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Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004, 09:20 am

Last night was fun, we went home at about 9:45 after getting word from development that they were giving up for the night. So that was about four hours of sitting around for absolutely nothing.

I was going to comment on the intellectual snobbery aimed at big brother these last few days, particularly after the "brawl" but then I thought.. "No, I won't" but then I thought, "yeah, I will" so if you're going to bitch about BB then in the name of equality you may also want to complain about Coronation St, Eastenders, Football, Rugby, WWF/WWE, the local/european elections and most importantly, your life because if you don't think that the 24/7 coverage of 10 people's entire lives is worthy of conversation then you have to consider the relative worth of conversation regarding your own one.

That was me defending the right of Big Brother fans to yap away merrily. Fucking shoot me now.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 03:32 am (UTC)
jonnynexus

Yes.

The way I see it there are two reasons for people to complain about Big Brother, one valid, and one invalid.

The valid argument is to say that it's immoral. Whilst I don't agree with it (I'm a huge BB fan) I think it's a valid argument to hold and express.

The invalid argument is to say that it's boring and people who watch it must be sad - which as you rightly point out is *exactly* the same argument that people make against soaps.

I find Big Brother interesting.

I also find soaps (like Coronation Street) interesting.

I don't mind people criticising the morality of my watching BB. But what pastimes interest or stimulate me is of my concern and mine only and no-one has any right to tell me how I should and shouldn't spend my leisure time. (Equally, I'll let you enjoy what you enjoy doing, without feeling the need to badger you about it).

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 03:50 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Yeah, I'd definitely agree with you on the morality issue. Encouraging people to make shows whose sole ambition is to make the contestants (and of course their relatives and possibly associates/friends) unhappy or to have them embarass themselves terribly is a fairly dodgy thing to do.
On the other hand, none of the contestants are children and irrespective of what they might say about what they did or did not come to the house for, their complaints that it's "hard" or horrible are pretty invalid. It's like complaining that you didn't expect to get yourself stung to hell when you stuck your arm in the hornet's nest.
However, immorality on television is hardly a new thing. Any number of talk shows capitalise on "real" human misery and even more wholesome "entertainment" like Kirsty's Home Videos involve us laughing at people as they come within a gnats pube of crippling injury. Shows like "Cops" and "World's Dumbest Criminals" feature real crimes and real victims. The Discovery Channel has that forensics show featuring real, vicious crimes and finally you have their real life version of casualty featuring real crippling in jury. Given that morality is generally a relative thing you have to wonder if BB is immoral compared to other entertainment on TV at the moment, even leaving aside the fact that the contestants all knew what they were letting themselves in for (perhaps seasons 1 and 2 might be a bit dodgier in that respect).

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 04:48 am (UTC)
utterlymundane

Penn Arcade - a comic for every argument.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 05:49 am (UTC)
jonnynexus

No, I'd agree with you there: they are consenting adults who volunteered for this, which is why I believe that it is on the "acceptable" side of the "morality" line (although coming close at times).

But I'll happily accept people having a different opinion to me over the morality of it. What I won't accept is people having a go at me for watching something that they consider boring and puerile.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

"What I won't accept is people having a go at me for watching something that they consider boring and puerile."

Or alternatively if they were at least consistent and complained about the amount of yapping that goes on around football (on a permanent basis) rugby (particularly during the X nations), religion and also politics.
It's a fair bet that anyone complaining about BB has spent a damned sight more time going on about any of the above. At least BB conversations don't (generally) cause rows.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
wyvernfriend

let us not forget Extreme Makeover (http://www.livingtv.co.uk/extrememakeover/index.html) where poeple go throught the plastic surgery experience in full view of the camera!

Some of TV is just BAD! But it appears to be extrememly popular!

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Bad and more and more gory these days.
That "I want a famous face" thing is horrifying.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 03:52 am (UTC)
formulaic666

I don't neccesarily agree. In each instance listed above, people have gotten to where they are due to talent and hard work. In soaps, writers, actors and directors all went up the food chain. Footballers all have talent, especially those who make it into the national sides. Same with rugby. WWF, whilst not my cup of tea, is entertainment that takes a long time to choreograph. Fair enough, it is base level amusement, but it has taken effort.

What galls me about BB is the end result of us putting on pedestals those with no intellegence, wit or talent, and then glorifying their demise. The appeal is that they are ordinary people, but surely we should save praise for those who deserve it. I'm certainly not sticking up for soaps or anything else, they are also base entertainment, but at least these are people working at a craft.

Big Brother reminds me of the phrase of 'Beating to the drum of your own oppression.'

But I am getting into this one, strangely. I think it's the conflict.

Hmm.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 03:57 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

I'm not entirely confident that this is a solid argument, so pick away at will here but:
In all the examples you mentioned the people involved had a talent or quality which may or may not have needed development. Some actors are naturally gifted and some just seem to get work no matter how shit they are. The same goes for entertainers in general. I make the point that the contestants on BB have a quality about them that sets them apart from others, a certain level and type of charisma (asides from Achmed) that makes them worthy of viewing.
They're not strictly speaking "regular people" because regular people are pretty boring and I know for a fact that I would never watch a show where me and my mates lived out our lives. Like anyone else on TV they're performers in a sense. Granted they didn't have to work too hard to get to where they are but then neither do many entertainers. Jade Goody is a good example here, though it galls me to say it. She went on BB, everyone assumed she was a moron but she had a star quality that everyone loved and she's gone on to relative success.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC)
formulaic666

Jade Goody is what I mean. I honestly don't think she has star quality. I think she's become famous because we want a figure of fun, someone the papers can pick up and knock down again.

I honestly don't think Jade Goody should be famous. I don't think it does anyone any good to say, yes you are the thickest person alive, let's celebrate that.

I honestly don't feel particularly strongly on this topic, as i said I'm actually enjoying this one to an extent, but I think that the point is valid.

I also think you're right in some cases, some of the BB people have got something. i respect Craig from bb1 most, who has used his talent and new-found fame to good effect, and now has a great career as a tv brickie

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

On the other hand, poking fun at Jade is like shooting fish in a barrell and it's not like the papers every have any problem building people up and then taking them down the rest of the time.
Also, I'd say that BB contestants probably rank a bit higher on the celebrity food chain than the average manufactured pop act (pop Idol aside since talent IS a factor to a degree).

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 04:19 am (UTC)
formulaic666

pop idol is worse than bb. anyway, i'm off home now. this was a fun debate though.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 06:53 am (UTC)
etherealfionna

I've not a lot to add, and for the most part I don't watch BB since we get it here a year later and so there is no point, but I agree with you about Craig.

He took his known face and his actual abilities, and put them to good use. Most of the others seemed to expect to become famous just for being famous, and predictably enough, nobody now cares.

Fri, Jun. 18th, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

I understand that their being dreary unlikable pricks when they weren't all overacting for the camera was a factor too :)