Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh Brother...

*The following is a post I did some time ago and sadly then promptly forgot to post. As such, there are references to the Big Brother Finale being “tonight” that, without this explanation, have a very good chance of making me look a little senile. In truth, I am not senile…I am simply very, very, very, very, very lazy. There’s a big difference. Senility means that you intend to do something and then, most unfortunately, find yourself putting your underpants on your head instead. Laziness means that you intend to do something, however always think that tomorrow would be a MUCH better day to do it, especially if someone might be visiting tomorrow that could do it for you.*

First and foremost, allow me to apologize for the long span of time that has been allowed to occur between posts. If it’s any consolation whatsoever, I’ve had a stern talk with me…I know I was rather hard on me, but I darn well deserved it! The whole thing ended with me promising profusely to get on to the updating more regularly; though I was skeptical of me, I decided to give me just one more chance to prove myself. As a result of my delinquent posting, there is a plethora of news that I have to add now over the course of the next few days. I am ashamed to admit that part of my failure to post as regularly is Big Brother All-Stars, for which I have now acquiesced live feeds. I like to think it’s the voyeur within me that caused me to turn into a woman possessed as I begged, cried and threatened to shrivel up into an enormous heap of sobbing flesh until I got the live feeds safely installed on the computer.

Since the arrival of the live feeds into our lives, I’ve begun to notice a rather fascinatingly disturbing phenomenon taking place. The first sign that something was amiss came in the form of my daughter asking if cinnamon bun dough could be her supper because she could make that herself and then I wouldn’t have to leave the Big Brother house to help her. At that moment, I felt like the worst mother in the entire world. As I roused myself from the computer desk in order to make little one supper, I noted that vast amounts of cat hair and other bits had settled themselves into the carpet. Never mind the mess I was in, with a pair of old jogging pants that are about twelve sizes too big, my hair piled on top of my head because it’s too greasy to do much else with and not a stitch of make up on. Now, this type of obsession might be considered somewhat understandable, if not acceptable, had the house guests been engaging in wickedly exciting conversations, lots of action, and perhaps a few juicy arguments. If all that was happening, perhaps people could relate to my sitting by the computer until my body gives out and I have to move to the bed to watch. However, none of this is happening on the live feeds. NOTHING AT ALL is happening on the live feeds, really.

Occasionally, I get the fabulous opportunity to observe Erika or Mike picking their noses, but other than that, nothing of note really goes on. Why I am so completely addicted to them, I honestly can’t tell you. I think it’s the idea that you have the inside information that a lot of people don’t have. Even if the inside information is complete drudgery, you still can’t help sort of feeling somewhat important that you know it just the same. At the present moment, I am writing this blog entry and observing both of the houseguests sleeping in various locations about the house. (I know, exhilarating isn’t it?) Actually, the whole Big Brother excitement is something that I find rather dumbfounding. Realistically, all the show consists of is as bunch of strangers sharing a living space and trying to keep themselves from getting voted off. Now, granted, I don’t face the wrath of another housemate where I reside, but I too could easily harbor the fear of eviction…all I’d have to do is miss a couple of rent payments.

So, we’re really watching a group of people living as though they hadn’t paid their rent, only they are doing it in one big house…all together…with video cameras everywhere. Other than that, it’s just like my life, except, of course, that it’s only me, little one and the cat in my house, and no one magically drops off food every so often despite how often I’ve wished someone would to save me the pain of going out to the grocery store. It’s not going to the grocery store I mind, it’s not even grocery shopping that I mind; what I mind is that each and every time I go to the grocery store, I land up behind some fat lady named Bertha who is desperately trying to get those chocolate bars she’s buying for ten cents cheaper per dozen. Unfortunately, this whole scene eventually starts to really get to me…to the point where I am moving past the point of visualizing myself beating her with my crutch and moving to the point of actually physically beating the snot out of her with my crutch. Even more unfortunately than all of this, beating some fat lady at the grocery store with your crutch because she stupidly would not stop beaking off about the price of bonbons is one of those things that Canada considers against the law. You and I know that whoever made that law hasn’t ever been stuck behind that lady at the grocery store, but it is a law, and because it is a law we are bound to follow it regardless of how unfair it may be. However, as none of this has anything to do with Big Brother, I digress.

This past month has been a flurry of Big Brother activity, and the entire time I was watching the show, I was hoping against hope that somebody somewhere would pull out a crutch and beat the hell out of Janelle for me. She wasn’t standing around a grocery store arguing about the price of the incredible amount of chips she was consuming; however she was causing me severe psychological damage with her continued annoying presence. Given that I genuinely liked Will, Janelle’s final move prior to being voted out hardly inspired me to make joyful expressions of exaltation. Her finally being voted out, however, certainly did fill me with an enormous amount of euphoria and glee. The mere fact that I had these types of emotional responses towards a television show has given me cause to spend some time re-evaluating my sanity.

Tonight, we are supposed to be viewing the question and answer portion of the finale, wherein the evicted houseguests that remained in the sequester house as part of the jury will question the two final houseguests. Usually, this portion of the game gets a little heated, namely because, although you do have some members of the jury that have been in the sequester house away from the emotions of the game for a good long while, you also have those houseguests that were in the Big Brother house up to two days prior to this question and answer period. Those houseguests often feel slighted or hurt by the way they went out and, of course, by the fact that they have lost their opportunity to win $500,000.00. I’m curious to see how they all react tonight, including Mike Boogie and Erika Landin, the final two houseguests. From what I understand, Janelle’s blurb to Erika should be quite juicy!!

I wonder why it is we, as a society, get so wrapped up in shows such as Big Brother, or Survivor. Certainly, there’s that element of voyeurism that piques our curiosity at the onset, but following that initial interest, it’s the characters themselves that capture us. I think that watching Big Brother is something many people enjoy for a few basic reasons, the first is, of course, the voyeurism; but beyond that initial response, I think that Big Brother gives people the opportunity to almost play the game along with the houseguests. Because the game itself is so basic, individuals can easily put themselves into the houseguests shoes and think about what move they would make in the same given situation, or how they might react to that person if they said that to them. It’s the element of familiarity that we feel with individuals going through something we can identify with. Given that we can all identify with living with people in a roommate type situation, we naturally connect with the houseguests. This connection grows exponentially stronger when the houseguests begin to experience emotional up and downs on camera because once they react on an emotional level, they become human as well as being people experiencing a familiar situation. On top of all of this, their lives are not our lives, and therefore they provide a nice escape from the real world.

Escaping from the real world can sometimes be of the most paramount importance. It’s not that you don’t want to deal with life; it’s more that for that moment in time, you need to feel alright and sometimes allowing yourself to just enjoy something like this helps you to do that in a safe, non-chemical fashion. To quote Martha Stewart: “That’s a good thing.”

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