As you may have heard, MTV recently captured eight of the "hottest, tannest, craziest guidos" for further cultural study. But instead of tagging them and releasing them back into the wild to hunt for their missing cheese balls—which is the more humane and, frankly, more entertaining way of doing things—MTV decided to put them all in a beach house cage filled with cameras and film them for a program called Guido Zoo, aka The Jersey Shore.
Naturally, an Italian-American group was upset about this.
"MTV is using very pejorative terms, 'Guido' and 'Guidette,' to promote a program and as a corporation that is not correct," said DiMino, national president of New Jersey-based UNICO, which describes itself as the largest Italian-American service organization in the U.S.
Clearly DiMino is unfamiliar with MTV's programming. Yes, MTV is using very pejorative terms to promote Guido Zoo aka The Jersey Shore, but if MTV didn't use pejorative terms they wouldn't have any programs. Tool Academy wouldn't exist. Jackass never would have happened. All those "douche"-dropping commercials for Is She Really Going Out With Him? would never have aired. People everywhere would have a tiny, tanning-bed-shaped hole in their hearts, and a constant, slight, inexplicable sadness that smells faintly like Axe body spray.
MTV needs pejoratives to sell their programming basically because they think their audience is stupid. Why else would they pre-ridicule their blatantly ridiculous real-life characters for their viewers? The pejoratives are MTV's version of a laugh track. Every time they say "guido" or "douche" in a commercial for shows like The Jersey Shore or Is She Really Going Out With Him? it's like MTV elbowing their viewers and saying, "Ha ha. Look at this asshole." Which is really, really irritating.
But, hey, MTV loves assholes! And guidos! In fact, some of MTV's best friends (read: reality stars) are guidos. And they wanna know, you got a problem with that?
Mike Sorrentio, 27, is one of the castmembers of [The Jersey Shore], and the Staten Island, New York, native said he doesn't see anything objectionable in it.
"The show didn't even come out yet and people didn't just see a bunch of kids having fun," said Sorrentio, an assistant manager at a gym. "It's just how we have fun on the East Coast. I'm sure when Mr. DiMino was young he went to beach clubs in the summer."
Sorrentio said he doesn't see the stereotypes DiMino said the show purportedly depicts. "I just happen to be 100 percent Italian, I happen to be in very good shape and my hair happens to be spiky," he said of DiMino's objection to promos that promise to show young people who "keep their hair high, their muscles juiced and their fists pumping all summer long!"
"It's not necessarily a stereotype; it's just how it is," Sorrentio said. "In New York and New Jersey, that just happens to be the style."
The gel just happened to find its way on his head, and the tanning bed just happened to wrap itself around his body. He doesn't happen to care that MTV is happening to make fun of him. MTV happened to be looking for people who happened to fit that description so they could put them on the air where, after happening to call them guidos a couple times, people could happen to laugh at them. Sure, the guido thing happened to be a little unnecessary, and MTV probably should have gone with an ethnicity-neutral pejorative like "douche" or "dillweed" but those happened to be played out (mostly thanks to MTV) and so this is what happened to happen. If you happen to have a problem with that, that happens to be your problem, but you can happen to rest assured that Jersey Shore will definitely happen to be a pale imitation of True Life: I Have A Summer Share.
Now, if you'll excuse me I happen to have misplaced my cheese balls.