Toni Morrison is an American novelist, editor and professor. She is 80 years old. She won the Novel Prize for Literature in 1993 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. On top of that, she has been honoured with the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Commander of the Arts and Letters Paris, the Condorcet Medal Paris, the National Humanities Medal, plus others; this list is not complete. In 2002, she was listed by the scholar Molefi Kete Asante as one of the 100 Greatest African Americans.
Nicole Polizzi or “Snooki” is a reality television personality who appears on a reality television show. She is not an “actress” but a “personality”. She is 23 years old. On July 30, 2010, Polizzi was charged with “disturbing the peace” for being intoxicated in public. She was fined $500 and given two days of community service. In setting the sentence, the judge apparently characterized Polizzi as “a Lindsay Lohan wannabe”. – Oh, and one other thing. Ms. Polizzi has published her first book called “A Shore Thing”, but more of that later.
According to various reports from the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, and CNN International, the story goes like this.
On March 31, 2011, Rutgers University paid Polizzi $32,000 to appear at two Q & A sessions.
Rutgers is paying Toni Morrison $30,000 to give the commencement address on May 15.
Rutgers’s student newspaper, the Daily Targum described Snooki’s two sold-out shows, one at 8 p.m., and the other at 10 p.m. The comedian Adam Ace moderated the question and answer sessions by asking Snooki about her life and the television show Jersey Shore.
Snooki came out in a black v-neck dress with a gold headband and a gold belt, complete with fingerless leopard fur gloves but without her signature poof. “The poof is its own living form, it’s my trademark but people always expect it,” said the 4-foot-9-inch Polizzi. “It’s a summer hairstyle, so if I want to Snook the night, I’ll wear the poof.” As part of show, Polizzi called a student up on stage and gave her a poof.
Were the situations on the show are completely truthful? “You can’t make this s**t up,” Polizzi said. “Everything that goes down goes down. If it was fake I wouldn’t be a part of it.”
Snooki took time to answer questions submitted by the student at Rutgers. In responding to an inquiry about her biggest inspiration, Polizzi cited her skin tone as the main source. “I’d honestly say, being tan,” she said. “When you’re tan, you feel better.”
The Daily Targum reported:
Jill Weiss, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, was happy the University booked Polizzi. “I think Snooki is really popular and prevalent in the media,” she said. “It’s great that Rutgers brought her. I don’t watch the show but my friends were so excited about coming and so am I. It’s a very exciting event.”
School of Arts and Sciences first-year student Lisa Siehl came because she watches the show. “It’s a guilty pleasure,” she said. “It’s so ridiculous you can’t help but watch it.”
School of Arts and Sciences junior, Melanie Graham, was surprised at how funny the show was. “Nicole is naturally funny. She’s no different on the show,” she said. “It was really good, I’m glad I got to see it.”
Polizzi’s show closed with some advice for the audience:
“Study hard, but party harder.”
Snooki’s first book: A Shore Thing
Yes, Ms. Polizzi has put a pen to paper and apparently strung something together which constitutes a novel. I haven’t had the pleasure, but others have.
Book Review: Snooki’s A Shore Thing By Trevor Gould – Mar 3/2011
Basically, A Shore Thing is an abhorrence to literature as a whole. Snooki’s prose and writing style (even though she obviously wrote this through a collaborator/ghost writer) resembles every single unfiltered thought that enters her brain. It makes for an agonizing reading experience that will surely decrease the intelligence level of readers everywhere.
A Jersey snore By Emily Haggard – Mar 29/2011
The whole thing is just moldy, digested food. The plot, the dialogue, the dramatic turn, and the ending—all things so unoriginal I wondered if she got it from a book called “Clichés for Dummies.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Jan5/2011
A Reading from Snooki’s Book
During the show, Ellen took a moment to read some passages from a new novel — written by Snooki.
Let’s see, reality TV show seems to be more valuable than a Nobel Prize. And a Pulitzer Prize. Together. Rolled into one. When I first saw this story running in the papers, I realised the “angle” the reporters were taking was that a low-grade, popular form of entertainment cost more than one which was considered well-respected. Certainly it gives rise to a chuckle or two, but we have to admit that yes, popularity may determine the appearance fees of the individual in question, but history will determine who’s going to be reading what a hundred years from now. The web site NJ Underground certainly underlines the odd part of this story by showing side by side Toni Morrison on the cover of Time Magazine and Snooki on the cover of Rolling Stone. Does that say it all?
Do I sound cynical? I see value in the expression “laughing all the way to the bank”. The snobs may look down on Snooki and her cheap popular entertainment, but she did make $2,000 more than Toni Morrison for an appearance. Is this good or bad? I have chuckle as I’m not sure what the right answer is. She’s got her chance in the spotlight; she might as well take advantage of it. After all, we the people love our “guilty pleasures” and what the hey? A little sinning once in a while didn’t hurt anybody, did it?
Of course, I would have to add a caveat for Ms. Polizzi. I ofttimes wonder when we are all tuned into one of these shows whether or not our fascination stems from watching a train wreck of a life. Yes, we’re fascinated, but in the back of our minds we’re breathing a sigh of relief thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I hope my 15 minutes (see my blog My 15 Minutes) are a Toni Morrison type of 15 minutes and not a Snooki type.
Wikipedia: Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931) is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.
Wikipedia: Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Wikipedia: Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by Hungarian-American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.
Wikipedia: Jersey Shore (TV series)
Jersey Shore is an American reality television series that premiered on MTV on December 9, 2009 in the United States. The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast winter to Miami Beach, with Season 3 returning back to the Jersey Shore. MTV has announced that a fourth season will be filmed in Italy to air in late 2011.
Dubbed a cultural phenomenon, the series has garnered record ratings for MTV, making it the network’s most viewed series telecast ever. The series’ cast has also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases into American popular culture. In 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore was named on Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People list. The series has since exported to dozens of countries worldwide.
Wikipedia: Nicole Polizzi
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (born November 23, 1987) is a Chilean-American reality television personality who appeared on the MTV reality show Jersey Shore starting in 2009.
Polizzi’s popularity on the first season of Jersey Shore, which earned her $5,000 per episode, now earns her $30,000 per episode. While shooting in Seaside Heights, Polizzi was punched in the face by a New York City school teacher. The hit was deleted from future showings of the episode. Videos of the punch went viral on Youtube and were featured in many news media. After the punch was made public, Polizzi’s appearance fees increased from $2,000 per event to $10,000 per event.
On July 30, 2010, Polizzi was cited for a charge that is essentially equivalent to disturbing the peace at a Seaside Heights beach. On September 8, she pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced her to a $500 fine and community service. In handing down the sentence, Judge Damian G. Murray characterized Polizzi as “a Lindsay Lohan wannabe”. Her arrest was taped during production of Season Three of Jersey Shore.
Wikipedia: Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (usually referred to as Rutgers University or just Rutgers), is the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey.
NJ.Com: A review of the show
NJ.Com: 12 photos of the event
Matthew Know: Snooki book A Shore Thing Review
[I have no idea who Matthew Know is. He says, “Her writing a novel is like Lohan rewriting the 12 steps.” It’s at this point I did a spit take.]
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