lowbrow humor

Judgmental Opinion.

Recently (as in maybe two weeks ago), I was involved in a very interesting conversation with some very interesting people. 

The subject was the popular reality television program, Jersey Shore. Okay, timeout. I know. Please, keep reading. I promise it’ll get better. Have I ever let you down?

Certain individuals in the conversation claimed to like the show because it’s “funny”. I’m not putting that in quotes to be obnoxious; I am quoting exactly what was said. But only using one word.

Fine, I was being obnoxious. 

Anyway, I’ve found this to be the popular opinion of people who watch Jersey Shore. Many swear up and down that they think the show is stupid and that the cast members (or contestants or whatever you call participants in a reality show). They agree that most of it is lowbrow humor and the show depicts people doing silly and unsophisticated things. They defend watching it by saying that it is entertaining. 

Maybe I’m a snob. Maybe I’m a perfectionist and an elitist. But I feel like watching Jersey Shore - just like watching “professional” wrestling - is beneath my standards of entertainment. 

Take a minute to allow my holier-than-thou attitude to sink in. 

I wrote that because I wanted to be bluntly honest about my feelings. I feel like Jersey Shore, while it might be entertaining and it might be funny, depicts people behaving in ways that I find deplorable. Yes, I scoff at them. 

A part of it is jealousy. I am an aspiring writer/comic/entertainer, and I am spending tons of money on school and tons of money and time on other things like this blog. My ultimate goal is to be a successful entertaining and I plan to work very hard to accomplish that. Meanwhile, the cast members of Jersey Shore are rich and famous and have their own TV show (a dream of mine) because they’re…what? What are they? Can someone explain to me why these people deserve to have a show? 

But I digress. I refuse to watch Jersey Shore for those reasons. Now, back to the conversation. I expressed by feelings as an opinion. But I was quickly corrected. My thoughts about Jersey Shore are not so much an opinion on it as it is a judgment. 

I have never and will never give this show a chance. Therefore, I didn’t give myself an opportunity to form an opinion on the show. Rather, I created a judgment of the show. In order to make my judgment into a qualified, fair and balanced opinion, I’d have to watch the show and come to a conclusion based off of that. 

But, here’s the catch. If I ever watched Jersey Shore and liked it, I’d have to kill myself. Okay, I took that too far. Let me try that again. If I ever watched that show and liked it, it would dramatically alter a steadfast belief of mine. 

My judgment of Jersey Shore stems from long established beliefs and ideals. And I’m not speaking solely from a moral standard. Almost every facet of the show is at odds with a particular taste of mine. It simply is not a show that, based off of my general preferences, I would like. 

Generally, passing judgment on something is perceived as being negative. You don’t pass judgments, because being judgmental is being close-minded. 

However, I feel that sometimes being judgments is a way of expressing your own personal views. Passing judgments is a part of being unique - they are reached based off of prior experiences and opinions and beliefs and values. 

For me, saying I will never watch an entire episode of Jersey Shore comes from the same place as saying I will never smoke a cigarette. Or saying I will never become vegetarian. 

I could try those things and form genuine and well informed opinions on them (health risks aside). But the knowledge I have of them go against basic principles of mine. 

You say Adam Sandler, I say Tim and Eric

You say Family Guy, I say Eric Andre

You say Jeff Dunham, I say @Dril

You say Larry the Cable Guy, I say Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka

You say Chris Rock, I say Alan Resnick

You say The Big Bang Theory, I say Portlandia

99% of kids still like mainstream humor and lowbrow jokes. Reblog this post if you’re part of the 5% that still likes true alternative humor and ironic jokes.