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Big Brother - avoid if you want

This is the kind of thing that people who watch Big Brother have to deal with, in case you thought I was randomly whining earlier. It's from chuckdarwin on livejournal_uk, and most of the comments agreed with the original poster.

"Big Brother (and reality game shows in general) are, if anything, worse [than the World Cup]. They play on our worst traits, our most base desire, our hubris... the desire to sit in judgement of others. I've heard it from friends and acquaintances countless times. The producers put gay people on there to bring out people's homophobia, black or Asian people on there to bring out people's racism, or unintelligent women with fake breasts on there to bring out people's sexism. They're playing you for a fool, and you lap it up like some alley cat drinking from a mud puddle... always coming back for more tomorrow (even tuning in over the net to see the REALLY juicy bits). I find it fucking repugnant, to be honest. I can understand mindless entertainment (flying a kite springs to mind), but this is ridiculous. I would argue that watching Big Brother actually makes you a dumber, more shallow, materialistic, cliquish, judgemental person."

Er, yeah. Not shallow and judgemental like someone who'd, say, judge you for what TV you watch without knowing anything else about you.

I just don't understand why it's OK to say stuff like this. (Well, you know, free speech, but apart from that.) I can't think of anything worse than spending a month watching some blokes kick a ball about and a bunch of commentators being jingoistic arseholes, but I appreciate that other people like different things to me. I don't feel the need to go about complaining that football is the worst social phenomenon ever, causes a huge percentage of the violence in this country, and turns everyone who supports it into a wanker. I don't talk about how it's manipulating people into mindless patriotism. I just nod, smile, and wander off.

Sigh.

Comments

( 12 comments — Comment )
melodysk
May. 19th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
I will stand up and be counted LOL I love Big Brother ..I find it fascinating how the relationships change and how people manipulate each other, let alone how the TV station does it
pickwick
May. 20th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)
Ezackly!
miss_next
May. 19th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
I suspect that poster may be at least partly confusing causes and effects. I think it probably really is true that, although not all the people who watch Big Brother are shallow and judgemental, a lot of shallow and judgemental people are likely to watch Big Brother because it is inevitably going to appeal to them. You should hear Clare talking about it in our office; the way she dismisses contestants out of hand is something I find quite scary. "Oh, he's a transvestite, he's just horrid" (yes, I'm afraid she does use that word). Or, "She's got surgically enhanced boobs - she must be stupid." (My feeling is that if she really wants to put up with the discomfort, she's obviously got a certain amount of courage, at the very least.)

The big problem is not that BB turns everyone into Clare, but that it brings the Clares out of the woodwork and makes them more voluble about expressing their prejudices. So if you watch BB and you aren't that sort of person, you're likely to get drowned out by those who are.
pickwick
May. 20th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
That does make a lot of sense. Like the view of football fans being nasty right-wing violent thugs - a lot of them aren't, obviously, but the ones who are are louder than the ones who aren't.
hfnuala
May. 19th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
I watch big brother most years but I'm always really embarassed about it. I'm a self-hating trash tv watcher :)
(Deleted comment)
pickwick
May. 20th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
Sorry, yes, I should have done - fixed!
kaiserdad
May. 19th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
I agree with you entirely (without the expletives)
momentsmusicaux
May. 19th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think it's a bit of both.

I think you're completely right about football. Hate the stuff.
And yet I have a friend who worships the local team, goes to all the matches with her husband, and finds it jolly entertaining. She's a good sport too, when they lost to Leeds she said they'd deserved a win, not that they were evil people from somewhere other than here.

So it's the same with BB I guess. For some it's amusing people-watching on a grander scale, and for plenty of others it's just like what the poster said: Daily Mail reader frenzy.
pickwick
May. 20th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, exactly. Maybe I'll go and get annoyed with the *bad* type of BB watcher instead :o) probably more productive!
glamhag
May. 19th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
I can't think of anything worse than spending a month watching some blokes kick a ball about

Excelsior!

Or something... I can't think of an exotic, smart-alec (I said alec) way of saying "Hear! Hear!" which to me always seems to want to be followed by a lot of old fat blokes in tweeds all going "Rarr! Arrr!! Harrrumph!" and suchlike.

Anyway, well said, that girl.
pickwick
May. 20th, 2006 07:22 am (UTC)
Hurrah :o) It's nice to get support when you rant about things...I feel much less picked-on today.
poliphilo
May. 20th, 2006 09:25 am (UTC)
I'm glad you didn't say those things about football because if you had I'd have been forced to expose my own shallowness by agreeing with you.

( 12 comments — Comment )

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