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TV 101: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 'Jersey Shore'

by Jay Black, posted Feb 10th 2010 3:02PM
This is how the world ends, This is how the world ends, This is how the world endsI have a lot of irrational fears: nuclear war, CHUDS, whatever the dark magic is that keeps Jeremy Piven's hairline in place ... the list is long and varied.

Ever since I saw the movie 'Contact', I've been afraid that the TV we pump into space is being watched by aliens far more advanced than we are. Imagine all that garbage floating up into the ether, being judged not by bloggers armed with keyboards and snarky bon mots, but by ETs armed with Gunstars and Death Blossoms.

Who knows what aliens might make of our current TV landscape? What if an alien culture used sophomoric double entendres to make declarations of war? In that scenario, it would take just a single episode of 'Two and a Half Men' to end the human race.

Even if the aliens understood what we were saying, most of what passes for entertainment doesn't make us look good - we've become a world obsessed with karaoke and sex rehab, mostly. In fact, there's only one show on TV today that I'd actually WANT aliens to see ...
'Jersey Shore'.

For the four of you that haven't seen or heard of 'Jersey Shore', it's ostensibly an MTV documentary about eight Italian-American youths (though there's a chance "The Situation" is 44) who spend a summer going to the gym, tanning, and doing their laundry. A recently announced second season has the usual round of critics clucking their tongues about the decline of human culture.

This is what I have to say to those eggheads: 'Jersey Shore' isn't destroying our culture! It's saving it from potential annihilation by aliens!

If you've seen the show, you might be dubious about this statement. But like every single other person on the internet, I come armed with a list.

'Jersey Shore' is our last, best hope for a number of reasons:

1. It intimidates the aliens

When they're not hooking up with each other, all the cast of 'Jersey Shore' does is get drunk, work out, and fight random people on the boardwalk.

While the aliens watching might have weapons that could easily eradicate our species, these actions might make them think twice before landing on Earth and using them. It just wouldn't be worth the effort.

It's kind of like bees. For the most part, humans are superior to bees (we can't make honey, but on other hand we invented hats). Just about any human could kill any bee he encountered.

That said, if you saw a bunch of them buzzing around a trash can in the summertime, you'd walk the long way around them. Not because you couldn't kill the bees if you tried, but because the amount of stinging you'd take in the process would worry you just enough to stay away.

Well, the boardwalk of the Jersey shore is that trash can, and that buzzing you hear is Ronnie repeating "Keep on walkin', bro."

Keep on walkin' indeed.

2. It makes the aliens think we aren't sentient

The big fear of aliens watching something like 'Accidentally on Purpose' is that they would deem us unworthy of acceptance into the cosmic brotherhood. After all, there's a finite amount of energy in this universe for all the sentient species to share; I just can't imagine a sufficiently advanced culture allowing our species to survive after we've proved our unworthiness by green-lighting production on yet another hackneyed Jenna Elfman project.

'Accidentally on Purpose' reveals a sentient species misusing its intelligence.

But 'Jersey Shore' is trickier. Is it consciously ironic? Or is it just a documentary about a bunch of dumb juice-heads who would not only fail a Turing test but would get into a fight with the computer for staring at them?

Yeah, I don't know either. And, if another human can't figure it out, imagine how hard it'll be for aliens!

'Jersey Shore' is the inter-species equivalent of playing dead. We're broadcasting to the rest of the universe, "Hey, don't bother with measly old Earth! We won't be flying to the galactic core any time soon - we're too concerned with getting tattoos and 'smooshing!'"

'Jersey Shore' makes Earth mostly harmless.

3. It helps us bridge biological gaps with the aliens

Despite what 'Star Trek' would have you believe, there's very little chance that the aliens patrolling our culture would look just like us with except with some ridges on their foreheads. It's a fair bet that even their basic biological design would be beyond our our meager imaginations.

Now, maybe the aliens who discover us will have evolved away any bias against creatures that look dissimilar to them and won't Death Star us out of existence just for our looks.

But I don't count on hopes and what-ifs, I count on "The Situation" and his orange abs and Snooki and her perfectly spherical torso.

'Jersey Shore' is an ideal show for humans to broadcast into space because none of the humans on the show actually look like humans! With their self-tanner-stained skin, gargantuan (and scary) breasts, the gelled sculptures of their hair, and the made-up tribal tattoos crisscrossing over their misshapen muscles, each member of 'Jersey Shore' looks more like something Stan Winston might have designed than an actual human being.

Any group of aliens watching might be half-convinced that they weren't watching humans, but maybe a species related to their own.

And that just might save our lives.

I understand that a lot of you probably bemoan 'Jersey Shore' as evidence that our species has reached its nadir and its only a matter of time before we finally go all the way and amuse ourselves to death.

You're probably right. But if the show's existence protects us from aliens long enough that we're able to kill ourselves, well 'Jersey Shore' is all right by me.

(Jay Black is a writer and comedian who really hopes you like this column. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jayblackcomedy).

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YAWN2010

Ya know, I'm full blooded Sicilian and not ashamed to say this show makes me gag. I almost said this show makes me ashamed to be an Italian.....but I have nothing to be ashamed about. These people are just disgusting to me. ESPECIALLY SNOOKI! They wouldn't last one second in the real worlds of Italy, New York or Chicago without help. And as for Snooki........I certainly hope that the gas burns out of that star VERY soon.

February 16 2010 at 4:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kai Ferano

JJJJay Black sounds like a wannabe Guido. He is dead wrong when he says that the boardwalk at the Jersey shore is a garbage pail. It's a fun place for children, teens, and old-timers like me. No gang wars, no drug dealing...just a beautiful ocean and families enjoying the summer. Stay in the city, Mr. Black.
d


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February 16 2010 at 4:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Q.

How low do you have to be to look up to THESE scumbags?

Jesus, I'd rather live next door to crack dealers.

February 16 2010 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pilato18

jersey is not like that at all, italian americans are NOT like that. its a small group of people that act this was just like skaters, punks, jocks, quidos are a new group, not a very well liked group lol, but italians and jersey should not be judged and called trash because of them.

February 16 2010 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pam

Very funny, loved the article. Am I the only one that thinks the 'sitch" is a scrawney, orange, lumpy,sad little excuse for a real man? Skanky, I mean Snookie, an ugly little rude hoo-er???

February 16 2010 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

Just another show that glamorizes being a punk. Only this one glamorizes trying to be a Gumba Punk.
"Hey You's Guy's...."

February 16 2010 at 2:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pete Cannella

The show SUCKS!!!!!!!!! It aint savin nothin.

February 16 2010 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Celeste

I just can't believe that anyone with 1/32 of a brain watches this crap. Just looking at these "people" makes me gag.

February 16 2010 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MikeD

I enjoyed the Jersey Shore. It is what a Summer Share beach house is all about, be it a Guido house in Jersey or a Yuppie house in Dewey Beach DE. They are all more or less the same. Getting to the beach for tanning, hook ups, drinking buddies, and friendships. Why does everyone take it so seriously?

February 16 2010 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Far too many people get their concepts of ETs from science fiction and documentary disclaimers that attempt to disprove they have been major players throughout human history. Every religion on Earth had it's origins with alien/human intervention. Every star you see on a clear night has planets similar to this solar system. There are countless billions of planets that have spawned life forms, many before the Earth was created. There are many very ancient civilizations that have evolved beyond the limits of human imagination, their intentions beyond comprehension. Perhaps you should not laugh when someone sincerely claims they have seen...things...

February 16 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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