‘Jersey Shore’ holds the key to a better America

From left, cast members Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi Giancola, Paul DelVecchio, Jenni Farley, Nicole Polizzi, and Vinny Guadagnino, from “Jersey Shore.”

the associated press
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 1:47 p.m.

According to Entertainment Weekly, last week’s season premiere of “Jersey Shore” was MTV’s highest-rated series broadcast ever with 8.4 million viewers tuning in to watch a group of New Jersey twentysomethings get drunk, do crunches and yell at each other.

The inhumanly bronzed reality show also sucked in 4.2 million people in the “adult” demographic, though if you made it a priority to catch the third season opener of a show about hair gel, unhealthy sexual relationships and alcohol abuse, you may still have some growing up to do.

Cast-member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who is best known for being short and getting punched in the face during the show’s first season, told MTV that she could see “Jersey Shore” continuing “at least another 20 series or something like that, because we can do this our whole lives.”

While some may see that comment — or threat, depending on how you look at it — as the simple-minded ramblings of a fame-hungry club rat, I see it as inspiration for building a better America.

Snooki, as much as it pains me to say, is our unwitting prophet.

By that I don’t mean that we should try to pull ourselves out of this economic slump and solve all of our problems by getting wasted and sleeping around. The Romans tried that, and it didn’t turn out very well for them.

What I mean is that if we all give ourselves entirely to our passions, we will inevitably find success and be rewarded with millions of dollars and our own highly-rated reality shows.

Author Malcolm Gladwell theorized in his book “Outliers” that what often separates an average person from a superior, more successful one is 10,000 hours of practice. It takes that much time to master an art form and reap the rewards of your devotion.

Usually, people choose to devote themselves to music, athletics, art or science, and they obtain wealth and notoriety while giving something back to society. In the case of “Jersey Shore,” however, the cast members have spent well over 10,000 hours perfecting a brand of self-involved debauchery that benefits almost no one.

But that’s what makes “Jersey Shore” so inspiring. Through sheer force of will and years of practice, Snooki and her housemates have turned an otherwise debilitating lifestyle into a multi-million dollar profit machine.

The underlying message of “Jersey Shore” is that if you follow your dreams — whether those dreams are to cure AIDS or to sleep around with random Garden State strangers until you accidentally create a new sexually transmitted disease — anything is possible.

I mean, it has to work that way, right? The universe wouldn’t let these ridiculous idiots gain fame and fortune just by going to the gym, wearing tacky clothes and drinking gallons of Jägermeister, right?

The world is a just and fair place, isn’t it?

For all of our sakes, I certainly hope that’s the truth.

Contact John Houder at

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top