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July 5, 2006

BB again. wherein i justify spending half an hour writing this post rather than rewriting chapters

Posted by dogpossum on July 5, 2006 12:07 PM in the category television

While I'm almost ready to drop this particular bundle (dang I'm carrying some thesis-anxiety), the BB discussion continues.

There's another article by Mark up at Lavartus Prodeo (where I'm quoted a bit, as are a few other interesting items by people like Galaxy (also here) and Ms Fits and others).

One of the heaviest heavy weights, Ms Greer, has chimed in, which must have the BB people "hugging themselves with glee" (to quote this article), PR-wise. This is an article which addresses the sorts of issues I'm most interested in, yet when Greer writes:

When Camilla heard that Ashley and John had been evicted, her response was baffling. "I'm really sorry, guys," she wept. "I feel so bad."
I'm surprised. Surely she can understand why this woman felt this way at that moment? I mean, it's nothing new to see a woman ladened with guilt for the actions of male sexual misbehaviour... If only we could all be as robust as Germaine, strong enough not to carry that guilt*.
Perhaps more interestingly, surely its not so baffling that Camilla's having a bit of a cry, when it's been made so clear that she (of the three) was not expelled from the house? I imagine I'd be up there in the crying stakes in such a strange, pressure-cooker situation even without mysterious suprise 'evictions', public humiliation and implied guilt-by-exemption.

And as this story continues, part of me wonders why it's so simple for BB to evict difficult housemates, when it always took us weeks and weeks to get rid of difficult housemates when I was share-housing? If we could simply have whisked them away, perhaps I'd still have my copy of The Mists of Avalon.** an aside, I wonder if it's worth thinking about the context of this 'sexual harassment' (I use quotes because the status of the incident is still in doubt in some minds... not mine, though). These things happened 'in the home'. Yet this is a very public private space. Am I pushing too far when I wonder if this issue, the entire BB program, offers a fascinating opportunity to think about the perormance of public and private space, the sexual relationships between young people in public/private space?
Of course, we can't really say that BB offers an 'authentic' view of private domestic life, but it does offer us an opportunity to think about the way particular types of men and women live and behave together under trying circumstances. And while the issue of sex seems foremost on everyone's minds (anyone who objects to mixed-sex showering should avoid Herrang... hell, any dance camp), the gastropod in me is always wondering what exactly they're cooking for dinner, and who will do the washing up.

Though not to forget Ms Greer's points:

Every picture tells a story, but no picture tells the whole story. No word is more abused by Big Brother producers than "live", unless it is "uncut". Perhaps universities should start running courses on how to watch Big Brother, teaching students to discern how, when and where the mix is being manipulated, and what insultingly tatty television it is, in terms of production values.

Setting aside the whole issue of 'taste' (something Galaxy and others could no doubt discuss more cleverly than I), is anyone else kind of digging the fact that all of this online bloggage (rather than 'news') on the topic is conducted by people who are engaged in teaching the 'BB demograph' (ie young men and women) about media and cultural studies and gender and so on, as made particularly clear on Moment to Moment?
Speaking as someone who's had to explain why feminism is important in a media studies subject, to a group of young(er than me) people who are training to become media producers, I think that the comments and ideas we're sharing online are kind of important. After all, these bloggers are the sorts of people who are on the 'front line' of these university courses Greer suggests. And many of us will go on to do the sorts of jobs that Lumby is doing.

Really, if anyone's in a position to ask the sorts of endlessly nitpicky questions, or to spend hours thinking about and talking about this issue, aren't we postgraduate/early-career academic types the one(s)?

Even if we really should be off editing chapters.

Speaking of guilt...

*This is kind of a joke. If were speaking about this, in person, you'd have been cued in by tone of voice.

**Was that too frivolous a joke? I mean, we are kind of talking about feminist readings of history, ideologically informed narrative and all...

Posted by dogpossum on July 5, 2006 12:07 PM in the category television