Posts Tagged ‘Star-Ledger’

Our Hometown, Parsippany, N.J., Helped Create The Lady Gaga Monster

January 22, 2010

We’re plugging our hometown, Parsippany, N.J., today. That’s because we were surprised, and pleased, to learn that the suburb we grew up with has a connection to our latest obsession, Lady Gaga.

The Newark Star-Ledger Friday has a story headlined “Gaga Begins in Jersey: Pop Diva Found Her Sound — And Name — As Stefani Germanotta in Parsippany.”

Lady Gaga is the media darling, dance-music diva who has carefully crafted an image that centers on her outrageous outfits and makeup. But she can sing. We love her latest hit, “Bad Romance,” and last night must have played its video — an S&M-inspired set piece — at least 20 times. Yes, we know we’re nuts.

But how many times have you told a guy, or a girl, “I don’t want to be friends”? That one of the best lines in “Bad Romance.”

According to the Ledger, Lady Gaga (real name the aforementioned Stefani Germanotta) developed her outrageous stage persona and came up with her name when she was working with music producer Rob Fusari at a studio in Parsippany in 2006.

While they were working, Lady Gaga and Fusari would have lunch at the Chili’s on Route 46, a place we’ve gone with our parents to eat many times.

According to the Ledger story, “Lady Gaga” is a reference to the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga,” which was one of Fusari’s favorite songs. He would sing it when Germonotta came into the studio. One day Fusari sent Germonaotta a text that referred to “Radio Ga Ga,” but he claims there was an autocorrect and “Radio Ga Ga” became “Lady Ga Ga.”

Germonotta loved it, and chose it has her stage name, according to the Ledger.

And like that other Italian-American bad girl, Madonna, Lady Gaga references her Catholic background in her videos. In “Bad Romance,” for example, she makes the sign of the cross during one of her dance numbers. And she’s wearing a gemstone cross over her crotch at one point.

Parsippany is about 45 minutes away from New York City, and you likely have not heard of it. It is also the hometown of “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski, who used to act in the local community Barn Theater with our long-lost friend Mark Phelan.

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Jersey Justice, Let’s Hunt Down The MTV Exec Who Greenlit ‘Jersey Shore’: By The Way, Do You Midwesterners Know What A ‘Guido’ Is?

December 4, 2009

For this we missed Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” Thursday night?

Yes, we could not resist watching the premiere of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” We’ve seen just five minutes, and we don’t know whether to laugh, cry or get a weapon and find the MTV executive who greenlit this ridiculous piece of crap.

“Jersey Shore” has caused a flap in the Garden State already with UNICO, an Italian American group, charging that the show stereotypes their ethic group. The show’s “cast” of three guys and three girls are self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes” who flocked to Seaside Heights, N.J., this summer.

UNICO is wrong. “Jersey Shore” doesn’t defame Italian Americans or the Garden State. It defames humanity.

MTV's "Jersey Shore" Morons, Scott Gries/Picture Group/MTV

For those in the Cornhusker states, “guido” is a derogatory term for Italian guys with jelled-hair, ripped muscles, tight T-shirts and no brains. But Midwesterners, please don’t believe everyone in Jersey is like the “govones” on this reality show.

Here are a few of the insightful quotes from the “Jersey Shore” cast, before we see their stomach-turning sexual exploits, hot-tub stripteases, excessive drinking, macho bragging and loud vomiting.

Pauly D — “I was born and raised a guido. It’s being an Italian.”

Sammi — “The shorter the shorts, the better…If you’re not a guido, you can get out of my f—king face.”

Jenni — “I’m like a praying mantis. After I have sex I’ll rip their heads off.”

Ronnie — “The whole thing is about getting laid…I can’t be with a girl if she isn’t prettier than me.”

First of all, in defense of New Jersey, only one of the upstanding youths in “Jersey Shore” is actually from New Jersey, Sammi. Hazlet, N.J., should be very proud of her. The rest of the crew is from Rhode Island, Staten Island, the Bronx, Long Island and upstate New York.

In our youth, we spent many a weekend at the “Shore,” as we natives call it. We stayed in the Irish area, Sea Girt, and a lot of Italian Americans roosted in Belmar. We hung in places like Bar “A” and the Parker House.

Along the way those summers. we may have seen a few characters who might have fit the description of a “guido.” And we saw drunk guys — of all ethnic backgrounds — say and do some pretty stupid things. In fact, we said and did some pretty stupid things after a few shots of tequila. (We’re not like that anymore. We drink martinis.)

But down at the Shore we never came across anything like the collection of “stunads” that are on this show.

The New York Post did a story on the show last Sunday, headlined, “‘Shore Thing: New Jersey Gets Its Day In The Sun, Thanks To A Guido Invasion,’ and profiled the cast.

We enjoyed reading some of the comments on the story.

Here is one from vtx13cnj: “So if this show is OK, then when do the Amos n Andy reruns start? How about a reality show starring drunken Irishmen beating up their wives? We can follow it up with a reality show based in a Chinese laundry. What, we can’t do that? But its OK to stereotype Italian Americans. Great country we live in.”

Manhead wrote this, verbatim: “I grew up on the Jersey shore and this is exactly what all italians are like. Thats why they call the show True Life. They’re not exagerating.”

The Star-Ledger has done several stories about “Jersey Shore” and the controversy around the show, with the latest headlined “‘Jersey Shore’ Celebrates ‘Guidos.'”

Jersey has become a popular setting for reality shows, such as Bravo’s hit “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and Style Network’s “Jerseylicious,” which is shooting now in Green Brook, N.J.

As you may have noticed, we are not writing about home shopping in this blog.

But as we told you from the start, our passions include TV programming and New Jersey. So we can’t not talk about “Jersey Shore.” But we will not watch it again. We hope other viewers do the same.

Oh no, we just learned that MTV is running another new episode of “Jersey Shore” at 11. We are going to get a weapon, any weapon.

[The outcome: “Jersey Shore” renewed for second season.]