The most horrific sight greeted me when I scanned the news online the other day.
Honestly, I always say that the gods love to toy with me, that they are sitting around eating popcorn as they watch my life play out. I imagine that, as they’ve watched me struggle to move past my writer’s hang-ups, striving for excellence in every literary project I undertake, they’ve been cooking up this latest twist of fate: Snooki’s “novel”, A Shore Thing, has made the New York Times Bestseller List.
Can’t you just picture it?
God #1: Isn’t that sweet? Precious is writing more and more often.
God #2: Yeah, she’s showing so much hope and optimism.
God #3: BOR-ING. You know what would be funny?
Gods #1 and 2: We’re all ears. Whatcha got?
God #3: What if a drunken gnome with no talent whatsoever were to make it onto a well-regarded list for literary types? Would Precious not completely lose her shit?
All gods in unison: Brilliant.
I swear, they are trying to kill me.
I was actually not that distressed when I first heard the news – I may have rolled my eyes and mumbled “WTF” a few times (and by “mumble”, I mean “shriek while gesticulating violently at my laptop screen”), but then I went about my day, because a) I had never actually seen her in action – I’d only heard about her in passing and had seen her image plastered everywhere in entertainment news, and b) very little surprises me anymore when it comes to what Americans will allow into their consciousness. Remember William Hung? I still think that record label made an ass out of him for profit.
Anyway, I went about my day, and successfully put the whole thing out of my mind until Thursday evening. I was hanging out, enjoying a glass of wine and catching up with a friend of mine – let’s call him “J”. The subject of this literary debacle came up, and J decided to read me excerpts that he’d found online from A Shore Thing. After he’d finished with each excerpt, we would exchange incredulous, do-you-believe-this-bitch glances. Then, several glasses of wine later, we discovered that Jersey Shore was playing on MTV at that very moment. We decided immediately that we needed to watch – call it morbid curiosity, or just an excuse to be snarky together.
Yeah…um…THIS is what’s got America all hot and bothered? THIS is the show that is the toast of Reality TV Town? THIS is a woman who just made the effing New York Times Bestseller List?
Did they mean to use an intro song that sounds like it tried (and failed) to make the Billboard Top 100 in 1993? And is Snooki’s finger-flicking chair dance supposed to be hilarious and sad at the same time? If so, bravo, MTV, bravo. Mission accomplished.
I watched this chick stumble around the house that these “people” share; I watched her beg one of the guys to “play” with her (can’t remember if it was The Situation or someone else – they’re all greasy, dumb and misguidedly full of themselves), to allow her to touch his junk – and then I watched her climb into one guy’s bed after the other, looking to “play”, and get rejected by men whom I would never allow to extend so much as a fingernail in the vicinity of my body. [Editor’s note: It has come to my attention that there was another girl in the mix, crawling in and out of beds, and Snooki was not, in fact, whoring herself out to all of the greaseballs…somehow this detail doesn’t change a whole lot.]
It seems to have been a Jersey Shore marathon of sorts, because we were then treated to another episode, where Snooki spent a disturbing amount of time trying, with the help of several people, to climb onto a bike while wearing tiny bike shorts, only to fall off, saying “my vagina’s out”. She then stumbled to a beach, face-planted repeatedly in the sand (which should be hard to do at 4’9” while wearing what appear to be either fluffy house slippers or dead Muppets), tried to walk into the ocean before being thwarted/rescued by cast mates whom I’m sure we are supposed to see as “more respectable”, and finally got arrested for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. This appears to be all before noon, mind you. Yes, this show is a stunning display of art, indeed.
I have one more question – and this is random – what’s up with the duck phone? Does not compute. How does this fit in with a house full of classless cartoon characters? I guess it’s right up there with Snooki’s book landing on the goddamned New York Times Bestseller List.
So yeah…after viewing this chef d’oeuvre, the rage came back. I cannot believe that there are countless writers out there with mind-blowing talent, who have, no doubt, been rejected again and again by publishing houses – and then this overexposed garden ornament comes along and not only gets published (albeit with the help of a ghost writer who was clearly paid to ‘dumb it down’), but also breaks onto the bloody NYT Bestseller scene.
Here’s the twist you didn’t see coming. We were so horrified by this show that we were actually amused. Or maybe just riveted in a train-wreck-you-can’t-look-away-from kind of way. We already know that we will be tuning in again, if only to spend some delicious time mocking these losers. And as I type this, I realize that this is why this ridiculous show has been so successful. But I know that I won’t be able to watch too much of it, because I already feel like my brain cells are planning a revolt.
Gotta love pop culture. Remember when the worst piece of trash in America was The National Enquirer? No? Well…maybe your parents do.