Tag Archives: snooki

MTV: At Least They’re Trying?

3 May

As we come to the end of the semester, this blog must reach a conclusion of some sort. Our journey through looking at MTV has shown us a few things, hasn’t it friends? MTV cares about its viewers and the needs of its viewers, but nothing too political, despite how “in your face” MTV programming seems to be, past and present. What MTV airs still has a lot to do with what shows are pulling in the greatest audiences, in order to keep the station on top with Generation Debt, despite the fact that they really don’t touch upon the real issues that our generation is facing. The thing is, I totally get this. No one, including myself, is going to want to sit through a half hour or hour long special every week about our generation being in debt. Television is supposed to be our escape from reality, not just a further glimpse into our current lives or what unfortunately awaits us in the future. However, I feel that it is the responsibility of MTV to at least touch upon the subject or make a point to let the audience know that it is aware of what is happening in our country and that something must be done about it. MTV needs to raise its voice to make it known to the public that our country has a serious problem and that we need to find a way out of it.

The way things are going for most college students, this could also very well be our future…

So this blog isn’t completely down and a slap in the face to MTV, which I unfortunately really do watch a good amount of (but not as much as I did in my pre-teens and teens, probably because I realized how stupid the programming really is), I am going to bring up a social act that MTV has been doing for years now, and I didn’t even realize. This movement is Rock the Vote. Rock the Vote began in 1992, and it is a political middle ground between MTV and the audience. Rock the Vote encourages MTV’s viewers, clearly the younger generations, to go out and be politically and socially active, as there is an issue with so much apathy in the younger generations. What people who do not vote do not understand is that a decision such as that can have such a massive effect on the future of the rest of the country. While one 20 year old may think “what’s the big deal, it’s just one vote”, they don’t realize that there are tons of other 20 year olds out there thinking the same thing. The intention of Rock the Vote is to get the youth educated on politics, politicians, and what is happening in our country. Here’s Madonna in a Rock the Vote ad back in 1992, before the pseudo English accent and Kabbalah interest.

What is interesting about Rock the Vote is that MTV gets musicians and other celebrities to help push the point of getting politically involved and voting. I can remember back in 2004, Paris Hilton was making people sign petitions and registering to vote in order to help the cause. Ironically, I also read that Paris Hilton herself never registered to vote that year, but really, we shouldn’t be surprised by much of anything she did in her past.

Yeah…I’m talking about the sex tape

Sadly, however, MTV’s best efforts to encourage youth voters does not seem to be as effective as one may think that it could or should be. Apparently, youth voting has actually declined since the start of the campaign in 1992. The movement is seen as self-righteous and as an “orgy of celebrity and media back-slapping”. But, despite this negative feedback, I am still proud of MTV for attempting SOMETHING to get the youth moving. Although it may have backfired, there was a thought about doing something and then action occurred to try to press the youth to vote and become politically active. I will applaud MTV and give it a pat on the back for doing more than being responsible for introducing America to the Situation, who truly makes me sad to be a part of this country.

Seriously…I’m not amused

So, in conclusion, I think that it would benefit MTV to learn from the mistakes it made with Rock the Vote and look forward to try to encourage more youth involvement in politics and social activism. Even if MTV just ran ads from time to time or made one special about Generation debt, the audience would be so much more aware of the current situation. All we need is a little enlightenment to spark some change. That’s all I’m asking for.

Now, for everyone’s enjoyment, here’s another pre-pseudo English accent Madonna in a Rock the Vote ad.

“Jersey Shore”: Showing Us that MTV is DTF with Our Culture

24 Apr

MTV really hit the reality television gold mine (or should I say, “land mine”?) when it premiered it’s Guido-tastic show “Jersey Shore”. If you didn’t understand that awesome “land mine” joke I threw in there, it’s okay. That just means that you’re not watching “Jersey Shore” (or as I will now refer to it, JShore) enough. Unfortunately for myself, I can’t say that, as I avidly watch the show despite how ridiculous and offensive it is.

I know way more about these people’s lives than I do most of the people I know in real life.

JShore came to fruition in the winter of 2009 and was an instant success, despite protests from Italian-American groups, and also from those in the beautiful state of New Jersey. They were convinced that JShore would tarnish the good name of the people of Jersey and also mess with businesses there, but also that the show would promote negative stereotypes against the Italian-American community. Both are valid claims after watching the show, but were not the aims of the show when it was created. JShore is all about a group of guidos and guidettes staying at a house in, as you would have guessed, the Jersey Shore, and basically just having fun, partying, fighting, drinking, more drinking, hooking up, and blacking out. Despite that, the controversy did not let up.

However, the uproar from the Italian-American and New Jersey communities haven’t been the only complaints about the show. JShore has been criticized for promoting an unhealthy hook-up and binge drinking lifestyle for college students. Students have begun to emulate the actions of the cast members and the way that they dress. While the students see this all as being a part of a  good time, it makes me wonder about a more serious questions having to do with sexism, objectification, unsafe sex, what it takes to really have fun, and what this all says about our society.

The men of JShore make no qualms about their hook-up style; they pick up a girl at the club, go home, all have sex in their beds (that are usually in the same room as someone else, if not multiple people), and then call a cab for the girl to leave. The girls that are invited to come back to the house are never allowed to stay the night. This sets a horrible example of objectifying women and seeing her purely for sex, and nothing more. It’s actually disgusting to me. Arguably one of the funniest characters, Pauly D, also says some of the most offensive statements. Some quotes from him:

“When I go into the club I have a game plan, I don’t wanna waste my time and take home a girl that just wants to hang out, I just wanna get to the business… so. you light it up and then you move on & at the end of the night you see who you end up with.”

“They’re cool girls. They’re smart and everything, but they want to hook up just as well, but I think it will take a couple of times seeing them to hook up. They’re not like whores.”

I think I’m starting to see some gray in that blow out…

These are only two of the many examples of what Pauly has said over the years. What bothers me the most about this is that Pauly D is around 30 or 31 years old. It makes me think about what college aged males think of this example, of how long they can continue living this sexist lifestyle before actually realizing they need to grow up and respect women (which our society really should have already taught them to do). Boys watching this show want to be like Pauly D, or the other males, because they get women, but they are further being taught by these men that women are purely sex objects; if she doesn’t want to have sex with you, she isn’t worth your time. They will describe women as “DTF” (“down to F…” I think you can figure that out), and that’s all they’re looking for.  Also, the men refer to “ugly”, “unattractive”, or “fat” women that are with “hot” women as “grenades” or “landmines”. They even go so far as to use a “grenade whistle” that they blow when these women are around. This just adds to the body image problem that girls and women already have from what our country has taught them. No one wants to be labeled a “grenade”, so girls would be trying harder to not get that label. In reality, many of the girls they refer to as “grenades” aren’t even unattractive or overweight, but the men decide to insult her and make fun of her anyway to get it in with her friend. What’s worse is that females have been calling other females “grenades”, and this is just adding to self-loathing in our country for our gender. Really, this show is repressing women and doesn’t even realize it or address it.


Also, I’ve noticed the show talks a lot about sex (aka “smushing” or “getting it in”), but not much about if the sex is protected. That’s just plain setting a bad example right there for a younger audience, who already think they can act without consequence. Add the smushing to the excessive drinking in every single episode and you really have a recipe for disaster.

What fascinates me about JShore is not just the characters on there (yes, I’m referring to them as characters because I refuse to believe they are real people), but also the fact that this show came on the air when MTV was looking to revamp its programming. True, JShore is not glamorous or classy like “Cribs”, “My Super Sweet Sixteen”, or “The Hills”, but it also shows so much excessiveness; excessive drinking, tanning, sex, etc. The cast is being paid millions now to live their ordinary lives, and as I’ve said before, living them without consequence. Rather than attempting to emulate those doing good in the world, students watching this show would rather dress like Snooki (I’m not sure why), or JWoww (again, I’m not sure why), or just go to clubs with the intent of picking up agirl for a few hours and then forgetting about them in the morning.

Seriously? People want to dress like this?

No, SERIOUSLY? WHY IS THIS OKAY?

I’m ashamed to say how much I watch this show, but I watch it for the entertainment value, rather than the aesthetic value. I see the show as a joke, as the people on it as characters, and as it holding absolutely no messages about life. Unfortunately, I can’t speak for everyone when I say this, and I think that despite some of the cast getting pregnant or going to rehab (cough cough Snooki and the Situation), the show is here to stay for many more years, continuing to infect our culture.

Who says MTV isn’t “music television” anymore? That’s all they blog about

10 Apr

On my quest to observe and study other other blogs, I decided to begin my search by looking up blogs created by and pertaining to MTV. I found three blogs from the MTV website, but also two just about shows that MTV airs or “issues” that MTV would touch upon. These “issues” were not so much issues that would pertain to viewers themselves, but more celebrity-related “news stories”.

Something I found very interesting was the way that MTV.com divides up its stories that are blogged about. I looked at three separate pages, one entitled “Newsroom”, one called “Buzzworthy” and the third “Remote Control”. While “Remote Control” is clearly about MTV television shows (you could guess that from the title of the blog), the other two titles are more misleading and confusing than one would think. “Buzzworthy” is the less confusing and misleading of the two; it is all about the most recent MTV gossip, aka information about musicians and their new cds and singles and whatnot. There are actually three posts about Justin Bieber on the first page alone. Apparently, there is that much important new information about him that needs to be shared immediately.

I prefer baby Bieber over slightly-grown up Bieber.

Now, the confusion sets in. You would think that “Newsroom” would be about actual news: world issues, issues pertaining to the youth that watch MTV, information other than news about Britney Spears’ unreleased music. Oh wait, sorry, is that third suggestion not actually considered news? One would think, but the latter of that statement is exactly what “Newsroom” is about. The first article I encountered was about Britney’s unreleased music. The next entry was about Katy Perry’s new cd. What I do not understand is how MTV.com differentiates between what is “Buzzworthy” and what is from the “Newsroom”. Both are essentially about what musicians are doing recently, and nothing that would actually be considered “news”.

Britney will always be relevant.

Now, back to the “Remote Control” blog. After reading through several entries, I came to the realization that it is in fact the most insightful of the three MTV blogs. While it does indeed discuss MTV television shows, it also discusses what the “actors” or participants in those shows are doing. There is an entry about social activist Dan Savage traveling across America to tell teenagers to “embrace their inner awkwardness”. There is an entry that discusses “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino’s new book about his struggle with anxiety and desire to live in the moment. All of this gives me hope for this “new” MTV, that is trying to be more socially conscious. However, this area of the blog is also filled with complete fluff information, such as a behind the scenes look at the show “Fantasy Factory”, which is mostly just the crew messing around, and a picture of “Jersey Shore”‘s Jenni “JWoww” Farley’s dog, that has recently been dyed purple/blue (for reasons completely unknown to me).

Can anyone explain why this happened or why it is vital that I know about it?

This search through MTV and MTV related blogs just brought me back to the conclusion I already had figured out when first doing research for this blog: MTV walks away from important social issues in favor of telling the audience about celebrities and their own shows. MTV is reaching such a widespread age group and audience and I feel that they have much more of an obligation than they realize to talk about real issues that America’s youth are facing today. Nothing in these blogs I read touched upon Generation Debt; it is being virtually ignored by MTV’s programming and blogging. So for a station that is so devoted to its audience and what the audience wants to watch, shouldn’t they be doing more to inform that audience of what is happening around them?