Okay, I feel compelled to respond to a comment left in the Sock Drawer yesterday. Someone mentioned that the casual use of the word “Guido” while describing MTV break out hit and axe body spray infomercial, “Jersey Shore” was offensive. Perhaps, this person suggested, the commenters and, in fact the blogmaster himself (that would be me) should be a little more careful with their choice of words when describing our greasy, oiled up neighbors out there on the shore. Welllllll, I just don’t even know where to begin. Firstly, as I said yesterday, the terms “Guido” and “guidette” are terms that THE PEOPLE IN THE SHOW USE TO REFER TO THEMSELVES. THE SHOW ITSELF ADVERTISES THE STARS AS GUIDOS. THE GUIDETTES SAY SHIT LIKE “I’M DOWN HERE TO MEET SOME FINE ASS GUIDOS.” I would NEVER use the word guido to describe someone. Not because it’s offensive, because honestly, I don’t think it is. Rather, it’s kind of a pussified and stupid sounding word. I’m not into it. I was simply using the cultural parlance of the relevant paradigm, bro. That’s all.
Now, I know where this is all going. If there’s a show on tv with a bunch of black dudes calling each other ‘nigger’ it doesn’t make it cool for me to call them ‘nigger.’ Yup. That’s true. Why is this different? Let me tell you why:
1. These dildos CHOOSE to be these fucking people they are. “Nigger” pejoratively implies race, which isn’t a choice, and, let’s face it, it’s a culturally loaded and very significant word. “Guido” implies hair gel and spray tans and gold chains. That shit’s all shit you do to yourself. Calling someone a ‘guido’ is more like calling some one a “Juggalo” than calling them a ‘nigger.’
2. I kind of touched on this in point one, but man, there’s a HUGE difference between some bullshit phony ‘racism’ based on style and real honest to god hegemony. Everyone and their mom now says that their own little marginalized group has a term “that’s the equivalent to the N word.” No it’s not. Know why? Because if it was, other groups could use YOUR term to describe how hurtful the terms that hurt them are. They’d say, ‘you know, calling an irish guy a mick is like calling an italian a guido.’ But they don’t. Everyone goes back to the N word. Know why? Because that shit’s just different. Sorry Italians and irish guys and women and midgets. You don’t get an N word. Settle for not having to grow up black in a world that’s afraid of you. How bout that? Jesus fucking Christ. Everyone LOVES to pretend they’re persecuted these days. sigh.
3. I didn’t call these motherfuckers guidos. The actual pejorative term for Italians is not Guido, as we’ve discussed. It’s Dago. And THAT my friend, is what I called these people. Why? Check out point four.
4. I am of Italian descent, so I’ll a-say whatever the fucka I wanna. Shuddupayouface.
5. Now, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I’m hilarious or brilliant or anything, so leaving aside that we’re talking about something I wrote, I’d like to touch generally on the difference between racism and things that have to do with race. Racism requires two parts. 1) it must be thoughtless and 2) it can’t be funny. Anything that’s thoughtful and funny will not sound like racism. Know why? Because there’s nothing funny or thoughtful about racism. If something is racially motivated, but it’s thoughtful and funny, it might be edgy and it might make you nervous, but if you find it to be racist, frankly, you’re a pussy. And hey, since it’s come up, why stop at guido, we should be pissed off that I’m using feminine reproductive organs as a synecdoche for a weaker or less properly adjusted person. No. I’m tired. I’m very tired. It’s shit like this that gets motherfuckers at each other’s throats and prevents any sort of real conversations about cultural difference or race from ever taking place in this country. Someone shouts out that being called a midget is as offensive as being called a nigger. Next thing you know, you’ve got assholes who don’t believe that (because, as we’ve gone over, they shouldn’t. It’s manufactured outrage at worst and at best it’s hyperbolic exaggeration correlated by lack of true empathy) throwing around the word nigger like it’s no big deal. For every dildo that freaks out about every little word that’s uttered that may seem offensive to someone, and organizes groups to protest (for example) jersey shore, a show that’s made up entirely of people who know EXACTLY what they’re doing and how they’re representing themselves (sorry, Italians), there’s several other dildos who completely dismiss it all as PC thuggery. So what’s the solution?
6. Use your fucking brain. There’s patent idiocy in the world and then there’s humor, there’s rational discourse, there’s real issues that are thorny that need to be navigated and there’s lots of grey area. Getting pissed off about the use of a stupid term to describe a bunch of idiots on an MTV show that’s being marketed using that very term isn’t doing anything but creating knee jerk reactions in people who are sick to death of the litigious nature of our culture. The same impulse that makes us compulsively seek apologies and manufacture outrage across racial and political lines in the sand is the EXACT same impulse that has clogged our courts with so many ridiculous lawsuits. My coffee’s too hot. My cel phone provider shouldn’t let me text and drive. I’m too fucking fat to fit into a seat and I’m not gonna take it any more! It’s all the same. Lazy, manufactured outrage. I bet, within 3 blocks of any of us there’s something going on that’s GENUINELY outrageous and terrible. This is a dark and depressing world. Hunger, sexual abuse, juggalos breeding etc. That’s the shit to be outraged about. Not this bullshit.
In closing, uh…whatever. Throw your fucking stones. I can’t even think about this anymore. My kid’s barfing today.