• Wed, Oct 20 2010

There is a Life Lesson to be Gleaned from ‘Jersey Shore’

I’m a little tardy to the party with this, but I finally got around to watching the recent South Park episode in which they take a huge crap on all things Jersey. The episode is brilliant, and horribly offensive if you’re Snooki, and terribly accurate if you’re Teresa. And the lesson is clear: Jersey sucks. And people on Jersey reality shows suck worse.

And some of that might be true, if we’re talking “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” And Angelina. And JWoww, and Ronnie. Those people are trash.

But there is one thing that “Jersey Shore” has right, and it’s a surprisingly poignant little nug of wisdom. Often, when the group is about to go out to a club — or when a fight is about to break out, and one party is trying to avoid claiming responsibility — they will let fly with this: “You just do you, and I’ma do me.”

Just do you. It’s a very profound thing to hear from the likes of Schnookers or the Situation, but the fact of the matter is that in many cases, it’s the best advice anyone can give anyone else. The idea is simple: be yourself, and I’m going to be myself, and we’ll see where that takes us.

In a world where you do you and I do me, we always know where we stand with people. There are no phony friendships — we all hate Angelina, for instance, and she hates all of us. (Granted, we probably should have told Sammi that we wrote the note, but at the time we really thought that we were just doing us.) There are no petty resentments — you didn’t want to go to the club and I did, so we both did what we wanted instead of one of us caving and then being pissed off weeks down the line. And then, when friendship does blossom — like between Snooki and JWoww — we know it’s based on a shared love of tanning, daytime drinking, and fist-bumping…and we can continue to build on that honesty.

But how many of us actually follow that advice? How many of us are too worried about what other people will think to let our Snooki freak flag fly, or too afraid that we’ll hurt someone’s feelings if we overstep our own bounds and infringe on theirs?

Too many of us, that’s how (…many). Bu tI’m calling for that world, right here, right now. It’s inspiration from an unlikely place, but remember — the “Jersey Shore” cast became famous for doing them. And if fame doesn’t mean that everyone loves you for all the right reasons, I don’t know what does.

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