Posts Tagged ‘USA

24
Aug
19

Big Brother (USA) 2019, Thoughts

*****

I’m inclined to repeat myself. But, first…

It’s Big Brother season in the USA! Actually, the season is already nearing its end. I’m a bit late with the announcement. But, I am on time with my predictions of the final results…which have become rather predictable.

How is the show predictable you ask? Let me break it down, one more time.

1) Alliances of ridiculous numbers form rather quickly out of fear of being eliminated too soon…only to crumble by the time the show reaches the “jury” stage, leading to excessive internal stress and drama. It was something done before by someone; so people feel compelled to do the same, as if they’ve joined a fraternity or sorority and want to share coffee over squeals before buying matching sweatshirts bedazzled with trios of Greek letters. It’s like trying to form a human pyramid and hold that position for three months. Even the most miserable stamina challenge on the show doesn’t require that much stationary effort. And, just as bad or worse, the alliances divide the house in such a cliche way. Which brings me to…

2) The division of the “cool kids” and the “outcasts” like an average high-school crowd. Every season, the show recruits “TV-pretty” people and a handful of what I’d classify as society’s rejects, some of which come with oddly respectable job titles and thus make me wonder how this “performance” impacts their careers. How do you know if you’re “cool” or an “outcast?” Well, if your alliance has more than two people but fewer than six, you’re likely an outcast. And, if your alliance doesn’t include the sexiest people the show has to offer, you’re likely an outcast. And, what happens to the outcasts?

3) Outcasts rarely win and “floaters” never win. More often, a certain dominating, “trending” presence starts a train ride to victory early in the game. If an outcast takes the big prize, he or she had to put up with the most crap, witness just about every social conflict and avoid appearing more threatening than the other person on the “chopping block” without being a “floater.” And, when that person wins, it’s as if they were the lesser of two evils, when the other is a “cool kid” who worked as hard or harder to get that far. This outcast is not a “competition beast” nor deserving of any great status. And, they win by the jury deciding to turn on the person who got the most screen time and could be blamed for upsetting the most people. What’s strange is that the winning outcast deserves as much blame for being annoying and deceiving; I have yet to see an outcast retain my support and make it to the final three. On the other hand, I continually find the winner upsetting my stomach for one reason or another. Jealousy? Hardly.

I recall one year when a person I classified as an outcast won. I was rooting for him, at first. But, by the end of the season, I detested him for faking his emotions and for having no emotional connection with anyone in the house; he won like a robot and by the house turning on the one I thought was favored. I doubt he left with any friendships. [But, then again, I could be completely wrong…as I tend to misjudge people and situations that look predictable.] All I know is I went from liking the guy to hating the guy. Unlike the year that cop won; he had skillfully aligned himself with the right people and stayed true to those he called friend (including one I still find annoying).

I understand how deception can be an exciting and challenging tool to wield in this game, but it’s like bad perfume. It messes with people’s heads, breaks trust, ruins relationships… You spend roughly three months in a box with the same (annoying) people, and you’re going to leave with those people in a confused and unpleasant state? If so, you’re likely going to leave with psychological hangups and brain damage. Considering how the results can turn you on your head, why not focus on surrounding yourself with the people you actually learn to like and enjoying the game? Anything else is like me trying to video tape an entire vacation to relive it, later.

And, floaters?

[In case you don’t already know, a floater is defined as a person who essentially tries to look pretty and does as little as possible to ensure they survive the game; they survive as long as they do because the other people in the house ignore them until they come looking for a vote in their favor.]

Often enough, floaters are women (sometimes beautiful women who may or may not require elaborate makeup and hair pieces to look that way) who get brushed aside by competing men (male egos) until the men need a pillow to hold. Floaters last longer than the whiners and foolish challengers of authority but typically get reduced to one by the time there are only four people left in the house; and then that floater’s time to go has come. The one year I see a strong, self-assured woman who could hold her own and dazzle my senses…she breaks her leg and becomes a unique “floater”…sort of a sad charity case and a “whoops” on the show’s part. ‘Didn’t expect the unexpected of breaking someone’s limb in a competition, did ya? Nooo…yer too maliciously excited to test people like rats in a maze. I swear…

4) Some competitions go too far to test these people. I’m not sure when it started, but there are competitions that go beyond what first shocked me on Survivor (another reality TV survival game show that exploits sad people seeking small fame and fortune). Endurance tests are one thing…but throwing everything in the garbage at people, wasting food, making insane messes of the places your crew designs so creatively…and then the risk of actual injury?

I will spend an entire day holding onto a dry tree trunk rather than subject myself to skating across a slippery track just to transport cups of whatever from one vat to another. I will roll my lone ball down that infuriating-ly daunting track in slim hope of reaching the goal rather than risk my neck in some physcial challenge that no one should have to face for nothing. I don’t care what shady deal you work out off-camera with these people. What I see is people getting abused for nothing. They may walk away with forced smiles and say nice things to avoid lawsuits…but, come on! There are too many reducing themselves to cruel deceptive tactics and falling in line with the enemy just to leave and hope they can still piece together their lives (and not sign another contract to do some other CBS reality TV game show to remain a puppet for as long as someone is willing to hold the strings and as long as that puppet holds together).

And, every season ends with the big winner aka the least favored person who steals the prize and drops jaws, the runner-up aka the person who worked the hardest for far less and the Miss Congeniality aka the person (man or woman) who earned the fewest groans and the most smiles.

So, without further ado, here are my picks:

The big winner:  Nick  [The dark horse surprise-er of the season who was on the chopping block only to recover and take the trophy…why? It’s just how this goes; the one you want to win doesn’t, and the one you don’t want to win usually does because the Jury screws the expectations and hard-working cowards like Paul who gave his season 120%. My runner-up pick currently looks primed to win; but that’s not usually how the game goes. However, this season seems set to mirror the previous two seasons by forcing a certain couple to advance their relationship as if you can’t end the summer without casting roles for some marriage reality TV show that puts the Bachelor(s) to shame.]

The runner-up:  Michie aka Jackson  [He is that annoying alpha-male type with an inexplicably sickening weasel-ish-ness about him and apparently favored as the “hunk” of the season; which sadly means the lovely Holly will likely be the third member of the final three who gets bumped at the last possible moment by the two heated competitors.][Note:  The person I usually grow to dislike usually wins, even if I vote for someone else.  In this case, I am not particularly expecting anyone I like to win and don’t care who wins.  So, my aim is likely off, regardless.  But, I am taking a wild guess, anyway.]

Miss Congeniality:  Kathryn  [She is just the biggest bundle of fun and someone I’d be inclined to call a crazy friend, reminding me both of Meg mixed with John, both from season 17.  I would expect her to hook up in some kind of “showmance”…but I happened to notice her wearing a ring and suspect she has an un-mentioned fiancé waiting back home, which is really curbing her “social game” and causing her to joke and laugh nervously.]
Every year I find at least one woman I not only root for but generally fawn over. This year, it’s Holly who rates a solid 8.5/10…sometimes, in special moments, bumping herself up to a 9.5.   [From an online profile, personality wise, she might be more like a 6/10.]  She’s like a somber, tattoo-free Angelina Jolie with geeky glasses, fab hair and an uncanny aim.

Kathryn (or Kat), who has already fallen to Jury with the stunning face of Analyse (“Sis”), is a close second who could be my favorite if she wasn’t so unpredictably crazy; she reminds me just a bit of the cracked dentist who participated a few seasons ago. Why, if I favor them so, don’t I expect or root for them to win? Because, so far, no beauty, no matter how brainy, reaches the finish line.

Not long ago, there was a wee blonde gal named Nicole who went from being cute to annoying, did not win her first season and somehow came back to win another season and marry the saint of that season, a guy I like to think may have been an incarnation of Jesus, the way he presented himself.  I have a hard time accepting anyone named Nicole, now.  But, this year’s Nicole (Anthony) is fairly cute and seems like a great friend type (for me).  [From what I’ve read, she and I think alike and have similar interests and talents…and hang-ups.  Personality wise, she rates about a 9/10.]

So, if you managed to read everything I just wrote, you may ask why do I even bother watching the show? I don’t even watch 75% of what is shown because it’s just rats in a cage, chattering mindlessly, not knowing how to act or feel about anything and ignoring the bigger questions that put them in this space. Sadly, I follow the show for four reasons:

1) I enjoy seeing the interior design of the house and the more creative (not messy, risky or destructive) competitions.

Comic book covers, costume “punishments,” lawn darts with caricatures of past contestants, fake movie quizzes and matching cardboard cutouts with clue-injected scenery? Yes, please. Hanging from some hazardous prop/machine while being slathered with more crap than Nickelodeon can sling at a kid, diving through who-knows-what to find some Double-Dare token and listen to some quasi-evil robot spout off, as if we are encouraging bullies for the farming of tears? No thanks. I’d rather not return to my lackluster life with new problems, including broken bones and some foreign substance in my lungs which will then result in medical bills the show will not likely pay for and which will make the rest of my days on this questionable planet less tolerable.

2) I have a relentless crush on Julie Chen, the host of the American version of the show (also the celebrity and, apparently, the Canadian versions?).

3) I look for favorable female competitors (women I’d want as life partners) and anticipate them winning, which, so far, I haven’t seen one do.

The people I favor–mind you, favor without turning into someone I detest–never seem to win, not even the men. In a rare situation, there was the cop–whose name slips my mind–who was probably the most respectable player to win that I can remember. And, that mohawk- (or faux-hawk?) sporting Paul from a few seasons back went from cowardly jerk to hard-working genius only to get denied the big prize in the end, a prize given to someone who I felt had no business winning.

But, then again, maybe winning the big prize is just the opposite of what it seems; maybe the big winner is really the saddest person who just doesn’t know what’s to come, sort of like Carrie in those scary movies, when she gets dumped on and flips out on everyone. Maybe the big winner is just being tagged the biggest threat to society and paid off with some signatures collected to ensure they don’t explode outside of a controlled prison. Maybe winning is just a ticket into some witness-protection plan for science experiments.

4) I imagine myself in the house with the other contestants and go through a mix of internal torment (imagining me at odds with certain obnoxious people) and wishful thinking (imagining a variety of things I’d like to say and do which I’d likely never pull off without a hitch and likely would go home unsatisfied).

***

I leave you with these tips, if there’s ever a chance you who read this (or I) gets a chance to play on the game show…I guess you could call this my own strategy, if I was able to participate:

1) Do not form an alliance.

Form a dynamic duo. A solid team of two is sure to see you through to victory. But, if you call someone your “ride-or-die,” don’t bail on them; or you will likely fry…or, at least, lose the right to call that person a true friend.

2) Enjoy the game as safely as possible.

Do not focus solely on winning; you cannot–no matter how you foolishly try–ensure you will win. That’s been proven. [And, I would not be the least bit surprised if the makers of the show didn’t script who will win from the minute they close the decision on a cast of “castaways.”] So, play like you’re in an arcade; and, when the quarters run out, hold your head up and walk away calmly. Even if the show wants to make a fool out of you, do your best to avoid lowering yourself to something you’ll later regret. If saving your face means losing, so be it. The game only lasts a few months. Your life goes on much longer. Plans don’t always go as intended; so why not enjoy the ride? And, if you win in the end, all the better. If you come away with less money, hopefully you’re not out of options.

Playing safe does not mean doing as little as possible or not trying your best. It means knowing when to protect yourself and have values you won’t sacrifice, even if it means losing. Because, very likely, you’ll lose to someone who either is just more enduring than you or someone who will tempt you to be a far worse person than you want to be. What do you expect on a game show with cameras everywhere and an assortment of expectations and restrictions? But, regardless of all that, hold onto your dignity and try not to injure yourself like the lovely Christmas, sadly, did. [Though I don’t think she was trying to hurt or exceed her abilities; she just had an unfortunate accident. And, it’s strange, considering she is/was in such “jaw-mazing” physical shape.] If you need to drop out of a competition to save your joints or avoid sickness, do so.

Personally, playing safe also means not getting involved with petty squabbles which seem to dominate air time. I’m not saying I won’t find or get myself involved in some…but I’d do my best to avoid them and practice the mantra of “No mas; ‘kay?” (an alternative to the trendy “namaste”). If I get involved only to walk away with a volatile pool of acid in my fuming gut, I’ll eventually realize my loss of self-control was pointless. So, it’s best to catch yourself sooner than later, take a deep breath and negate the conflict. Just walk away from the confrontation…unless you are defending your friend. It’s better to defend a friend than yourself because you may not realize you are lowering your own sensibility in the emotionally-charged moment. If you feel yourself reaching for that box of cereal or milk jug and wanting to throw it at the agitator, pause and extract yourself; cast out the anger and/or frustration and step away from the threat. No more. Okay? Save a nerve; ride an HoH or veto competition.

As I’ve stated elsewhere, I can skip over 75% of the show because I am not one who enjoys listening to countless hours of people whispering accusations and fears…or shouting only to be silenced when the FCC detects a unpleasant word. You’d cut out the honest answers from contestants and goodbye video messages and stuff broadcast airtime with the negative/futile-ly heated interactions? That’s just cold and sickening. Why can’t the catty stuff be left to the late-night (Pop) viewers or live-feed chasers? I suspect it’s all worked out in some elaborate, illogical financial scheme.

3) Surround yourself with friends, not enemies.

That doesn’t mean you pick out the other pretty people, even if you are one, or settle into a miserable cave with all of the other outcasts. Don’t keep the biggest jerks in the house for hope of having voters pointing a finger at them and giving you the big prize. By the time you have a chance at that big prize, you’ll have endured more misery than was probably necessary. If you’re going to commit to staying in such a place, be sure you’re among people you can tolerate if not enjoy. DO NOT CAST OUT THE NICE GUY OR GAL WHO GETS ALONG WITH EVERYONE! Do not send the saint to jury or, even worse, the void of no return. [But, then again, maybe it’s better for the saint to be of service and not take the big prize…if there’s some moral benefit in the bargain, if the big prize is, again, not all it appears to be. Maybe the saint is a prize for the viewers to find on their own.]

[On a side note, I suspect the show, off-camera, has some details it ensures are represented, including what I’d classify as token gay people and representatives-of-races-other-than-Caucasian-mutts. And, these select few are somehow guaranteed a slice of TV time, even though the trend continually appears to be the abrupt ousting of black folks and an enduring tolerance of gay players. I don’t want to get racist or sexist, regardless of my personal agitations. But, there sure has been a pattern on the show, especially in recent years. I think it was season one…when an African-American guy made a stink about something (translation: did not get along with so many other “white folks”) and was quickly kicked out, followed by the lone black (or brown) woman on the show. And, I have yet to see a dark-skinned man or woman make it to the final three…which is not a reason for the show to skew anything to achieve such a goal. But, what does that say about the country?…about the people? Is it just the locations from which these people are plucked that generally favor gay folks over other ethnicities? Is it impossible to recruit a more diverse group, versus a majority of foul-mouthed southerners boasting favorable job titles when they act anything but civilized? Are players afraid to pick on a gay player for fear of angering the viewers and/or staff, for stirring thoughts of sexism? Is it just “the way it is” to see diversity fall to the white majority? And, would any other result be forced versus natural?]

Going back to tip #1, regarding alliances…

4) Pick a partner to see you through to the end and be content if that person wins, instead of you.

I think the best way to go into the game is to make one good friend (or, at least, one contact you can rest assured knowing will do something nice with you outside of the game) and be just as happy to see them win as you would be. Instead of gauging who’s the best at physical and mental competitions, catering to televised expectations or reducing yourself to catty, superficial speculations, find the person or people who you would like to see prosper from this experience and be accepting of them surpassing your efforts.

And, when the trendsetter(s) point(s) the finger of rejection at someone, DO NOT automatically side with them or give me that “I sadly vote to evict ___” crap. If you’re lucky, the person you vote against will see you say “sadly” and say, “That’s okay; I know they were pushed into that situation.” If you’re lucky! More likely, you’ll ruin the possible friendship, even if you don’t see why. And, why is the friendship ruined? Because you show how cowardly you are by siding with the majority instead of supporting your friend, win or lose. Voting to cast out your friend is a somewhat silent break of trust that may never be mended, even if it’s just inside a game. If you vote to evict your “best friend in the house,” you deserve to be the next person cast to the curb. If you’re lucky and manage to secure contact information, you might salvage the friendship after the game. [But, I don’t hear many if any cases of that happening; instead I just see pushes for “showmances” to boost ratings and compete with all the false romance game shows being pumped out to compete with the excess of talent shows.]

It pains me to see “power couples” get such tongue-lashings from those who do or cannot form similar couplings. I get it. But, resorting to attacking and/or working on ousting a couple simply because they choose to be a couple is sort of heartless. Even if I had to lose to such a couple, I would be inclined to think seeing the two side-by-side in the final two seats would be sort of blissful…idealistic. I mean, who better to lose to than the one person you favor most other than yourself? Isn’t that truly romantic?…versus heading a catty “alliance” and spending countless hours squirming and shouting over who said/did what and who’s not going to let who go home? It’s no wonder reality TV can’t produce a slice of genuinely lovely reality, because it’s like a lab experiment (poked, prodded, sliced and diced) instead of something formed naturally. The odds of natural happiness forming on TV are so slim. And, I can’t help wondering if any couple from Big Brother, who goes on to marry, isn’t/wasn’t forced into some doomed-to-fail situation purely for insatiable ratings and some undisclosed financial perk.

5) If you offer to be a “pawn,” you deserve to be the next person cast to the curb.

Anyone who offers to be a pawn and survives eviction night is playing with fire and one lucky S.O.B. Unless you know the show is steering the votes in your favor–and how would you (unless we need to go back to a previous point/topic I discussed and review the slideshow)?–why willingly risk your neck in the hot seat, even if you do so with the consent of your most trusted ally? Even if you have his/her vote, you do not guarantee the decisions of the others who could turn in a blink.

Would I even subject myself to be a pawn for the aspirations of love?…I’d be a fool if I did. If I was half of a “power couple” or “showmance” and offering to be my partner’s pawn…I’d be taking a bigger risk than needed, risking the trust of my partnership on a game decision which might be swayed by human forces I cannot control. That’s almost like the deal the couple makes with the rich man who wants to have one night of sex and romancing with the wife. Are you seriously telling me you can accept that at any price? If you can, then why not form a threesome/harem with the guy while you’re at it? You’re just going to say one night is okay for a million dollars? Not me, jerks.

***

In short/summation, a good friend is worth more than any prize money you may yet lose. To risk everything for a shot at any sum of money is rather heartless. And, I cannot think of any sum worth risking my life for without losing my soul in the process.

10
Nov
16

HUGE Political Peanuts and Such

trump-putin-usa-russia-cahoots-friendship-2016-election_ap-1jsnoopy-warpilot-takingonredbarons-2016-election_ap-2jsnoopy-soviet-hacker-woodstock-2016-election_ap-1j

hillary-blue-special-itsthegreatletdown_2016-election-ap-1j

09
Nov
16

The U.S.A. Must be Full of Masochists…

*****

…Because on Nov. 8, 2016, they showed fifty shades of gray. 

Who knew Americans (who voted) liked being abused verbally, sexually and any other way you care or care not to imagine.

But, why should we be surprised?  This happens every 8 (used to be 4) years.  Just when you think someone’s building something–one group says it’s good, the other says it’s bad–the tide turns, and the skyscrapers fall only to see new towers be built on the burial sites.  Talk about Poltergeist.  It’s the ghost of elections past.

36 years ago, the USA elected Ronald Reagan, an actor who some questioned for his knowledge/experience.  Chinese astrology says a lot about things happening in cycles of 12.  Could there be some pattern to all of this?

Is this the USA getting its Trump-up-Pence?

Stay tuned, cave dwellers.  Same bad time.  Same bad channel.

20
Aug
16

U.S. Politics–Zelda Style

*****

In my opinion, individually, the parties have become rather brutal mobs that clash like G.I.Joe and Cobra but accomplish very little.  One gets the chance to think it has won before the “loser” trashes what the “winner” has done.  Tons of money is wasted year after year both building the parties up for elections and then fighting over what actually gets done while the figurehead is in office.  The poor chap in the biggest chair loses his sanity and vitality before being handed the key to a library in his (or her) name.  What a system.  So much for the glory of democracy.

Now, it would seem, a PURPLE party, a nation without sides to stir violent speech and action, may be the only solution.  No parties.  No PACs.  No “super-delegates.”  [What the fark are those, anyway?  Were they exposed to nuclear waste?  Is the status determined by who has the most wealth?]

So, there you have it in Zelda cartoon form.  I’m Writingbolt and I approve this statement.




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