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Saturday, October 8, 2011

In defense of Snooki

While enjoying an evening of books and coffee at the Barnes and Noble, we noticed a banner over the door of upcoming author appearances. At the end of October, just in time for Halloween, the store would be graced with the presence of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of Jersey Shore fame to promote her autobiography.

Someone tried to tell me a ghost wrote this book! That's crazy! No such thing as ghosts!

If you are at all like me, the your reaction was a combination of eye rolling and groaning "Why?????"

You probably thought of a few jokes, too:

"Defining "author" down, aren't they?"
"I didnt know oompa-loompas could write!"
"Autobiography? How do you stretch out 'I drank, I passed out, I woke up naked, I ate a pickle' to 200 pages?"

Feel free to add your own!

All true, though. Hundreds of great novels get print runs of 3000, get no publicity, and fall into obscurity. And for Snooki, who most likely dictated her memoirs to some poor ghost writer who had to decipher her ramblings, the place will probably be packed. Legions of fans in Snooki wigs will be there, along with the haters. (One time I saw Isabel "House of the Spirits"  Allende at a Manhattan B&N. She is the perhaps the most widely read Spanish language author in the world and could very well win a Nobel prize one day. She had 20 people.)

Snooki really seems to bring out the hater in everyone. While there are certainly more distasteful cast members of Jersey Shore (like roid rager Ronnie), the short, busty, orange muppet with the poofy hair has been the target of the most scorn.

The CW debuted a show called H8R this fall. The show tried to get internet haters together with the object of their hatred and show them, hey, D-list reality show stars have feelings too, ya big bully! If you prick us, do we not bleed? The very first celeb guest was Snooki. The show was cancelled after three episodes and massive ridicule. If you can't make fun of celebrities on the web, all you have left is LOLcats and porn. (Hey, LOLcat porn! There's an idea! I wonder if we can trademark it. Let's check!) (Update: Yeah, don't Google that. Things once seen...)

As well, local blowhard govenor and Great White Hope of the Republican Party, Chris Christie, won huzzahs when he pulled the Jersey Shore's production tax credit. The show, sniffed Christie, "does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."  


Like that we're all a bunch of loudmouths who like to fix problems by yelling at them. 


So lots of people hate Snooki. And lots of people tune in to watch her and either laugh with her or at her. And she laughs all the way to the bank.

It may surprise you, given the nature of this blog and my generally sunny disposition on life, but I come to praise Snooki, not to bury her.

Even to a curmudgeon like me, the Snooki hatred seems outsized. Snooki did not invade Iraq, give Michael Jackson Propofol, crash the world economy, give Steve Jobs cancer, or lay off thousands of workers. She's an orange clown on a TV show. Granted, an awful, terrible one that makes you dumber for watching, but still.

While I am aware that Jersey Shore represents the nadir of civilization, ask yourself this. Say you were young, fresh out of college, had nice abs or boobs, and liked to party. Some one said they'd pay you lots of cash to hang out at a beach house for a summer, and not only would you not have to work, they insisted you drink and party and hook up. In fact, they'll be disappointed if you don't. Would you take that offer? Given today's awful job market, could you blame anyone if they did? Hey, I was recently a "free agent" for a few weeks and the idea of getting paid to lie on a beach has great appeal. (Now, if I could wrangle a paycheck for watching Law & Order reruns...)

Look, Snooki and The Situation may not be smart, but they ain't dumb. They both made about 50-100 times what I did last year, and they made it by drinking margaritas and tanning. They got hangovers, not broken elbows (Holla!) or black lung from digging in a coal mine. Good for them! I'm sure they'll kill the Golden Goose eventually, but for now they can enjoy the fruits of their "labors."

Me, I'll be working on my abs. Or getting breast implants. And a Bump-It.

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