Fort Hancock Six Months After Sandy

Today, as I casually pondered what I would do with my day off, I had a jolting moment that I’m sure many people in the tri-state area have experienced. I thought to myself that maybe I would head over to my beach, particularly its recreation areas– and then was struck with the memory that I couldn’t.

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Simon Cowell and the Snooki Factor

Simon Cowell’s X Factor is a major flop of talent and expectation and now, thanks to an interview he did with MTV, we know Simon wasn’t interested in creating anything new or unique or special on his new show — he just wants to find Snooki, Part II:

Simon Cowell knows a star when he sees one. But fans might be surprised to learn that when the reality TV judge took his X Factor” auditions on the road this year, he was eager to hit the state of New Jersey. It turns out Simon hoped to find contestants with the same indefinable qualities as the castmembers of MTV’s hit “Jersey Shore.” …

Asked to pick his favorite castmember, Cowell singled out Snooki, saying the pint-size 23-year-old had that “X” factor. “In fact,” Cowell revealed, “She recently came in to meet some people from my company. I would say they were more starstruck by Snooki than anyone they’ve ever met in their lives,” he said. “I mean, they were genuinely thrilled. They were taking pictures with her.

“Yeah, so that was the reason why I came to New Jersey: I wanted to find the next Snooki.”

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Why I Find Reality Shows Upsetting

I have long ago learned that for the most part, reality can be quite subjective. What is real for one person and makes up their world makes no sense to another. Yet when used in the context of television programming, reality can be a frightening thing.

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The Jersey Shore Bookshelf

I understand book publishers are happy when books they publish sell many copies. I wish that this fiscal success did not have to come at the cost of the integrity of American society. Let us look at some forthcoming titles and ask ourselves how we got to the point that it has been acceptable to allow books by reality television stars to appear in book stores next to decent books. First, there is the news that Mike “The Situation” Sorentino has signed a book deal worth six figures.  This was followed shortly by news that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has a book deal. We have to wonder, how did these barely literate people get book deals? The answer has to lay in the money, of course — the money that the book publishers are expecting to make.

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