My Blog__ SHORE SERIOUSLY: SEASON 3, EPISODE 7

February 12, 2011 | By

Can I get a "fucking finally" right now? After watching this week's episode of Jersey Shore I am saying thank God or Guido or whatever these "kids" call old faithful that Sammi left. Thank God [Guido or Guidodess] that she stood up to Ron. That she had an existential realization. That she got the hell out. I'm proud of you, Sam. #nojoke

As I have said many times over the only reason this show exists is that these people are bored and lack communication skills. If any of the family had jobs they loved or even hobbies there would be no Jersey Shore. Sure, Pauly D is a (now) successful DJ and J-Woww is in the lingerie business, but when they are being filmed these careers no longer exist. This, compounded by their sudden boost to the celebrity realm has caused a new phenomenon. My friend Geoff (who is a brilliant writer for a newspaper called The Tyee) told me he couldn't watch Jersey Shore because it was "too real". "Think about it," he propositioned. "They are filming Season Three while watching themselves on MTV in Season Two. They are living out stereotypes and characteristics the public has hyper-inflated for them while trying to man their current lives while being filmed for an upcoming season. How can a person deal with that? It warps your sense of self." Where is Neil Postman when you need him? Television in the 1980s was nothing compared to this.

Watching this final blow-up between Sam and Ron was really depressing. I've been in some bad fights with boyfriends before but this was beyond words. I can't imagine watching myself fight with an ex on MTV. How would that feel? How would it feel knowing the world has seen you at your most vulnerable? And not even drunk-and-peeing-your-pants vulnerable, but emotionally, mentally destroyed. Besides the expected sexism that was thrown around - my favorite moment was when Ron said, "I've been with you for a year and how many times have you cooked for me you selfish bitch?" - this was a fight like no other. Jerry Springer was child's play compared to this. As I watched Pauly, Mike and Vinny hold Sam back, her face blistered with tears, mascara tracks and sweat, as she screamed, "I hate you, I hate you" to Ron while he hurled her belongings out the window, I immediately thought of Simone de Beauvoir. For those of you who didn't take Vagina 101 in school, Simone de Beauvoir was a feminist philosopher who wrote a pivotal book called The Second Sex. Inside that book was a paper called, "The Woman In Love."

Simone de Beauvoir argues that a woman is taught to believe that true love will solve all her problems, however love is her greatest trap. A woman is devoted entirely to her love, using him as a place to solidify her identity and confidence by giving utter devotion and receiving attention.  She lets her own world collapse in contingence, for she really lives in his.

"I think he was with a girl?"

Simone argues that a woman in love can no longer see herself unless it is in him. For the woman in love jealousy is the Danielle, stalking her whole life on the boardwalk. The abstinence of her lover is always torture because he is an eye, a judge, as soon as he looks at anything other than her, he has abandoned her and she is left insecure. Being at the same time proud and anxious, the woman may suffer constant jealousy and yet be always wrong about it.

Jealousy with him is ordinarily no more than a passing crisis, like love itself; the crisis may be violent and even murderous, but it is rare for him to acquire a last uneasiness. His jealousy is usually derivative... when he feels that life is hurting him, then he feels his woman is flouting him.

Every woman in love recognizes herself as Hans Anderson's Little Mermaid who exchanged her fishtails for feminine legs through love and then found herself walking on needles and live coals.

Genuine love ought to be founded on the mutual recognition of two liberties; the lovers would then experience themselves both as self and as other neither would give up transcendence, neither would be mutilated; together they would manifest values and aims in the world. For one and the other, love would be revelation of self by the gift of self and enrichment of the world.

Oh Simone, how I wish you knew that your 1940s philosophical theories could have saved these two guidos. Good-bye Sam and Ron. It hurts now, but years down the line when your children's children are watching Season Three on a computer chip that sends MTV broadcasts through their brains during dinner time, you will realize that it was nothing more than a big, public mess of a life lesson. #lovestinks

Read last week's recap here.

__Share this post