Guest columnist Michael Cook chimes in on “Jersey Shore”…

I’ve recently arrived to the party called “Jersey Shore”.  

No, not the Jersey Shore I know, that of Springsteen, Asbury Park, & lazy beach days.I speak of the Jersey Shore currently sweeping all of America, led by something called a “Snookie”, a “Pauly D” & someone inexplicably called “The Situation”?!   It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, & with no beach day in sight, I settled in for an afternoon on the couch watching Theresa Giudice chase or scream at someone on “The Real Housewives Of New Jersey”. During one commercial change, I flipped on MTV to see what was new on a channel I’d stopped watching ages ago.  There in front of me, was a house that had every stereotype known to those not from “Jersey”. Loud, tan, drunk, & worst of all, hitting some of the hot spots in New Jersey that I was familiar with! I was suddenly glued to the television.   After seeing two episodes (& doing a little web searching), I realized exactly why people don’t like this group that has turned bacchanalia into an art form.   They remind you of the life that you thought you left behind long ago. Perhaps you’ve married & had a child or two, & choose to forget the days when you were quite possibly, the “Sammi Sweetheart” to an old boyfriends “Ronnie”. Or perhaps you were “The Situation” breaking hearts of “grenades” up & down the Jersey Shore. Either way, this group may remind you of a life left far behnd, that you choose to relive.   I realized that I was judging Snookie, Jenny “J-Woww” & company because I’d done exactly some of the same things in my 20’s. While I may not like some of the behavior I exhibited (or for that matter, recall some of it), I still need to own it; it’s part of the fabric that’s not just me, but all of us.   So the next time you’re free on a Thursday night, click over to MTV & check out the kids on Jersey Shore. You’ll most likely feel the same shock I felt during my initial viewing, but I’m trying to warm up.   After all, they’re back for a Season 3 in Seaside Heights. Funnel cakes, boardwalk, & “The Situation”. Looks like we better make room on the Jersey Shore for 7 more summer staples.

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