King’s favorite chapter in Tacky is the one following how the reality TV show Jersey Shore helped her bond with her father. She recalls coming home from college for winter break, and stumbling upon her dad transfixed by the show. When King went back to college, her dad would call her every Thursday at 11 p.m. for recaps of the latest episode.
“I was having a really hard time at college, just really depressed and felt really adrift and untethered. And those phone calls were a real lifeline to me, I mean, my dad kept me tethered to the Earth.”
Ever since her father died, King remembers those phone calls even more fondly. She hopes her family’s love for Jersey Shore proves that culture’s purpose isn’t only to be be “good,” but also to bring people together.
“Like yeah, Jersey Shore was silly and loud… But it was also really important to us in its way. I think that one big part of being able to engage with any piece of culture joyfully, regardless of what it is, is having somebody to do it with.”
IT’S BEEN A MINUTE WITH SAM SANDERS
Discussion with author Rax King regarding her book,
Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer