I’ve long been amused when academics talk about the deep meaning in pop culture, which is often just sophisticated-sounded nonsense spewed over vapid and temporary mediocrities. Andrew Sullivan issues a poseur alert over this piece from Erwin Montgomery about Jersey Shore.
Entrepreneurial selves must stay attuned to this kairotic flux, while those in relationships must reckon with how they rack up opportunity costs. According to Paolo Virno, contemporary subjects “confront a flow of ever-interchangeable possibilities” not to try to slow or divert it but to make themselves “available to the greatest number of these [possibilities], yielding to the nearest one, and then quickly swerving from one to the other.” (A Grammar of the Multitude). This anxious searching for possibilities has become, Virno argues, a “homogeneous ethos” based on “the universal opportunism demanded by the urban experience.”…
The ennui and anxiety of the latter-day metropolitan are on conspicuous display even in such a reputedly lowbrow cultural product as MTV’s The Jersey Shore, which recently ended a six-season run. On the show, the hedonism of the six “Guido” and “Guidette” housemates, though intense and relentless, appears joyless, almost workmanlike. For instance, the conversations between Mike “the Situation” — a nickname that indiscriminately applies to (a) Mike, (b) Mike’s toned abs, and (c) just about any impending set of circumstances promising indeterminate pleasure — and Ronnie, two alphamale cast members whose musk-inflamed horn-locking drives the show’s first season, frequently turn to the subject of “pounding out” women they meet in nightclubs or on the boardwalk. Though piquant, this expression suggests activity undertaken more out of obligation than inclination…Less representatives of their particular American subculture than creatures of their historical moment, The Jersey Shore cast, in their unsentimental sexual pragmatism, embody the general human disposition under neoliberalism. According to David Harvey, neoliberalism “proposes that human well being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms.” If human well-being includes sexual fulfillment, then sexuality is in need of deregulation, so it may become more responsive to entrepreneurial initiative. The Situation is exemplary in this respect.
That’s a lot of fancy-sounding bullshit that really just means “these guys are shallow assholes who care about nothing but getting laid.” It reads like a cultural version of the Sokal hoax.