It’s time we as a country got serious about a growing problem. I’ve never been one to say that we should keep people out of this country. I’ve never been one to say we should deny those who are apparently citizens their rights. But the time has come when we must stand up for what is right. We must stand for what is right for our families, for our country, and for our children. We must complete the fence. What? Mexicans. . . what? Those people work jobs and contribute to the economy. No, I don’t want to build a fence on the Mexican border. We need to wall off the Jersey Shore.
I respect everyone’s right to watch what they want on television. A college roommate and I used to drink a lot and watch horrible movies on the Sci-Fi network on saturday nights. My real problem isn’t that the cast of Jersey Shore is on television. It’s that enough people watch it that it stays on television. This show follows eight people (mostly of apparent Italian heritage) as they spend summer in the same house on the Jersey shore. The first problem with this show like so many others MTV and networks like it, have promoted is that the “reality” is entirely fake. The cast members were all picked for looks, or personality. They have nothing to do with each other. In fact, one cast member for season 3 is a girl who auditioned and was rejected for season 1.
The entire show is built on conflict. It appeals to people who want to see screaming, and violence. Only the violence isn’t meant to be provocative or to prove a point. It’s anger for the sake of anger. It’s why the Romans had gladiators. Like a drug addict who doesn’t get high on the same amount he used to, the American public needs more sensational, more extreme entertainment. However, unlike the Romans we don’t look to the real violence of boxing, or MMA as much as the simulated conflict of so-called “reality television.”
The worst part is that it’s dumbing down society. We expect less. We are culture that wishes to sit in front of a t.v. and have information given to us, rather than go out and seek it ourselves. We watch T.V. instead of reading, so our news is given to us by Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. In an age where access to news from all sources: radio, newspaper, magazines, and television is becoming ever closer to universal, we would rather watch the sensationalism of 24-cable networks than go and find that really interesting story at an outlet no one has heard of. There are so many stories out there and few are being told. Independent Kansan has tried to put a few out there every week with our Weekly Wrap-Up, but many more go unnoticed. Cable news gives us 5 stories 25 times a day. Shouldn’t we demand more? One child will go missing and all the networks will give instant updates on the condition of that case. Yet, many children go missing every day, unnoticed.
Jersey Shore isn’t the problem. It’s a result of the problem. The problem is that we would rather sit back and watch cheaply manufactured conflict than deal with the conflict in reality. We live in a country that is engaged in a serious debate about many issues we face, and yet we are screaming at each other so loudly no one can hear. Jersey Shore is a natural evolution of that mentality. When the people decide to have a real conversation we will drift from the angry rhetoric of partisan politics and shows like Jersey Shore, but we must all decide to do so.