Friday, June 05, 2009


I had toyed with posting about voting in the European Parliamentary election (the invisible election?) - about my experience of looking over the list of parties and candidates (the vote-splitters; the known and the no-face politicians), and the rationale (if I could raise the status of any one party in the UK, who would that be?) that led to me voting for a party (Green) that I'd never before voted for... but I won't. Instead:

Shane: Politics, eh.

Emma: Mm.

Shane: So what have we got?

Emma: Quite of few young, big-boobed beauties. There are the gays, a few internationals, one or two normals, a geordie - gay... you know, the usual. Oh! And a really nice young Brazilian lad.

Shane: Worth watching?

Emma: It will be, in bits. Eventually. First few weeks are usually too noisy - wait 'til they settle in and settle down.

Shane: Ok.

Emma: I think you should go on Big Brother.

Shane: You say that every year.

Emma: You should!

Shane: That would be hideous! How would I get on with ANY of the people you'd typically get on that programme?

Emma: I think you would. I think you'd be rubbish at the getting excited and all of the shrieking, but that's why you'd be good. You'd just be... y' know, not bothered.

Shane: It would be hideous. I'd end up in a conflict - on national television, with either a massive muscley male - hideous, or some totally ditsy blonde thing - equally hideous.

Emma: You wouldn't. You'd rise above it. You'd float about and you'd talk to everyone. Then they'd all vote you out and you'd be back here in less than a fortnight.

Shane: (a bit offended) D' y' reckon?

Emma: What?

Shane: D' y' think I'd be got rid of... quickly?

Emma: I don't know. There'd only be one way to find out...

Shane: Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. The humiliation! Just applying... before getting anywhere near to being on the tele'. Not a chance.

In the way that Huw doesn't concur with lofty disinterest in football, I hold the same view regarding Big Brother. As people discuss the programme - a massive and shifting cultural phenomenon since it first aired, the real value of the show becomes evident. In person, in-the-flesh, as part of life here on Earth, I have learned much about relative strangers, as I've listened to their views on the empty, the vacuous and the banal. Because, of course, them there - their - views, can be far from empty, vacuous or banal. Racism, sexism, politics, the value of time and energy, sexuality, relationship-formation, conflict - how and how not to resolve it, and much more besides. Big Brother has it all. And so, Big Brother is as sharp as the minds that watch and listen to it. So yes it will be tremendously dull, but it'll also be as sharp as... well, you and I...???

(Whispers) The thing is, I don't really care that much - you know, enough to actually vote, but there is something that can be pro-social about it all. I think that's what I hold onto.

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And for anyone who got this far down the post: a treat! A shot of the performance artist, Ron Athey - a very nice man. We once chatted about an atmospheric violin soloist. As I typed the title to this post, Ron came to mind.


Huw said...

Don't tell anyone, but I sometimes catch myself fantasising that if I went on Big Brother, I'd be so detached and at a loss as how to communicate with the really nuts people, I'd become a sort of cult national figure, like Truman in the Truman Show or something. People would empathise with me wandering around, a mixture of confusion and loneliness, seeking refuge in the diary room for intense monologues on how the whole situation was making me reassess who I was, and eventually coming to bond closely with the subnormals around me.

But don't tell anyone.

PI said...

I have promised myself that I won't watch at all this year. Any way it clashed with TS Elliot who I wanted to understand and I'm quite sick of Davina. I only watch it of course to marvel at the vagaries of human nature. So there it is. And although MTL said we orter vote, in the end - for reasons I won't bore you with - we didn't.

Shane said...

Huw - I cannot relate to that way of thinking. (Whilst thinking: 'Gawwwwwdddddd, we are so alike - that's really spooky')

Pi - But Patty Pi Pi, noooooooooo! You're meant to be one of my fellow sufferers. Don't turn all sensible and grown-up on me now. I mean, what about Freddie - nice guy or what?! And how will Marcus be received by the public-at-large? And are we facing the end of the celebrity romance?... Patty... come back.

PI said...

You must not tempt me like that its not cricket.
BTW are your ears burning?

Shane said...

Pi - I did hear that you'd be receiving a visit from HRH. Ears may have been burning, but I didn't notice - was too busy trying to avert aversion-worthy stuff.

Meanwhile... said...

PI - a judicious choice.

I think it clashed with Sylvia Plath too, who - unexpectedly - became far more intriguing to me as a result:

If I pay the roots of the heather
Too close attention, they will invite me
To whiten my bones among them.

Words that are wonderful and depressing. Moorlands, bleak yet compelling.

It's a terrible analogy, but that's kind of how I feel about Big Brother.

And Shane - apologies for sullying your blog with poetry...