Jersey Shore: Karma Is a Bitch

Now that the eight subjects in the most important sociological experiment of our time are back in their native habitat, it's time for them to play. Of course they go to Karma, where they get soused and cause a riot.

The booming music, the blinking lights, the ever classy black wooden room dividers in the hallway covering up a moldy wall—it's no wonder why the guidos return to Karma, their ritualistic mating grounds, every summer like trout swimming up a polluted stream. But before we can get to that, we need to look at the guido's language so that we can understand their conversations.

  • Backpack: A woman who is so clingy that she is practically an appendage of the man, like something strapped to his back. This gets its origins from olden times, when the guidette's skirts were so tight that they couldn't walk, and when they would go out in public, their muscular mates would drape them across their wide backs, and carry them about the town.
  • Squash Our Differences: Just like using the word "smash" to describe sexual intercourse, this is a good thing. Anything violent, in guido culture, is good. Much like "smashing" this squashing is when the problems that two parties have with one each other collide and grapple. After that, the differences are forgotten and friendship can resume. It's sort of like having the sense knocked into someone.
  • Hog Hunt: A club, bar, party, or other social venue that is full of attractive women. Much like a pond that has been pre-stocked with fresh fish, this makes it easier for the man to have his pick of mates.

Speaking of hog hunts, Sammi did not go to Karma with the rest of the crew and we need to discuss her before we can talk about people having fun, because there is nothing fun about Sammi. If Sammi had an objective correlative, she would be a wishing well, but a wishing well that is full of poison. She wishes and wishes that things could go her way, but they don't, and because of that, she is trying to destroy everyone around her.

Yes, Sammi refused to go to Karma, and she made Ronnie stay home with her so that she could lie in her bed. Sammi's bed is the only place that she enjoys. It is the source of all her power, and if she doesn't spend the appropriate amount of time in it she will wither away and die or just burst into a ball of smoke like the Wicked Witch of the West. So, she makes Ronnie stay in for a night of recharging.

Sammi set herself up in an interesting dilemma. The guidette needs to have female friends to hang with when the men want to go do their routine of gym, tan, laundry, but they also keep an eye out for her and her man, who has a natural tendency to stray. When the guidos migrated to Miami for the winter, the other women in the house supported Sammi when she was "done" with Ronnie. But when they got back together, she had to make a choice between believing her friends, who said Ronnie cheated, and Ronnie, who said he had been a good boy. She chose Ronnie, sacrificing her relationship with the ladies, but then she found out that Ronnie was cheating, which means she had no friends and a boyfriend she couldn't trust. All that pressure, naturally culminated in a fight.

Sammi is living in a prison of her own devising. She threw her lot in with Ronnie, but now she knows that situation is tenuous. She could try to make friends with Snooki, JWOWW, and Deena, but she's too proud, or too stubborn to apologize. In fact, she's not making any effort at all. Sammi likes to play the put upon martyr, posing like everyone is against her, but they are against her because she won't go out for the club, doesn't care that she missed "family dinner," and won't even crack a smile when the whole house goes to the amusement park. Yes, Sammi is alone, but she's only alone because she's isolating herself. She is the poisoned wishing well, hoping things get better, but taking everyone down when they don't.

The worst part is, as Sammi says, this is just like Miami. It's her fighting with the girls and fighting with Ronnie all over again. She doesn't learn. She's trying to muscle her happiness out of a relationship that she is doomed to destroy and friendships with people who she has already betrayed. And we don't want to see it again. This is boring. It's like watching the slow-motion replay of a car crash you already just witnessed. It's too irritating and unsettling to see again. Sammi is done. And not like "done" done, but done for real. The end is nigh, and even if she just stays in her bed waiting for it to come for her in the warm, damp, salt-filled Seaside night, it's going to come tapping its yellow fingernails on her window any day now.

But Sammi isn't the only girl in the world who won't let her man go 10 feet without wondering where he is. Let us look at the newest mating ritual that plays out in the wilds of Karma.

Rather than waiting around in a tight dress with her cleavage heaving out of her top, the guidette is shockingly aggressive. But, like most females of all species, are still taught to be a bit passive. That's how they developed this "parasite" technique, where they seek to infect the guido by following him around the club repeatedly. That is the aggressive part of the equation, but then she just waits there hoping that the guido will notice her. If he thinks it's his idea, that is a turn on. If he thinks she is pursuing him, then she is a skank and he won't sleep with her.

See, the guido men are very complicated when it comes to mates. They want a girl who is "DTF" and will put out immediately, but they don't want one that is too eager. No, they don't want a slut (that's why The Situation keeps shooting down the readily available Deena). They don't want a woman to have any sexual agency. They want to think that they somehow magically convinced the girl to have sex only with them. It's like they have some kind of power over her or they are somehow better and more special than all the other men in the club, and that is why she would only have sex with him. The guido ego is very fragile, and bedding him is more about stroking that than other parts of his anatomy. So, even if the woman would sleep with any other man in attendance, she has to convince the man she is not a slut before he will sleep with her.

This is the flaw in the "parasite gambit." If the woman is caught actively following the man, she is too readily available and will scare him. However, if she does it subtly enough, and spurns his advances a few times before agree to sleep with him, it will work.

This stalker failed in her mission though, but that doesn't mean Vinny and The Situation went home empty handed. In fact, they both went home holding onto the same prize. At first, The Situation thinks that they can share a woman as long as they stay "on their own side." I have conferred with other well-trained sociologists, and we believe that this is The Situation's ultimate fantasy. He gets to pretend that he's straight, because there is a woman in the room, but he also gets to gay it up by looking at another man. Yeah, having a three-way with one of your best guy friends is, if not homosexual, at least homosocial, whether or not there is man-on-man contact. Or maybe The Situation is just under the thrall of Vinny's enormous "dickmatizing" member?

Either way, Vinny has other ideas.

Way to go, Vinny! This is an especially heroic victory because when we have observed the mating rituals of these guidos in the past, the ultra aggressive Situation was the one who was always stealing girls away from Vinny. Finally, Vinny has gotten smart enough to pull a dirty trick—or "robbery" in their parlance—of his own and ferret his catch away so that he can dine on it alone. Maybe The Situation is a victim to his own prowess, showing the rather innocent and well-mannered Vinny how to be sneaky when it comes to getting laid. He lead by example, and now the teacher has surpassed the student.

But Vinny is clearly the most clever of all the guidos in the house. He may not be the alpha male—that designation still barely belongs to The Situation—but he is the one you want around when there is a problem. Just look at what happened with Snooki and Deena. Like two little monkeys, they were easily amused throwing around a pink ball with princesses on it and running around their little jungle gym on the roof. They were as happy as, well, two little monkeys, throwing their feces back and forth, creating a giant mess and cackling incoherently. Then, they lost the ball. As we have witnessed time and time again, the guido has a very difficult time operating simple machinery. Just like at how hard it is for them to hang up a phone or sit in a hammock without it toppling over. So, naturally, Deena and Snooki can't rescue the ball with a simple broom.

Naturally it is Vinny to the rescue. The smartest primate in our little zoo (because the protozoan that infest the hot tub seem to have developed a rather erudite but microscopic society of their own, so they are the smartest organism in the house) he uses the tools from around the guido house to rescue the ball. Naturally, it consists of a skimmer for the hot tub, two beer funnels, and a badminton racket. There is nothing that says "summer in Seaside" more than making a contraption out of a pool skimmer, beer funnels, and a badminton racket and rescuing a princess ball from the neighboring roof—especially with Vinny making jokes about his big dick while doing it. This, coupled with Vinny's tricky coupling the night before, may put him in the position to take over the slot of alpha male from The Situation.

But he is not the only one evolving. There are signs that the heffalump known as Snooki as starting to gain something resembling sentience as well.

The most important part of this observational detail is not that Snooki was hiding in a bush, it's that she is now questioning why she does things. Later in this dispatch she will see herself wearing a ridiculous getup and ask "What am I wearing?" Before, Snooki was just operating to have fun. She had no purpose in life other than to eat, sleep, drink, and get laid. But now that all of her needs are being met thanks to this experiment, she is starting to reach for a higher consciousness. She now has the luxury to philosophize.

Her good friend JWOWW, however, still only operates on instinct. That's why she is so good in a fight. When she sees that a situation is getting out of hand, she just steps in and beats things up. This is great for the rough environment of Seaside Heights and especially handy when prowling the "battlefield" of karma. That is why she forgets about her anniversary to her boyfriend. She is so preoccupied with the immediate, with the dilemma that is right under her nose, that she can't see or remember what is happening in the rest of the world. JWOWW is like a lioness, a beautiful, majestic creature who keeps quiet until she is threatened. Then she will spring to attack, swiping her manicured claws at anything that threatens the members of her pride.

Snooki, however, is grappling for something greater. She is finally learning to question her motives. She is trying to achieve some sort of self-awareness, questioning why she does these things, why she wears these garments, what—oh, what—is her place in this big confusing thing we call the world. Right now she is just questioning though, planting the seeds in her little mind, hoping that one day they will grow in to the answers that are currently so painfully out of her grasp.

There she is sitting on the ground, staring at the guido's vengeful household god, the Duck Phone, and asking it questions. "Who am I?" "Who are you?" "Are you real?" "Are you a god?" "If you are a god, why are you so cruel?" "What is my purpose here?" "What is the difference between right and wrong?" "When is the open bar at Karma?" These are all the important questions our budding philosopher is asking, just hoping for an answer. But the Duck Phone, ever cruel and vengeful, sits there with its red burning eyes staring back at her. He remains silents.