Usually we're studying the behavioral and mating patterns of all eight guidos on Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time, but this time around we're focusing on only one. Yes, it's time to get up close and personal with that slow loris Snooki.
Yes, it seems like the needs of the individual have surpassed the needs of the group, as Snooki stole the spotlight for her continued downward spiral in the wake of her breakup and infidelity and reunion and possible second breakup with her boyfriend Jionni. It was all too much drama. But before we can get to her, we have to look at just what everyone was saying.
- Crazypants: This is not a person who is behaving wildly or an adjective used to describe an insane situation but rather an actual garment that a person puts on when he or she can no longer deal with reality. A person who can't cope with the swirling miasma and calls for their garment. "Crazypants!" they yell, and all those around them must suit them in their armor of sanity.
- Pop Off: When a situation, most likely a fight, is about to start. It's like the transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy that a boulder gets when given an initial shove off a cliff.
- Air Out: Most people use this idiom to refer to cleansing the air in a musty basement, but for the guidos this is a process where someone reveals all of someone else's secrets in public. It is definitely carries a negative connotation.
Oh Snooki you're so fine, you're so fine you blow our mind. Oh Snooki. Poor Snooki. Let's look at the mess she made.
Snooki woke up in the morning stewing in a puddle of bodily fluids and regret. It wasn't the first time, but it was the worst time. Even though there were some crusty flakes all over her legs, she was convinced that the night before all she did was cuddle with Vinny and his enormous mansausage. Instead of getting into her own bed, she woke up JWOWW so they could go out for breakfast and find the largest bottle of wine in all of Italy and then break it on the streets of Florence. It was like they were pouring one out for every guido that had ever passed on their well-worn and off-kilter streets.
Anyway, she also roused Grendel's Godfather, the sleeping lizardface that is called The Situation because most humans can't pronounce his demon name. JWOWW told Snooki that Situation was running his gums about her hooking up with him the night before and she started screaming at him. Then they left for their wine-soaked (literally, for a change) adventures.
Well, Situation devised a prank. Well, it wasn't really a prank. In the guido culture, a prank is a funny gag that is meant to settle a score or prove dominance over other members of the house. It is almost always comical and the victim ends up laughing along with the perpetrator, and it's a great way to restore the balance of power among roommates. But this wasn't a prank. This was just a mean action to prove some sort of point that didn't need making.
The Situation called his friend The Unit (yes, just as Sitch is named after a part of his anatomy, so is his best friend) and had a good old towel-snapping locker room chuckle about hooking up with Snooki and her best friend Rider in the same room, probably while staring into each others' eyes and caressing each others' biceps. Then he went and told Ronnie and Deena that he called The Unit and told The Unit to call Jionni and tell Jionni that Situation hooked up with Snooki. Sitch said he did this to "air out the rats" in the house, but he told Deena himself and, as soon as he said it, she and Sammi said, "We're going to tell her." So it's not like they were ratting. They told him to his face that they were going to tell Snooki and he said, "Go ahead." So is that ratting? No!
Of course when Snooki gets home, they tell her and she freaks out and starts chasing Sitch around the house and throwing bottles at him like she's Bluto in the arcade version of Popeye. She is naturally pissed that Sitch had his friend The Boner caller her boyfriend and tell him that Snooki has been cheating. But then The Situation is all like, "Guess what, I didn't call him. It was a joke."
Ugh, it was not a joke. A joke is meant to be funny. This was just vicious. This was just some malevolent action to get everyone needlessly riled up. Now he's trying to take the moral high ground making some point about how Snooki should talk to him and ask him if what people say he said is true. Except the thing is, he did say exactly what everyone told her he said, so what is the point? The point seems to be that Situation lies to people so when people tell Snooki about things that The Situation actually said, she's supposed to go check with him to see if he's lying or not, and then try to figure out if that answer is a lie or not. It's all so stupid and contrived that I just want to throw a wine bottle at The Situation's head until he has X's in his eyes and falls off the bottom of the screen while Bluto stands at the top of the board and hugs a screaming Olive while he laughs for taking your quarter.
Now Snooki is pissed off for no reason and everyone hates The Situation a little bit more. He's always been the alpha of this tribe and his behavior to defend his position at the top of the pack has gotten more erratic for months and months now. He may be making the most money, but his whole tribe is about to turn on him, and it's not going to be pretty.
Luckily for everyone the next morning the boys were going to Sicily to hang with Vinny's family and the girls were going on some wine tasting, so both Snooki and Sitch had some time to cool off before any serious damage was done to something other than bottles and the surfaces they shattered against.
Alright, sending the guidettes on a wine tasting is sort of like sending your Uncle Earl, who loves eating at the Cracker Barrel, on a molecular gastronomy tour. Sure, they love to drink, but this is like going to school. If there's one thing the guidos hate it is learning things, especially about other cultures or customs. They are so used to knowing only their mores and byways and can't possibly think that there are other, better ways out there to act or behave. They have their rituals and they're sticking to them. So, anyway, they go on this wine tasting and all they want to do is get drunk which is disastrous.
As soon as Snooki gets drunk, she starts talking about herself. We've seen a slow progression in Snooki that has gone from the normal self-centeredness of the average drunken 20 year-old to a sort of all consuming narcissism. But it's of a passive sort, where everything that happens is happening to her, not because of her. She asks everyone for their opinion and JWOWW tells her that she should break up with Jionni because if she's fucking Vinny an hour after breaking up with Jionni then she doesn't want it to work. Snooki doesn't like that answer, so she says JWOWW isn't her friend anymore, because she doesn't want honesty, she just wants her friends to agree with her. Sorry, St. J of WOWW, the patron saint of hair holding while you puke, is better than that. She tells you the truth.
But that upsets Snooki, who likens JWOWW telling the truth to "airing out" all of her secrets. Oh, Snooki, you have done all of these things. You hooked up with Sitch (which is what JWOWW seems to have been alluding to), you behaved like a skank and drove Jionni away, and you cheated on him with Vinny. You have done this all. To yourself! Don't ask, "Why are you doing this to me?" because you know the answer. You created all your own problems.
And Snooki's problems weren't just with Sitch and JWOWW, it got even worse when she got home and called her father. He told Snooki that Jionni changed his status on Facebook to "Single." That makes it official. They are broken up. This has nothing to do with guido culture, this has to do with the world. This is how we live. Get used to it. Someday soon, you won't even need a marriage license, you'll just change your status to "Married" and Mark Zuckerberg will send you your own personal Mazel in the mail and it will be legally binding. This is the future.
She calls Jionni and, well, she makes it even worse. He's pissed at her for breaking up with him and she apologizes and then tells him that she slept in Vinny's bed and they hooked up but they didn't have sex. He says that they're "done." Oh, we know what that means! Yes, their relationship continues on the guido trajectory where they have to break up and get back together constantly to reaffirm each other of their love.
Just like that, they talk again a little later on and Jionni says that he's going to give her another chance, but she better not fuck it up. Yes, it's the Love Ballad of Sammi and Ronnie all over again, except there's no punching or throwing things. That's when it hit me, this is a relationship that, at least for this period of time, is happening on phone calls. It happens when Snooki calls him and tells him what happened and it pisses him of and then they fight and make up, fight and make up, reassuring their insecure love. And even when he's there, the same pattern repeats. They fuck, they fight, he leaves, they make up, he leaves again, and the cycle continues anew. If you were to chart a guido relationship, it wouldn't be a rising arrow, ascending to the right as it moves higher and higher to a level of trust and intimacy, it would look like a million spikes going up and down, running up to the heights and then hurling itself off to splatter itself on the depths below, only to pick itself up and rise once again, like some sort of punch drunk Phoenix.
So, they're back together, but there's still the question of Snooki and Vinny. She admits that she blacked out a little and asks him just what they did together. She wants to confirm it was just cuddling and Vinny says, and I quote, "Yeah, my penis was cuddling with your vagina." Oh, not good, Snooks. Not good at all.
She does the adult thing and calls Jionni and confesses to him, rather than having it "aired out" (you know, like on national television). What does he say? We don't know, because that is when our transmission cut out. But if I know the guido culture, I say that the Phoenix that is their relationship just set itself aflame and is sundering itself into a pile of ashes and then just as quickly a spark, like the first flaming flints on a Zippo, lit itself up.
So, not the entire episode was about who has and hasn't been in Snooki's vagina. There was one other monumental occassion: Vinny went to go meet his family.
Yes, he had long dreamed of his lost relatives who lived amid the smoke of Mt. Etna, and now he finally got to meet them. It turns out: they're just normal people. Yes, they're just everyday Italians who like to eat and play soccer and kiss each other twice on the cheek and live with four generations in the same house. They are proud and noble and just, you know regular.
We see that our guidos have adopted some of their culture, like eating a giant Sunday meal that never ends and drinking too much wine and loving your family, either blood or chosen. But those are the sorts of things that you'll find in cultures all over the world. They are, dare I say it, human.
So this should be the nail in the coffin of the argument that the guidos are bad for Italian Americans, because this proves that they have little to do with Italian culture and express more of their own entirely different set of characteristics. It's not like Vinny's family is a bunch of orange midgets with big hair and blinged out clothes that only live in night clubs and are having wonton sex in their hot tub while drunk out of their minds. Nope, they're just normal. It's the guidos that are the aberration.
Vinny says he felt an instant connection to his family, but he was happy to leave them, to be back to his friends who understood the way he looked and how he dresses and speak the same language as he does. He went right back to the old ways.
While his family, the great Guadagnino clan of Sicily got together for one last bit of business. The older men went out to the barn while the women prepared the children, tucking in their jackets and making sure they used the bathroom before the long journey ahead. In the barn the men found what they were looking for, a wooden box that was jittering around a little bit, banging from the inside. It had two long poles attached to it, like some sort of arc. There were some decorative etchings on the outside, but nothing spectacular. They hoisted it up on their shoulders, the four strongest of the bunch and the men met up with the women and children and started walking down a well-marked path in the field.
It was a warmish day and the sun was shining down, just as the wildflowers were beginning to peek their white eyes out of their green lids. The children picked some of them as they marched along, toward the volcano and up their slope. They all sang songs in the old language. Bright songs with skipping melodies. Then one of the woman started everyone in on an old song, a long rumbling dirge that the children quickly lost interest in. It was a call and response number and all of the adults knew their parts, back and forth, and the children skipped and twirled their flowers, getting tired as the crowd, thirty strong, followed the wooden box up the top of the volcano.
It was several hours of singing on the way up, but they finally got there, to the very cusp of the ancient font, cooled over with time, the lava hardened to ash and, in the center, a deep pit that went somewhere no one had every been, deep into a great darkness. That's when the singer removed something from a ceremonial bag, a purple satin case that was threadbare with use. And she raised a small wooden fetish up into the air and began chanting harder and faster, growing louder as the wind picked up and brushed the hair back off her shoulders and into the hair. Everyone looked up at the creature in her hands and they began making it, that ancient noise: a quack. A sharp cacophony of vowel sounds echoing against the empty mountain and that's when the men undid the latch on their box and their precious cargo popped out and they all surrounded her, this wild-eyed virgin, and shoved her down the ashy slope as they called out to their god in a series of louder and louder quacks. The Duck Phone had been appeased.