Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Big Brother!!!!

Ok, lets get the obvious things out of the way. I know most people who are likely to read this will probably have caught about 5 minutes of Big Brother in the entirety of their lives and dismissed it as total twaddle. In many respects I would be inclined to agree but I have to say that the first couple of series were actually quite interesting to me.

I was originally attracted by the microcosm of society that Big Brother creates and found the ways people worked at relationships with people who they normally wouldn't have given the time of day to quite interesting. It was interesting to watch how people basically rallied round to boost each other in the common goal of making "living" together a more bearable experience. Friendships were forged and if not, tolerances and coping strategies were formed in order for people to get along. I think some people even might have learnt a thing or two about themselves or others while they were in there.

So, Fast forward 7 or 8 years from the original series to tonight. I must admit I have only caught a couple of the episodes of this series so far and tonight was probably the first one I had actually given my full attention to instead of reading and watching at the same time as I often do. I was left angry and very very disappointed by watching this episode.

I'll give you a brief overview of the episode to put things in "perspective". Try not to laugh.

One of the house mates had attempted to cook oven chips. She had burnt them. Another house mate, who is very very vocal took exception to this, and made her exception well known at the table. One of the other house mates is a chef. A conversation followed the meal, in the presence of the house mate who burnt the chips, about how rubbish the meal was and how people should not try to do things they are not capable of. The vocal house mate basically said you're rubbish, don't bother, let the chef do all the cooking. Another house mate jumped to the defence of the "burnt chips" house mate and said that "vocal" house mate was being out of order. She was basically told to shut up and not get involved in a conversation that didn't concern her. Another house mate came to the original "rescuers" rescue. She ended up being called "simple" by "vocal" house mate. End result, a big fat argument about burnt oven chips that was orchestrated and fuelled to the point of Bullying (a personal opinion) by "vocal" house mate.

Now its not like me to take offence at people but quite frankly I feel I have no choice. The "vocal" house mate was totally and completely out of order. She was aggressive, hypocritical, rude and derogatory. She called people simple, told them to remember "she told them", that the other house mates would "never be ready" (She did not say what they would not be ready for but reading between the lines of her argument I think she was insinuating that they would never be ready to argue with her) and likened at least two of her fellow house mates to a person who would have male genitals attached to their foreheads. She ridiculed others for "telling" her things as she would never "be Told" but then proceeded to put her opinion forward as fact. Two of the other girls in the house were obviously totally shocked by the outburst and are simply not accustomed to the sort of tirade they received.

If I go back to my original point and we assume that the house is in many ways a microcosm of society I feel very sorry for the country in which we live. All I have seen on the show so far is back biting, arguing and a total lack of respect for anyone's views that differ from the protagonists at that particular time. There is no acceptance, compromise or even sensible discourse. It is a sham that highlights how self centred and egotistical people are becoming and how any difference whether cultural, racial, religious, social, economical etc etc can be used as a weapon to unleash a tirade of expletives and abuse.

If anyone needs a sign that our country is crying out for a mighty revival then watch Big Brother.

It will leave you in a touch of an emotional quandary:

Should you feel sorry for the people on the show who are so miserable that they have to live their lives in this way in order for them to feel good about themselves and dominant over others


happy that we don't have to partake in such pithy concerns as we know we have the real "BIG GOD" watching us all the time.

I''m going to apply for the next show. I'd love to stand strong in my faith in the face of such adversity and complete ignorance and actually put forward a coherent argument to what is basically idiocy, bullying and hypocrisy. Somehow though, I don't think I'd pull in the ratings.


PamBG said...

This is a complicated issue.

The 'problem' is that values have to be taught in a social context. They are not a 'message' that you just have to accept like 'Jesus is your personal Lord and saviour'. Yet this is often how we present evangelism.

I'm sorry but I can't stomach BB but the way you describe the situation, the bully isn't even making a coherent argument. Just making it clear that she is going to make everyone's lives miserable.

At a simple level this is the sort of thing I've been complaining about when I've said that the 'Rush Limbaugh' approach of 'You are a flipping idiot' is now accepted as a 'point of debate'.

But at a more profound level, the bully obviously doesn't have any social skills and has likely been bullied herself in his way. This was probably the mode of interaction she saw modeled to her and she needs to see another way modeled in a more loving and forgiving context - and she needs people to say a firm 'no' to her tactics. This is far more profound and it means that healthy social systems have to be willing to take her in so she can learn by doing.

Sorry if this is incoherent; rushing off now.

Will said...

Fat Prophet, I am all for you going for BB next year, and I have said so on my site! :)

Pam, you don't sound incoherent at all (except, for maybe the Rush Limbaugh comment - I understood it, but I don't know many Brits will if they don't know who he is). Still, I wonder if providing an alternative to the way things are normally done would in some way be a witness, even if not accepted. Of course, for many Christians, to be on that show and follow a 'Christian' example would mean preaching Christ the whole time. For these Christians, to have FP to go on there providing an alternative way of speaking to one another would not be a Christian witness unless he said 'Jesus' every other word (OK, that's a little cynical, but I have got one too many 'Christian Forwards' in my email box this week, which is also evident on my blog!).

PamBG said...

Still, I wonder if providing an alternative to the way things are normally done would in some way be a witness, even if not accepted.

Yes, of course it will.

My fear is this: That the producers clearly select candidates for the show who will not get along. Although I doubt (or at least hope!) that they don't consciously think 'We are going to create a dysfunctional household', I believe that this is in fact their aim. All for the sake of good ratings.

FP would be outnumbered. He'd be in an intentionally dysfunctional system and he'd need skills in group facilitation as well as just Christian values. It is one thing for a Christian family to take in a hurt and angry child and teach her right from wrong and how to control her temper. It is quite another thing to go into a situation where you might well be the only person even trying to behave ethically rather than in a me-focussed way. I think it requires counseling and facilitation skills as well as good values and good personal behaviour.

I don't mean at all to be discouraging, I'm just a natural analyser of risk and reward! That's the risk as I see it and if FP is up to it, even just for a few weeks, I'll back him all the way with encouragement and prayer.

Fat Prophet said...

Just one small point here the post is by Son Of The Prophet not FP, and I have no intention at all of going on to Big Brother or even watching it.

PamBG said...

FP and SOP - Sorry, my bad. My comments still apply, though!

Son of the Prophet said...

Pam I quite agree with everything that you said but it seems to me that BB is a perfect forum in which to get the Christian ethos across. I think any Christian who had the mildest ability to hold a coherent argument and have a cognitive thought would be able to wipe the floor with most of these petty people who seem to put their views across as fact, but in a very loving and Christian way of course!I think the highly accellerated "pressure cooker" of the house would give me a perfect forum on which to win daily battles in the name of not only Christian values but also simple common sense!!!!!

I think you're also right in your assessment of risk. Would it be a really hard slog to be a good Christian in the BB house? Most probably, but what an achievement to convert the masses to realising that Christians aren't three headed weirdo's from within the stronghold of probably the most incite full glance into the deterioration of society on TV today. Seems like the kind of challenge Jesus would have loved, if only it wasn't so very far below his efforts.

Doorman-Priest said...

"...and likened at least two of her fellow house mates to a person who would have male genitals attached to their foreheads."

Now then, let mr think about that one.

I watched the first series and quite enjoyed it. I felt I got to know the inmates and they were basically a decent bunch. I could see no point in repeating the project so I never watched again. I did pick up on the Shilpa/Jade fiasco and have to say that this programme in general does us no favours as a nation: that we produce it, that we watch it and that we are prepared to go on it.


No, a cull.

Fat Prophet said...

I am really glad son of the prophet was careful not to use words like you did in those jokes you posted. Would hate to be accused of being rude. lol.