With MTV’s Jersey Shore stealing the spotlight on retard, it is with great regret that, once again, the state that I hail from is the brunt of a bad joke. It is inescapable. With every decade comes a slew of negative references to New Jersey. It has been a challenge (to say the least) when people ask, “Where are you from?” since moving into Manhattan. My knee jerk reaction has always been to say, “From here”. When pressed, I would mumble and walk away.” You would never know it, but I am proud to be a Jersey boy, just not like the ones that are depicted in most movies and television shows. Sure The Sopranos were the rage…but come on, do you think I want to be grouped with Paulie Walnuts? Yikes. I have been working on a novel (who hasn’t) and this bit deals with my lifelong albatross…being from New Jersey.
I will never forgive Woody Allen. No, not for what he did to Mia Farrow by taking Soon Yi, her adopted daughter, as his lover and then, wife. That transgression was much easier for me to excuse compared to what he did to me, personally, being a resident from the state of New Jersey. Let me explain. Woody Allen’s classics like Sleeper, Play It Again Sam and Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex were brilliant, however, these films contained condescending (and yes, perhaps humorous) references to my home state. These scathing digs made audiences howl with laughter, and at the same time he ingrained into pop culture the notion that people from “Joisey” were at a disadvantage. Sitting there in the dark sold-out Coronet theater, I would slink down deep into the burgundy, polyester, uncomfortable seat, covering my head with the large tub of extra buttered popcorn as though a flashing neon arrow identified me as the lone, lowly resident from that sad, little state. Sitting there, seething, I vowed to get my revenge on Woody Allen one day.
Stay tuned for this heartfelt, loosely based (?) on my life tell-all. Well, maybe it is more of a tell, than an all, but I do get my moment in the sun…and not on the Jersey Shore.
My point being, this new reality show, Jersey Shore, sets us Jersey-ites back…well…to the stone age. We see one guy whopping a girl in the face, another guy, DJ Pauly D, doing a how-to video on the perfect blow-out (with two inches of hair). These guys are not “Guidos”, a title they revel in…they are much more like women than the women of Jersey Shore. The roles are reversed. These boys walk around acting all butch, but they are a fey as fey can be. Now, if the State of New Jersey passes the Gay Marriage Bill, then this show would have served a greater purpose.