Leaving a Trail of Bread Crumbs Back to Reality
And it happens again. Every year when Big Brother season comes, people get very passionate about the show and about the houseguests. I have discussed this before, it's not like any other reality show because of the feeds. The feeds give people a window into the everyday lives... or what seems like the everyday lives of these contestants. They wake up as the hgs wake up, they have coffee when the hgs have coffee, they eat meals when the hgs eat meals and they become far more attached and far more involved in this show than with any other reality show on television. It is what makes Big Brother unique among the plethora of reality shows out there. The thing is, this show, is a mind f***, it always has been and always will be.
The very structure of the show begins the mind f***, isolation, captivity, built in boredom, nothing to do but talk and interact with strangers while you try to win half a million dollars. Every season there is one hg who will always go the extra mile to add to the mind f***. Ivette crossed many lines with her racist talk. Cappy blew up in ways that stunned us all. Jen is so detached we could hardly believe she was real. ED yells and bullies with the best of them. The thing is, it is all just words for the most part. Words from people you do not care about have only as much power as you assign them. If I do not care about you, your words have no power, period. So all this talk of verbal abuse and verbal rape are just crap. I have no particular favs among this years herd of hgs, one is pretty much like another, so I am not defending anyone for anything.
Is ED an as*hole, yep, totally. Is Jen self absorbed and detached socially, yep. Is Dani spoiled and bratty, yep. They all have problems and all have quirks and so what, who cares. They all signed away a huge chunk of their time and themselves for a chance to win money on television. Whether they were recruited or applied really doesn't matter, they still signed the contracts and as such, they all have to face consequences of breaking that contract. Every year people in chats and on the boards begin to argue as passionately as those in the house. People try to blow every little thing into a major drama, just like in the house. And people turn to verbal tactics on the boards, just like in the house. The difference is, the people in chat and the people on the boards did not sign contracts giving up any rights and when they retaliate with their own verbal attacks, people get mad and get offended.
Ultimately, when the show ends and these people go back to their lives, they won't give two hoots about us and we won't give two hoots about them. Some will be thrilled with the outcome, some will be mad. Some may be disappointed by who wins and some will think it was the best season ever. Whatever the outcome, life goes on and so will the boards and chats and reality television shows. So temper your posts with a dose of reality reality, understand this show happens in somewhat of a vacuum, and what you see on the feeds is not true reality. Like every other reality show, producers advise and suggest and try to steer things along certain story lines, this is standard operating procedure, it does not make the game fixed or rigged, it's just how it has always been. Period.
Houseguests like ED, Jen, Dani, etc are chosen for their personalities, because they will clash, because they will create drama and because they will bring in ratings. I said it before, in the eyes of CBS the ice tea incident was gold, I was surprised they didn't offer ED a larger cup for tea and extra tea bags. To them, the bottom line is all that matters, these people are not their family or friends, they are just reality show contestants who signed away such a huge chunk of themselves that most would consider it obscene. In the end, all CBS or any network cares about is getting ratings and not getting sued. So they try to ensure no one is physically harmed, they try to ensure no one has property destroyed, and they try to walk a very thin line between drama, drama, drama and out and out cruelty. In case you didn't realize it, all reality shows do that, this one is no different.
I always laugh when anyone uses the words integrity, honesty, or morals when it comes to reality shows. The very nature of the beast is meant to bring out the very worst in human nature. To win you have to lie, manipulate, deceive, betray and otherwise treat people badly. It is human nature to dehumanize someone they have to betray, it makes it an easier pill to swallow. It is human nature to gossip when anything else that might divert your attention is taken away. It is human nature to focus on the flaws of others, even when those flaws are present in ourselves. Reality television focuses a microscope on the worst possible aspects of human nature, while at the same time trying to manufacture some nobility, kindness and heart. They grasp wildly at any budding showmance or friendship, or religious conviction as they scramble to show some redeeming quality to the general horror that is reality television.
Truth be told, there is very little in reality television that is redeeming, noble, honest, true or decent. It is a guilty pleasure in it's decadence. As long as you keep in mind what this is, a guilty pleasure, it's all good. The second you buy into it as anything more, you drank the Kool-Aid and start spouting generalizations as gospel, justifications as fact and rationalizations as reason and logic. These people are not real, these shows are not reality. It is a scientifically held belief that in observing a reaction you alter the reaction. The very fact these people know they are being watched 24/7 alters their reactions, their behavior, their words, their actions and their general conduct. They become characters which contain aspects of themselves, but I doubt any of them are nearly so extreme in their real lives outside the show. A perfect example is Howie from season six of Big Brother. In the house he was an oaf, loud, crude, rude and socially unacceptable. But I met Howie in real life after the show and he is actually a pretty nice guy who is a bit socially inept, but seems to have a good heart.
It seems like every year I watched the board escalate and reach a boiling point. I watch as people vehemently defend some hgs and despise others. I cringe as posters turn on each other and chatters name call each other and I want to remind them, it is just a show on television. None of this is real. In twenty years who will care? As my sig line says, don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. It is all good and this to shall pass. Soon things will drop to a slow simmer as the show winds down and things thin out in the house and become somewhat boring again. It is really the same every season... it starts out boring, it gets dramatic, it reaches a near boiling point, it explodes in some aspects, it drops to a simmer and finally it ends. Just understand this is how it works, it always does. I guess I just don't want anyone in chat or on the boards to allow themselves to get hurt or offended or upset over something that moves in such a predictable cycle as reality television.
I think we here on Jokers are all good, decent people, with a varied and colorful array of opinions and that is what makes it such an amazing board and chat. If everyone was the same, how boring would that be? I guess I am simply trying to be a quiet voice of reason in a mad, mad world. For me personally, I love the roller coaster ride, I love watching the shows and understand the cycle and never forget these people are not really as good or bad as they seem. I enjoy watching the shows and seeing how the relationships develop or fail, it's a glimpse into a life I won't ever know or have, thankfully. Enjoy the rest of the season, but remember what you learned in kindergarten, play nice, share your toys, don't call names and take your nap if you want your afternoon carton of milk.
This message is just my humble opinion and I will defend everyone's right to agree or disagree as they see fit.
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things" - George Carlin