Not since VH1’s Tool Academy have I had the good fortune of witnessing something so shamelessly vain, repulsive and (oddly enough) self-aware as MTV’s hair product caked Jersey Shore. But the difference between the two is that while the tools of said academy seem a little too Jerry Springer, the Guidos and Guidettes of Jersey Shore are as real as they come. And as ridiculous as they seem, they are all familiar. We have all seen these fake tanned pretty boys and shit talking girls when we were dragged to some bro club, and all jokes aside, wouldn’t you like to be as confident as The Situation or JWOWW? Hell, if I looked like Ronnie, I wouldn’t even own a shirt. These jokers all know exactly who they are and make no excuses for themselves, which in a strange way makes them more admirable than most of the regular population. Now that’s transparency (congress, you should be taking notes). They talk smack, they preen and primp in front of the mirror longer in one night than I do in a week, and though they may scratch and wail like alley cats in the apartment, they all have each other’s back like champs (peep Pauly D socking that clown after he talked shit, or JWOWW slugging that girl who called Snookie fat). That’s the kind of iron clad and dysfunctional loyalty that any of us would be lucky to have from our friends. You may hate them, and you may want to kick their asses, but what you can’t deny is that these cats are all genuine, bona fide masters of their own destinies. They love it, and they don’t have any qualms about showing the world who they really are, the gelled up, pumped up, juicehead Guidos and Guidettes of a romanticized and unsterilized America, an America that promises to fulfill even the wildest of dreams. On the Jersey shore, anything is possible, as long as you get it drunk enough. GTL, baby.