Saturday, June 02, 2007

Big Brother musings

Sorry, this blog will probably not be a BB free zone.....

It turns out that the Dutch BB Big Donor show which used the Big Brother format to choose which of 3 people would get a donated kidney was a hoax, used to highlight the problems around organ donation in Holland. By being deliberately scandalous, it has made a strong political and humanitarian point. This is the kind of thing people like Ezekiel used to do - the old prophet's 'visual aids', like cooking food on dung in a public place, were prophetic ways of raising public awareness.

It probably helped that Holland has a reputation for moral laxity, so here was (it seemed) yet another example of European depravity. The programme has not only shone a light on organ donation in Holland, but on the low level of moral expectancy we have from our society and public institutions. Yes it was a scandalous concept, but how many people were geniunely surprised that this was where reality TV had ended up?

On the UK BB house (no I'm not going to link to it!), I'm reminded of someone saying that character is like a full mug of coffee - it's what slops out when people bump into you. As an experience of community, though an arteficial and deliberately unsettling one, it can have the same effect as entering a monastery, convent or other enclosed community - issues of character come to the surface and slop out. The trouble is that BB is not a community where those issues are prayed through, talked about in spiritual direction, brough before God in worship, or resolved in the community group. It would drive me mental: the lack of personal space, no books, no Su Doku, no way of finding out the cricket scores, maybe they should put a chapel and a library into the house for 2008.

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