David Thompson
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August 27, 2009

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mlrosty

Nailed. :D

mlrosty

And the "happier times" video is seriously disturbing.

Anna

"Nailed."

Sexist oppressor.

JuliaM

"Any female who fails to hide the fact that she is more intelligent than the people around her is to be reviled. The feistiest girls are tossed out of the house, one by one, until only the meek are left."

I don't watch it, but I'd be surprised if there were ever any intelligent people on, let along women.

And is she confusing being 'feisty' with being 'intelligent'?

Anna

She's confused alright.

sackcloth and ashes

'Any female who fails to hide the fact that she is more intelligent than the people around her is to be reviled'.

In much the same way that a certain Germaine Greer stuck the knife into Shilpa Shetty during the CBB fiasco in 2007:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/tvandradioblog/2007/jan/17/whydoeseveryonehateme

Some choice quotes, in which Greer explains that Shetty's bullying by Jade Goody and her coven is actually all her fault:

'Shilpa ... is just the girl to raise the pit bull in a dizzy little drip like Danielle and keep her frothing at the mouth long enough for her nascent career as a sweet little Wag to disappear down the drain. When Shilpa is finished with Danielle even Teddy Sheringham will know what a small, dark heart beats within her fetching chest. This explains the slightly cannibal air of self-satisfaction that never abandons Shilpa. She knows what she is doing. She will shred the nerves of all the other women in that house until even Cleo pulls back her frozen lips and shows the fangs behind her witless Mona Lisa smile.

I can switch Shilpa off. The people in the house with her haven't got that option. The problem is that most of the housemates are too dim to convey what a pain in the ass Shilpa is without appearing to persecute her.'

'It should be possible for both sides to make fun of each other's accents, without pushing the racism button. Shilpa has tried, a weeny bit, but her only real subject is herself'.

'Shilpa likes to be seen cooking. She looks utterly virtuous while she is doing it, she doesn't have to try to converse with the women in the house, she gets to eat food she likes, spice it any way she chooses and time it to please herself. It is a perfect ploy to drive everyone else crazy'.

Oh, and apparently, Ms Shetty 'enjoyed' being bullied.

sackcloth and ashes

Just noticed this corker on the comments:

'GG: 'This is a racist country; to the vast majority of couch potatoes out there, Shilpa is a "Paki bird".'

Vast majority? This strikes me as somewhat bigoted to say the least. I realise Britain may seem a little racist to someone from the utopia that is Australia, where little Croatian children and little Arab children and little Aboriginal children all play happily together, singing side by side in perfect harmony, but to accuse the vast majority of us of being racist morons is rather harsh, surely?'

David

“Somewhere out of sight, they will continue to release pop songs that don't make the charts, record derivative exercise videos, merchandise cheap scent, get married, behave badly, get divorced, have nervous breakdowns and/or their breasts enlarged, but no one will be watching.”

Poor Germaine. She wants to save the proletariat from paid exploitation and momentary fame, yet she finds them so… disgusting.

James S

"Jade Goody was both spontaneous and simple, in the best sense of the word. Big Brother taught us to sneer and jeer at her and finally to condemn her utterly."

It's so true, Germaine. We were corrupted by a television show. We have no free will. If only we wrote for the Guardian...

David

“We have no free will. If only we wrote for the Guardian...”

It’s like a conveyor belt of pretentious indignation. “We” (meaning “you”) are somehow being corrupted.

I remember the Guardian’s Sarah Churchwell claiming that Big Brother was “characterised by sexism” (though the details on that point were remarkably sketchy), and Vanessa Walters mumbled about the promotion of feral behaviour and designer clothes. One columnist, I forget who, constructed an elaborate argument that the show was promoting selfishness; another claimed that the behaviour of one contestant showed how “guilty” and “complicit” “we” are in her behaviour. (How was never quite explained.) Others have claimed that the programme legitimises racism, intolerance and misogyny, and shows just how racist, intolerant and misogynist “we” all are.

Shrivelled Communist Martin Jacques saw Jade Goody and concluded that racist colonial attitudes are “constantly reproduced in each and every white citizen of this country.” And on and on. There are at least a dozen Guardian articles making much the same claims, though none that I recall come up with even a half-credible case. They do, though, share the standard mix of well-rehearsed victimhood and instinctive condescension.

Rob

Facts must fit the narrative, and if the facts don't fit, out they go. Hence Big Brother showed Britain's "cruel misogyny", but Big Brother was watched disproportionately by young women, so that fact has to go. The misogyny is the narrative, even though it is completely false. The narrative is then repeated, over and over, and challenges to it are shouted down. Hence the 'narrative' becomes accepted truth.

carbon based lifeform

"Future media studies students will write theses on why Big Brother enjoyed such success in Britain and why it took so long for the nation's stomach to turn"

God help us. The nation's stomach turned? I thought people just got bored. It's been on for ten years.

David

“Future media studies students will write theses on why Big Brother enjoyed such success in Britain...”

Even this is overblown. The show’s success is easy enough to fathom. It was an engaging format. Participants are encouraged (and naturally inclined) to secretly bitch about each other in order to survive. People will tend to form strategic alliances. But the audience sees this, and the more ruthless the bitching and plotting gets, the more likely it is to result in eviction. So there’s a tension between in-house advancement and being disliked by the viewers. It’s simple but fairly ingenious.

pt591

"perverting the nation's taste."

I can't stand Big Brother but Greer just sounds like a snob.

dicentra

I hate these types of reality shows because I'm so socially inept I can't figure out the rules for mere office politics. And I don't find scheming and cattiness to be terribly entertaining. But that's just me. I know I'm a freak. That doesn't mean the rest of society is somehow inferior.

For more evisceration of elitist attitudes, see this review by Orson Scott Card.

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2009-08-09.shtml

The review eventually tells you how to roast and eat a mouse, should the need arise.

David

I can certainly understand why some people don’t like the show and it’s well past its prime; but to claim that it’s some kind of corrupting influence – on participants and viewers - is faintly comical. The participants are rewarded quite well for their negligible talents. Some get a few weeks of low-grade celebrity that would otherwise have escaped them; others win a life-changing amount of money. How terrible it must be.

David

Dicentra,

I misread “mouse” as “moose”. Imagine the disappointment.

Subject of the Realm

Good on Greer. Big Brother is crap.

dicentra

"Imagine the disappointment."

Nope, can't. My cat supplies me with far more mice than moose. Neither of which do I eat.

Baltar's Beard

"Ms Greer in happier times."

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2648/379/1600/germaine%20greer.jpg

georges

David

Reflex scoffing at anything that's popular is no better than reflex enthusiasm for anything that's popular. Both are a kind of herd instinct, albeit for differently sized herds.

Richard Branson was on Desert Island Discs, and he chose a Phil Collins album as his favourite because it had made Virgin Records the most money. Few posting here would fuse their financial and aesthetic judgements as completely as he did, I expect. Maybe we wold if we owned record companies.

For myself, I despise the music of Celine Dion with every fibre of my being, and I won't be persuaded to like her by appeals to her popularity. I usually reply by grumpily pointing out how many Germans voted for Hitler!

Big Brother is a curious object of derision for metropolitan sophisticates, because it has many of the qualities of installation and performance art that would normally guarantee a Turner Prize nomination. The 24-hour internet camera seems to have been directly inspired by Warhol, for instance.

David

Georges,

Welcome back.

“Big Brother is a curious object of derision for metropolitan sophisticates, because it has many of the qualities of installation and performance art that would normally guarantee a Turner Prize nomination.”

I hadn’t thought of that. Looking through Greer’s various articles on the subject (and those of several other Guardianistas), I get the impression that some people feel obliged to justify their dislike with some loftier “concern”. To say the show is crass, vulgar or whatever would be true enough, but that might invite accusations of snobbery and that wouldn’t sit well with protestations of egalitarian sympathy. I suppose some people find it necessary to elevate their disapproval with claims that the nation’s moral fibre is somehow being corrupted. In that respect it’s quite funny how the Guardian can sound like the Daily Mail.

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