, very special young people and their trip to a faraway land that might be scary or off-putting, if only they possessed even the minuscule spark of consciousness required to know they were no longer in New Jersey.
"We ended up making out, it's fine, she's a good kisser, I'm a good kisser." -DJ Pauly D
On the surface, this would not seem to be as wildly insane and delusional of a statement as other "Jersey Shore" greatest hits; that is, unless, you watched the actual makeout between Human Labrador DJ Pauly D and the Queen of Trying Too Hard, Deena. If you saw the actual makeout, wherein Deena chews on Pauly's lower lip like an Uruguayan rugby player stranded in the Andes, the full absurdity of this line comes into sharp focus.
Sammi: "These are like, weird strawberries, are they good like this?"
Deena: "Yeah, those are raspberries."
There are many degrees of dumb. Plenty of them, like "bad SAT scores dumb," or "don't find 'Arrested Development' funny dumb," while regrettable, will not inhibit one's ability to live a normal life, be a good human being, and possibly accomplish something at some point. On the other hand, "getting confused by raspberries" dumb is most likely a sign that you will not die of old age. Sammi Sweatpits and Deena have long been locked into a pitched battle for the title of Cast Member Who Brings The Least To The Table, but maybe the problem is simply that they haven't had enough to do together.
"If Jionni can't make Snooki happy, The Situation is happy to step up to the plate and hit a homer." -The Situation
Well looky here, Mike The Situation is still skeeving on Snooki! I'm starting to think that Mike has a minimum blood alcohol level in his MTV contract, as he spends most of this episode inebriated beyond the point of coherence, drunkenly confessing his love for Snooki. Snooki rejects him, but seems strangely jealous when he scoops up a grenade at the club (in an effort to expand his cultural horizons, the first girl he picks up in Italy is from Tampa). This segment also features the single most horrifying image ever seen in Jersey Shore, wherein a shirtless Mike, shot in night-vision from the waist up, is clearly receiving the full blast of the aforementioned grenade. It made my brain hurt, and it will make your brain hurt, too, so I'm not putting it on the main page, but click here if you really want to for some reason.
"I am the pimp daddy mack of this whole place." -Ronnie
Obvious semen jokes aside, what the hell is on Ronnie's face here? He's piss drunk and was just in the bathroom at the club, so is it soap? His face doesn't look wet, so why did he put soap on his face? It is wet paper towel? Every answer just brings new questions. Between the anabolic steroids and the booze, this poor guy's liver must look like a bowl of mashed potatoes.
"This could be like, ill romantic. Turn the lights off dawg, it's like the love-cuzzi...it gravitates you toward each other." -Ronnie
For a while, it really seemed like Ronnie and Vinny were going to start fooling around with each other in this scene. And when it didn't go that way, I was disappointed. But then I figured, they know they're being filmed. If one of them slipped up and made a move, we might see a really ugly, really homophobic, and possibly violent reaction which, while being riveting television, would get the show canceled and cause a public outcry and probably be pretty depressing, all things considered.
If they weren't on TV, though? They'd definitely experiment.
"Vatican, that's the one that, like, Leonardo painted with his hand." -Ronnie
The takeaway from this isn't that Ronnie thinks that the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore is the Sistene Chapel, or even the Leonardo bit (to be fair, Vinny pipes up with Michelangelo's name after, though he still presumably believes that the Duomo is Vatican City). No, the takeaway is that this is the first time we've ever heard the group discuss the outside world. Think about it, even in Seaside, or Miami, have you ever heard them talk about a movie, or a book, or a recreational activity that isn't related to alcohol, dancing, or sexual assault? These guys aren't playing polo on the weekends, which makes even this faint glimmer of intellectual curiosity impressive. I can't wait until they make JWoww try to learn something.
[all photos via]
Thursday, May 23
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.