“Yeah Buddy!” – A Psychological Analysis of the Cast of Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore

I love Jersey Shore. It is an absolutely terrible show, but it is unendingly hilarious, and the characters absolutely fascinate me. I’m one of those people that likes to look beyond the surface and check out what’s really going on. Today is the season finale of this season, so I decided to share my thoughts about the people on the show. This post contains my opinion on some of the inner workings of the members of the hit television phenomenon, Jersey Shore.

1. Mike “The Situation”  – Mike is obviously the Loki of the group. That being said, he also seems to be the most insecure man in the bunch. He constantly causes ruckus: telling lies about people, sharing secrets he shouldn’t, etc… He has a drive to create drama and trouble no matter the repercussions. In my estimation, he has a conflict within himself that he is trying to find resolution for. Maybe he had a terrible relationship with his mother, or maybe he had an ex-girlfriend that broke his heart. Maybe he has unresolved feelings for Snooki; at least that’s what the show would like you to believe. On some level, the situation isn’t under control. Something continually nags at him to be fixed, and that nagging translates to all kinds of conflicting situations in his life. This leads him to be dishonest and hurt the people around him. It may even be that he is unintentionally trying to recreate the conflict scenario that is causing him so much pain to begin with. He constantly needs attention, but he doesn’t understand why, and he feels lonely when he doesn’t get it. Yet, he refuses to accept the reality that his own actions are what alienate people and cause him to be alone in the first place.

2. Ronnie – Ronnie is from the Bronx, but he’s not a typical Bronx macho man. I suspect that he was never a social leader in high school or after. He was likely the “third wheel” for a good amount of the social interactions in his life, or the one bro who never really fit in with the rest. He is big, but his confidence doesn’t match his stature. Ronnie is probably the happiest in the group, even though it may not seem like it because of his constant fighting with Sammi and his recent altercation with Mike. He is just happy to have found people in his life that he can consistently call his “friends.” He clings to Sammi because she is the first girl in his life who has treated him as her first choice and has shown a willingness to devote herself to him. He is probably not in love with Sammi, but rather in love with being in love. All this is demonstrated by his tendency to “swack” his fellow cast mates and his over the top dance moves at every club he ever goes to. Ronnie is finally in with the cool crowd, has a hot girlfriend, and is very content with it all. Although, he was only recently included in MVP to form MR. VP.

3. Vinny – Vinny is a family man. He feels a void in his life, and he can’t fill it with partying, drinking, or having lots of shallow sex. If you notice, Vinny is the one guy who is never shown consistently bringing home a girl to get it in. He won’t turn down a smush opportunity when it’s presented to him, but he doesn’t actively try to game women on the regular. He is an old fashioned romantic in the end. Vinny loves his mother, and he misses his life at home on Staten Island. He wants the comforts of a family life, and he is yearning for a quality woman to settle down with. That being said, he is surprisingly accepting. He is not judgmental of the other members of the house, and he’s always available to lend a nurturing word. He tries to recreate a strong family vibe among his house mates, and he becomes very disappointed when he fails. This is the reason Ronnie and Sam’s fights bother him more than they bother the others. He is genuinely affected by them because those conflicts are a direct threat to that family comfort he so ardently desires.

4. Pauly D. – Pauly is obsessive and meticulous. He is from Rhode Island, and probably comes from a wealthy background. He has never really had to deal with a great degree of responsibility in his life, though that is not unique to him. He focuses a disgusting amount of attention on his appearance, and that is likely because he needs something to devote his time to. He is not intelligent or capable enough to do anything outside of the club domain, so he focuses on his appearance and being a DJ. He is unambitious, and his lack of movement will catch up to him sooner or later. Though he is content with where he is at now, I suspect he will become bored with his life fairly soon and seek other avenues to channel his energies. Things have likely just fallen in his lap throughout his life, and he doesn’t really know what it is to earn something. Pauly will probably learn this lesson quickly and harshly.

5. Jenni “JWOWW” – Jenni is the most “normal” person on the show, though I hate using the word normal. She realizes how stupid the show is, and she realizes that the entire country is laughing at them. She doesn’t really care though. She’s in it for the money. She is getting paid lots of money for putting up with a group of ignorant irresponsible people, and she doesn’t really mind. She probably just does whatever the producers tell her too, and that’s likely the reason she has become the “big sister” on the show, regularly taking care of Snooki and defusing other conflicts in the house. Not to mention, she provides great eye candy with her giant chest. She is not a shallow person, and she isn’t fickle either. She knows what she wants out of life, and she knows how to take advantage of situations to achieve her goals. She appears to care about Snooki and other members of the house, though I suspect she cares a lot less than the show demonstrates.

6. Sammi “Sweetheart” – To me, Sammi is the most uninteresting of the house mates. She is a typical modern girl. She is somewhat intelligent, probably has a bachelor’s degree, or if not, is working on one. She will likely lead an average middle class life, working in an office somewhere. She enjoys partying and going out, but she isn’t a “partier,” so to speak. She probably keeps in touch with her family, and she has a tendency to over-dramatize her relationships, turning them into something they aren’t. I’m not quite sure about precisely how invested she is in Ronnie, but I am hesitant to say that she is actually completely in love with him, especially since her feelings really come out in full force only when she is drunk. There really isn’t much else to say about Sammi.

7. Snooki – I absolutely hate Snooki. She is an unattractive, stupid, spoiled little brat. She is the textbook definition of daddy’s little girl who was never disciplined and got whatever she asked for if she just cried a little. She has no tact and no class because she has never had any responsibility in her life. She is sloppy, regularly revealing herself in public environments and becoming uncontrollably inebriated even more regularly. She misses her daddy, and hates feeling helpless, which is why she becomes so broken after losing Jionni and after hitting a police officer’s vehicle in Italy. She doesn’t know anything about anything, and the last time she probably read a book was elementary school. She sometimes slips into insecurity, worrying about how people perceive her, but she eventually recovers and gets lost in living her life. This recovery usually happens through the consumption of a large amount of alcohol. Recently, Snooki has become antagonistic toward her house mates because they try to take care of her at every turn. What she doesn’t realize is that her own actions precipitate this desire in her house mates. Daddy has taken care of everything for her throughout her life, and she is incapable to doing things on her own. So, her house mates need to step in to take of the little girl.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that. I’m looking forward to the season finale tonight; it should be a good one.

Reflections on 9/11 – Hate, Assumptions, and Unremembered Deaths

9/11 Hate Cartoon“I found a religion that blended scientific reason with spiritual reality in a unifying faith far removed from the headlines of violence, destruction, and terrorism.” – Yousuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, commenting on becoming a Muslim

Anniversaries are important. The past should be remembered, and those who have been lost to this world ought not be lost to our memories. The problem with some anniversaries, however, is they often transform our recollections into inaccurate emotional jumbles which draw our focus away from many important factors. I want to take a minute to reflect on the day the twin towers were attacked, and on the events which followed.

To begin with, many people assume that Bin Laden was behind the attacks of September 11th. Now, I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories. On the other hand, I am also not one to buy into speculative likelihoods. After all, both are based upon faulty logical grounds. That being said, it is important to note that there is no confirmed evidence which confirms Bin Laden as the mastermind of the attacks. In fact, the only confirmed comments by Bin Laden we have regarding the attacks are statements he made to Al-Jazeera a couple days following the attack, in which he expressly denied any involvement. I don’t know if I believe him, but I don’t know if I don’t believe him either. U.S. armed forces claim to have found a tape in a home in Jalalabad which records Bin Laden confessing to the attacks. The authenticity of this tape is under tremendous contention. It further doesn’t make sense that Bin Laden would record such a confession after the United States had invaded Afghanistan, and after he had already denied involvement. I am not saying that Bin Laden did not orchestrate the attacks. Rather, I am saying that I do not know if he had any hand in them. Rather, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a confirmed architect of the attacks, should have been the main target of the manhunt which led to the uprooting of an entire civilian population.

The point of this discussion is not to suggest that someone else committed the attacks, but rather to highlight how anger, shock, and fear can contribute to the acceptance of almost anything as valid truth. These emotions led us into Iraq. They led us to sanction North Korea. And they may lead us toward military action in Iran. The instinct to lash out in understandable, but also very dangerous. We must learn to always question what is around us, to approach what people tell us with speculative curiosity. Our minds should be open, but they should not be gullible.

Many people assume that the people committing terrorist attacks across the world hate Western ideals. They hate our liberties and our way of life. They hate the color of our skin, think we are the devil, and want to kill us. We must remember that, while this may be true for some, it is not true for the vast majority. Our “enemies” have no grievance against little Jimmy Smith living in a suburb in Idaho. No, they have a grievance against the government which deposes their leaders and causes military disruptions on their soil. We experienced 9/11 on one day and have not experienced a similar attack since. Remember that the people in these conflict regions experiences similar tragedies and emotions every day of their lives. They genuinely must fear if the next bomb will land on their roof. They hear about their neighbors being killed, or worse; they see their neighbors killed in front of their own eyes. It is important to remember the firefighters, medical responders, and officers who responded to the 9/11 attacks. But it is also important to remember that other countries also have similar responders, and they must deal with similar situations every day.

It further troubles me when people thank the military forces in these regions for protecting American liberty and freedom. Instead of thanks, these soldiers should receive our apologies. We should apologize that we allow our government to send these brave men and women to fight for…well, who knows for what. They are not making sacrifices for our protection. That is what they signed up to do, but not what their current duties entail. Rather, they are being sent to their deaths for reasons which are unknown to them. The ones who are fortunate enough to live through their service are leading increasingly difficult lives plagued by PTSD and other issues resulting from the actions they were forced to commit. To top it off, they do not receive the care and compensation they deserve after providing their service. I do not blame them, nor can I justify blaming them. Although, I do not remember them as heroes. I remember them as tragedies, as the victims of murder. On this anniversary, it is even more important that we not lose the courage to criticize our government when it conducts operations which unjustifiably lead to the deaths of our soldiers.

Death tolls of 9/11 place the number somewhere around 3,000. My number is several hundred thousand. The Afghani, Iraqi, and Pakistani civilians who have died as a result of military response to 9/11 cannot be excluded from this total. The U.S., English, Canadian, Pakistani, Finn, Swiss, French, Spanish, and numerous other soldiers who have died as a result of the military response to 9/11 cannot be excluded either. Let us not make the mistake of forgetting all the people we have killed to avenge the attack on our soil. These people did not harm us in any way. They had nothing to do with 9/11. They were victims of the same tragedy that befell the United States, but unlike those who died in the towers, they did not have to be. To put it in more stark terms, ask yourself if any of the victims of the tower attacks would want other innocent civilians to die. How many grieving families would be comforted by the escalation of a global conflict? We claim to be fighting for security. Have these conflicts made us more secure? Do you feel safer now that the United States has invaded two countries in the Middle East? How many people felt avenged the day Bin Laden was killed? And how many people feared an immediate increase in terrorist violence?

Ten years ago on this day, the United States experienced an unprecedented attack on its own soil. It was shocking, infuriating, and tragic. In our fervor, we made terrible decisions. We supported a government which, over the course of 10 years, enacted policies leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. These same policies burned 1.5 trillion dollars, contributing to one of the largest economic collapses in U.S. history. These policies have lost us allies, resources, and the lives of our citizens. Yes, the past is important to remember. But, it is not worth remembering if we do not learn from it. Take this day to not only reflect on the tragedy of that day, but to learn from it. Expand your understanding of the world and the people inhabiting it. Have the courage to speak out against injustice. Be a citizen of the world, instead of just a citizen of the United States.