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Archive for October, 2011

Survivor

We’re back into the new season of survivor, and I find it particularly interesting that we are once again being asked to believe in the survival of the fittest as a natural order.  Or at least that is what the show presents itself to be.  However, the show’s conception of ‘fit’ seems to be very much in accordance with the codes and conventions of television:  charm outweighs ‘goodness’ and once again we’re watching characters grapple with their own sense of morality (see baby Hants) only to be cast aside for being somewhat untrustworthy.  And so the show reinforces the notion that he who charms best (see Boston Rob) is somehow most effective at survival – is somehow most fit.  But if all life were a vote for prom king, that may well be true, but life is not engineered by votes – life is never truly democratic in the way that Americans fantasize.  Democracy is not about getting the most votes (or in this case, the least) but about getting your name on the ballot.  These people were, after all, selected by the producers of Survivor for exhibiting strong character traits, and being easily categorized into types (the nerd, the beauty queen, the schemer, coach).  And surely, then, the vote is rigged from the outset.  The survivor will be the one of a limited group, who best conforms to what the show’s particular environment has determined is most telegenic.

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