Guys, it's finally happened. After years and years of studying the most important sociological experiment of our time, I have gone completely native. Yes, I can no longer help myself and last night, well, I decided to have a meatball night. While it didn't end with me locked up in the "drunk tank" it did end with me watching Jersey Shore half out of my mind at 2 AM and waking up in a pool of drool, pop chip crumbs, and chunks of purple weave hair that may or may not have come out of JWOWW's skull. I hope not. So, this week's exploration of our favorite experiment is going to be a little brief because, well, I don't remember everything that happened and I kind of want to go take a nap with my head on the toilet because it is so cool and wonderful.
OK, let's start with vocab, shall we?
Drunk Tank: This is where someone who is publicly intoxicated goes. It is a right of passage in the guido culture and everyone has experienced it. It is the logical end of the drunken spiritual walkabout known as the "meatball day," but unlike the vision that comes at the end of this quest, it is more like a nightmare. In order to decrease the stress of remembering his time in this lock down, Ronnie says "drunk tank" repeatedly trying to keep the reality of all the nights he's spent spinning on a cot behind bars will keep his demons at bay. It always fails.
So, yes, as we saw at the end of last episode, Deena is finally a woman now because she has completed her batty mitzvah and been hauled off by the cops for drunkenly twirling around in the middle of the street. How do her friends celebrate this momentous occasion? By going to drink, of course. A natural response. Maybe this is why Deena calls her parents to the rescue her rather than her roommates. She knows what they'll be doing.
Deena's mom, I have to say, is freakin awesome. She's like Judge Judy in a better outfit and with less makeup. "Oh, shut the hell up about your stupid meatball day. You've had your fun, now learn your lesson. Don't ever do it again. Some judge isn't going to say, 'Oh, she just wanted a meatball day, just let her off.' No, they'll send you to real jail in county and you don't know what wants to happen there. Rape. Rape is what happens there. You will be raped. For being a drunk. So laughy laugh laugh at this one, but if you ever do this again, Deena Nicole Fascianelli, I will destroy you."
Speaking of destroyed, The Situation has destroyed his singlehood by "making it official" with Paula, one of the Vestal (non)Virgins who work tending the hearth of the Temple of the Tanning. What is striking about this is the terminology that they all use to describe the arrangement. The Situaiton, who has been having random sex with this girl and many other girls for the last four years, is couching his exploration of asking her to go "steady" in the traditional sense of the word using words that most would equate with matrimony. There is a proposal complete with a silly stunt where he asks her to go out with him on a T-shirt. His friends refer to it as being "wifed up." It's as if there is no step between randomly banging and life-long commitment to monogamy. What is also odd that, for their vaunted promiscuity, everyone in the house is currently in a relationship. Sammi has Ronnie, JWOWW has Roger's fists, Snooki has her fetus, Deena has a beard, and DJ Paulie D and Vinny have each other. It's perfect.
Paula, who has finger nails that are huge, square, flat and as elaborated decorated with swirls, bright colors, and dolphins as a line of retro Lisa Frank binders at Urban Outfitters, has a strange timeline for a relationship as well. She says she that their partnership should evolve in these steps, "Kids, marriage, relationship, puppy, house." That seems totally crazy, except it seems to be the exact trajectory that Snooki is on with her current relationship. No, to Jionni, not to the baby.
Speaking of Snooki and the baby, the most interesting thing about JWOWW fraking (that means "fake breaking") her foot at Bamboo when Roger, the Mayor of Seaside Heights, pushed her is how Snooki discusses her condition. Snooki continuously refers to herself as "handicapped" or "crippled" and wants someone else to be in the same state as she is. This isn't because she's immobile or otherwise ill, it's because she can not drink. For the guido, imbibing alcohol is the process that maintains their healthy and sanity. Since she can't drink it while she's pregnant, she feels somehow ill and off balance. She wants JWOWW to be in a similar scenario because the only thing misery loves is blow jobs. Well, it loves company, but it probably loves blow jobs too, because who doesn't. It probably also loves pizza, but not Hot Pockets. Hot Pockets are disgusting.
As for JWOWW's relationship with Mayor Roger, well, I don't like it. She spends more time waiting for him to call her and having to apologize for mean things that he did to her. He shoved her. He pushed her in a crowded club, and now he is waiting for her to call and apologize. That is some seriously messed up shit. It's like the time he blew her off and hten turned it around and made her feel bad about him standing her up. He's insane. But JWOWW likes him enough to marry him so good for her. But he's a jerk. Mark my words.
And finally we have to talk about Mason (at least that's what her scribble name on my notes looks like today) DJ Paulie D's newest stalker. She's the one who breezes by the house, shouts their names, and then flashes them her tits. She knows they can't resist. They even know her name and want to hang out with her. She's the opposite of DJ Paulie D's stalker last year, who didn't talk or say anything, just sort of creeped around. By just being up front about it, Mason has worked her way into her orbit. So after jiggling her juggs on the boardwalk, she quickly walked over to a payphone and made a call. "I'm almost in," she said to a voice on the other end. "Excellent," the voice said, and the camera pulls away and we see that it is Danielle the Agent of Mossad who has been trying to kidnap DJ Paulie D and use him as a stud animal for his DNA to build super soldiers since season one. "Excellent," she says again and then laughs a maniacal laugh whose cackles pierce the night air and give every guido in the area a deep chill.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: MTV]
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I grew up in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, which makes me an Oakland A’s fan. When I was young Al Davis’s folly was still in effect and the Raiders played down in Los Angeles. This was the heyday of Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and the advent of Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense which at the time confused the Hell out of suddenly dated defenses around the NFL. All of which makes me a rare though totally legit fan of both the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco 49ers, neither of which have been very good of late.
If you didn’t understand anything in that last paragraph, that’s okay. When my Guatemalan roommate talks soccer or my other boss talks electronics I tend to go glassy as well. The point is that I like sports and I’m from the Bay Area and therefore it is impossible right now to not love the San Francisco Giants. They’re entirely wacky. Their closer – the guy who pitches in the last inning when they have a slim lead and the opponent’s batters need to be shut down – has a brown Mohawk and a big beard died jet black, they’ve got a big fat guy they call 'Kung Fu Panda', and one of their own commentators called watching them play “torture.” I’m in.
Which led me right into the question: what are some classic movies set in, or at least filmed in San Francisco? There’s a lot to choose from: The Maltese Falcon, The Lady from Shangai, The Conversation, Basic Instinct, Groove (starring this columnist's favorite indie kid, Mackenzie Firgens), Zodiac and many other. For me, though, it all boils down to one of my favorite movies ever and a perfect example of what story does best. This week’s classic movie: 1958’s Vertigo.
Vertigo has a long and odd history in terms of criticism. Initially rejected as too long, too detailed, boring, cynical and too much of a jump from the romantic thrillers on which Alfred Hitchcock had staked his name, Vertigo eventually grew to somewhere near the top of critics best-of lists, due in no small part to the French film analysis of the 50s.
I didn’t know any of that when I saw the movie. All I knew was that James Stewart was a bit stiff and Kim Novak was super hot. The movie astonished and overwhelmed me.
When I’m talking to my writing students about their approach to content, I use the phrase “memoir to metaphor” to indicate the magic one can wreak when turning all those roiling emotions and day to day disasters of life into big metaphors. I ask them to do a compare and contrast on two people they successively went out with. We talk about how we tend to dress up every new person we date in the garb of our expectations, hopes, dreams, and how terrible it can be when the real person breaks through those projections.
Then I show them Vertigo.
Hitchcock, more than any other filmmaker I can name except Hayao Miyazaki, turns interiors into exteriors. In Rear Window, every window Jimmy Stewart looks into is a different riff on his fears surrounding relationships. Rear Window replicates the cinematic effect in the way the thriller unfolds visually; Stewart is watching the “screens” of these windows, each one a little movie that expresses his anxiety with regards to intimate relationships. That’s why movie buffs love the thing so much: it’s a metaphor for film itself.
I’m purposefully avoiding talking about the plot of Vertigo because I want you to experience it in its narrative purity as much as you can. Suffice to say: it starts with a mystery, but it ends up being all about a woman. Treat yourself. Check it out.
Oh, and Go Giants!