Aug 1, 2010

Floor Trader or Fist Pumper? The Fiscal and Fecal Ramifications of Wall Street and the Jersey Shore


There were three items one could always find, without fail, in my grandparents' bathroom: Prell shampoo (in a tube), medicated talcum powder, and The Wall Street Journal.

One of my most vivid memories of being a young person at my grandparents' house finds me perched upon their emerald green toilet, in search for some nearby emergency reading material, the WSJ  the only printed item in reach. Perhaps this is indeed TMI, but I'm sure that you too, Gentle Reader, at one time or another, have found yourself in a similar situation-- indisposed and jonesing for a little textual laxative, as it were. Perhaps you've even reduced yourself to reading a toothpaste label or instructional Tampax booklet out of sheer excretory desperation. Come on. You know you have.

Anyway, it was this same desperation that caused me, on more than one occasion, to naively reach behind me for the folded newspaper on the top of the toilet tank. Yay!  A newspaper!

I searched for the Arts and Leisure section. None.
I searched for the comics. None.
I searched for an advice column, a crossword puzzle, a rogue ad for men’s underwear. None.

Nope, none of the above.  Only page after page after page of reading drier than the kichel my grandmother used to buy that no one ate (except my uncle who, for some reason, enjoys eating fiberglass). Having to produce a shit with this dry, indigestible text as the only available reading material was kind of like dying of thirst and being surrounded by nothing but gallons and gallons of salt water. Okay, maybe not quite like that, but almost.

In retrospect, methinks WSJ is missing out on a profitable dark horse in their potential audience: young Americans who simply want a little something to read when they take a crap at their grandparents' house. 

That’s why I’m surprised that the WSJ didn’t jump at the opportunity to cover the Jersey Shore cast's Wall Street debut last week. MTV's favorite fist-pumpers appeared on behalf of massive media conglomerate Viacom this past Thursday, when  they rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. 


In my opinion, the WSJ dropped the ball here, and in a time when print media is in peril, appealing to one's demographic is paramount. In short, this is nothing to pump a fist at.

I am confident that a front page story on Snooki and the gang could have won them the readership of hundreds, maybe thousands, of young Jewish American Princesses, not to mention, "guidos" and "guidettes" (TM Jersey Shore), across America.  I know, had the WSJ featured a weekly analysis of Trapper John MD (more specifically, the Gregory Harrison shower shot in the opening credits) back in the day, or at least offered an occasional coupon for TCBY, that I might have given the rest of the newspaper a chance and, perhaps, grown up to be a little more fiscally responsible. At the very minimum, I would have had more satisfying bowel movements on the weekends I visited my grandparents.

Alas, the WSJ passed on this opportunity to appeal to a wider demographic, to garner a more diverse, regular (no pun intended) audience. Fortunately, you can still read more about this story, as well as watch Angelina, Jenni “J-Woww,” Mike “The Situation,” Nicole “Snooki,” DJ Pauly D, Ronnie, Sammi “Sweetheart” and Vinny ring the Opening Bell, on the NYSE website.

*fist pump*
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Gretchen said...

hahahaha! "textual laxative". I totally started laughing and my husband of course had to ask what was so funny. How to even begin to explain.

BTW this is Janice G, not some random stalker weirdo.

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