I am not an avid fan of reality TV shows. I kinda see an easy comparison, of the social experimentation in such reality TV shows, superficial and exaggerated, with the real and brute fact of human laboratory testing and manipulation. There was nothing superficial about treating humans as lab rats or hamsters for experiments. Gory.…
I am not an avid fan of reality TV shows. I kinda see an easy comparison, of the social experimentation in such reality TV shows, superficial and exaggerated, with the real and brute fact of human laboratory testing and manipulation. There was nothing superficial about treating humans as lab rats or hamsters for experiments. Gory. Bizarre, one would say. That’s because what came to our minds, at the mention of human lab testing, was the scientist’s harvest of human parts, for research purposes and experimentation. We almost feel the goosebumps of some mad scientist’s nightmare. Well, reality TV shows may be far from the grotesque and downright unethical, but it dissects human parts on more delicate axes – human emotions. Placing a group of people together to live as housemates, who have no prior knowledge of each other’s history and personality, and blindfolding them on the inside, to check and publicize their strengths, errors, and weaknesses, I think, reeks of exploitation.
The Big Brother show is one particular reality TV show that has gained so much popularity, it has nearly dispelled the apprehension that initially greeted such an open exploitation and broadcast of manipulated human emotions. Nearly, though. With each turn of events and newer mistakes about the content of the show, people have come to grow some kind of scorn, in others, indifference, and yet others, skepticism, about the intentions of the organizers. The bulk of people, though, less concerned with critically reasoning out the aims and objectives of a show that preys on the emotional strengths and weaknesses of people paired together with the single mundane goal of a few million doughs, see the show as anything but bad.
Funny enough, the origins of the term, Big Brother, are a stark contrast to the connotations of the reality TV show. Big Brother was a term that originated from George Orwell’s famous oeuvre, “Nineteen-eighty-four”, written as a satire to project the near-future of advancing society. Big Brother was the fictional character and symbol of Oceania, a totalitarian state in Orwell’s fiction, wielding total power for its own sake. Through ubiquitous posters and telescreens, the all-seeing eye of Big Brother could detect even the slightest stirrings, in the depth of any citizen, of hope or revolution. Big Brother was the perfect satire to represent an abuse of civil liberty and individual rights of expression, as well as mass surveillance.
The Big Brother show of today, is more concerned as a social experiment, with broadcasting the most liberal expressions of people living together. It is more interested in people “breaking loose”, “breaking bad”, rather than the Orwellian society of abbreviated gestures and stolid countenances. One isn’t surprised then, when bosoms are bared, and lips interlock passionately with the wetness of other lips or swollen erogenous regions, without care for their being seen by Big Brother or by the eager watching world through Big Brother’s eyes. The Big Brother Naija show is a perfect example of this new definition. This social experiment seems to reveal that the eyes of Big Brother, unlike Orwell hypothesized, trigger rather a revolutionary spirit than a timid one. A spirit, revolutionary of the culture that teaches that a man forsakes not his family, for the fleeting pleasure of monetary gain and cheap sex, or that holds that a woman’s pride be kept to herself, and not broadcast to the world, in curves, piercings, and nudity.
Whether this spirit is in need of exorcism or applause, is talk for another day. Hopefully, Big Brother’s eyes would have been dimmed then, to prevent us from, neither the limitation of timidity or the irascibility of audacious stupidity.