Friday, August 27, 2010

GTL = $5,000,000.00

Greetings Friends,

I know, I know...there's that idiot "guido" again. But here's the thing: is he really that stupid? This 29 year-old former nobody from Staten Island has actually become a "sombody" on the premise of "Gym, Tan, Laundry". And I have a Masters degree. What a colossal waste of time.

In a world where abs rule and brains are secondary, this moron pisses me off. He's entitled to make a living just as we all are, but what he's really perpetuating is that the type of living you make is dictated by how you look, how much you drink and who you screw, as long as 5.5 million people tune in every week to watch you. Yes, folks, 5.5 million people have been tuning in every week to MTV, to watch these Jersey Shore morons booze, boink and be blockheads. And all the alliteration in the world couldn't get me noticed if I screamed it from a bullhorn, naked, on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. These mooks, along with those ridiculous housewives, have me convinced that it won't be nukes, terrorists or Republicans who will bring an end to America; it will be New Jersey. 

So, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is the latest reality television superstar. According to this New York Post article, he's expected to earn $5 million by the end of the year from such endeavours as publishing a book espousing the life lessons of "GTL", countless public appearances at approximately $15,000.00 per, where all he has to do is throw back a few and lift up his t-shirt, along with the $60,000.00 per episode he gets for Jersey Shore, not to mention the six-figure book advance, future workout videos, a clothing line and other endorsements that are supposedly in the works. And we're all standing around scratching our heads wondering why America is a nation of know-nothings.

I wasn't going to give "The Situation" any more face time, but what compelled me to was an entry I read yesterday on The New York Times "Opinionator" blog from Wednesday, written by Timothy Egan, titled Building a Nation of Know-Nothings. This piece literally snapped me awake to the epidemic of ignorance and stupidity that has brought America perilously close to its imminent implosion. Not that I wasn't aware of its existence prior, it's just when you see the words in front of you, whether they're on a page or on a computer screen, you have one of those "holy crap" epiphanies that cements the theory, rather than maintaining it as an abstract notion that has no impact on you. It is especially disturbing at this particular juncture, because 40-somethings like me have reached the point where we're genuinely concerned about the lack of industriousness on the part of the younger generations; when their role models are people like "Snooki" and "The Situation", you can no longer bury your head in the sand wondering why all the smart kids are no longer American. When boys say they "wanna be like Mike", they're no longer referring to Michael Jordan; they want to have abs like "The Situation" and rake in the dough like he does. Gone are the days when guys like him were just neighbourhood superstars; now they're taking over the world. It's sad, especially when kids genuinely believe that emulating this type of behaviour is the way to go. 

Last week, I compared Teresa Giudice, one of the ridiculous "Real Housewives" of New Jersey, and her mind-blowing $10 million personal bankruptcy filing, to the financial shit-storm perpetrated by Goldman Sachs that brought us the great financial collapse of 2008. The degree of irresponsibility there is just astounding. Here, we have a caricature of another segment of society: the 29 year-old witless wonder, who fell into a pile of, what I mentioned above, and is now poised to earn millions for doing absolutely nothing. If this is the example we want to set for the future American generations then we are truly, um, with a capital "F". You know the rest. Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are deserving of the lion's share of the blame for all their rumour-mongering and dissemination of misinformation, but if Americans themselves can't be bothered to seek out the truth, and maintain a healthy curiosity about what's going on in the world around them, we have only ourselves to blame. Same goes for Canadians. All my life I've been squawking about how Canadians really need to refrain from emulating their neighbours to the south; and it is all the more important that they take that advice now. You don't want to wind up like us. We're bad, and we're only going to get worse.

Please read Timothy Egan's blog entry; I know it's disheartening and almost mean-spirited, but the man has a point. Particularly with this: "It's one thing to forget the past, with predictable consequences, as the favorite aphorism goes. But what about those who refuse to comprehend the present?" 

Have a wonderful, and very informed weekend.


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